My primary investment methodology involves screening for micro-cap/small companies with both a solid balance sheet and an attractive valuation, then researching for internal or external catalysts that will likely have a positive influence on future earnings or facilitate a successful 'turn-around'. Internal catalysts would include replacement of a CEO (often a founder), an innovative new product, or a complementary acquisition. An external catalyst would take the form of an underappreciated yet robust positive change or trend in the company's business environment. Look especially for a confluence of positive factors. A degree of inferential reasoning is required, I believe, for judging the potential value of a given catalyst in the context of each individual company's circumstance. My conservative risk/reward criteria for stock selection--seeking the combination of substantial upside potential with minimum downside risk--can well be described by the phrase 'heads I win, tails I don't stand to lose much.' Satisfied to hold cash until I find the uncommon opportunity of strong earnings growth potential in combination with low stock valuation. Must be a compelling enough opportunity to justify accumulating a meaningful position. Invest with an expected minimum hold period of two years and a projected hold of 3-5+ years. Target capital gains potential of 20-25% compounded annually in exchange for the risk of investing in small companies. Current micro-cap holdings: TAYD, DRAD, SPAR, KTEC, HSON.
Secondarily, I'm just beginning to build a bond-equivalent portfolio of large-cap dividend stocks. Quite a challenging process, in my view, given that the growing popularity of DGI--in a predictable consequence of ZIRP--has driven up valuations excessively for the most sought-after names. Future 'flash crash' days or periods of market capitulation will likely provide the best opportunities.
Started investing as a teenager and never looked back.
All my investing knowledge is self-taught by reading books, company filings, blogs, financial websites, forums, magazines and newspapers. Additionally some moocs were helpful, too. I especially like the class about valuation by Mr Damodaran despite having quibbles with the capm (risk=past volatility).
My academic background is in industrial engineering with a German university diploma.
After graduating cum laude with a BA in economics from Harvard, I worked in hedge funds and investment banking for ~6 years before leaving to manage my own money full time. I am a CFA charterholder and focus mostly on microcaps / event-oriented trades as that is where I think the market tends to be least efficient. I also started a website to track interesting arbitrage opportunities for individual investors (link below) - check it out!