Michael Murphy grew up in Newark, Delaware, which a sign at the city limits proclaimed: “The Educatoinal Center of the State.” After graduating from the public schools he earned an A.B. cum laude from Harvard College and began working as a COBOL mainframe programmer on an IBM 1401 in the mid-1960s. Lured to California by the Summer of Love and better music than American Bandstand in nearby Philadelphia, he became a systems analyst and programmer for American Express, assigned to help integrate their newly-acquired San Francisco investment operations with the parent company's systems in New York. As that project ended early in 1970, a fortuitous opportunity to make a career change to Security Analyst opened up, and he leaped at the chance. His first recommendation was to sell Memorex at $172 at the very bottom of the 1969-1970 bear market. During the subsequent two-year market rally, Memorex went to $2 a share, thus convincing him that it is indeed a market of stocks rather than a stock market.
He earned his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1975, the same year The Capital Group/American Funds acquired the American Express mutual fund group. He commuted to Capital in Los Angeles for over five years, getting on a first-name basis with many flight attendants. After the introduction of the IBM PC in April 1981, he left Capital to found the California Technology Stock Letter. In 1997 he also became the founding editor of Technology Investing, which acquired CTSL in 2003 and changed its name to New World Investor in 2007.
In the 1970s he invented and patented a stock value calculator, and in the 1980s he served as the CEO of two software companies. In 1997 he authored the business best-seller Every Investor's Guide to High-Tech Stocks and Mutual Funds, and he has a forthcoming book on investing in a hyperinflation. In addition to investing, his interests include a biodynamic, organic permaculture farm to raise rare-breed animals, heritage seed crops and children. For many years he held the Class I/E record for electric cars at the Bonneville Salt Flats, and in 2001 he narrowly missed the world record for electric hydroplanes. He expects to go back to Bonneville in 2019 to reclaim the electric car record with his then-16 year old daughter driving. You are all invited to watch or help out.
Chris DeMuth Jr. is the founder of Rangeley Capital LLC. Rangeley is an investment firm that focuses on event driven, value-oriented investment opportunities. Rangeley Capital and his value investing forum, Sifting the World (StW), search the world for misplaced bets. Rangeley exploits them for its investors and then Mr. DeMuth writes about them on StW.