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I used to run a limited partnership, boutique hedge fund in the 90s. Retired in 2000 and moved from New York City to Toronto, Canada, got married, raised a family and basically settled down. After a few years in Toronto, my wife got tired of the city’s 8 months of cold weather and insisted that... More
My company:
DonorNation.org
  • Options2Wealth Newsletter Is Just About Ready To Deliver Its Very First Issue! 24 comments
    Apr 17, 2014 12:06 PM

    For once, my timing could not be better...

    Many will recall that when I started my original Options2Wealth public portfolio, it was in the midst of tremendous market turmoil, with the nation at the brink of the so-called "Fiscal Cliff." Thank God, the timing this time around is a lot more fortuitous: We are about to embark on this remarkable, and hopefully very profitable, journey immediately after the markets have made a significant correction...since almost all of my stock picks are usually on the NASDAQ, and the index has just made a 9.5% correction, the number of quality stocks that have been beaten down to a pulp, is quite staggering...To say that I am salivating would be an understatement...I just cannot wait to get started and make a lot of money, for you, for myself and for the many deserving non-profits on the DonorNation platform...

    Ladies And Gentlemen, Please Start Your Engines!

    We are getting ready to start the race that will make a difference...

    I am immensely gratified by the overwhelming interest in the new direction of Options2Wealth! To the doctors, the engineers, the attorneys, the accountants, the retired college professor, the students, the housewives, and also a micro-financier in Guatemala, I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you for reaching out to both Casey and me and expressing your desire to join this amazing group of people who want to make a difference, and, as my friend DoubleD likes to say, "do well by doing good."

    The key aspect of the blog's new direction is my wish to see all those who want to be subscribers to the newsletter to make a lot of money and donate a percentage of their adjusted profits (net of losses) to school PTAs and nonprofits on the DonorNation platform. To-date, based on the public as well as the private comments received, it looks like the overwhelming consensus is to donate 25%+ of adjusted profits on a quarterly basis. So 25% it shall be.

    In a previous post from a couple of months ago, I had highlighted Steven A. Cohen and his top performing, but now defunct fund, SAC Capital. Over the past 30 years, Cohen, on average, had delivered a very impressive rate of return of 60%. However, Cohen was charging his clients 50% of their profits plus an additional 3% management fee for the privilege of investing in his fund. Considering that last year, O2W's public portfolio generated over 10,000+% profit in less than 6 months, I don't believe many of you would consider it unreasonable for me to ask my newsletter's subscribers to donate at least 25% of their adjusted profits to charity...

    Both Casey and I found it quite amusing that in spite of me referencing SAC Capital in a previous post, along with its rate of annualized return(s) and the fees it's clients willingly paid, a number of folks only wanted to give away 1%-10%...To help put things in perspective, Casey did some number-crunching and high-level tax research (it helps that Casey is a licensed CPA- ) and came up with some very interesting numbers that I think all of you would like to see. Assuming the following: a $100,000 initial investment principle, 29.6% market returns (2013 S&P 500), and 100% O2W portfolio returns (conservative numbers considering my O2W portfolio delivered over 10,000% return in just the first half of 2013).

    (click to enlarge)

    For those of you who have offered to donate only a very tiny percentage to charity, I hope Casey's math will serve as an eye opener and that you will be more amenable to giving and sharing as opposed to just hogging your profits...

    This reminds me of a popular, stock market adage: Bulls make Money, Bears make Money, Pigs get Slaughtered

    Ever since I started my blog, I have never been interested in promoting O2W to attract readers...Being that I also have considerable experience in the field of advertising, had I wanted to attract attention, I would have done so and instead of 171 followers to date, O2W could have had 1000s..Seeking attention was not the aim, but making a difference in peoples' lives was. Similarly, on this new journey, I am not interested in having many subscribers for the O2W newsletter...I rather have a very small band of quality and passionate Givers who are seriously committed to making a difference than a large army of self-centered Takers...

    As of this week, out of the 171 official followers of this blog, about a third have expressed an interest in the newsletter...As you can see, right off the bat, we have been able to ferret out a whole bunch of Takers...LOL! Now, the task on hand is to whittle this number down even further by identifying the really committed Givers and only have them be part of our group...My most profound takeaway from Adam Grant's book, Givers and Takers was that the most successful Givers have the ability to identify the Takers and eliminate them from their lives...and this is precisely what I intend to do...

    Success should not define one's level of generosity; rather, generosity will define one's level of success; and make it grow exponentially. Adam Grant

    Gleaning through the forms that we required everyone to fill out, we learnt that many of you are new followers of O2W...and others have been following it for some time and have made money mimicking the O2W's public portfolio trades...and there are those who have been following my blog from its very inception and in the process have made a boat load of money...The following request is only to those who have made money from the blog:

    If you are truly committed to Giving and Sharing your wealth, then now's the time to show that you're indeed a Giver and not a Taker: Donate 25% of what you have earned from the blog to any PTA or non-profit currently on the DonorNation platform. All those who follow through on this challenge, we will highlight your name here for everyone to see...and applaud! And do not forget to re-read Casey's math...'Cause, the Tax Man cometh, no matter what...so it is better to give a percentage of your gain to charity than to give to the Tax Man...

    :-)

    Of course, whatever you give, is based strictly on the honor system...no one will be peering over your shoulders to make sure that you are donating the right amount...

    We are just about ready to start our new social experiment...The website is ready, its infrastructure is just about ready...I plan on funding the account in time to make the first trade in the Options2Wealth, LLC account on either Monday, April 28th, or Monday, May 5th, 2014...The exact timing should be worked out and confirmed by next week...

    Let's get the show on the road...

    Best~

    karim

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Comments (24)
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  • 11828801
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    Thank you for the update Karim. We are in to make difference by doing good.
    17 Apr, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • badrimallik
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    Looking forward to participate, learn and contribute for the good. Thanks for doing this
    17 Apr, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • ALPHA BEAR
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Karim for what you are proposing to do with the O2W Newsletter. What a clever solution to charitable contributions and after seeing Casey's math - a very sensible investment philosophy, as well.

     

    Currently working thru Adam Grant's book. I hope to be able to make a difference as a giver in the process of following your newsletter.

     

    Looking forward to your first issue.

     

    Thanks again in advance for inclusion in the newsletter!
    17 Apr, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • mrtny
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Excited for this journey to begin. Looking forward to giving back, learning, and earning. In that order.
    17 Apr, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • JRG2004
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the update Karim, and thanks to Casey for getting us organized. I have submitted three non-profit organizations to DonorNation.org to have them added to the platform. All three are local and important to my community. I look forward to donating the agreed upon % to them.

     

    Best,

     

    JRG2004
    17 Apr, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • darween
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    Karim,

     

    Thanks for the update! I do have a question however. I plan on doing my donations quartlery and would love to have some type of place to let the group know what we are doing. Are you guys setting up a new page or should this be the location for that. Either works, but I would love to see what a community of givers is up to!
    17 Apr, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • justindamarket
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
     
    Karim,

     

    It is exciting to know that you are close to wrapping up logistics on the newsletter. I can't wait to open my mailbox!

     

    I'd like to add a few comments based on your latest post:-

     

    1) I think, Steve Cohen is a bad example in the world of investing. I'm sure people on the blog are well aware that SAC Capital was found guilty of insider trading charges (which explains the phenomenon of large returns) and is in line to pay billions in settlement to SEC. That brings up the important point that is well documented - on a long term basis it is hard to beat the average market return, even the greatest minds in the world of investing haven't managed that - pick any hedge fund annual return and 9/10 (if not all) would fall in this category.

     

    2) The table shown in your post is assuming 2 big things - invested capital and return...

     

    a) First, $100,000 of disposable invested capital is a big sum, at least for people like me.

     

    b) Secondly, 2013 is not a good example for a "standard" year...it is what we call a banner year. We just need to watch where GALE is now after the phenomenal raise. How comfortable is O2W in achieving 100% return year-in and year-out?

     

    3) Boiling down the equation - donations to non-profit is deductible only if you claim itemized deduction. For married filing jointly, it is $12,200. Working backward, even going with the 25% donation - to donate $12,200, the newsletter needs to help achieve about $50,000 in profit.
    --> The important question that I'd like to ask you is what invested capital do you expect investors to start with to generate $50,000 in net profit?

     

    4) Donations on a quarterly basis is very tricky. Lets assume after a profit and donation on a particular quarter, the next quarter suffered a bad loss on invested capital which basically wipes out the return on earlier quarter. In such situations, how are investors supposed to react?

     

    Finally,
    In the comments on your last post, I have already laid out my family donation principles. As a family, we feel comfortable with a number of 10%. Does it make us any less of a "giver" - I do not think so. "Giving" is a state of mind - we have made it a regular habit and it has gone a long way in enriching our lives as well as the people benefiting from our donation.

     

    For e.g, 10% donation of a modest annual net savings of $10000/yr is $1000. Seriously, $1000 is an amount that, we as a growing family, feel very proud about!! It means forgoing or cutting back on some little luxury - vacation, restaurants, shopping.

     

    Also, one another poster, followed up with an idea that once we see the newsletter's ability in action to generate consistent profits, it feels natural to start increasing the % amount of donation.

     

    I would love to hear your thoughts.
    17 Apr, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • Options2Wealth
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you for your comment...

     

    1) Taxes are very complicated with a myriad of permutations....The numbers Casey used were just as a reference and for cursory informational purpose only...

     

    2) Of course, with the markets, there are never any guarantees but I feel pretty comfortable with Casey's baseline 100% return number.

     

    3) The 25% donation was not something that I had arbitrarily decreed was a number that was arrived at by the blog's readers through consensus...I would have preferred the number to be 50% :-)

     

    4) What you and your family give to charity is admirable and you should be rightfully proud of it...The 25% that you would pay is from income that will be generated through my efforts, knowledge and experience...You are of course not obligated to subscribe to my newsletter...but if you do and benefit from it, then that would be the minimum that we all would expect off of you...

     

    5) Should you profit after the first quarter, then you can always pay the 25% to charity, set aside your original seed capital and use the balance 75% "house money" for future trading capital...

     

    Finally, I would again draw your attention to the following quote from Adam Grant's book, Give and Take:

     

    Success should not define one's level of generosity; rather, generosity will define one's level of success; and make it grow exponentially. Adam Grant

     

    Best~
    kp
    18 Apr, 12:24 AM Reply Like
  • justindamarket
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Karim, it feels good to hear back from you! Appreciate it!

     

    Yes, you are right, the 25% was a consensus number arrived at by your blog readers. Though I feel uncomfortable with that number, I have to gracefully respect the opinion of the majority (democracy and crowd sourcing at work :-)) and join the movement in "Giving"!

     

    I greatly appreciate the strong conviction that you exude regarding your newsletter return. It is truly a testament to your years of experience and market knowledge!

     

    Thanks again!
    18 Apr, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • mpcifone
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Karim

     

    Looking forward to start giving and making a difference!

     

    Mike
    17 Apr, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • volatilis
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    Karim,

     

    Thanks again to you and Casey and whoever else is helping in this journey of givers. I am very pleased by the wait and by your patience in starting the newsletter.

     

    William Buchanan
    17 Apr, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • michaelgard
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Hello Casey,
    I'd like to join you on this adventure.

     

    michael.c.gard@gmail.com

     

    http://bit.ly/1hRKQI9
    17 Apr, 10:50 PM Reply Like
  • waynelabel
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
     
    Yea I finally got a comnection to the Internet. Only. 1 week till I am back in SD to have real Internet!!

     

    I am so excited to begin the journey as I add more charities to my list with DonorNation that I want to help out

     

    My engines are ready, let the fun begin

     

    Thanks to Karim and Casey for your preparation work

     

    Wayne. Still in Mexico
    19 Apr, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • doubld
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    Gentlemen (and women), start your engines....ready to roar over here Karim!!
    19 Apr, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • waynelabel
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
     
    Would like to start a new chat

     

    We have agreed on the amount and I personally am looking fwd. to starting my giving. I have identified some of my favorite charities and a couple of new ones

     

    Now my question

     

    25% of adjusted gains (gains - losses). Right?

     

    My question is when?

     

    If I have gains do I take them and start my giving or do I let them ride. Which becomes the differences between realized vs. unrealized. Gains

     

    Look fwd to everyone's thoughts

     

    To grow the initial investment at least some of the money would've have to ride, right?..

     

    Thanks for ur thoughts
    20 Apr, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • darween
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    I think it should be taken out quarterly, to allow the maximum donation amount. That's the best practiceost follow, jim Cramer etc.
    21 Apr, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • rehmanali
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Glad to hear the newsletter is coming into effect. Based on my past experiences with Karim, I would be surprised if Options2Wealth followers kept the donation at 25% of profits after seeing their portfolios bulge incessantly after the first quarter. In all fairness, I feel Karim's expectation of 50% is a little high but by all means worth it. In my opinion, I feel 35% is a fair place to start and I hope that number will continue to rise for myself and Options2Wealth followers with continued market success.
    21 Apr, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • kccase3
    , contributor
    Comments (35) | Send Message
     
    I just wanted to take the opportunity to add a quick note regarding the various schools and nonprofits that everyone has so kindly recommended and for which relevant contact information has been provided. Many of these organizations may not be available for the initial round of donations. It takes time to coordinate with each cause's staff and the registration process is often paced by availability of that staff to address new opportunities. In addition, delays may also arise for some recommended causes because they do not accept PayPal. People will be notified as organizations come on board with DonorNation.
    21 Apr, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • debtfree1127
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Anticipation, participation, donation, gratification. Want to be part of this O2W mission.
    22 Apr, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • mdelaviz
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Thank you Karim,
    Cannot wait to start making a positive impact on my community ;-)
    23 Apr, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • icmydestiny
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    I am new to your blog, but agree 100% with your take on giving back. Is there anything I have to do in order to gain access to your newsletter?
    23 Apr, 09:24 PM Reply Like
  • mkarakum
    , contributor
    Comments (49) | Send Message
     
    KC --

     

    I have sent you PM yesterday. please add me to the list.
    Thanks
    25 Apr, 03:18 AM Reply Like
  • jobydon
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Can anyone send me the link to join the membership at jobydon@yahoo.com. I am willing to abide the set forth terms and conditions of the membership. thanks - joseph
    28 Apr, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • yokyjo
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    I am interested in membership and really believe your approach to providing a service while benefiting those in need of funds is incredible. I watched your session with John Assaraf and you mentioned the book by Adam and what that has meant to you. Impressive to take that idea into reality.

     

    If there is room - I am very interested and look forward to donating profits.
    26 May, 09:03 PM Reply Like
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