"A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure."
"Life and investing are long ballgames."
I’ve been on top of the world, and the world has been on top of me. I have learned to enjoy the perspective from each view, and use opportunities to persistently acquire knowledge and enjoy the company of those around me, especially loved ones, friends, and family. Twenty year career as an investment analyst, investor, portfolio manager, consultant, and writer. Founder of Koldus Contrarian Investments, Ltd, which was incorporated in the spring of 2009. Dyed in the wool contrarian investor, who has learned, the hard way, that a good contrarian is only contrarian 20% of the time, but being right at key inflection points is the key to meaningful wealth creation in the markets. I believe we are near a meaningful inflection point, perhaps the biggest one yet, for the third time in the past 15 years. Turned an account with $60,310.87 on January 1st, 2009 into an account with $3,177,937.71 on November 30th, 2009, inclusive of $325,700.00 of withdrawals. For verification, read my April 27th, 2015 article titled, "Raise Cash, Prepare To Short U.S. Stocks, And Buy Out-Of-Favor Companies". Within the article is an account statement from that time period. Historically, I have had huge wins and impressive losses based on a concentrated, contrarian strategy. Trying to keep the good while filtering out the bad. Seeking to run an all weather portfolio with minimal volatility and index overlays to capture my strategic and tactical recommendations along with a concentrated best ideas portfolio, which is my bread and butter, but the volatility only makes it suitable for a small piece of an investor's overall portfolio. At heart, I am a market historian with an unrivaled passion for the capital markets. I have had a long history and specialization with concentrated positions and options trading. Made money in 2008 with a net long portfolio, deploying capital in some of the market's darkest hours into long positions including purchases of American Express, Atlas Energy, Crosstex, First Industrial Real Estate, General Growth Properties, Genworth, Macquarie Infrastructure, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, and Vornado near their lows. Shorting, hedging, and option strategies also helped me in 2007 and 2009, and these are skills that I have developed ever since I started trading heavily in 1996. I enjoy reading, accumulating knowledge, and putting this knowledge to work in the active capital markets, learning lessons along the way.
To this day, I continue to learn, and some of these learning lessons have been excruciatingly difficult ones, especially over the past several years, as I made mistakes allocating capital, including a sizable portion of my own capital (I always invest alongside my clients), to commodity related stocks. While all commodity related stocks have struggled since April of 2011, coal companies, which attracted me due to their extremely cheap valuations, and out-of-favor status (I am a strong believer in behavioral finance alongside fundamentals and technicals) have been the worst investing mistake of my career. The focus on the commodity arena has been the biggest mistake of my investment career thus far, yet in its aftermath, I see tremendous opportunity, even larger in scope than the fortuitous 2008/2009 environment.
The capital that I accumulated and the confidence gained in navigating the treacherous investment waters of 2008 gave me the confidence to launch my own investment firm in the spring of 2009, right before the ultimate lows in the stock market. At the time I was working as a senior analyst at one of the largest RIA's in the country, and I felt strongly that the market environment was the best time since 1974/1975 to start an investment firm. Prior to starting my firm, I was a senior analyst for three different firms over approximately 10 years (Charles Schwab, Redwood, Oxford), moving up in responsibility and scope at each stop along my journey. Since I was a paperboy, I have always had an interest in the investment markets. I love researching and finding opportunities. I am a Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA, as well as a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, CAIA. After starting in the teaching program at Ball State University, I switched to a career in finance when I turned a small student loan into a substantial amount of capital. I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in finance from Ball State.
Mr. Krieger specializes in the food sector and is the originator of the "Basic Food Fund" index and the "Dirt Cheap Value Portfolio".Why the food sector? "everybody has to eat'!
He graduated from the University of Southern California with a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Corporate Finance. Mark resides in Cowan Heights, California with his wife, son and pug and is interested in mountain biking, gardening and reading.
Note: Articles and comments are my own opinions, are not related to the opinions of my employer, and should not be considered investment advice. Make sure to do your own due diligence before making an investment decision. Thanks!
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Jonathan is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant. He was awarded the 2006 Elijah Watt Sells award for scoring one of the 10 highest scores in the nation on the 2006 CPA exam. He also passed all three levels of the CFA exam on his first attempt. In addition, he was awarded the 2008 “Top 40 Under Forty” award from the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, which is given annually to the forty men and women under the age of forty who have earned the most personal and professional achievements or made the most significant impact in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
He worked for three years as an auditor with Ernst & Young, LLP and KPMG, LLP, two of the four largest accounting firms in the world. At both firms, he was rated “exceptional performer” every year and was entrusted with responsibilities above his level within months of starting with each firm. He audited both public and private companies in a variety of industries, including acting as the lead audit senior on a Fortune 500 company. He was regularly assigned the most complex accounting issues and the most challenging audit areas. As a result of his experience, he has developed an astute understanding of risk management, team management, optimal business processes, effective corporate governance practices, and various industries and business models.
While at KPMG, he served as the only South Louisiana member on the KPMG Point-of-View group, an internal group of highly rated employees across the United States focused on strategic initiatives and determining best practices.
Subsequent to KPMG, he worked for a year in Governor Bobby Jindal’s administration as the Assistant Director of State Economic Competitiveness, a subgroup of the Department of Economic Development charged with helping to shape the State’s economic policy in addition to various other tasks. Among a number of other significant projects, he helped craft the department-wide business plan for Fiscal Year 2009-2010, which further developed his strategic planning capabilities. He also met with representatives of the business community to help resolve issues or to hear proposals, which gave him further insight into various industries and business models.
Jonathan earned a bachelor’s of science in accounting from Louisiana State University, graduating summa cum laude, and earned a master of science in accounting from Louisiana State University, graduating top of his class with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
I am interested in bringing focused, in-depth understanding to issues related to oil and gas investing. Industry expertise and a true understanding of how oil and gas is discovered, produced, processed, transported, marketed and consumed are vital to valuing investment opportunities in the fossil energy space.
Check out my comprehensive MLP report here: http://level2energy.com/mid-stream-energy-fundamentals/
I manage the capital of only a handful of families and I see it as my number one job to protect their financial security. They don’t pay me to sell them investment products, beat an index, abandon true investing for mindless diversification or follow the Wall Street lemmings down the primrose path. I manage their money exactly as I manage my own so I don’t take any risk at all unless I strongly believe it is worth taking.
Blogging here on SA is part of my research. I write to find out what I think.
I invite you to join the family of satisfied clients send an e-mail :firstname.lastname@example.org
As a mathematician (Ph.D.) I am most interested in investment strategies with statistically favorable returns. In particular I invest in net-nets (20-30% average annual returns). I find companies with low Enterprise Value/Earnings before Tax and Interest (EV/EBIT) and strong balance sheets (20% average annual returns) also very interesting. Since such stocks are rare I invest globally.
Click "Learn more" below to see my exclusive research description on net-nets and low EV/EBIT stocks.
I freely provide investment information for friends and family.
I am a member of MENSA, which means precisely nothing except I wake up in the middle of the night doing pointless math problems in my head:)
Mr. Tilson has co-authored two books, The Art of Value Investing: How the World's Best Investors Beat the Market (2013) and More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times (2009), was one of the authors of Poor Charlie’s Almanack, the definitive book on Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, and has written for Forbes, the Financial Times, Kiplinger’s, the Motley Fool and TheStreet.com. He was featured in two 60 Minutes segments in December 2008 about the housing crisis (which won an Emmy) and in March 2015 about Lumber Liquidators. He served for two years on the Board of Directors of Cutter & Buck, which designs and markets upscale sportswear, until the company was sold in early 2007.
Mr. Tilson received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School, where he was elected a Baker Scholar (top 5% of class), and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a bachelor’s degree in Government.
Mr. Tilson spent much of his childhood in Tanzania and Nicaragua (his parents are both educators, were among the first couples to meet and marry in the Peace Corps, and have retired in Kenya). Consequently, Mr. Tilson is involved with a number of charities focused on education reform and Africa. For his philanthropic work, he received the 2008 John C. Whitehead Social Enterprise Award from the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York. He is a member and past Chairman of the Manhattan chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Mr. Tilson lives in Manhattan with his wife and three teenage daughters.
I use a bottom up, investment decision making process. The ideal investment has an asymmetric risk/return profile with a limited downside (e.g. high net cash balance, strong cash flow) and significant upside (e.g. asset value extraction, overlooked business model transition).
Microcaps are particularly attractive to the following groups:
Activist investors. A small absolute investment (on a dollar basis) can be leveraged into a relatively large position (as a percentage of shares outstanding), which provides a greater ability to demand change.
Private equity firms. The persistent microcap discount can be “arbed away” via an LBO with the new owners accruing all of the gains for themselves. The small absolute size of many microcaps on an EV basis significantly expands the number of firms able to pursue this strategy.
This inefficiency exists for several reasons.
A lack of analyst coverage due to lower trading volume (less soft dollars from HF/MF), the global settlement that permanently severed the link between research/banking and the rise in electronic trading/decimalization. Moreover, none of these trends are likely to reverse for the foreseeable future (if ever).
A lack of institutional products given the natural capacity constraint for new/existing managers.
An inability to effectively implement a passive approach (e.g. ETFs, index funds) due to the lower liquidity and wider bid/ask spread. However, each of these obstacles can be overcome by using a combination of electronic trading tools (e.g. algos) and patience in building a positive size.
Inaccurate and persistent misconceptions about microcaps (e.g. they are riskier than larger cap stocks).
I currently trade for my personal account but would like to move into the investment management side of the industry.
I research the fundamentals, know what I am getting into, and go long or short accordingly. Technical studies of the market are also an active part of my trading. I have invested for 22 years.
Martin Vlcek is a full-time investor and analyst who has been actively investing and managing money for more than 15 years. Martin has an Economics degree. Martin’s investment philosophy is to hold a truly diversified portfolio of investments across asset classes with low or negative correlation and a positive carry if possible. His primary stock investment focus is on undervalued small-cap stocks with favorable risk-to-reward ratio and upcoming catalysts.
Martin became a full-time investor and money manager after a 15-year career in online marketing where he was one of the pioneers of the pay-per-click search. Martin later held managerial positions at several Fortune 500 companies and also managed his own startup company.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Martin is not a Registered Investment Advisor, Broker/Dealer, Securities Broker or Financial Planner. The Information in his articles, his comment and his premium subscription service on SeekingAlpha.com or elsewhere is provided for information purposes only. The Information is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice or any other advice, is general in nature and not specific to any individual. Before using Martin's information to make an investment decision, you should seek the advice of a qualified and registered securities professional and undertake your own due diligence. None of the information provided by Martin is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any security, company, or fund. Martin is not responsible for any investment decision made by you. You are responsible for your own investment research and investment decisions.
He has presented at numerous investment conferences, including Platts, LD Micro, Oil & Gas Money, Louisiana Energy Conference, and the Global Resources Investment Conference.
Specialist in risk management, with intermediate trade focus, US stocks, international ETFs and commodities.
Believe in correlation of markets, must understand all markets to trade one well.
Self taught through continuous study of myself and other investors.
Extensive experience with short selling, futures and options.
Developing interest in international markets based on poltical change and policies.
Follow and read fundamentals but invest by listening to technical's.
Follow me on Twitter @Cessnadriver50
Chief Investment Strategist, Safanad, New York.
Senior Research Professor, Claremont Graduate University
Honorary Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Economics Contributor, CNBC
Jeff is a former college professor with a hands-on, real world attitude. His quantitative modeling helped inform state and local officials in Wisconsin for more than a decade. A Public Policy analyst, he taught advanced research methods at the University of Wisconsin, and analyzed many issues related to state tax policy.
Jeff began in the financial business as Research Director for trading firm at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He investigated anomalies in the standard option pricing models, taught classes for beginning options traders, and developed new forecasting techniques. In 1991 he established a general research consultancy, working with professional traders at all of the Chicago financial exchanges. In 1998 he started NewArc Investments, Inc.
Jeff has a commitment to the specific needs of individual investors. It is not a one-size-fits all approach, but one that emphasizes the unique circumstances of each client.
Jeff also serves on the board of two small technology companies (currently Chairman at one). He is occasionally as an expert witness in legal cases involving financial markets and hedging.
Retired senior executive of Charles Schwab and Co.
Retired (36 years) active and reserve military service -- six in special operations, the next 30 in the intelligence community. Global geopolitical analyst, human intelligence officer, attache, etc.
Author -- investment book Bringing Home the Gold
Editor -- The Investor’s Edge®. In the 15 years from inception through year-end 2014, the Investor’s Edge® Growth & Value Portfolio increased in value from $250,000 to $1,060,647. That same $250,000 invested in the S&P 500 rose to just $417,992, including dividends. (Past results are no guarantee of future performance.)
Featured in Forbes, Barrons, The Wall Street Journal, Financial World, Wall Street Transcript, Global Investing, Welling on Wall Street, etc.
I have been a private investor since 1971 both directly and through a private company controlled by myself and members of my family.
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And remember to always invest wisely.
Lenore holds a B.A. degree in Mathematics and Economics from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA in Finance from the Anderson School at UCLA. She consistently achieved Dean’s list honors during both her undergraduate and masters degree programs.
Memberships and Community
Lenore is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, whose members include high government officials, Nobel prize recipients, journalists, economic and financial experts, and legal scholars from all over the world, that come regularly together to present the most current analysis of ideas, trends and events. She is on the Board of Directors for The Dreyfuss Initiative; is a partner at San Diego Social Venture Partners, an organization which helps San Diego nonprofit agencies become more effective and sustainable; and a member of St. Germaine Children’s Charity, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to stopping child abuse and improving the lives of abused and neglected children in San Diego. She also the lead partner from the San Diego Social Venture Partners for their investee Reality Changers, a nonprofit that provides disadvantaged youth from inner-cities with the resources to become first generation college students by supplying academic support and financial assistance.
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