J. Stephen Castellano founded the investment research and strategy consulting firm Ascendere Associates in 2009, building upon a diversified 20-year career in sell side and buy side equity research. His roles included coverage of the steel industry at PaineWebber and telecom services at Warburg Dillon Read (the predecessors to UBS), where he worked closely with institutional sales people, traders and investment bankers. In addition, he provided analytical support for numerous independent valuation, consulting and investment banking studies, including for mergers, secondary offerings and IPOs.
An individual investor, and diligent saver, active in the markets for 30+ years. An unexpected early retirement has forced a change in portfolio strategy from a bias towards sustained growth to a bias towards sustained income. This is an ongoing process primarily focused on upgrading the credit quality and yield of the portfolio's holdings.
The goal is to generate a 6% yield on invested funds while incorporating appropriate risk management techniques to preserve capital. Specific consideration is given to:
•Stock Selection Criteria
The portfolio is anchored (15 - 20%) by preferred stocks and exchange traded notes which serve as a proxy for fixed income. These issues have higher dividend yields / coupon rates which allows greater latitude when selecting common stocks while still maintaining a 6% portfolio yield. Fixed income investments are intentionally minimized in favor of equities.