Robert Kane is the Founder of BondView, a free website that offers muni bond investors and professionals easy to use tools such as report cards, bond ratings, portfolio analysis, pricing and research. Clients include the Top 10 financial institutions, advisors, muni issuers and even Mr Kane's mother-in-law. Mr Kane worked at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citibank in fixed income & technology. He moved from Goldman Sachs to found Intrusion Detection, a leading network security company w/ 490 of the Fortune 500 as customers. He guided the sale to RSA Security (Nasdaq: EMC & RSAS). He is a NY Angels founding member, and investor in several successful start-ups and has broad financial & technology experience.
30 years of analytic research experience with major buy-side organization, bond insurer, and bond rating agency. Now retired and managing my own accounts, laddered muni bond fund for cash flow, tax sheltered equity fund for growth and income.
Who I Am:
I'm a retired individual investor. I retired at the end of 2013 after a 35 year career as a professor and research scientist at a major research university. My professional life involved multiple international projects and collaborations, so I traveled extensively over those 35 years. I plan to continue doing so in my retirement.
My investing priorities are building and refining portfolios designed to provide income and capital growth: Income for my retirement needs, and capital growth for my estate. My investing philosophy tends toward the long-term, value side of the spectrum, but I'm not opposed to occasional flings on attractive, speculative opportunities.
My investing interests are tax-advantaged income from a range of sources, portfolio strategies, information- and bio-technology, and momentum-based strategic allocation.
Why I Write for Seeking Alpha:
I learned long ago that "writing is nature's way of letting you know how sloppy your thinking is." The line comes from a Guindon comic strip of many years ago, and could not be more true in my case. When I did research professionally, I learned that writing it up forces me to think about details I might otherwise overlook. It's how I spent my working career, so it comes more or less naturally to me. I consider it an essential part and parcel of doing any research. So, the writing I do here is as much for myself as for the reader.
As I started to contribute articles here, they grew out of research for my personal investment portfolios. They're based on things I've uncovered that are of interest to me and may be of interest to others of like mind. For many more-seasoned investors some of the things I write about are old-hat. My primary purposes in writing them are to help clarify my thinking and to get feedback from others who may have very different opinions. It's those thoughtful comments that make Seeking Alpha such an important resource. To that end, I try to actively engage myself in the comment streams in my articles, contributing what I can and learning from others.
As a research scientist I spent a career spanning four decades devoted to free exchange of information vetted by rigorous peer review. It's a concept I firmly believe in. I hope to bring that approach to my interactions and contributions on Seeking Alpha and welcome critical commentary on anything I may contribute here.
I encourage and welcome your comments. I try to respond to most insights, elaborations, and questions to the best of my ability. I especially encourage and appreciate thoughtful comments from those who disagree with me (although I tend to ignore obvious trolls and encourage others to do so as well). So, go ahead, start a conversation in the comment threads. It's one of the best things about Seeking Alpha.
My Investment Philosophies and Strategies:
I maintain two portfolios. My income portfolio is a taxable account. I try to keep it separate from the growth portfolio which is housed in a series of IRAs, traditional and Roth.
My income focus is on tax-advantaged income. In 2016 I face minimum required withdrawals from my tax-deferred accounts, so tax efficiency is an important consideration.With the need to take withdrawals I expect to shift my taxable accounts to more growth-focused (unrealized cap gains) investments. Making this shift while retaining income is my overarching priority for 2015. To that end, I expect to be generating more of my income from options as I gradually phase out my high-yield investments.
The IRAs I see as my estate and are focused on generational wealth building. That means the growth portfolios have a very long term horizon, well beyond what an investor of my age might be expected to maintain.
I am a believer in the precepts of MPT (Modern Portfolio Theory). I'm aware that MPT doesn't get a lot of respect by some of the DIY investors at Seeking Alpha. My readings in the field indicate to me that the research solidly supports the overall MPT approaches to investing. So, I am a believer in diversification. Not the sort of diversification that means I hold equity positions in every sector; the sort that means I hold positions in the full spectrum of asset classes with a watchful eye on correlations and a willingness to rebalance among asset classes, even when it goes against my gut feelings. By asset classes, I mean high level asset classes: Domestic and international equity, sovereign and corporate debt, emerging markets (equity and debt), real estate, commodities and so forth. I try to adapt that approach to both my income and growth investing.
Who Is Left Banker?
Ah yes, the name. When I first joined Seeking Alpha I had no intention of being anything but an occasional reader. I saw it as another research site. So, I just ported a name I've used on other sites. I spent some of the best times of my life living on the left bank of the Seine and am always thrilled to be back in La Belle Paris. It refers, too, to the left bank of the Gironde where some of my favorite wines are produced. When I'm feeling particularly flush, they're one of the splurges I'll treat myself to. So there is a major place in my heart for both common references for Left Banker.
Add that I also like it because I find several subtle word plays there; I'll leave it to you to decipher that comment.
I've chosen to remain anonymous. First, I have no professional role in finance and nothing to sell, so there is no advantage to be gained by "making a name for myself' here. Second, I value my privacy and have kept my internet presence as low-key as my professional life allowed. I certainly want to avoid any possibility of some internet connection trying to track me down. Odds against that happening are, of course, outrageously long, but why take them on at all?
I have no ties to the financial or security industries in any form. My interests are strictly personal. The banker part of the nym has absolutely no relationship to the profession of the same name.
Readers should be aware that I am an investing novice, some might say dilettante. I do not give advice; what I publish is much more in line with a research notebook. Anyone who finds anything of interest will necessarily want to do his or her complete research and due diligence. It would be foolish to rely on my conclusions without having done so.
AB is a research-driven investment firm that combines investment insight and innovative thinking to deliver results for our clients. At AB we believe that research excellence is the key to better outcomes and as a result we have built a global firm with exceptional research capabilities. We offer a broad array of investment services that span geographies and asset classes to meet the needs of private clients, mutual fund investors and institutional clients around the world.
Lawrence Weinman has worked over 20 years in the financial markets advising both institutional and individual investors. His services now include both ongoing fee only asset management and per hour or per project portfolio analysis and allocation reommendations by email/phone or in personal meetings. He is available for personal consulations Calfiornia, New York metropolitan area, South Florida and for US citizens in Israel.
He has worked in the capital markets groups of Citicorp, Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale where he headed the foreign currency options marketing group for North America. Working with individuals he has designed and implemented asset allocation and investment strategies and assisted his clients in retirement and tax planning. Mr. Weinman has presented seminars on financial issues to both lay and professional audiences in the US and abroad and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CNN and the Reuters and Bloomberg news services as well as local Southern California media. Mr. Weinman holds a BA from Columbia University and an MBA from the Stern School of Business of New York University. He currently teaches a class on investment management for MBA students.
IndexUniverse.eu launched November 2008 as the first independent website focused exclusively on the European ETF market. Overseen by leading ETF expert Paul Amery and offering daily news, analysis, blogs and data, it is already attracting attention as a leading source for independent analysis.
The site features the most comprehensive online database of European ETFs anywhere, packaged within a sophisticated data interface that lets users sort and search for ETFs by country, asset class and more than forty additional metrics.
Joe Eqcome is the pen name of Robert A. Frank, CFA, a Wall Street executive who has spent over 30 years as an investment professional. Mr. Frank is the founder of GrowthIncome Research & Management, LLC.
GrowthIncome Research & Management, LLC’s business mission is focused on generating supplemental retirement income through investment in regulated investment companies (“RIC’s” or “investment companies”) whereby the Firm can maximize investment income for its clients by virtue of the RIC’s conduit status.
RIC's include closed-end funds (CEF’s), open-end funds (mutual funds) and exchange traded funds (ETF’s). Other non-RIC, conduit vehicles include real estate investment trusts (REIT’s) and Master Limited Partnerships (MLP’s). Particular emphasis is placed on CEFs given their under-research and inefficient valuations.
Mr. Frank, a chartered financial analyst (CFA), spent his first 20 years in the investment business as a real estate research analyst for the investment banking firm of Alex Brown & Sons, Inc., (later sold to Deutsche Bank) where he was a managing director and group head of the real estate securities researched division.
Mr. Frank was later an executive vice-president, director of equity research and co-head of capital markets at Legg Mason, Inc. Mr. Frank founded Intellectual Capital Markets, Inc., a financial services firm in which he sold his interest; he also served as a real estate investment banker at a regional investment banking firm.
Mr. Frank has been a former "Institutional Investor" All-Star Analyst for multiple years, a featured interviewee for Barron's Magazine multiple times, a guest on Wall $treet Week and Bloomberg TV, former governor of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“NAREIT”), charter member of the Berman Institute at the Johns Hopkins University, former Trustee of the University of Baltimore, former Trustee at Friends School of Baltimore, former director of Mid-Atlantic Realty Trust (sold to Kimco Realty Trust, Inc.), recipient of the “Life-Time Achievement Award” by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and the American Real Estate Society's "Award of Merit".
Tom Lydon is editor and publisher of ETF Trends, a website with daily news and commentary about the fast-changing trends in the exchange traded fund (ETF) industry. Mr. Lydon is also CEO of Global Trends Investments, an investment advisory firm specializing in the creation of customized portfolios for high-net worth individuals. He has been involved in money management for more than 25 years. Mr. Lydon serves on the Board of Directors for U.S. Global Investors, Inc. and Guggenheim Investments. In early 2010, Mr. Lydon helped create the CNBC Model ETF Portfolios. Mr. Lydon is the author of The ETF Trend Following Playbook, as well as iMoney: Profitable Exchange-Traded Fund Strategies for Every Investor. He is Co-Founder of Virtual Summits, educational virtual events for financial advisors.
Visit his site: ETF Trends (http://www.etftrends.com/)
The ETF Virtual Summit is the largest exchange traded fund (ETF) investment conference in the world. ETF Trends and RIA Database host this complimentary, interactive conference that exists completely online. The virtual showroom features keynote speakers, panel webinars, an exhibitor hall, a networking lounge and hot topic forums. Designed exclusively for Financial Advisors, this conference allows you to interact with experts in the ETF industry in a unique, virtual environment, avoiding the hassles and costs of traveling. Details on the conference, including agenda, past attendee statistics and sponsor information can be found at www.ETFVirtual.com.
The Alts Virtual Summit is the leading Alternative Investment conference for financial advisors. ETF Trends and RIA Database host this complimentary, interactive conference that exists completely online. The virtual showroom features keynote speakers, panel webinars, an exhibitor hall, a networking lounge and hot topic forums. Designed exclusively for Financial Advisors, this conference allows you to interact with experts in the Alternative Investment industry in a unique, virtual environment, avoiding the hassles and costs of traveling. Details on the conference, including agenda, past attendee statistics and sponsor information can be found at www.AltsVirtual.com.
About a year ago, a company asked me to write a daily blog for them. I told them that I’d never read a blog and had absolutely no idea how to write one but sure, if you want to pay me for it, I’ll give it a shot. It was either my good or bad fortune to start at the beginning of the credit crisis. Good because there was a lot to write about, bad because they didn’t really want me to chronicle and opine on the disaster of the day. Guess who won that standoff. But I was hooked on blogging, so I started my own blog, called it But Then What and here we are.
I’m not sure that credentials mean much when it comes to writing about things but people seem to want to see them, so briefly here are mine. I have an undergraduate degree in economics from an undistinguished Midwestern university and masters in international business from an equally undistinguished Southwestern University. I spent a number of years working for large banks lending to lots of different industries. For the past few years, I’ve been engaged in real estate finance – primarily for commercial projects. Like a lot of other finance guys, I’m looking for a job at this point in time.
Given all of that, I suggest that you take what I write with the appropriate grain of salt. I try and figure out what’s behind the news but suspect that I’m often delusional. Nevertheless, I keep throwing things out there and occasionally it sticks. I do read the comments that readers leave and to the extent I can reply to them. I also reply to all emails so feel free to contact me if you want to discuss something at more length. Oh, I also have a very thick skin, so if you disagree feel free to say so.
Enjoy what I write and let me know when I’m off base – I probably won’t agree with you but don’t be shy.
Visit my blog http://www.butthenwhat.com or follow me on twitter at twitter.com/tomlindmark.
Following 23 years with JPMorgan, Simon Lack founded SL Advisors, LLC, in 2009. Prior to that, Simon was CEO and founder of the JPMorgan Incubator Funds, two private equity vehicles that took economic stakes in emerging hedge fund managers. From the late 1980s through 1999 through several bank mergers Simon ran Fixed Income Derivatives and Forward FX trading for JPMorgan and predecessor institutions, ultimately overseeing 50 professionals and $300 million in annual revenues. Simon also sat on JPMorgan’s investment committee allocating over $1 billion to hedge fund managers. He is the author of two books: The Hedge Fund Mirage: The Illusion of Big Money and Why It’s Too Good to Be True, published in 2011 to widespread praise from mainstream financial press including The Economist, Financial Times and Wall Street Journal; Bonds Are Not Forever; The Crisis Facing Fixed Income Investors (August 2013). Simon makes regular appearances on cable TV business shows discussing hedge funds and investing.
Edward Harrison is the founder of the blog Credit Writedowns (www.creditwritedowns.com) and is a finance specialist at Global Macro Advisors. Previously, Edward was a strategy and finance executive at Deutsche Bank, Bain, and Yahoo. He started his career as a diplomat and speaks German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish and French. Edward holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/edwardnh. Contact him at edh at creditwritedowns dot com as that's the only mailbox he reads regularly.
Former long-time business editor of major US women's magazine and contributing editor at dozens of different "trade" and consumer publications. Author of over 3,000 print magazine articles in past 30 years.
Penn Ph.D., centrist Republican.
Please visit my blogsites:
Baby Boomers-The Angriest Generation http://angriestgeneration.wordpress.com
The Rest of U.S. (for and about political Centrists) http://newcentristera.wordpress.com
and my brand-new blog about Markets:
Capital Punishment-Markets Through the Looking Glass http://marketslookingglass.wordpress.com
David Taggart is the Macro Trader and maintains TheMacroTrader.com blog.
TheMacroTrader.com is a site devoted to Global Macro and Multi-strategy Trading. Our philosophy on Macro Trading is that we are trying to be in the best risk to reward situations possible anywhere in anything. Instead of being married to value stocks, small-cap stocks, emerging market bonds, real estate, etc. we can go where we see the greatest opportunity or as some might say to “go where the money is.”
Please visit www.TheMacroTrader.com
Seeking Alpha readers, please enjoy a Complimentary Trial to our Premium content: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/premium/
Only days after the S&P 500 crashed to the depths of hell at 666, the Hoffman brothers launched Wall St. Cheat Sheet: one of the fastest growing financial media sites on the web. Like a samurai, our mission is to cut through the bull and bear sh** with extraordinary insights, a fresh voice, and razor-sharp wit. We provide the highest quality education and information for active investors and financial professionals. We are official contributors to Yahoo Finance, CNNMoney, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Minyanville, SeekingAlpha, and Zero Hedge. Our work has been cited in top finance and trading outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Financial Times, The Big Picture, Real Clear Markets, The Atlantic, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Infectious Greed, DealBreaker, CBS MoneyWatch, Kiplinger, Investment Postcards, ZeroHedge, Business Pundit, TraderFeed, The Kirk Report, AbnormalReturns, and more.
For the Premium Complimentary Trial: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/premium/
Damien Hoffman, Esq. decided to launch a financial website and exclusive subscription-based newsletter after achieving a 63% return versus a -48% return for the S&P over a nearly two year time frame as a co-founder of popular stock blog SmartGuyStocks (member of the Forbes Business and Finance Blog Network, and certified by Seeking Alpha). Mr Hoffman is currently Editor-in-Chief of Wall St. Cheat Sheet and trades full-time. After graduating early with honors from Duke University, he raised private equity with friends during the late Nineties to launch a successful start-up. Mr. Hoffman went on to work for boutique sports investment bank Inner Circle LLP where he worked on the sale of the NBA franchise New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn real estate development firm Forest City Ratner Companies (NYSE: FCE-A). Mr. Hoffman also graduated with honors from the University of Miami School of Law as a Dean’s Merit Scholar. He clerked at the Florida Supreme Court for the Honorable Justice Kenneth Bell and Central Staff. In 2006 at Harvard Law School he gave a guest lecture entitled, “Business and Law in the New Independent Music Industry.”
Derek Hoffman joined efforts with his brother to launch Wall St. Cheat Sheet after a decade of investing experience and outperforming the S&P 500 over the past 5 years. Mr. Hoffman is currently the CEO of Wall St. Cheat Sheet and trades full-time. He is a regular contributor to CNNMoney. His long-term investments and short-term trades have yielded extraordinarily successful results: double digit annual returns. Mr. Hoffman has handled media investment and tactical strategy planning for Procter & Gamble and Gillette’s national asset portfolio. He has also worked in private wealth management for Morgan Stanley. Mr. Hoffman graduated early from the University of Michigan’s world class economics department.
For the Premium Complimentary Trial: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/premium/
Michal Slawny joined Seeking Alpha in August 2008 as the contributor relations manager where she builds and strengthens relationships with SA's contributors. She also oversees new contributor intake, creates contributor newsletters, and manages SA's author database.
Prior to joining Seeking Alpha, Michal was the media communications assistant for The Israel Project, an organization dedicated to educating the press and the public about Israel by providing journalists, leaders, and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. Among other things, in this role Michal was involved in the inception and implementation of press events which were covered by major media outlets ranging from NBC News, ABC News, CNN, and Fox News to the Associated Press, Reuters and The Independent (London). She also conducted research, wrote and edited press material, and created and updated Web page content.
In 2005, Michal interned with Manning Selvage & Lee, one of the world's leading public relations firms. She also gained extensive public relations experience at Koteret Public Relations in Tel Aviv, where she was responsible for writing press releases and organizing photo shoots pitched to the Israeli and international press. Slawny graduated cum laude with a B.A. in journalism, focusing on public relations, and a B.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Georgia. While there, Slawny was heavily involved in student activism and reinstated Dawgs for Israel, heading the group for almost three years.
Michal may be reached at mslawny [at] seekingalpha.com.
Boaz Berkowitz has a unique interest being a Seeking Alpha contributor as he not only has a passion for writing and companies in general, but was also Seeking Alpha's Director of Contributor Relations from 2008 to 2011.
Boaz is currently the Founder & CEO of TalkMarkets, a first of its kind financial website. TalkMarkets is a smart site which covers the entire breadth of the diverse financial realm but is customized and tailored to each individual user. Your interests, preferences, and level of investment sophistication influence what content you see and in what medium. This ensures a browsing experience which is easy, quick and personally relevant. Additionally, we've made interacting easy by incorporating the best social media tools and creating a few of our own.
As the first ever contributor-owned website, TalkMarkets is truly unique and issues its founding contributors equity in the company.
Boaz has a diverse background, having begun his career at Bloomberg L.P. in Manhattan. Later he was lured into the world of e-commerce where for nearly six years he served as the Director of Online Operations for Saturn Enterprises. He has also consulted for several companies including Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW), the world's largest operator of 747 cargo aircraft, and GLX, the first global online financial community specifically for investors.
Boaz's interests extend beyond writing - he is involved with several charitable and community organizations. He sits on the Board of Directors for Binghamton University's Hillel and has served as an auxiliary police officer for the NYPD at Manhattan's 24th precinct. Boaz has an unusually supportive and understanding wife and four amazing children.
Robert Kane is the Founder of BondView, a free website that offers muni bond investors and professionals easy to use tools such as report cards, bond ratings, portfolio analysis, pricing and research. Clients include the Top 10 financial institutions, advisors, muni issuers and even Mr Kane's mother-in-law.
Mr Kane worked at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citibank in fixed income & technology. He moved from Goldman Sachs to found Intrusion Detection, a leading network security company w/ 490 of the Fortune 500 as customers. He guided the sale to RSA Security (Nasdaq: EMC & RSAS). He is a NY Angels founding member, and investor in several successful start-ups and has broad financial & technology experience.
John Lounsbury, Managing Editor and Co-founder of Global Economic Intersection, provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services to a small number of families on a fee only basis. He has a background which includes 34 years with a major international corporation, 25 years in R&D management and corporate staff positions. More recently he was a Series 6, 7, 63 licensed representative with a major insurance company brokerage from 1992 to 2001. Since 2002 he has operated his own sole proprietorship business. Specific interests include political and economic history, econometric analysis and investment strategy analysis. Recreational activities include hiking, non-technical mountaineering and alpine skiing. He is also founding partner and managing editor of EconIntersect.com.
Scott Grannis was Chief Economist from 1989 to 2007 at Western Asset Management Company, a Pasadena-based manager of fixed-income funds for institutional investors around the globe. He was a member of Western's Investment Strategy Committee, was responsible for developing the firm's domestic and international outlook, and provided consultation and advice on investment and asset allocation strategies to CFOs, Treasurers, and pension fund managers. He specialized in analysis of Federal Reserve policy and interest rate forecasting, and spearheaded the firm's research into Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS). Prior to joining Western Asset, he was Senior Economist at the Claremont Economics Institute, an economic forecasting and consulting service headed by John Rutledge, from 1980 to 1986. From 1986 to 1989, he was Principal at Leland O'Brien Rubinstein Associates, a financial services firm that specialized in sophisticated hedging strategies for institutional investors.
Visit his blog: Calafia Beach Pundit (http://scottgrannis.blogspot.com/)
SurlyTrader is a portfolio manager at a large financial institution who specializes in trading derivatives. He has been in the financial services industry for over a decade and would like to share his experience and enthusiasm in the financial markets with those who have a natural curiosity and passion to learn.
He completed a BS in Computer Engineering with Mathematics minor, and a MBA in Finance. He is also a CFA Charterholder and Global Association of Risk Professionals Financial Risk Manager (FRM).