I was a software engineer for a little over 21 years before I decided to call it quits to the corporate world when I was 45 years old (in 2014). I have always dreamed of retiring early, but I didn't plan to retire until I was 50 years old. When I realized my investment portfolio could generate the income I needed to free my life from the shackles of the corporate world, I quit my job and never looked back.
I did not win the lottery, inherited large sums of money, nor got lots of stock options from a company that I worked at that IPO'ed. It was all very hard-earned. I lived below my means and saved a substantial percentage of my take-home pay ever since the third year of my professional life.
I've been a lurker on SeekingAlpha for years, and finally decided to become a contributor to document my journey as an early retiree.
It's hard to categorize me as an investor. Although I'm mostly "dividend growth" minded, I also dabble in growth, deep value, speculation, as well as a little hedging now and then with options.
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.
George Kiraly Jr., CFP®, MBA is the Founder & Chief Investment Officer of LodeStar Advisory Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser located in Short Hills, New Jersey. LodeStar® combines asset management with comprehensive financial planning, using cutting-edge technology, including risk-engineering, to give you the best in wealth management. George has more than 22 years of experience in portfolio management.
As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and "Fee-Only" NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor, George has distinguished himself as a reputable and trusted investor advocate. He has been interviewed and quoted by Investor's Business Daily, The Wall Street Journal, SmartMoney, The New York Times, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Consumer Reports, Reuters, Dow Jones Newswires and other news organizations.
Visit: LodeStar Advisory Group [www.ldstar.com]
Follow: @georgekiraly [www.twitter.com]
I am an early career scientific researcher who has taken a strong interest in investing, both for achieving my personal financial goals as well as serving as an alternative conduit where critical and logical thinking are rewarded. I write articles to share ideas, refine my own thinking and invite discussion from the astute readership of Seeking Alpha.
For a better Seeking Alpha experience on your phone, please consider viewing the website on your browser (request desktop site for full functionality) instead of through the Seeking Alpha app.
Within the academic field, I have a career total of 87 articles and 5 book chapters, 2,600 total citations and an h-index of 31 (metrics from Google Scholar).
I am a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. My research concentrates on a subfield of deep learning. I mostly write on technology and have recently started a "under the hood" series on artificial intelligence and technology. If you want me to cover any specific piece of software, technology or company as part of the series, shoot me a message or comment.
I am an aspiring financial advisor turned blogger. I am a data analyst by trade with an education in financial planning from Florida State University. I focus on strategies to reach financial freedom through investing, minimizing taxes and opportunity cost analysis. I post my other work on timetravelmoney.com
Ever feel like trading is like rolling dice? In a way, it is, because every mathematical model of the market includes a stochastic aspect. But I believe we can load the dice in our favor through the use of statistics. Understanding both the stock market and each individual stock as a sort of random process with its own characteristics allows us to more accurately predict what it will do in the future. Coupling statistics with fundamental analysis, I have the goal of revealing to you the hidden patterns within stocks so that you may do what you wish with that information.
50/50 Portfolio; June 2016 YOC 10.0% about 6 months before retirement, dividends at 72% of my gross employment income. I created a High Yield Investment dividend generator that contains a 50% weighting between agency mortgage REITs and BDCs.
My current investment method started January 2014 to concentrate on high yield equities that put more importance on income and less on capital appreciation. Investment purchase is based on each individual stock generating a minimum dividend per year. As long as stocks are generating income to meet or exceed my minimum dividend they will not be added too or removed. Currently all dividends are reinvested back into stocks that require their dividends to be increased to meet my minimum yearly dividend. We will see how this works over the years.
1) The REIT sector consists of residential and commercial property investments. What better way to invest in hundreds of properties without actually owing the physical property.
2) The BDC are Business Development Companies that invest in hundreds of businesses that create products and employment opportunities. Here again the BDC does all the research to lend to businesses and the investor does not have to actually own the physical business.
3) The investment selection is based on this principle; BDCs outperform when markets are going up (positive correlation), and mREITs, outperform when markets are going down (negative correlation). This is based on a research study performed by Wells Fargo titled “The 50/50 Portfolio, Milton Friedman’s Only “Free” Lunch. And runs through an analysis in demonstrating how combining BDCs and Agency mREITs leads to sustainable long-term alpha throughout cycles.
4) Capital gain does not apply to my investment method since this implies the anticipation of buy and hope for price increase in order to sell at a profit. I have already stated the HYBRID method holds investments based on cost basis and dividends per share as the method of yearly appreciation.
5) A bird in the hand is worth 10 in a bush, applies to this investment style. The return I get on my investment is what counts toward the recapture of my initial investment cost. I can calculate how many years it will take before my initial cost will be repaid and that investment now becomes perpetual income. I’m not a trader, just a buy, hold and collector (dividends * shares). I can’t count on capital appreciation since all investments will increase and decrease in any market cycle. Dividends I can count on as payment for investment risk that accumulates over time.
6) Update 20140612, Portfolio Plan; Build a portfolio that generates income 150% of minimum required. Example I need 10K from 30 stocks made up of REITs and BDCs. Diversification is already built into each stock because each one contains hundreds of properties and business, so 30 stocks is plenty. Now to generate 10K minimum income I will establish a 50% margin of error (or income default). So to get 10K minimum I will need 15K of income (10K * 1.5). This means each stock is required to generate at least $500/yr each. I can withstand a 33% hit in the dividends and still meet my 10K minimum requirement. That is 10 stocks can go to zero and the remaining 20 will create my minimum 10K.
7) Update 20140729, I do not invest in individual companies, too risky. The following is the logic behind this statement compared to BDC investments. If I invest in 30 dividend companies, anyone of them may have financial problems and drag down the portfolio very quickly. The Due-Diligence (DD) would take all my time to analyze past performance and make judgments for the future, and current events can tank a stock fast. Every company needs money to run operations and for capital improvements and this is where BDCs come into play. The individual company has to borrow funds and BDCs are there to provide the capital. So the BDC is like a bank to lend money. Each BDC may contain hundreds of separate loans going to hundreds of different companies making the BDC less risky than owning individual companies. If one of the companies that the BDC has a loan with goes bankrupt, the BDC will recover some if not all of the loan monies lent to the failed company, and the BDC will continue with a very small disruption to its bottom line. So in effect owing BDCs that contain hundreds of investments (loans to companies) earning a consistent repayment to principal and interest is safer than just owning an individual low yielding company. When you invest in a BDC or REIT you are investing in the managers that perform the DD by analyzing the companies first before loaning them money to run their business.
Owing 10 or more BDCs is like having investments in thousands of companies with a very low risk of any one individual company causing portfolio damage, while your portfolio grows faster with the high yields from BDCs and REITs.
8) I have developed FREE Excel applications for planning retirement during the accumulation and distribution phase, the links are in my articles, (Dividend Growth Calculator... and Predicting Retirement...) As I develop additional Excel 2010 applications I'll make them available to all SA members. We are all in the same boat trying to achieve a better life in retirement.
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.
Dr. John Hussman is the president and principal shareholder of Hussman Econometrics Advisors, the investment advisory firm that manages the Hussman Funds ( http://www.hussmanfunds.com). He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University, and a Masters degree in education and social policy and a bachelors degree in economics from Northwestern University. Prior to managing the Hussman Funds, Dr. Hussman was a professor of economics and international finance at the University of Michigan. In the mid-1980's, Dr Hussman worked as an options mathematician for Peters & Company at the Chicago Board of Trade, and in 1988 began publishing the Hussman Econometrics newsletter. Virtually all of Dr. Hussman's liquid assets are invested in the Hussman Funds.
Note: Dr. Hussman is not an active contributor to Seeking Alpha; rather, SA editors excerpt regularly from Dr. Hussman's public commentary.
Ronald J. Surz is a partner and CIO of Paladin FinTech, researching financial technology as well as providing a portal to leading edge financial technologies, including some developed by Paladin.
He is also President of PPCA and Target Date Solutions, and partner of TDF Builder and Sortino Investment Analytics.
Ron has served on several boards, and currently serves on a few. He earned an MBA in Finance at the University of Chicago and an MS in Applied Mathematics at the University of Illinois.
BA in economics from UConn. MBA in finance from Wharton. Worked as securities analyst and portfolio manager for an insurance company and a bank from 1960 through 1983. Retired at age of 53. Private investor from then until now. I am 86 years young. I like to write poetry and short stories. And, I am the Chief Inspector of Sunrises and Sunsets on Earth (self appointed).
I founded and manage Servo, a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) that helps investors achieve financial independence, a secure retirement, and positions them to leave a meaningful financial legacy.
Day trader whose strategy is based on arbitrages in preferred stocks and closed end funds.My group consists of 10 traders.We trade every single preferred stock or closed end fund that provides an arbitrage opportunity. Our research includes stocks that most of the people have not even heard. We have developed our own statistical tools that make most of our arbitrages statistically proven. As a trader I don't just analyse , I trade my analysis and pay the price when I am wrong.That is the main reason I respect opinions only when backed by taking the risk of being wrong.Words or opinions mean nothing in this business and the only person who is right about a certain situation is the one who makes money out of it.
I am a former Investment and Commercial Banker with over 30 years experience in the field. I have been advising both individuals and institutional clients on high-yield investment strategies since 1991. As author of “High Dividend Opportunities”, a premium subscription service at Seeking Alpha, my objective is to bring investors the most profitable and newest high dividend ideas, with special focus on the Energy sector. The service includes an actively managed model Portfolio targeting an overall dividend yield of 6-9% in addition to long-term capital gains. My research aims to maximize returns by identifying undervalued securities in the High Yield space.
In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant CPA from the State of Arizona, I hold a BS Degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a Masters degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management (Arizona). I am also a Certified Mortgage Advisor CEMAP, a UK certification. My Research and Articles have been featured on Seeking Alpha, Investing.com, ETFdailynews, and on FXEmpire.
For more information on how to subscribe to “High Dividend Opportunities” and gain exclusive access to the portfolio, live alerts and market commentaries, check the post: Introduction to “High Dividend Opportunities” on my Instablog or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kevin is the CEO and founder of Blue Water Capital Advisors. He is involved in all aspects of the business, including portfolio management, financial advisory services, team management and business development, and he is Chairman of the Investment Committee. Kevin is an experienced speaker and is available (under certain conditions) by request.
Kevin brings a unique perspective to wealth and risk management that is very intuitive and measured. Clients are confident in his abilities and trust that their assets are managed by the best in the business. Although he has been a leader within the regional wealth management industry for the majority of the last two decades, it is not his first career. He was a petroleum geologist and academic research scientist for 17 years in his first career. Kevin’s keen sense of risk-reward dynamics was developed during his geological career when he served as an exploration team leader and senior manager in the oil and gas exploration business. He drilled over 100 wells on his own geological interpretations and found millions of barrels of oil. This was a very high risk kind of business, and Kevin learned a great deal about how risk really works from his experiences in exploration geology.
He was also a professor at The University of New Hampshire and Bryn Mawr College for several years and has published 11 papers in international scientific journals and books. Highlights of Kevin’s geological career include surviving a violent well blowout, working as a consultant to Phillips Petroleum, Texaco, Exxon, and numerous independent firms, acting as a Principal Investigator on a dinosaur dig in Montana, diving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, teaching and advising students, receiving numerous research awards and grants, and conducting funded scientific research on sedimentology, paleoceanography, paleoclimatology, geochemistry, and global plate tectonics.
Kevin left his geology career when the global oil price collapse finally caught up to him in 1992. He went into the financial advising industry because his father had been a nationally-ranked leader in that field with a major national firm, so he felt comfortable with making the transition. Over the years he was awarded the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation and has completed about half of the coursework for a Master’s degree in Financial Services. Kevin served as a Trust Officer and Vice President for a major Midwestern regional bank for seven years, and served as a Senior Vice President at National Bank of Commerce in Duluth for four years. He was a member and board member of the Arrowhead Estate Planning Council for a number of years. He has a refined sense of the big economic picture that is grounded in his ability to differentiate meaningful information from “noise,” as he once did while working in science and petroleum geology. Kevin is the principal shareholder of Blue Water Capital Advisors, LLC.
Jason Kelly edits The Kelly Letter, a curiously readable weekly investment advisory covering stock market forecasts, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, commodities, and general investing.
He is the author of the Neatest Little Guide series of financial books which includes the bestseller "The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing," now available in a revised 2010 edition.
He worked from 1993 to 1997 as a technical writer at the IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory in San Jose, California. He graduated 1993 from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He currently lives in Sano, Japan, northwest of Tokyo.
Find his latest ideas at jasonkelly.com.
Retired, late 50's
Hold CFP designation. Passed CFP exam Nov 2000
Author of "IRA: A Quck Reference Guide". Available on Amazon as an e-book.
Author of "Retirement Investing for INCOME ONLY: How to invest for relaible income in Retirement ONLY from Dividends"
I am an individual investor a few years from retirement, an engineer and have an MBA. I worked overseas the majority of the past 10 years working overseas and filled most of my travel and spare time reading about investing, finance, economics and forecasting. I vary my asset allocation according to the business cycle.
Peter George Psaras, has been investing for over 40 years and has expertise in the following:
1) Quantitative Analysis
2) Qualitative Analysis
3) Macro Economic Analysis
4) Technical Analysis
5) Stock Market History
He is the CEO at Conservative Equity Investment Advisors, a registered investment advisor based in New York.
I have had an interest in the the economy and financial markets since i was around 10 years old. Throughout the years, this interest waxed and waned until college, when I discovered how complex and interesting economics could be; and also how useful it could be as a tool in finding profitable opportunities in the markets.I build on this information everyday, along with the knowledge I have gained about markets through years of study.
Also, I've created youreconomicseducation.com, a website for learning Economics through the undergraduate level. With this resource, I hope to create the possibilities for those who want to learn Economics, but cannot for some reason, to do so.
My name is Mike McNeil and I’m the author of The Dividend Guy Blog along with the owner and portfolio manager over at Dividend Stocks Rock. I earned my bachelor degree in finance-marketing, own a CFP title along with an MBA in financial services. Besides being a passionate investor, I’m also happily married with three beautiful children.
I started my online venture to educate people about investing and to be able to spend more time with my family.
I used to struggle with the same issues millions of small investors deal with on a daily basis. Which stocks to buy? When to sell them? How to find the time to manage my portfolio? How to diversify? I wasn’t into dividend investing until I looked in depth at my portfolio returns and realized I was having difficulty keeping up with the market.
The root of the problem was a very poorly built portfolio that lacked structure and the components required to build a sturdy base. I made good money from the stock market but I was taking unnecessary risk to achieve my investing goals.
From that point on, I was determined to create a portfolio strategy that would allow me to benefit from dividend growth stocks as a solid foundation. Since then, I manage my portfolio with a stress free method that enables me to cash out dividend payments even when the market goes sour.
Mr. Leach spent his early years on a subsistence farm in western Michigan. He graduated at the top of his high school class which helped him land a scholarship to the University Michigan. Graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering and a minor in mathematics in 1981, Mr. Leach took his first professional job with Westinghouse Electric in Monroeville, PA.
Mr. Leach held several positions of increasing responsibility at Westinghouse, and Fluor Federal Services in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington State. While in Washington State, Mr. Leach completed his master’s of science degree in Environmental Engineering graduating summa cum laude in 1997 from Washington State University.
In 2003 and 2004 with Fluor Federal Services, Mr. Leach worked as a civilian contractor for the US Department of Defense in various middle east locations and the Philippines. In 2005, Mr. Leach joined the AREVA Group and spent two years in France. After returning stateside in 2006, Mr. Leach held various positions of increasing responsibility with AREVA Federal Services in South Carolina and North Carolina. Mr. Leach left the AREVA group in 2014 at the age of 56 and is now quasi-retired and focuses on his wife, his 15 year old son, and his investment portfolio.
Mr. Leach has been a consistent, avid, and successful investor for more than 30 years. His investment style is conservative and he primarily invests in income oriented equities, bonds, preferred stocks and mutual funds. Mr. Leach has written more than 50 articles on Seeking Alpha and other websites.
Retired 42yr old semiconductor industry exec. Currently living in my RV traveling the US. 'Working' part time managing my retirement portfolio and making sure it lasts forever!
Writing a blog about my investments and managing a retirement portfolio.
Tom Madell, Ph.D., is the publisher of Mutual Fund/ETF Research Newsletter, a free newsletter which began publication in 1999. It has become one of the most popular mutual fund/ETF newsletters on the internet, as shown on the Google Directory page for Mutual Funds News and Media Newsletter websites.
His site has been named as one of the "Top 12 Investment Newsletters Focusing on Mutual Funds" by mutualfunds.com, an important fund information provider. Also, recently his Newsletter was recognized as one of 5 expert mutual fund resources worth following offering free, and, in its case, particularly "unbiased, useful, and original advice" at http://fundreference.com/articles/2015/172/10-mutual-fund-experts-worth-following/
He is also a researcher/writer/investor whose articles have appeared on hundreds of websites, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Morningstar and in the international media.
His articles have been among the most popular among those posted on the Morningstar.com website by non-Morningstar employed contributors.
His Newsletter's Model Portfolios have an outstanding long-standing record of frequently outperforming the major market indices. His complete articles and Model Portfolios can be accessed at http://funds-newsletter.com
Kirk Chisholm is a Wealth Manager and Principal at Innovative Advisory Group (IAG), an independent Registered Investment Advisor. His roles at IAG are co-chair of the Investment Committee and Head of the Traditional Investment Risk Management Group. His background and areas of focus are portfolio management and investment analysis in both the traditional and non-traditional investment markets. Kirk has an extensive understanding of the regulatory and financial considerations involved with investing alternative investments in self directed IRAs and 401ks. He received a BA degree in Economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
Visit www.innovativewealth.com for more information.
Our mission is simple: To help you make money. In addition to generating our own analysis, we also draw ideas from the most talented stock pickers in the traditional equity and hedge fund space.
Four female investors and one Dachshund.
We no longer trade equities. Heidi and Desiree's interests are in the fields of global water distribution, agriculture, and timberland. Clarissa and Helga manage strategies of certain hard assets, predominantly the PGM metals group.
While our names (Heidi, Helga, Clarissa and Desiree) may not be our real names, Schnitzel the Dachshund's name really is "Schnitzel the Dachshund."