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.
A grizzled veteran after 30 years of personal investing, I have strong personal interests and aptitude in economics, business analysis, technology and personal finance. I have experienced the lows of the 70s and 80s, and the highs of the 90s. After surviving the Great Recession, I have experienced almost every kind of market known to man, and have a plan on how to deal with the markets ups and downs. I believe "less is more" when it comes to government.
I am a retired professor, a retired investment adviser, and currently a private investor and full-time tennis pro. I bought my first stock in a custodial account in 1958. I am a student of history, particularly military and economic/market history. The intellectual passions of my retirement years are markets, mathematics, and quantum theory. I like to travel. I served in Vietnam.
Robert P. Balan has more than 4 decades of experience in the financial markets. Education in mining engineering, computer science, finance, and training in economics led to a commodity analysis career during the commodity boom of the early 1970s. Robert made a switch to global macro focus in the early 1980 when the commodity bull market waned, with specialization in foreign exchange. Robert wrote a very high profile daily FX analysis while Geneva-based in the mid-1980s (the first FX commentary with a real global readership, "most accessed" in the Reuters and Telerate networks from 1988 to 1994). He worked for Swiss Bank Corp and Union Bank of Switzerland (precursors of today’s new UBS) as head of technical research and as proprietary trader in various major finance centers (London, New York, and subsequently head of proprietary trading in Toronto, respectively) from late 1980s to mid-1990s. A stint at Bank of America as head of global technical research (in London and New York) followed in late 1990s to early 2000s. Robert did technical analysis for Saxo Bank (Denmark) in the mid-200s based in New York. He returned to Switzerland in 2004 as head of technical research and strategy, and FX and commodity market analyst for Swiss Life Asset Management in Zurich. He joined Diapason Commodities Management in 2008 as senior market strategist, and subsequently as Chief Market Strategist, utilizing fundamental macroeconomic drivers, and structural/technical data in modeling asset price and sector movements. Robert wrote a book on the Elliott Wave Principle in 1988, which was hailed by the London Society of Technical Analysts as “the best book ever written on the subject”. Robert is a member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), USA.
Gary A. Gordon, MS, CFP® is the president of Pacific Park Financial, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC. He has more than 25 years of experience as a personal coach in “money matters,” including risk assessment, small business development and portfolio management.
Gary is often asked to consult as an educator. He has taught financial concepts in Mexico, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States.
As a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), Gary has distinguished himself as a reputable and trusted investor advocate. He writes commentary for ETF Expert, Seeking Alpha and The Street. Gary’s participation on local and national radio has spanned more than a decade, and he currently hosts the ETF Expert Show.
Gary is a “good sport” when his wife, Denise, beats him at Scrabble. Most of all, Gary takes special pride in a not-so-little energizer… his 19-year old daughter, Wei Elizabeth Gordon.
Over 30 years of investing in individual stocks. Extensive business experience with small to mid-size companies, including as CEO. Many hundreds of blog posts on financial and economic matters since 2008. Focus on value with catalysts for upside price action. Background as a physician and pharmaceutical inventor and entrepreneur, however focus now is global and involves almost all economic categories.
Acting Man has been named after the title of the first chapter of Ludwig von Mises' book "Human Action" - the best treatise on economics ever written. The blog's main author is Pater Tenebrarum, an independent analyst who has been involved with financial markets for 34 years and is writing economic and market analyses for independent research organizations and a European hedge fund consultancy. Acting Man presents articles on the markets and the economy, a mixture of commentary on current events as well as economic theory and history, mainly from an Austrian School of Economics viewpoint. As more authors have joined the site, we have begun to broaden our palette a bit, but our orientation remains the same: pro-free market, anti-state, pro peace.
Ian Bezek worked for 3 years as an analyst at a New York-based hedge fund. He's currently living in Mexico, pursuing some entrepreneurial opportunities.
Feel free to contact him regarding investments, writing, or speaking opportunities.
Retired, late 50's
Hold CFP designation. Passed CFP exam Nov 2000
Author of "IRA: A Quck Reference Guide". Available on Amazon as an e-book.
Author of "Retirement Investing for INCOME ONLY: How to invest for relaible income in Retirement ONLY from Dividends"
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Contributing columnist for Real Money and TheStreet.com. BA in History from Bemidji State in Minnesota. I went on to learn Chinese at National Taiwan University in Taipei.
I worked in mortgage sales at Countrywide and Bank of America until 2010 when I decided to relocate to Taiwan.
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.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: ... Income Replacement!
Escape velocity is the speed that an object needs to be traveling to break free of the planet's gravitational pull and leave it without further propulsion.
This portfolio is looking for the point where the income being generated can allow the holder of this portfolio to escape the gravitational pull of the market and economic forces of worrying about share prices.
The objective is to generate enough income from assets that the only selling of shares will become an option, not a necessity to survive. Therefore, with enough income being generated, it minimizes the fear of meaningful market corrections as dividends are based on the number of shares owned, not the share price.