I could provide some info about my investment background and history, but I don't think such details matter much. Instead, I'll provide a true personal story that captures my view on the pursuit of stockpicking alpha: At the completion of my first year as a starting pitcher in Little League, I had an undefeated pitching record and top strikeout tally. Nobody could hit my curve ball. I was admired by the league's coaches and my peers alike. The next year, my hubris caused me to ruin my arm throwing far too many curve balls, thus ending my baseball dreams. Meanwhile, my best friend in Little League diminished his early success because he never threw curve balls. His parents wouldn't allow it. In spite of his early disadvantage, he ended up an MLB All Star and World Series winning pitcher. Most kids have big, improbable dreams. Yet I've known only one person who actually achieved his big childhood dream. What does this have to do with investing? In the investment world, there are constant displays of confidence and bold claims of superior methodologies, yet I've still not found one nonprofessional investor who could prove that he had beaten a benchmark index for over a decade. Like my Little League success, nearly all investment outperformance reverses course. I believe that the odds an investor will beat an appropriate benchmark for an entire lifetime are no greater than a Little Leaguer becoming an All-Star with a World Series ring. The Market News tracker is my favorite part of this website. Otherwise, I see the website mainly as a social media venue for aspirational stock hobbyists & advisors who are 110% certain that they're endowed with special investing skill. Never mind that almost none can provide a meaningful, long-term record of outperformance. Fortunately for the authors, the website is very supportive. Comments critical of articles are often removed, and bloggers can trumpet good luck and misremember blunders without troublesome fact checking. The unconditional love enables bloggers to achieve popularity with skillful self-promotion, gravitas, and a likable persona. An ambitious subscription stock-tip blogger would be well advised to study the techniques of Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra rather than Warren Buffett and Ben Graham. "You make more money selling the advice than following it." --Steve Forbes
Just an old farm boy who bought his first stock in 1970. Been a student of the markets and investing ever since. Over the years I have owned and managed several businesses before retiring for health reasons three years ago. MS from the University of Akron.
Zugzwang (German for "compulsion to move") is a situation found in chess wherein one player is put at a disadvantage because they must make a move when they would prefer to pass and not to move. The fact that the player is compelled to move means that his position will become significantly weaker. A player is said to be "in zugzwang" when any possible move will worsen his position.
Ian’s Insider Corner research focuses primarily on long-term dividend-paying companies with stable and reliable growth, stocks suitable for individual retirement accounts. Ian also looks for “niche” shorter-term trading opportunities, and coverage. During the 3-years Ian worked at Kerrisdale Capital, the New York-based activist hedge fund had great success exposing fraudulent companies. Kerrisdale Capital returned almost 200% in 2011, and more than 300% in total. Ian Bezek offers in-depth coverage of all the stocks in his “IMF” portfolio.
Mr. Barac is the founder and Managing Member of the General Partner, Barac Capital Management, LLC. Prior to founding the General Partner, Mr. Barac held a variety of roles in institutional securities research and trading.
Mr. Barac graduated from Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) in 1989 and received a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas) in 1998. During his graduate studies, Mr. Barac’s broad-based business studies included a focus on international business which included an internship with Bank Boston’s media and telecommunications lending group in Buenos Aires, Argentina and an international exchange semester at the E.S.A.D.E. Business School in Barcelona, Spain.
Following his graduate studies, Mr. Barac went to work for Moody’s Investors Services in New York, New York in 1998 and transferred to their London, England offices in 1999. At Moody’s, Mr. Barac became a Senior Credit Officer/Vice-President and lead analyst with responsibility for the credit ratings of a multi-billion dollar portfolio of high-profile European leveraged finance companies. As an expert in leveraged finance and corporate credit risk analysis, Mr. Barac was a regular speaker for Moody’s and was regularly quoted by major financial publications (e.g. the Wall Street Journal Europe, Financial Times, New York Times, Bloomberg News, and The Times of London).
From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Barac worked at Schroders Investment Management, an investment management firm with assets under management in excess of $200 billion, headquartered in London, England. At Schroder’s, Mr. Barac was responsible for identifying profitable fixed-income trade ideas from within a portfolio of European high-yield and investment grade corporate bond issuers. Mr. Barac’s work at Schroder’s earned him selection for the company’s elite merit-based Business Leadership Program.
Mr. Barac continued his work in corporate securities analysis with Barclay’s Capital (also in London, England) where he worked as a Director in their Principal Strategies Group from 2007 to 2008. At Barclays, Mr. Barac was a proprietary analyst and trader responsible for investing a portion of Barclay’s capital through a combination of bonds, stocks, and fixed-income derivatives (credit default swaps).
Following his return from London to Austin, Texas in 2008, Mr. Barac founded, established, and now actively manages the Barac Value Fund, L.P.
My name is Mark B. Spiegel and I'm the Managing Member of Stanphyl Capital Management LLC. I can be reached at: mark (at) stanphylcap (dot) com. My Twitter feed is @markbspiegel