As an analyst and and investor, I have over 20 years experience in the financial services industry and have covered banks, insurance companies, mortgage REITs, equity REITs, and specialty finance companies. I also have experience with alternative asset classes such as oil, gas, timber, and farmland, as well as the REITs that invest in these asset classes.
As a CFA charterholder, I believe it is important for investors to take responsibility for investigating their investment options and drawing their own conclusions. If you are not willing to do so, you would be better off adopting a passive investment approach, establishing a target asset allocation, and purchasing index funds or index ETFs.
I am a retired airline executive with legal and financial experience. I have a background in economics and finance with a focus on securities and securities analysis. I was in private practice for 10 years doing trial and appellate work prior to joining United Airlines where I did both transactions and litigation. I was with United for over 29 years, the last 17 as Assistant General Counsel. I now am a self directed investor, seeking to create cash flow to supplement our pensions and social security. I take a long term view focusing on securities that create a steady cash flow.
I am a dividend investor and look for undervalued investments in the stock market. I identify misunderstood and undervalued equity investments and hold those securities until their price approximates my estimate of intrinsic value. I am a long-term investor only.
I am building a $100,000 high-yield income portfolio. I am running this portfolio as an experiment to see if long-term sustainable income can be generated from a diversified pool of high-risk, high-yield securities. I am willing to accept high risk in order to meet my performance goals.
Richard is the managing principal of QVM Group LLC, a fee-based investment advisor based in Connecticut, with clients across the country. QVM also operates the site www.StopAlerts.com and the site www.RationalRisk.com.
QVM manages portfolios uniquely designed for each client on a flat fee basis through the client’s own accounts at Schwab; and provides investment coaching to "do-it-yourself" investors on an hourly fee basis.
The investment approach is based on value, asset allocation, expense control, risk management, customizing portfolios to each client's specific circumstances, and regular communication about strategy and absolute and benchmark performance.
Richard's extensive experience includes serving having served as a Board Director of Phoenix Investment Counsel, a U.S. pension and mutual funds manager, now Virtus Investment Partners (New York Stock Exchange: VRTS http://www.virtus.com); as Managing Director of Phoenix American Investment in London; and as a Board Director Aberdeen Asset Management PLC in Aberdeen Scotland (London Stock Exchange: ADN http://www.aberdeen-asset.com). He has been a Trustee of a $500 million pension fund, and was a charter investor and member of the Board of Directors of several internet companies, including Lending Tree (NASDAQ: TREE http://www.lendingtree.com) prior to its IPO. He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College.
QVM Group LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor. Visit the QVM Group website. (http://www.qvmgroup.com). Follow him on Twitter: @QVMinvest
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. 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.
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 philosophy tends toward the long-term, value side of the spectrum, but I'm not opposed to occasional flings on attractive, speculative opportunities.
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 and parcel 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. For many more-seasoned investors some of the things I write about are old-hat. 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. To that end, 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 encourage and welcome your comments. I try to respond to most insights, elaborations, and questions to the best of my ability. I especially encourage and appreciate thoughtful comments from those who disagree with me (although I tend to 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.With the need to take withdrawals I expect to shift my taxable accounts to more growth-focused (unrealized cap gains) investments. Making this shift while retaining income is my overarching priority for 2015. To that end, I expect to be generating more of my income from options as I gradually phase out my high-yield investments.
The IRAs I see as my estate and are focused on generational wealth building. That means the growth portfolios have a very long term horizon, well beyond what an investor of my age might be expected to maintain.
I am a believer in the precepts of MPT (Modern Portfolio Theory). I'm aware that MPT doesn't get a lot of respect by some of the DIY investors at Seeking Alpha. My readings in the field indicate to me that the research solidly supports the overall MPT approaches to investing. So, I am a believer in diversification. Not the sort of diversification that means I hold equity positions in every sector; the sort that means I hold positions in the full spectrum of asset classes with a watchful eye on correlations and a willingness to rebalance among asset classes, even when it goes against my gut feelings. By asset classes, I mean high level asset classes: Domestic and international equity, sovereign and corporate debt, emerging markets (equity and debt), real estate, commodities and so forth. I try to adapt that approach to both my income and growth investing.
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. It refers, too, to the left bank of the Gironde where some of my favorite wines are produced. When I'm feeling particularly flush, they're one of the splurges I'll treat myself to. So there is a major place in my heart for both common references for Left Banker.
Add that I also like it because I find several subtle word plays there; I'll leave it to you to decipher that comment.
I've chosen to remain anonymous. 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?
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.
MLPData is the leading site dedicated to providing investors with greater transparency into the full universe of Master Limited Partnerships and fund products. Our belief is that Master Limited Partnership's offer a very unique investment opportunity in light of the transformation of the North American Energy Landscape coupled with the unique tax considerations associated with distributions.
We are an independent and privately owned firm, launched by an entrepreneurial team with decades of experience in providing financial content and investment management services. Our objective is to expand the knowledge and investor interest in Master Limited Partnerships that are publicly traded, and the associated investment products such as Closed End Funds, Exchange Traded Notes and Funds and Mutual Funds.
2nd Market Capital Advisory specializes in the analysis and trading of real estate securities. Through a selective process and consideration of market dynamics, we aim to construct portfolios for rising streams of dividend income and capital appreciation.
Reuben Gregg Brewer spent about 15 years at world renowned Value Line, the Publisher of The Value Line Investment Survey. During this time he worked in various facets of the company's research efforts, including equities, mutual funds, convertibles, and options. For six years, he directed all of the company's research efforts as Value Line's Executive Director of Research. Today he writes about the things that interest him.
John Cole Scott is Chief Investment Officer at the firm and holds the Series 66 FINRA Licenses. In 2002 he earned the Certified Fund Specialist designation (CFS). For over 15 years John has specialized in closed-end fund/BDC research, analysis and trading.
He has been quoted or interviewed by Bloomberg, SmartMoney, Investment News, The Street, Morningstar, Registered Rep, Reuters, Bond Buyer, Better Investing, USA Today and The Richmond Times Dispatch and published in SR Consultant. He has presented at conferences or events in Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, Boca Raton, FL, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO, Houston, TX, Miami, FL, Minneapolis, MN, Naples, FL, Newark, NJ, Richmond, VA, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, Tampa, FL and Washington DC including several keynote addresses.
In April 2008 John founded CEFA's Closed-End Fund Universe, a comprehensive weekly data service covering the closed-end fund industry currently with 185+ data points per traditional CEF and 115+ per Business Development Companies (BDCs). We launched BDCUniverse.net in August 2015 as the first BDC Research website covering all public BDCs. In November 2008 he founded "The CEF Network" on LinkedIN with 1375+ members.
John is a long time member and current Board Member of The Richmond Association for Business Economics (RABE) and serves on the Investment and Standing Committee for The New York State Society of The Cincinnati. He can be reached via: email@example.com or (804) 288-2482.
My background is in governance, valuation, and accounting.
I try to look at stocks as the sum of contractual rights provided by domicile and certificate of incorporation, and am always cautious about the potential for management or controller overreach.
I also spend a lot of time thinking about the limitations of accounting in presenting reality. I'm especially interested in the application of GAAP to make a company a more or less attractive prospect for investment than it actually is.
I'm primarily interested in long-only equities. I try to avoid announced M&A as I no longer like the risk distributions, but M&A will occasionally find me, when a security I own is involved in a control transaction.
I've been a securities analyst, both in and out of large institutions, for a number of years and I hope to continue to do this for the rest of my lifetime.
Founder of the school of Nouveau Shamanic Security Analysis (NSSA).
"He is no longer an analyst"
--- Sean Penn, 1999
"For he is the Kwisatz Haderach"
-- Alia Atreides, Dune, 1985
"He may have been asleep, but that was before you dropped a f*cking plane on his head and woke him up."
--Didi Giancano, Heaven's Prisoners, 1996
I provide economic analysis, market commentary and company-specific research. My general view is to operate a diversified basket of long-term investments in both equities and fixed income.
I have a bachelor's degree in economics from San Diego State University (2007), eight years of publishing experience and over a decade of cumulative investment experience. I have been published in several newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal and Barron's.
Chris earned the Chartered Market Technician designation. He is earning the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and graduated with honors in Economics. Also, he has managed money as a professional trader and independently, and continues to do so. Chris utilizes Technical, Financial Analysis and Behavioral Finance to select his investments. His analysis has been on Bloomberg and ZeroHedge.
Tyson Halsey, CFA
Managing Member, Income Growth Advisors, LLC
Established Income Growth Advisors, LLC in 2011 to leverage off the strength of the growing income streams in MLP investment sector and 13 year investment record in MLPs.
Founded Halsey Advisory and Management in 1999. Firm invested in Technology, Master Limited Partnerships, Quantitative Mutual Funds strategies, and a hedge fund.
Worked as a Director at Elliot Davis Investment Advisors and Managing Director at Polaris Partners in South Carolina.
Conferred CFA designation in 1993.
Won the 1992 USA Today CNBC Investment Challenge in the options division.
Worked at Alex Brown as institutional and Corporate Executive Services broker throughout 1990s.
Worked in NYC until 2008 and relocated to Charleston SC.
Ron Hiram currently manages investment portfolios and assists earlier stage companies in their capital raising efforts. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Cellnet Solutions, Ltd., a supplier of remotely managed networks of public wireless terminals providing voice as well as value-added data services in developing countries, from April 2008 until March 2010. From 2003 to May 2008, Mr. Hiram was a Managing Partner of Eurofund 2000 L.P., a venture capital fund focused on Israeli-related companies in the telecommunications, information technology and microelectronic spheres. Previously, from 2001-2002, Mr. Hiram co-headed TeleSoft Partners' investment activities in Israel. TeleSoft Partners is a Silicon Valley venture capital fund focusing on companies developing telecommunication-related technologies. Between1994-2000, Mr. Hiram served as Managing Director and Partner at Soros Fund Management LLC ("Soros"), an international hedge fund in New York, devoting the bulk of his time to private equity investments. Prior to joining Soros, Mr. Hiram worked at Lehman Brothers for thirteen years (also in New York), most recently serving as Managing Director of a workout and restructuring group. Mr. Hiram has served on the boards of directors of companies publicly listed in the U.S., including Ulticom, Inc. since January 2000 and Comverse Technology, Inc. from 1985-1986 and from 2001-2006 (including as chairman of the board from May 2006 to December 2006). Mr. Hiram also served on the board of TASE listed E. Wardinon Ltd. (2005-2007) and on the boards of numerous privately held companies. Mr. Hiram received an M.B.A. from Columbia University in 1981 and a B.Comm. from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, in 1979.
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. In addition, Thomas is co-authoring a book (The Intelligent REIT Investor) that will e published in August 2016.
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.
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.
Semi-retired CPA. 55 years old. I am steadily relying on my investment income for retirement. My practice is slowly fading away and is a means to pay my health insurance and medical expenses.
Started investing thru my mother's account at age 14. I owe so much to my mother who taught me so much about investing. She had me keep her charting up for her. She had me watching the ticker on TV when it became available to the masses. I learned company ticker symbols using California 3 letter license plates in a game we would play whenever we drove anywhere. I learned her investment philosophy which was based on long term charting of stocks that had remained dormant for years hoping they were on the verge of breaking out to the upside. She was very successful using this methodology.
My mom had me sitting with her watching the old Wall Street Week, Agronsky & Co., Washington Week, Nightly Business Report, etc. I started out understanding next to nothing in the beginning but gradually began to understand everything. She emphasized importance of understanding the interrelationship of the economy and government because government could make or break your investments.
Our investment philosophies ended up being so different but I rely on that solid core I learned in those early years for so many things even to this day.
My focus is constructing a portfolio of solid total return investments. Too many investors focus on high income at any price or high risky income because they did not accumulate enough assets to lower their risk profile and desperately need or want a desired level of income and are taking way too much risk to get it. We all need income to live in a retirement time frame much longer than anyone could have expected when we were all young. We also need a greater measure of capital growth because life's highest expenses may be in our future and our assets must keep up with the higher cost of living in the future.
I was smashed to pieces like so many in late 2008. Had to lick my wounds and figure out how to move forward. I read an article by Prof. Timothy Considine (then at Univ of PA) in late 2008/early 2009 about the future of energy and I completely bought into it choosing the MLP space as the primary focus believing in an eventual recovery of MLPs but more importantly the story that 25 years of incredible infrastructure growth lay ahead and the MLPs were best suited to perform that service so the E&Ps maintain their capital for exploration and production.
Still licking my wounds I focused on the MLP sector in general believing in a general recovery meaning all boats would rise which they did. BUT, there comes a moment and I learned this from my mother, there comes a moment where the general part of a recovery must give way to an intense focus on the very best companies within the industry you believe in. So I moved from a general focus to specific best of breed MLPs. I chose based on an understanding of each MLP's asset map and future potential to build out. I focused on organic growth over acquisition growth because Wall Street has destroyed so many companies over the years playing the acquisition game. Prof. Considine's thesis of a long term infrastructure build out meant you had to choose companies with the financial firepower (balance sheet) and asset map that allowed for much more organic growth than competing MLPs whose history was more reliant on higher cost acquisition growth.
In this zero interest rate environment many sub-par MLPs could prosper but the trick was to find the best of breed that could prosper in a normalized interest rate world which is the next chapter in our economy. I also focused on MLPs that were starting to jettison their GPs. MMP was the first and they paid 11x ebitda to buy out their GP. BPL and NRY were among the last to buy out their GPs and paid 23-26x ebitda which was crazy and an indication of how late they were to the game. MMP has prospered big time while the latter two MLPs have faltered in large part because they paid too much and waited too long to buy out their GPs. I bought MMP when they made the announcement. Wall Street analysts were skeptical about MMP's move and thought 11x ebitda was too much to pay. These same analysts thought paying 10x ebitda for a pipeline acquisition was reasonable but understand they get a lot more fees from the latter than the former. I knew I was on to something very good and have a large portion of my assets in the MLPs that bought out their GPs.
So to boil it down I have MLPs as core and absent tax law changes will be a major factor in my retirement plan. I also own a few best of breed BDCs and some common stock with good dividend payout histories and histories of good growth in dividends.
I used the 2008/9 crash to convert my IRA to a ROTH. My first transfer out of my traditional IRA was AAPL at $167; sold in my ROTH for $596. My mom always said use tragedy and adversity to your advantage an converting to a ROTH was my greatest leap of faith.
When I was younger I did very well in growth stocks without dividends but I have reached an age where I do not want to work as hard as I have worked so I do not have that same salary backup behind me that allows for taking that level of risk. However my risk portion of the portfolio is more measured with stocks like AIG, LCC, and WMB.
I am an HNWI. Not meant to brag, simply to state that I have accomplished my dream and enjoy responding to SA writings to give some wisdom from lessons learned, ideas for what to look for in (specifically) MLP investments, and in the case of Mreits hopefully get a few people to understand they must start learning about interest rate cycles in order to successfully play the cycle. I dumped all Mreits in NOV 2012 because I could see the winds of change that very much paralleled the GNMA and GNMA fund breakdowns in the 1980s. When the time comes I will begin looking at bonds and preferred again because the cycle will eventually reach that point where it will make sense to own bonds and preferred but not yet.
I'm the lead investment research analyst for income and dividend investing at Investors Alley, an independent investment research service. My primary role is editor of several investment advisories bringing deep dive research and actionable income and dividend investment recommendations to investors. These advisories include The Dividend Hunter, 30 Day Dividends, and Tax-Smart Income Hunter.
Prior to joining Investors Alley, I was a stock broker, a Certified Financial Planner, and an F-16 fighter pilot and flight instructor with the United States Air Force. In addition to my primary duty of flying the F-16 to defend our nation's skies I was an instructor in the F-16 Flying Falcon as well as the OV-10 Bronco. During my time in the service I was stationed at various military locations in including Osan AB, Korea, Patrick AFB, Florida, and Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. I graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in mathematics.
It was during those years when I was a Certified Financial Planner and helping families and individuals plan their finances and make wise investment decisions that found my second passion in life: investment research. (Flying was and still is my first.)
My area of specialty is evaluating income generating investments to find the combination of sustainable and growing dividends, special dividend opportunities, and share price appreciation driven by management's commitment to dividend growth. I have a particular emphasis on master limited partnerships, business development corporations, and real estate investment trusts.
I've previously written for USA Today, The Motley Fool, eHow, SFGate, Chron.com, Wikinvest.com, Moneynews.com, iStockAnalyst, among others, and have contributed vast firsthand research to a major provider of data on master limited partnerships, another area of extreme interest to me. Along with my duties with Investors Alley I'm a regular contributor to Seeking Alpha.
In addition to the articles posted here on Seeking Alpha you can find my investment analysis on the Investors Alley website and the weekly newsletter, The Market Cap.