I've been investing for nearly 30 years. I've lost a lot of money. I've made a lot of money. The school of hard knocks is rough sometimes, but you never forget the lessons. These days, I trade mostly volatility and momentum strategies.
Vance Harwood is a private investor and consultant whose interests include macroeconomic forecasting, investor psychology, and volatility as an asset class. His investment activities include trading index ETFs, volatility related ETPs and their associated options. He blogs at sixfigureinvesting.com—mostly about volatility, but occasionally about options strategies, bond funds, and general market topics. He tracks the USA based volatility ETPs and has simulated the performance of most of them back to the initiation of VIX Futures in 2004.
A couple things Vance believes:
The past does not predict the future (see Nassim Taleb’s “Fooled by Randomness”). This invalidates much technical analysis–although I think the psychology of stock movements is very important
Past behavior of assets relative to each other (e.g., bonds vs stocks) does not guarantee future behavior
Markets fall a lot faster than they go up, typically at least 2X
“Buy and hold” ensures that you will experience the worst days as well as the best days of the market
Investing in individual stocks carries many more unknowns than aggregates like index ETFs (e.g., earnings surprises, analyst’s ratings)
Gary Antonacci has over 40 years experience as an investment professional focusing on underexploited investment opportunities. His innovative research on momentum investing was the first place winner in 2012 and the second place winner in 2011 of the prestigious Wagner Award for Advances in Active Investment Management given annually by the National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM).
His research introduced the investment world to dual momentum, which combines relative strength price momentum with trend following absolute momentum. Antonacci is author of the award-winning book, Dual Momentum Investing: An Innovative Approach to Higher Returns with Lower Risk, and is is recognized as a foremost authority on the practical applications of momentum investing.
Antonacci received his MBA degree from the Harvard Business School in 1978. Since then, he has concentrated on researching, developing, and applying innovative investment strategies that have their basis in academic research. He serves as a consultant and public speaker on asset allocation, portfolio construction, and advanced momentum strategies.More about Antonacci and dual momentum can be found on http://optimalmomentum.com.
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Martin Vlcek is a full-time investor and analyst who has been actively investing and managing money for more than 15 years. Martin has an Economics degree. Martin’s investment philosophy is to hold a truly diversified portfolio of investments across asset classes with low or negative correlation and a positive carry if possible. His primary stock investment focus is on undervalued small-cap stocks with favorable risk-to-reward ratio and upcoming catalysts.
Martin became a full-time investor and money manager after a 15-year career in online marketing where he was one of the pioneers of the pay-per-click search. Martin later held managerial positions at several Fortune 500 companies and also managed his own startup company.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Martin is not a Registered Investment Advisor, Broker/Dealer, Securities Broker or Financial Planner. The Information in his articles, his comment and his premium subscription service on SeekingAlpha.com or elsewhere is provided for information purposes only. The Information is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice or any other advice, is general in nature and not specific to any individual. Before using Martin's information to make an investment decision, you should seek the advice of a qualified and registered securities professional and undertake your own due diligence. None of the information provided by Martin is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any security, company, or fund. Martin is not responsible for any investment decision made by you. You are responsible for your own investment research and investment decisions.
Stephen Aniston is President of Volatility Advisors, a financial research firm that focuses on stock market volatility. The company operates VIXCONTANGO.COM, the best source for volatility data, analytics, trade alerts and research. Prior to his current endeavor, Mr. Aniston was a financial technology software manager, architect and developer with over 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He was Technical Architect for the Merchant Bank at Goldman Sachs and Technology Vice President for the Investment Bank at the Royal Bank of Scotland. He also had stints at hedge fund investment firms (commonly called fund-of-funds) K2 Advisors and Ivy Asset Management. He graduated from Stanford University with an engineering degree in the late 90s
I am a graduate student in biostatistics at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and an individual investor. While my investments are mostly in low-cost index funds, I enjoy analyzing stock market trends and trying to find ways to beat the market.
Right now I'm convinced that the best way to beat the market is to pair a leveraged S&P 500 ETF (e.g. UPRO) with a total bond fund (e.g. BND). With one-third allocated to UPRO and two-thirds to BND, you get a portfolio with beta approximately 1 (depending on the current correlation between stocks and bonds) and alpha two-thirds that of BND's alpha. The result is a portfolio that sort of mimics SPY, but with an extra couple percentage points added on each year.
I favor computational investment methods over traditional fundamental or technical analysis, which require subjective analysis of earnings reports and visual assessments of price charts, respectively. I am interested in identifying aspects of stock charts that are statistically predictive of future gains, and developing algorithms that trigger buys or sells accordingly.
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.
Paul Allen is editor of WallStreetCourier.com
WallStreetCourier.com is an independent research- and investment advisor for selected stock market information. The main vision of WSC is to provide high quality market research for individuals, hedge funds, and institutional investors with different trading horizons.
Everyone deserves to invest their money in the safest, most flexible way possible, without paying huge fees or sacrificing meaningful returns. Hedgewise strives to become the first wealth manager to take the best ideas from hedge funds and institutions and make them available to anyone, while keeping fees low and capital requirements to a minimum. There have been tremendous innovations in finance over the past decade which have only benefited a select few, and we believe it is time for that to change.
I am an early career scientific researcher who has taken a strong interest in investing, both for achieving my personal financial goals as well as serving as an alternative conduit where critical and logical thinking are appreciated and rewarded. I write articles to share ideas, refine my own thinking and invite discussion from the astute readership of Seeking Alpha.
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Within the academic field, I have a career total of 87 articles and 5 book chapters, 2,600 total citations and an h-index of 31 (metrics from Google Scholar).
I am currently a retired Aerospace Engineer. I am married with three children and eight grandchildren. I was born in San Francisco, CA in 1949 and moved to Newport News, VA in 1951 where I lived until I went to college. By God's grace, I received a B.S. degree from Virginia Tech (1972), a M.S. degree from Caltech (1973), and a M.A. - Biblical Studies degree from Birmingham Theological Seminary (2013). I worked at Pratt & Whitney (1973-1986) and CFD Research Corporation (1987-2008).
Now in retirement and trying to preserve my life savings, I currently have a strong interest in tactical asset allocation strategies, and have studied them extensively. I have developed a number of tactical strategies involving the periodic trading of ETFs and, more recently, mutual funds. These strategies have been backtested mainly using Portfolio Visualizer and ETFreplay software. The goal is to earn 10-15% annually with no negative years, and to have maximum drawdowns of less than 10%, preferably less than 5%. The strategies include purchasing a limited number of funds with the highest growth and lowest volatility, and minimizing risk using moving average, dual momentum, and risk parity methods. I have developed strategies for equity as well as bond assets.
Institutional investment manager authoring on a variety of topics that pique my interest, and could further discourse in this online community. I hold an MBA from the University of Chicago, and have earned the CFA designation.
My articles may contain statements and projections that are forward-looking in nature, and therefore inherently subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and assumptions. While my articles focus on generating long-term risk-adjusted returns, investment decisions necessarily involve the risk of loss of principal. Individual investor circumstances vary significantly, and information gleaned from my articles should be applied to your own unique investment situation, objectives, risk tolerance, and investment horizon.
I'm an independent stock trader specializing in volatility products. I am the founder of Trading Volatility which provides financial data services focusing on volatility derivatives and capital structure arbitrage.
My educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. from the University of Oregon.
Portfolio Manager, Puplava Financial Services, Inc. - Registered Investment Advisor
Registered Representative, Puplava Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC
Chris graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He joined PFS Group in 2005 and is currently pursuing the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst. His professional designations include FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Exam. He is the lead portfolio manager of PFS Group's Dividend Growth Managed Account, Strategic Real Return Managed Account, and the Precious Metals Managed Account. Chris also contributes articles and Market Observations to Financial Sense.
Chris utilizes a top-down approach with an emphasis on macro economics while also taking key inputs from the market to formulate an investment narrative and structure portfolios. Chris utilizes a strict disciplined risk management system to protect client capital for all market conditions.
I am a patent litigator with a background in physics and electronics. I enjoy studying quantitative, rules-based investment methods through rigorous backtesting and numerical analysis. I believe that patterns exist in the market that benefit trading -- the challenge is finding them!
Author of Quantitative Investing. Designer of the Global Household Index and the systemic risk score MTS10 (click here to learn more). PhD in computer science, Software Engineer, Civil Engineer, 20+ years working in various sectors and countries. Investor focused on market-neutral and low risk portfolios, looking for profitable combinations of value and quality factors. Also interested in short volatility trading and excess returns in closed-end-funds.
I trade volatility ETPs (SVXY, XIV, UVXY), S&P 500 through SPY, UPRO, SPXU, and invest long term in Dividend Growth stocks with high dividend CAGR values. Individual stock picking is a waste of time to me unless the company pays out large and high growth dividends. Macro mixed with Volatility investing is how I trade long and short the market.
I have developed a VIX Draw Cycle strategy to go long and short the market. RTS v1.0
Charles is President and Portfolio Manager of Equinox Investment Management Ltd. He has more than 15 years experience in financial services and investment management. He holds the CFA and CAIA designations, as well as an MBA and an LLM in securities law.
Equinox is a portfolio management company registered with the Ontario Securities Commission that manages systematic investment strategies for private clients and institutions.
Please feel free to visit Equinox Investment Management at: www.equinoxim.com
Not many professional traders have had successful background in both futures trading AND options market making. Directional and volatility trading are worlds still far apart. Yet, understanding of both worlds can greatly help you become a more successful trader.
Effective communication and teaching is deconstructing what is complex, such as buying an options strangle swap, to universal forms and functions and reconstructing it in a language to which the person can easily relate.
I am passionate about sharing insights and bringing out "Aha!" responses.
I was trained in finance, but work in strategy. I invest very infrequently, and balance my portfolio once a year. I buy and hold hold indices and volatility ETFs. I trade a little bit on the side, but that's pure gambling, for fun.
Frank Grossmann (founder and partner of logical-invest.com)
I am Swiss and living in Zurich. I studied Microtechnics at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and Business Administration at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. After the studies in 1989 I founded Labocontrol AG. This company was sold to the US company Digital Now Inc. where I continued to work as a chief scientist.
Since 13 years I have my own software company Colour-Science.com which develops algorithms for digital image processing. These algorithms do things like image enhancement, red eye removal or pattern (face) detection. My passion however was always to search for pattern in financial data and then develop and back test rule based investment strategies.
I am an individual investor currently swing trading volatility ETNs (XIV and VXX). I am developing strategies for timing trades and backtesting using excel.
Contango is my friend.
My handle on twitter is @ContangoMojo
After following the markets for years, I started actively managing my portfolio in 2010. Plenty of misteps and a few victories have brought me to the point of wanting to share my experiences and gather feedback from this community.
I'm still learning the more advanced strategies for options and currently investigating futures trading, I want to bring my perspective to the investing world and hopefully generate some alpha along the way.
I tend to focus on a few names at a time to determine their trading patterns before intitating anything. I've learned that patience is a virtue and to not rush into trades. There are always more opportunities though I still struggle with "the trade that got away" syndrome on my darker days.
I hope anyone reading my articles is able to get some valuable information out my opinions and experience, and maybe a chuckle once in a while.
Efficient Alpha provides written content & investment research solutions for small and medium-sized advisor firms. Our core products include: financial newsletters, blogging, presentation preparation, investment research and ghost writing. Our normal clientele are small to medium-sized firms with research, analysis, or marketing needs but whom may have insufficient staff or topic expertise.
Joseph Hogue, founder and analyst, has more than ten years in the investment industry and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. His experience covers a wide range of investment related areas but he specializes in web & social media content for financial advisors and other professionals. His work has been published by the International Economic Development Council, Alternative Latin Investor, Emerging Money, Morningstar, and the financial website Seeking Alpha. Mr. Hogue is also the administrator for the FinQuiz Blog, an online source for CFA exam preparation advice and preparation.
Working from Medellin, Colombia, he has worked for clients ranging from individual investors to large multinational firms. Prior to his work as a financial writer, Mr. Hogue worked as an economist for the State of Iowa, as a consultant on trade issues and analyzed real estate development deals in Colombia.
A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Hogue is a graduate of Iowa State University with a B.S. in Finance, a B.A. in Communications, and a Master’s in Business Administration. He is the former Communications Chair on the board of directors for the CFA Society of Iowa.
Areas of Interest:
· Financial Blogging and Social Media Content
· Equity Research and Analysis
· Strategic Asset Allocation & Portfolio Planning