Ray Dirks has been a respected analyst on Wall Street for decades. Ray has written two books,” The Great Wall Street Scandal” and “Heads You Win, Tails You Win”, published by McGraw-Hill and Bantam Books respectively.
Dirks opened his own securities analysis firm after gaining much attention in the financial press during the 1970s and 1980s.
Ray earned his place in the history books while working as a securities research analyst. He got a tip from a disgruntled employee of a company called Equity Funding that this firm had built its business model upon massive commercial and accounting fraud. Most research analysts on Wall Street took Equity Funding's numbers at face value, and recommended the stock.
Dirks, however, began his own investigation, found the tip credible, then warned both his firm's top institutional clients (who sold out their positions) and the SEC. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to interest The Wall Street Journal in the story. It turned out that the tip was right, and Equity Funding eventually collapsed in a manner that would prefigure some of the scandals that have been seen on the Street today.
I retired early a few years ago. I was the Credit Manager for a mid-sized publicly traded bank. I traditionally have invested in and written about small and micro cap value stocks. Recently I have been also buying and writing about small and micro cap growth stocks. I have found as an investor you can get an edge in researching and talking to management of small and micro cap companies that have little or no analyst coverage. About 20-30% of my portfolio are deep value stocks, and that is historically where I have had the best returns.
I have been researching and investing in stocks and options in my own accounts since 2006. I finished my MBA in 2007 and then worked as the Finance Manager at a start up for 7 years. I'm currently self-employed as an online marketing consultant, but investing is my true passion.
I've found that my skill lies in taking the time to read 10-K and 10-Q reports carefully and being able to then create realistic future projections. As a value investor I tend to look at cash flow as much as if not more than earnings and revenues.
My investment horizon is typically at least 5-10 years, and ideally I place my money into investments which I could see myself holding through retirement. That said, I do also enjoy allocating a small portion of my account to short term options plays.
In our free time, my wife and I love to travel the world. We've each been to over 45 countries and relish the opportunity to see how people live all around the world.
I am generally a long term investor looking for macrotrends which I believe may play out over the course of several years. While I look at a lot of varying criteria in researching potential investments, I'm more aligned with the analytics involved with investing. Although it's not always a sureguard in shorter time frames, I believe over the longer course of time, valuations and earnings power always determine the path stocks trade. As such, I am value driven and look more at companies trading at discounts to growth rate and earnings power, especially if it's currently being discounted by the market.
While I track many different industries, I'm currently have a China centric focus believing the long term macro trend of its population entering the middle class is in its early cycle. As China's gdp per capita increases, discretionary buying power among its middle class should increase at a higher exponential rate. As a result, larger well known companies are poised to profit from this cycle.
In addition, I may focus much of my writing on the solar sector for a few key reasons. First the solar sector is widely misunderstood. Second, many companies which operate within the sector are extremely transparent in operating structure. Lastly and more importantly I believe in the longer term prospects for the industry because the economics can be justified when looking at longer trend patterns.