My name is Miles Hoffman. I spent 20 years in research departments on the buy side, primarily as a technology and insurance analyst at 2 large institutional investment firms. Having a computer programming background, I was an early "quant" (that never found the right home) with a "heretical" belief in technical analysis.
In between these two firms, I worked as a portfolio manager for the Kuwaiti Institute for Social Security ("KISS"), the social security system of Kuwait (which has REAL money to invest, unlike the pyramid scheme of my home country). Initially I managed a convertible bond portfolio and later managed a conventional bond/stock portfolio. In 1991, I found my "15 minutes of fame" in Kuwait when I unsuccessfully tried to avoid being taken hostage by the invading Iraqi army and was instead shot in the process (but that is a different - and long - story).
Being more of a geek than "a marketer", I left the buy side after running into a ceiling: the head man thought marketing was more important than performance in the money mgmt business. Admittedly, when 80%+ of professionals under-perform their index, "marketing" - as in maintaining - clients is very important; however, we doubled our assets under mgmt in 18 mns when the market style swung to our focus and we generated good returns... so "you take Sally and I'll take Sue" (but I'd rather have both!). Now I trade for myself.
Besides investing, I enjoy reading, gardening and any activity around water.
fwiw: I did not renew my CFA in retirement shortly after a Financial Times article about "the money machine" of the CFA Institute, in which the CEO denied the story angle.... and then promptly raised the retired fee from about $25 to at least $100 (it's currently $100. I thought they went to $125 or $150, so they either backed off or I was so pissed at them that I "behaviorally" remember a worse increase).
Gary A. Gordon, MS, CFP® is the president of Pacific Park Financial, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC. He has more than 25 years of experience as a personal coach in “money matters,” including risk assessment, small business development and portfolio management.
Gary is often asked to consult as an educator. He has taught financial concepts in Mexico, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States.
As a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), Gary has distinguished himself as a reputable and trusted investor advocate. He writes commentary for ETF Expert, Seeking Alpha and The Street. Gary’s participation on local and national radio has spanned more than a decade, and he currently hosts the ETF Expert Show.
Gary is a “good sport” when his wife, Denise, beats him at Scrabble. Most of all, Gary takes special pride in a not-so-little energizer… his 19-year old daughter, Wei Elizabeth Gordon.
Darren owns ProActive Financial LLC where he provides Financial Planning and Analysis consulting services. Darren's education includes a Bachelors in Economics, an MBA, and a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning.
Mr. Berger is the creator and developer of the YDP screening tool, a chart system and its analysis for screening and monitoring dividend income equity investments. The recipient of Seeking Alpha's Outstanding Performance Award, he also has been Seeking Alpha's #3 ranked Author for Income Investing Strategy & #4 for Utilities.
20 years of sitting in the board room gives me unique insights into Oil & Gas investments and corporate deal making in general. Additionally, he offers a Premium Research subscription service for boosting income while reducing market risk using covered option writing on a dividend income equity portfolio.
Residing in Brazil gives me a local's inside view on the pulse of its economy, politics, investment climate and breaking news. A view of my front yard is available here.
A former Chief Operating Officer, Director, Vice President and General Manger of Oil and Gas for Southern Pacific's Oil and Gas Operations, Business owner, geologist, and cribbage player, I've been an investor for over 48 years (started young at 13) and learned my lessons the way that makes them stick, by hard knocks and both big and little mistakes. Hopefully I can share some of those lessons with others.
I am an American expatriate that decided to retire at age 57 in 2009 and now live in Brazil. As an early retiree I invest for income and manage portfolio risk by screening for strong and reliable historic data along with favorable fundamental and technical current trends.
I spend 6 months/year living at home in Brazil and 6 months/year traveling the world. I have structured my financial positions so that I live virtually tax free with much of my income exempt from US tax since I live ex patriot and a lot of my US derived income over the annual ex-patriate exemptions is held in my tax free ROTH and tax deferred IRA/SIMPLE plans. This enables my tax savings to pay for my 6 months of annual traveling :) .
My investing is for income and appreciation with a balance of low to moderate short term risk and low long term risk. To accomplish this I use quality dividend payors with a long track record of steady or increasing dividends along with slowly appreciating equity prices. I target a 6 to 9 % yield and almost exclusively require a minimum history of 5 years of steady/increasing dividends and no decreases in dividend ever or at least past 10 years. I diversify through sector, country and currency unit the stocks are traded in, and security type (equity, royalty trust, REIT, mlp, etf, and ADRs).
I use covered call writing to enhance my portfolio yield with no added risk. In fact, it lowers the risk substantially. Once I identify a stock I want to own and an entry price for it, I write cash covered puts at or below that entry price (with a minimum of 1%/month time premium. Thus i obtain at least a 12% annualized yield before compounding just from the option premium.
Likewise, I use the sale of cash covered puts to generate income and and generally get an entry point at 5 to 10% below my acceptable entry level price if/when the put stock does get presented. Thus my strategy provides a 12% pre compound yield on cash and entry into stock purchases at a 5 to 10% discount from "retail".
Because I only select stocks that I am willing to hold long term for their reliable dividend yields of > 6%, I am not concerned much with market volatility or short/midterm risk. Indeed, market volatility is my friend since it increases the premiums paid on the options I sell. I also selectively sell covered calls on positions I hold long so as to add to my yield that way while not taking on any additional risk.
This strategy has kept me happily living off my portfolio income and traveling 1/2 the year while my portfolio has been slowly increasing in value even after my harvesting income for living expenses. Of course my income will incrementally increase when social security kicks in for me in a few more years and I may then slightly mofidy my goals and strategies.
Readers can get an e-mail once a day from Seeking Alpha that lists all newly published articles of ALL the authors they follow in a single e-mail. To get these updates:
- a - Click "Alerts" along the top menu tab (just left of the green PRO tab)
- b - Scroll all the way down, and check the box for "author alerts" (2nd box from the bottom)
- c - Then you'll be notified by Seeking Alpha once per day of new articles by all authors you follow (in a single e-mail)
Mark Bern (formerly K202) intends to continue writing solo and has shed other work-related relationships that required anonymity.
CPA since 1990 a CFA charter holder since 2000. He has a bachelors degree in Business Admin. with a concentration in Economics. His experience includes both private and public sector and careers in accounting, financial and market analysis, product development, transportation services and investment management.
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.
Contributing columnist for Real Money and TheStreet.com. BA in History from Bemidji State in Minnesota. I went on to learn Chinese at National Taiwan University in Taipei.
I worked in mortgage sales at Countrywide and Bank of America until 2010 when I decided to relocate to Taiwan.
Andy Hecht is the chief market strategist for Carden Capital and Carden Futures. Andy is a sought-after commodity and futures trader, an options expert and analyst. He spent nearly 35 years on Wall Street, including two decades on the trading desk of Phillip Brothers, which became Salomon Brothers and ultimately part of Citigroup.
Over the past two decades, he has researched, structured and executed some of the largest trades ever made, involving huge quantities of precious metals and bulk commodities.
Andy understands the market in a way many traders can’t imagine. He’s booked vessels, armored cars and trains to transport and store a wide range of commodities. And he’s worked directly with The United Nations and the legendary trading group Phibro.
Today, Andy remains in close contact with sources around the world and his network of traders.
“I have a vast Rolodex of information in my head… so many bull and bear markets. When something happens, I don’t have to think. I just react. History does tend to repeat itself over and over.”
His friends and mentors include highly regarded energy and precious metals traders, supply line specialists and international shipping companies that give him vast insight into the market.
Andy’s writing and analysis can be found on a number of market based websites including CQG. Andy lectures at colleges and Universities. He also contributes to Traders Magazine. He consults for companies involved in producing and consuming commodities. Andy's biweekly radio show, The Commodities Hour with Andy Hecht, can be heard on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6 PM EST on www.tfnn.com. Andy’s first book How to Make Money with Commodities, published by McGraw Hill was released in 2013 and has received excellent reviews. He is currently working on his second book, Luster. Andy held a Series 3 and Series 30 license from the National Futures Association and is associated as a collaborator and strategist with hedge funds. Andy is the commodity-expert for the website about.com and blogs on his own site technomentals.com.
Frank Grossmann (founder and partner of logical-invest.com)
I am Swiss and living in Zurich. I studied Microtechnics at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and Business Administration at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. After the studies in 1989 I founded Labocontrol AG. This company was sold to the US company Digital Now Inc. where I continued to work as a chief scientist.
Since 13 years I have my own software company Colour-Science.com which develops algorithms for digital image processing. These algorithms do things like image enhancement, red eye removal or pattern (face) detection. My passion however was always to search for pattern in financial data and then develop and back test rule based investment strategies.
I am a patent litigator with a background in physics and electronics. I enjoy studying quantitative, rules-based investment methods through rigorous backtesting and numerical analysis. I believe that patterns exist in the market that benefit trading -- the challenge is finding them!
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.
We try to provide unbiased, balanced and helpful insight into long-term prospects of the businesses we follow. We mainly base our analysis on the fundamentals and assess the long-term growth potential of the companies. In addition, we also analyze the dividend stability of different companies, and try to assess the future cash flows in order to gauge dividend growth potential.
You can also follow us on twitter here:https://twitter.com/IAEResearch
Author of Quantitative Investing. Designer of the Global Household Index and the systemic risk score MTS10 (click here to learn more). PhD in computer science, Software Engineer, Civil Engineer, 20+ years working in various sectors and countries. Investor focused on market-neutral and low risk portfolios, looking for profitable combinations of value and quality factors. Also interested in short volatility trading and excess returns in closed-end-funds.
John Gerard Lewis is the principal at Gerard Wealth Management and also owns law-related media companies. He has appeared on the Fox Business Network (http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1620019538001), and is former manager of the "Stable High Yield" portfolio at Covestor.com.
Brad Thomas is a research analyst and he currently writes weekly for Forbes and Seeking Alpha where he maintains research on many publicly-listed REITs. In addition, Thomas is the Senior Analyst at iREIT Forbes and Editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor, a monthly subscription-based newsletter.
Thomas has also been featured in Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger’s, US News & World Report, Money, NPR, Institutional Investor, GlobeStreet, and Fox Business. He was the #1 contributing analyst on Seeking Alpha in 2014 (as ranked by TipRanks) and he is currently writing a book on the legendary investor Donald Trump.
Thomas has co-authored a book (The Intelligent REIT Investor) that is available on Amazon.
Thomas received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Economics from Presbyterian College where he played basketball. He resides in South Carolina with his wife and kids.
Semi-retired consultant residing in beautiful northeast Georgia. Over 40 years of responsible experience in planning, finances and investment management. Primary focus is on portfolio development for retired (or nearly retired) individuals who do not possess great wealth. The Protected Principal Retirement portfolio seeks medium-high yield vehicles, including dividend stocks, REITs, energy MLP's, and Closed-End funds.
Geoff is the founder of Quantext. Geoff was an early contributor to SeekingAlpha and now writes regularly for Advisor Perspectives and Financial Planning. He has been working in asset management analytics and research for more than ten years. Before entering finance, Geoff was a research scientist for NASA. Geoff holds a PhD in Atmospheric Science and a BS in Physics.
Quantext is a strategic adviser to FOLIOfn,Inc. (www.foliofn.com (http://www.foliofn.com)), an innovative brokerage firm specializing in offering and trading portfolios for advisors and individual investors.
You can find additional resources, including how to download and run a fully-functional trial version of Quantext's Monte Carlo portfolio planning solution, on the Quantext website (http://www.quantext.com/).
I have worked in the financial service industry for 40 years. My area of expertise is risk management and complex financial products. I have been a frequent speaker, on behalf of many financial firms, to financial professionals across the country.
I have extensive experience in statistics and actuarial science.