Please note that I do not read comments posted here, nor respond to messages here. I don't have the time. If you want my attention, you must seek it directly at my blog.
David J. Merkel, CFA — From 2003-2007, I was a leading commentator at the excellent investment website RealMoney.com (http://www.RealMoney.com). Back in 2003, after several years of correspondence, James Cramer invited me to write for the site, and now I write for RealMoney on equity and bond portfolio management, macroeconomics, derivatives, quantitative strategies, insurance issues, corporate governance, etc. My specialty is looking at the interlinkages in the markets in order to understand individual markets better.
I no longer contribute to RealMoney because my work duties have gotten larger, and I began this blog to develop a distinct voice with a wider distribution.
In 2008, I became the Chief Economist and Director of Research of Finacorp Securities (http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/02-08-2008/0004752449&EDATE=). Finacorp went into liquidation in June 2010, after which I decided to open my own asset management shop, Aleph Investments, LLC. I manage stock and bond portfolios for clients.
Until 2007, I was a senior investment analyst at Hovde Capital, responsible for analysis and valuation of investment opportunities for the FIP funds, particularly of companies in the insurance industry. I also managed the internal profit sharing and charitable endowment monies of the firm.
Prior to joining Hovde in 2003, I managed corporate bonds for Dwight Asset Management. In 1998, I joined the Mount Washington Investment Group as the Mortgage Bond and Asset Liability manager after working with Provident Mutual, AIG and Pacific Standard Life.
My background as a life actuary has given me a different perspective on investing. How do you earn money without taking undue risk? How do you convey ideas about investing while showing a proper level of uncertainty on the likelihood of success? How do the various markets fit together, telling us us a broader story than any single piece? These are the themes that I will deal with in this blog. I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University.
In my spare time, I take care of our eight children with my wonderful wife Ruth. Visit this site: The Aleph Blog (http://alephblog.com/)
Steven Bavaria writes about finance, economics and politics, drawing on his forty-five years experience in international banking, credit, investment, human resources/training, journalism and public service. Now retired from his "day job" on Wall Street, Bavaria lives mostly off his investments. His focus is largely on income-oriented stocks, bonds and mutual funds, as well as closed-end funds, ETFs and other IRA-suitable investments. His book "Too Greedy for Adam Smith: CEO Pay and the Demise of Capitalism" was just published and is available on Amazon and at independent retailers.
Bavaria began his career at the Bank of Boston, where he handled international credit workouts that included managing a fleet of ships, chasing a Vatican-owned bank in Switzerland, and leading the turnaround of troubled branches in Australia and Panama. He also ran the bank's human resources department, which is where he saw personally the beginnings of many of today's executive compensation excesses.
More recently he worked at Standard & Poor's, where he introduced ratings to the leveraged loan market. In between Bank of Boston and S&P he was Assoc. Commissioner of the Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health, worked briefly for Citibank, and was a reporter for IDD Magazine. He also did a short stint at a smaller rating agency where he had to leave in a hurry after writing an article called "From Banker to Bookmaker" that was deemed a bit too candid in describing the conflicted role of major commercial and investment banks.
Bavaria graduated from Georgetown University and New England School of Law.
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. So -- a career as a researcher and an educator, which is what I hope to continue here. Virtually every good teacher I've ever known says some version of "I learn more from teaching than my students do." There's a lot of truth in that, enough that there's an underlying selfish motivation for my writing here as I continue to learn about investing.
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. One consequence is that I'm liable to disappear from the site for extended periods. How can you miss me if I don't go away?
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 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 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. 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.
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 especially encourage and appreciate thoughtful comments from those who disagree with me (although I will 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. The IRAs I see as my estate and are focused on generational wealth building. That means the growth portfolios have a long-term horizon, well beyond what an investor of my age might be expected to maintain.
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. Add that I also like it because I find several subtle word plays there; I'll leave it to you to decipher that comment.
Finally, I've chosen to remain anonymous, which I feel obligated to justify. 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?
Disclosures: 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.
Jake Huneycutt is a former Portfolio Manager. Jake holds an MBA degree with a concentration in finance from Emory University. He earned a Master of Accounting degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his B.A. in History from East Tennessee State University. Jake is originally from Johnson City, TN and currently splits time between Boston, MA and Atlanta, GA.
Founder/manager at Shih Investments. In early 2009, I quit my job as an engineering manager at Google, to start my company. That was right in the middle of the crash, and, it relates to my investment style - deep value when others are frightened. My preference is to be deeply analytical, scouring documents that many will by-pass, to come up with my investment ideas.
I hold a PhD in the field of epidemiology a masters degree in public health. My undergraduate training is in policy, economics and the sciences. I have utilized my training in employment with government, academia, private industry and to further analyze the fundamentals and technicals of all manner of companies in different sectors. Specifically, I like to trade growth companies, REITS, biotechnology/ pharmaceuticals, precious metals, blue chips and small-cap companies.
Each market day I get up at 530 am and begin working/analyzing data before my day job. I focus much on current events, earnings, and developments. I also work after market hours to cover after hours developments or interesting action during the day. I aim to conduct 2 analysis per business day, which helps me stay focused on my own finances.
I have been investing for about 10 years. I also enjoy trading short expiration options, and investing in stocks with 3-20 year horizons. I enjoy writing with Seeking Alpha to share my opinion and analyses. I am a large believer in the crowd source model championed by Seeking Alpha and believe every ounce of analysis and opinion should be considered when you invest your personal finances.
Value investor. Have a Master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Working at a financial group as an associate in New York City. Twelve years as an independent analyst and investor. Focus on small-cap and large-cap companies. May be on the long side or short side. Interested in privatization deals and investor activism.
Michael Harris is a trader, book author, software program developer and blogger. He started developing advanced pattern recognition software for the benefit of position and swing traders in the late 1990s. In years past, Michael has also done work for a number of different financial firms, where he developed a bond portfolio optimization program and trading systems for commodities and stocks. Michael is also a well-known author. His first book “Short-Term Trading with Price Patterns” was published in 1999. His other two books “Stock Trading Techniques with Price Patterns” and “Profitability and Systematic Trading” were published in 2000 and 2008, respectively. His most recent book is "Fooled By Technical Analysis". Michael holds a Masters degree in Operations Research, with emphasis in forecasting and financial engineering and another Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering. Website: www.priceactionlab.com
My goal is to bring exposure to business development companies (BDCs) that finance small to medium sized businesses, typically overlooked by banks. BDCs are an instrument for investors to earn healthy dividends by avoiding double taxation at the corporate level and allowing income to flow directly to each shareholder. Please see website link below for more information.
I spent many years working in various analytic jobs and trading on Wall Street. For nine of those years, I traded junk bonds for a large bank. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago, with a concentration in accounting and finance. Currently I co-manage a precious metals and mining stock investment fund in Denver. My goal is to help people understand and analyze what is really going on in our financial system and economy.
The reports that I write are my personal research and opinions. They are not associated with any firm or organization, and are not intended to be taken as investment recommendations or advice. They combine my passions of economics, finance, writing and education, and are intended mostly as educational material. I attempt to write the articles in an easy to understand down to earth style in an effort to help others with their research. This is my effort to bring understandable and educational professional quality research to the public at large free of charge.
General Disclaimer for my Articles:
BS Business, Majored in Finance and Economics, Miami University
MA Economics w/ Managerial and International Emphasis, University of Oklahoma
Past: Economics and Finance Instructor at various Universities
Past: Mutual Fund Portfolio Manager of Family of Mutual Funds
Past: CIO of Mid-Sized Investment Management Firm
Professional: CFA Charterholder
Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.
I seek to liberate investors from the chains of borrowed opinions by teaching metric awareness that leads to the formation of your own opinions. I am a retail investor that gathers, processes and analyzes significantly more data than average. I share that data in my articles. I let the data do the talking. I am only taking dictation as the data tells its message.
The Oil & Gas Investments Bulletin (http://www.oilandgas-investments.com) is an online subscription-based service that finds, researches, and profiles growing oil and gas companies that have high growth rates (or high growth potential.)
Its team of writers work under Keith Schaefer, Editor/Publisher, who shares his knowledge of the oil and natural gas markets in a simple, easy to read manner. The bulletin outlines which TSX, NYSE and NASD-listed energy companies have the ability to grow, and bring shareholders prosperity even in tough times.
There is tremendous potential to profit in oil and gas companies for informed investors. Mr. Schaefer has a degree in journalism but has spent the last 15 years assisting public resource companies in raising exploration and expansion capital.
2nd Market Capital Advisory specializes in the analysis and trading of real estate securities. Through a selective process and consideration of market dynamics, we aim to construct portfolios for rising streams of dividend income and capital appreciation.
SSR is the product of the principals of Sitka Pacific Capital Management, LLC (SPCM) and is intended to improve communication with clients of SPCM and share our strategy and research with paying subscribers. SSR will feature timely and in-depth analysis and discussion of market cycles, fundamental trends, valuations, and macroeconomic issues, among other things. The goal of SSR is to give readers our often uncommon perspective to empower a deeper level of thinking and understanding to improve their own decision making.
SSR subscribers will receive:
A comprehensive monthly strategy letter
A shorter mid-month insight note
Founder of "The Contrarian", a premium research service, featuring the "Bet The Farm" Portfolio. Actively investing since 1995, I have soared like an eagle, and been unmercifully humbled by the markets. Achieved positive returns in 2008, and turned an account with $60,310 on 1/1/2009 into an account with $3,177,937 on 11/30/2009. My best years have been 1995-2003, 2008-2012, and 2016-????. My worst years were 2013-2015. I believe inflation is coming, and we are at an inflection point in the markets.
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.
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. The following are a couple of my favorite investment quotes.
"Life and investing are long ballgames." Julian Robertson
"A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure."
"Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." Albert Einstein
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, family, and friends.
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.
Full disclosure, I am not currently a registered investment advisor, though I did serve in this capacity from 2009-2014, while owning Koldus Contrarian Investments, Ltd. Additionally, I held various securities licenses from 2000-2014, without a single complaint filed, and I continue to hold industry designations. At the end of 2014, I voluntarily let my state registration expire, as I transitioned the business to a different structure. Prior to this, I had passed, and held, various securities exams and licenses, including the Series 7, Series 63, and Series 65 exams, in addition to others, alongside my CFA and CAIA designations. Unfortunately, I did not file the proper paperwork to withdraw my state registration, and I did not disclose a personal arrangement, and subsequent civil case, between myself and a former close personal friend and client, that was initiated in 2011. I was unaware that I was required to disclose these items, and my securities attorney, at the time, did not advise me to do so. Previously, I had managed a portfolio for this gentleman, and we had taken an investment of approximately $7 million in 2009, and grown it to over $25 million at the beginning of 2012. After a difficult year of performance, an employee of the firm I owned, and friend, resigned in early 2013, and took the aforementioned client to a competing firm. As a result of not filing the proper paperwork, I agreed to a settlement, with a potential $2500 fine in the future, depending on if I choose to reapply to be a non-exempt advisor.
Edwin G. Dolan holds a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. Early in his career, he was a member of the economics faculty at Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago, and George Mason University. From 1990 to 2001, he taught in Moscow, Russia, where he and his wife founded the American Institute of Business and Economics (AIBEc), an independent, not-for-profit MBA program. After 2001, he taught global macroeconomics, managerial economics, money and banking, and other courses at several universities in Europe, including Central European University in Budapest, the University of Economics in Prague, and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. He is the author of Introduction to Economics from BVTPublishing and numerous academic articles. He makes his home in Northwest Lower Michigan.
I started investing about 15 years ago. Well, it wasn't really investing but more like speculating in order to make a few quick bucks. I soon realized that losing money was a whole lot easier than making it. I knew that my superficial understanding of stocks and the market was a fatal shortcoming. I took the Canadian Securities course, passing with honours. I began reading numerous books, articles, technical papers in order to be a better trader. And, indeed, I became a better trader. For a while. I began to use margin. I placed bigger bets on options and leveraged ETF's like HNU (TSX). Eventually my trades started turning on me, the margin calls forced me to sell and I lost a significant amount of money. This was the price of my education. I think I've made just about every classic mistake one can make. Speculate on a news event (remember KRY?). Double down on a stock that is obviously circling the drain. Hold a stock whose only direction is down thinking I couldn't have been that wrong. It will soar again. Watch a stock move up 50% telling myself that there's more to come, only to watch it reverse and finally sell at break-even. Or buy a quality stock and then decide to get off at the next stop. I once bought AAPL at around $90 then sold at $97 or so. Nothing like leaving $60,000 on the table!
Anyway, you get the idea. Errors in judgement that are stock market cliches.
I'm a lot smarter now, more conservative. Here's my investment plan:
-Find high quality companies trading at a discount
-Remember Mr. Buffet: if you're not prepared to hold a stock for 10 years don't even think about holding it for 10 minutes
-Use fundamentals to find the mis-priced stock then technical factors to determine entry points
-A bias toward dividend payers
-The two areas that currently look very promising to me are Uranium and Natural Gas. Oil and gas service firms also have appeal.
I'm 32, invest in the light of the Austrian economic tradition, which in today's environment means mostly precious metals and mining stocks using cycles and sentiment as timing mechanisms. ETF's, options, I also own some physical. I've been doing this independently for 3 years. I reserve a small chunk of my portfolio for speculating in biotech and technology where I believe appropriate.
Gold Stock Trades Editor Jeb Handwerger is a highly sought-after stock analyst syndicated internationally and known throughout the financial industry for his accurate and timely analysis of the equities markets, particularly the metals and mining sector. Subscribe to his FREE Newsletter right now at: http://goldstocktrades.com.
Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, as well as a distinguished senior fellow at the think tank Demos. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week, and continues to write columns in the Boston Globe.
He is the author of Obama's Challenge and other books.
Bob's magazine writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Dissent, Columbia Journalism Review, and Harvard Business Review. He has contributed major articles to The New England Journal of Medicine as a national policy correspondent.
For four decades, Bob's intellectual and political project has been to revive the politics and economics of harnessing capitalism to serve a broad public interest. He has pursued this ideal as a writer, editor, teacher, lecturer, commentator and public official.
Robert's Demos Profile: http://www.demos.org/robert-kuttner
It is very hard or impossible to time the broad market consistently — there are no famous investors that got rich by consistently knowing what the broad market would do next. This only makes sense, as there are just too many variables in the broad market. But there are many famous investors who got rich analyzing individual securities, and this is where you should put your focus. You can get an edge in individual securities. Joe Springer was the number 1 ranked stock analyst in the world by tipranks.com, and on most days is still ranked in the top 5%. Joe is a Certified Technical Trainer, and enjoys teaching about the stock market as well as managing portfolios. If you would like to follow Joe on Twitter, his handle is @JoeSpringer.
David J. Waldron is a Seeking Alpha Performance Award winning contributor. Check out his popular article series on SA: Value Investing for Main Street™. He is author of the book, Hire Train Monitor Motivate: Build an Organization, Team, or Career of Distinction in the Transformational Workplace (Country View imprint), available at Amazon, Kindle, iBooks, B & N, Kobo, Inktera, and Smashwords. David was recently ranked a Five Star Blogger with a 40% Average Return by TipRanks for his performance on Seeking Alpha.
Any opinion(s) expressed in any form by me at Seeking Alpha and/or related websites are strictly my own personal views and ideas. They should never be considered advice of any kind, nor considered to be professional opinions.
You should always seek advice from a qualified professional before embarking upon any plan of trading or investing.
All the Best!
Kate Stalter is the founder of Better Money Decisions, an asset-management firm with offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico and Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an expert investment columnist for numerous media outlets including Forbes, US News & World Report, Benzinga, TheStreet.com and Morningstar, and is a frequent on podcasts and radio shows, discussing investment topics. Better Money Decisions implements stock-and-bond portfolios using an asset-allocation strategy with funds from Dimensional Fund Advisors. Kate is a Series 65-licensed investment advisor representative, and has a Master's in Business Administration from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
You can follow Kate on Twitter @katestalter and receive her free monthly newsletter at www.katestalter.com
Russ Koesterich, CFA, JD, Managing Director and head of Asset Allocation, is a member of the Global Allocation team within BlackRock's Multi-Asset Strategies Group. He serves as a member of BlackRock's Americas Executive Committee.
Mr. Koesterich's service with the firm dates back to 2005, including his years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. Prior to his current role, Mr. Koesterich was BlackRock's Global Chief Investment Strategist and Chairman of the Investment Committee for the Model Portfolio Solutions business. Previously, he served as the Global Head of Investment Strategy for scientific active equities and as senior portfolio manager in the US Market Neutral Group. Prior to joining BGI, Mr. Koesterich was the Chief North American Strategist at State Street Bank and Trust. He began his investment career at Instinet Research Partners where he occupied several positions in research, including Director of Investment Strategy for both U.S. and European research, and Equity Analyst. He is a frequent contributor to financials news media and the author of two books, including his most recent "The Ten Trillion Dollar Gamble."
Mr. Koesterich earned a BA in history from Brandeis University, a JD from Boston College and an MBA from Columbia University. He is a CFA Charterholder.