I'm a young private investor. I prefer concentrated bets on small, quality businesses. I'm a strategic generalist, tactical specialist; I scan broadly looking for quirky things to become obsessed with for awhile, to accumulate clusters of competence in neglected niches. I'll place on my watch-list most anything that is predictable enough to value accurately, and wait for the right price. My idea horizons, which used to be ~1 year, seem to be lengthening.
My current top holdings are FN, KTCC, AGM, NVMI, EMAN, SILC, and SLP.
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Andrew Shapiro is Founder, President and Portfolio Manager of Lawndale Capital Management, an investment advisor that has managed activist hedge funds focused on small- and micro-cap companies for over 23 years, one of the longest periods of experience deploying an activist/relational investment strategy today. Mr. Shapiro’s proactive ownership approach has been effective in directly creating and unlocking shareholder value in Lawndale’s portfolio companies and has contributed to Lawndale’s activist funds often being ranked among the top event-driven and small-cap value funds in peer databases for long-term performance. In addition to leading Lawndale, Mr. Shapiro has also served as a Director or Observer on portfolio company boards and debt and equity bankruptcy committees. Mr. Shapiro is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and, via Lawndale, has been a long-time Sustaining Member of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII).
Mr. Shapiro has more than two decades of portfolio management and analytically varied experience from a number of "buy-side" positions, employing a rare combination of credit, legal and equity analytic and workout skills. Prior to founding the Lawndale organization in 1992, Mr. Shapiro managed the workout and restructuring of large portfolios of high-yield bonds, distressed equities and risk arbitrage securities for the Belzberg family's entity, First City Capital. Before joining First City, Mr. Shapiro was involved in numerous highly leveraged corporate acquisition and recapitalization transactions for both Manufacturers Hanover Trust and the Spectrum Group, a private equity firm.
Mr. Shapiro received his JD degree from the UCLA School of Law where he was an Olin Fellow, an MBA from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management where he was a Venture Capital Fellow and a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, where he has taught finance courses and frequently guest lectures.
Mr. Shapiro was recently selected to the 2012 NACD Directorship 100, a list of the most influential leaders in the boardroom and corporate governance community. He is often quoted on matters of corporate governance, fiduciary duty and activist investing and has been the subject of several articles, including a Business Week article in 2000 calling him “The Gary Cooper of Governance”. Mr. Shapiro frequent speaks and panels on corporate governance and activist investing issues at a broad range of prestigious forums that include the Council of Institutional Investors, National Association of Corporate Directors, American Society of Corporate Secretaries, SEC Advisory Committee on Small Public Companies, and the Director’s education programs of Stanford Law School, UCLA Anderson Grad. School of Mgmt., the Wisconsin Business School and Yale’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance, among others. Mr. Shapiro is a Contributing Author at Seeking Alpha.
Mr. Shapiro started Lawndale’s funds in 1993 with only $188,000 under management and through performance and added capital has grown the firm’s managed assets substantially. Lawndale applies a private equity approach through active and relational ownership of public company securities. In most investments, Lawndale plays a constructive relational role by actively working with boards and management teams to help them achieve their strategic and operating goals. In other instances, Lawndale is a direct value-unlocking catalyst, utilizing a range of tools that include aggressively promoting improvements in a company's governance and operational structures, proxy actions, asserting shareowner’s legal rights and taking active roles in restructuring and buyout proposal negotiations..
I have been an active investor for almost 20 years. My main focus is on high-yield stocks, particularly MLPs, and high-growth oil companies in the Eagle Ford shale. I have a portion of my portfolio allocated to short-term trading, with a focus on over-reactions to company news and directional plays on VIX-based ETFs. I am happy to answer just about any question sent my way, especially from those new to the stock market.
Chan is an investor in cheap businesses. Focus on low P/E or significant events. Generally like good balance sheets unless huge upside. Chan also like momentum plays. But avoid most risks. Chan also self-appointed spiritual leader of StockTalk. Follow Chan!
I apologize to investors who follow my articles, but I don't currently plan to resume any involvement with SA, though that may eventually change, if the site ever implements/enforces deterrents to web stalkers. For now, I only publicly share opinions on stocks via Twitter, StockTwits, etc. The rest of what follows is my normal profile, so I won't have to rewrite it, should I ever continue posting on SA. Best of luck investing. Cheers. I run a small family office managing long-term portfolios and special projects beyond the capital markets. I'm fortunate to have worked for a NYSE-traded financial firm for the decade through 2010, but I am not an adviser, my articles only share our investing actions/opinions, and they are not investment advice. Proof is in the pudding, so here are our stock portfolio returns from the most recent five years: 2012 +32%, 2013 +52%, 2014 +11%, 2015 +14%, and 2016H1 +19.8% (those are just capital gains, but all holdings pay dividends). Returns are moderating as expected, since most positions were rebuilt/opened in 2010-2012 at extreme undervaluation levels, yet only a few new positions have been opened each of the last few years at moderate undervaluation levels. I also trade around core positions for short-term profits, but I do not include trade gains in portfolio return tracking, and my articles are strictly about long-term investing. My investing career started in the 1980s, and the transition to full-time was finalized in 2009. I only list returns from 2012 because that's when I became most active on SA, and the stock calls that led to those results can be verified here. For 2008-2011, my focus was shorter-term trades, which made total annual returns harder to tally, so without wasting time backtracking, I can only say returns were worthwhile. For most years prior, I was a blue-chip-only, buy-and-hold guy, which also worked well, so I still own most of those stocks in accounts separate from our actively-managed portfolios.