Invest. Manage risk. Communicate. Educate yourself. Make profits. .
My name is Todd Johnson. I’m a family man, sports fiend, health nut, technology buff, long-time stock investor, and a very lucky mountain climber, all of which has shaped my philosophy as a professional investor for the last 30 years. As my interests might suggest, I am always looking for the upside while striving to minimize risks.
My new passion, which I have realized through DividendLab.com project, is helping other investors learn more about investing; investing in stocks and other assets that are subject to wide price swings can actually enhance their returns when the right investment strategy is applied. To that end, I read company 10k and 10q statements so they can skip them. I compile and analyze the market research that isn’t always at their fingertips. And I don’t make any investment recommendation without committing my own funds first, which is the purest form of accountability.
Brad Lamensdorf, a seasoned money manager and market strategist, is the editor of The Lamensdorf Market Timing Report, a newsletter designed to help investors improve performance via market timing by assessing the environment of the stock market using a variety of technical, fundamental and sentiment-oriented tools from powerful independent research firms. Many investors mechanically enter and depart the market without a true “game plan.” Studies have shown that retail investors, in particular, are very poor market timers, tending to invest at or near market peaks and sell at or near market lows. The newsletter is designed to provide risk parameters for both professional and retail investors around the short-term stock market environment, giving subscribers better insight about when to allocate assets into or out of the equity markets.
Lamensdorf, a frequent guest commentator and analyst on major business networks including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business News, also serves as a Portfolio Manager and Principal of Ranger Alternative Management LP, a sub-advisor to the Advisor Shares Ranger Equity Bear Exchange Traded Fund (NYSE: HDGE). In this role, he conducts top-down technical evaluations of broader market liquidity, sentiment and breadth to help identify short and intermediate-term market trends, manage exposure and mitigate risk. HDGE was launched in 2011 and is the first and sole actively managed, short-only ETF in existence.
Lamensdorf, also has managed investment portfolios for the Hughes family and acted as principal of Tarpon Partners, managing a long/short fund that was up more than 150% gross over six years. Earlier in his career, he was as an equity trader/market strategist for Taylor and Company, the Bass brothers’ trading arm, co-managing a short-only strategy in a derivative format with notional exposure. He also served as the in-house market timing strategist for the entire internal and external network of Bass managers.
I’m Masters In Commerce. I’m related with an audit firm, which is doing a business of making business plans, forecasts and financial statements. So, I have a strong hold on the financial sides of businesses. In addition, I’m also attached with Asset Management Company over the past two years. I love to play with defensive nature of stocks that are offering high growth at low risk. I have been following commodities and their nature of businesses along with industrial, auto and other industries.
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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.
I seek to liberate investors from the chains of borrowed opinions by teaching metric awareness that leads to the formation of your own opinions. I am a retail investor that gathers, processes and analyzes significantly more data than average. I share that data in my articles. I let the data do the talking. I am only taking dictation as the data tells its message.
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.
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.
Thomas has co-authored a book (The Intelligent REIT Investor) that is available on Amazon.
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.