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. 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.
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 philosophy tends toward the long-term, value side of the spectrum, but I'm not opposed to occasional flings on attractive, speculative opportunities.
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 and parcel 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. For many more-seasoned investors some of the things I write about are old-hat. 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. To that end, 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 encourage and welcome your comments. I try to respond to most insights, elaborations, and questions to the best of my ability. I especially encourage and appreciate thoughtful comments from those who disagree with me (although I tend to 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.With the need to take withdrawals I expect to shift my taxable accounts to more growth-focused (unrealized cap gains) investments. Making this shift while retaining income is my overarching priority for 2015. To that end, I expect to be generating more of my income from options as I gradually phase out my high-yield investments.
The IRAs I see as my estate and are focused on generational wealth building. That means the growth portfolios have a very long term horizon, well beyond what an investor of my age might be expected to maintain.
I am a believer in the precepts of MPT (Modern Portfolio Theory). I'm aware that MPT doesn't get a lot of respect by some of the DIY investors at Seeking Alpha. My readings in the field indicate to me that the research solidly supports the overall MPT approaches to investing. So, I am a believer in diversification. Not the sort of diversification that means I hold equity positions in every sector; the sort that means I hold positions in the full spectrum of asset classes with a watchful eye on correlations and a willingness to rebalance among asset classes, even when it goes against my gut feelings. By asset classes, I mean high level asset classes: Domestic and international equity, sovereign and corporate debt, emerging markets (equity and debt), real estate, commodities and so forth. I try to adapt that approach to both my income and growth investing.
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. It refers, too, to the left bank of the Gironde where some of my favorite wines are produced. When I'm feeling particularly flush, they're one of the splurges I'll treat myself to. So there is a major place in my heart for both common references for Left Banker.
Add that I also like it because I find several subtle word plays there; I'll leave it to you to decipher that comment.
I've chosen to remain anonymous. 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?
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.
Asif Suria is an entrepreneur and investor with a focus on event driven strategies including merger arbitrage and insider trading. He publishes a weekly post that includes the latest mergers and highlights the largest spreads. He also publishes a weekly post that highlights the top 5 insider purchases and sales of the week.
Asif is also one of the earliest contributors at Seeking Alpha and has been regularly contributing content since 2005.
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.
Michael Lee, founder of Epsilon in Chico, California, is a passionate business professional who has helped establish successful businesses and uses this experience to meet the needs of businesses, non-profits, and individuals with whom he works. The backgrounds of Lee and his consulting staff include finance, accounting, investing, business development, design, and marketing.
Also the developer of The Stock Advisor smartphone apps, a series of apps that deliver recommendations and investment education to its users, Epsilon has successfully outreached its services to clients around the world and continues to look for better ways to assist individuals and businesses achieve their financial goals.
More information can be found at www.epsilonfbd.com or by searching for "The Stock Advisor" in your smartphone's app store.
Jeff Paul has been investing since his teen years, though his professional career has been in software engineering and education. His math classes participated in online stock market challenges, providing an opportunity to share his enthusiasm for investing with his students and the chance for them to learn the fundamentals and try to identify the next big stock (they found Google). He recently completed an MBA at Portland State University with a focus on finance, and is currently a Senior Investment Analyst at a wealth management firm.
Sol Palha is the head financial analyst at Tactical Investor. He is a self-taught Student of the Markets, having widely read conventional and non-conventional texts on all aspects of technical analysis, Mass Psychology and philosophy (as he believes it can be quite useful in terms of market analysis). He has been studying the markets for over 18 years. He combines mass psychology, technical analysis and a new field of study that he has pioneered, Esoteric Cycle Analysis to determine market tops and bottoms. Mass Psychology and Technical analysis is a deadly combination, and has enabled us to accurately determine Market tops and bottoms in advance of the actual event. One should not confuse topping and bottoming action, with trying to predict the actual top or bottom------- An endeavor best left to fools with plenty of time on their hands and an inordinate capacity to deal with pain and failure.
Protecting and preserving capital over the long term is more important than growing capital. Particularly devoted to researching cheap stocks of high quality companies, GARP stocks, Magic Formula names, and stocks trading below intrinsic value. Participate long only without hedge when overall bull market is trading for a CAPE under 15 (Tobin's Q under .8X) or when blood is in the streets (not dip buyers), but strive to cut losers early when the facts change and refuse to marry long or short positions unless a "holding period of forever" makes sense. Hunches must be backed up by disciplined systems.
In fully valued markets, we prefer hedging via index options and light commodity trading/trend following. Not interested in participating in latest fad or bubble. Prefer to short the bubble, but only after evidence suggests the bubble has popped.
Prefer to hedge any long positions in frothy markets utilizing a balanced long short equity approach in fairly valued markets. In undervalued markets, we need confirmation from market conditions and valuations in order to invest 100% long (or more) using in the money call options for leverage. Covered calls, calendar spreads, and other options strategies for capturing theta decay.
Cut losers on short side by using ITM put options instead of stock, trend following strategies if trading commodities (for diversification). Fundamental analysis but also technical analysis. Mathematical, disciplined trading strategies. Strive first off to be right about the overall direction of the market (bull or bear). Hold lots of cash when people are being greedy.
Nothing we publish here is a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Please consult your financial advisor before buying or selling any security.
Wall Street Breakfast, Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, is a one-page summary that gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It's designed for easy readability on the site or by email (including on mobile devices), and is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day.
Wall Street Breakfast readership of over 900,000 includes many from the investment-banking and fund-management industries.
Sign up here to receive the Wall Street Breakfast in your inbox every business day: http://seekingalpha.com/account/email_preferences
Mark Bern (formerly K202) intends to continue writing solo and has shed other work-related relationships that required anonymity.
CPA since 1990 a CFA charter holder since 2000. He has a bachelors degree in Business Admin. with a concentration in Economics. His experience includes both private and public sector and careers in accounting, financial and market analysis, product development, transportation services and investment management.
I write about dividend growth stocks on my website www.dividendgrowthinvestor.com.
I am mostly a buyer of high quality dividend stocks, with solid competitive advantages. My holding period is forever, as long as the dividend is at least maintained. I tend to concentrate my efforts on stocks which grow earnings and dividends, which provides outstanding total returns over time. I only focus my attention to stocks with sustainable dividend payments. I am also a firm believer in diversification accross sectors and geographic locations.
I have been focusing my attention particularly to companies that regularly increase dividends to their shareholders on my website. On my blog I share my thoughts on investing in dividend paying stocks that have consistently increased their payments over time and tips on growing my dividend income. I hope that my blog will serve as an inspiration for my readers and that it would change their financial lives for the better.
Visit my website, Dividend Growth Investor (http://www.dividendgrowthinvestor.com/)
I am a former hedge fund portfolio manager that trades for my own personal account. I espouse Graham and Dodd/Buffett style investing, always on the lookout for value equities or bonds. A graduate of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, I lived in NYC for a decade before relocating with my family to the Charlotte, NC area in 2007.
Currently I am the Chief Analyst at sharpeequities.com.
For more information on my current endeavor, feel free to find me on LinkedIn.
IGRAP (Income Growth at a Reasonable Price)
Trader (Short term trader to help keep my hands off the long term investments)
Do my own analysis and therefore read little of what others write.
I've been in investment management since 1990, currently as a long-only money manager for Alsin Capital. I received my law degree from the University of Oregon in 1984, worked as an accountant for the international accounting firm KPMG, then got involved in investing. I've written over 300 columns for The Financial Times, TheStreet.com, Realmoney.com and SeekingAlpha.com.
David White is a software/firmware/marketing professional and a long time investor. He has worked in the networking field, the semiconductor equipment field, the mainframe computer field, and the pharmaceutical/scientific instrumentation field. He has bachelor's degrees in bioresource sciences and biochemistry from U.C. Berkeley. He is a former Ph.D. student in biochemistry. He has done significant graduate work in EECS and business at Stanford (through SITN) and UC Santa Cruz. He was awarded a Certificate in Advanced Software Systems (about 1/3 of an MS in EECS) by the Stanford Computer Science Department. He also took most of Stanford's undergraduate Computer Science curriculum.
I run the long-term dividend investing website: www.theconservativeincomeinvestor.com
I spend most of my time reading through annual reports looking for a small-cap stock to feature in my monthly edition of "The Conservative Investor Digest." That is where you can find my best work, and that is where I focus my research.
You can become a subscriber here: https://gumroad.com/l/HmqJx
Doug K. Le Du is a preferred stock researcher, author of the book titled Preferred Stock Investing, syndicated writer and publisher of three monthly preferred stock newsletters.
Doug has been studying the preferred stock marketplace since 2002. In 2006 he published the first edition of Preferred Stock Investing which has been updated and re-published regularly since then.
Preferred Stock Investing teaches risk-averse investors how to screen, buy and sell the highest quality preferred stocks. The book lists all qualifying preferred stocks that have been issued since January 2001.
The ten selection criteria from Preferred Stock Investing filtered out the 57 preferred stocks from the big banks that would be claimed by the Global Credit Crisis and let pass the 13 issues from the big banks that were saved by acquisition. In 70 out of 70 cases, a 100% success rate for almost two years running, the preferred stock selection criteria found in Preferred Stock Investing protected preferred stock investors.
As a researcher, Doug researches the market price behavior of the highest quality preferred stocks and writes to you about trends and opportunities. His premium subscription service (described at www.PreferredStockInvesting.com) providers subscribers with email alerts of new preferred stock issues, access to his preferred stock catalogs and HotLists, a monthly newsletter just for premium subscribers and much more.
Doug's academic background is in economics and statistics. Doug retired from his position as Managing Director at one of the world's largest management consulting firms in 2002 to focus on preferred stock research. Doug does not sell preferred stocks nor is he a stock broker or financial adviser.
David Zanoni is ranked in the top 1% of blogging analysts on Tipranks.com for performance and accuracy. He focuses on growth & momentum stocks that are reasonably priced and likely to outperform the market over the long-term. David is a graduate of Rutgers University with a B.S. in Management. He is an independent long term investor of quality stocks and uses options for strategy. David believes in the power of innovation, capitalism, and the characteristics of the American spirit: intellect, fortitude, and adaptability to lead our country and the world to growing prosperity. His wants to help make people money by investing in high-quality growth stocks.
DividendInvestr is a start-up finance website focusing on dividend stocks, fund holdings, and investing gurus. The site is edited by Serkan Unal who has been in financial markets for more than 10 years. Serkan has an engineering degree with a strong quantitative background.
Intelligent Speculator is a market discussion and research group that focuses mainly on technology stocks and macroeconomic trades. Intelligent Speculator does provide new stock picks usually on a weekly basis that are either outright or long/short trades. Intelligent Speculator provides views of the different trends in the internet marketplace and its effects on the stocks involved. Since the author has both a financial (CFA exams completed) and a technology-based (through various experiences as webmaster/strategist) experience, he has an advantage in looking through the numbers. Visit Intelligent Speculator (http://www.intelligentspeculator.net/)
Mr. Frank J. Constantino, of Beckley, W.Va., is an educated private investor with 15 years of experience. Constantino follows the financial markets closely and provides opinion through Seeking Alpha. He was recently named in the "Who's Who of Wall Street" by Wall Street Economists for his opinion pieces. Mr. Constantino is not a financial advisor and does not provide financial advice. His articles represent his opinion through the eyes of a private investor and should not be taken as financial advice. You may contact Mr. Constantino at email@example.com.
Gold Stock Trades Editor Jeb Handwerger is a highly sought-after stock analyst syndicated internationally and known throughout the financial industry for his accurate and timely analysis of the equities markets, particularly the metals and mining sector. Subscribe to his FREE Newsletter right now at: http://goldstocktrades.com.
Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the market by 44 percentage points since its inception 18 months ago. Visit our website to learn how you can do the same. Insider Monkey is a finance website that provides free hedge fund and insider trading data. We believe ordinary investors can beat the market by imitating insiders and best hedge fund managers. They have access to better information and experts than ordinary investors do. Take advantage of the SEC filings where hedge funds and insiders disclose their stock transactions.
Here is our team:
Ms. Krishnamsetty is the Editor of Insider Monkey. Prior to creating Insider Monkey with Dr. Dogan, Ms. Krishnamsetty was Associate Producer at Bloomberg Television. Prior to that, Ms. Krishnamsetty was on the afternoon news team at CNBC. Additionally, Ms. Krishnamsetty reported for NPR and worked as a risk management consultant at Marsh & McLennan. Ms. Krishnamsetty has a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Insider Monkey’s hybrid evaluation system ...More was created in 2003 by Dr. Ian Dogan. Dr. Dogan has a Ph.D. in financial economics with a specialization in insider trading. Dr. Dogan has provided consulting services to institutional investors and hedge funds, and managed a $200+ million fund using a strategy he developed utilizing insider transactions. Dr. Dogan recently authored the insider trading chapter of soon to be published “The Handbook of Investment Anomalies” by Zacks Investment Research. Insider Monkey will serve the outcome of the methodologies developed by Dr. Dogan to ordinary investors who don’t have access to academic quality research and tools to shape their investments.
For your inquiries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am an individual investor and the author of seven eBooks on dividend growth investing. I try to help self-directed individual investors profit from stock investing. I contribute articles and studies to both Seeking Alpha and Daily Trade Alert. I hold an undergraduate degree in physics from Holy Cross College and a JD from Georgetown University. My wife Sue and I live in beautiful Canandaigua, NY.
Independent. Insightful. Trusted. Morningstar provides stock market analysis; equity, mutual fund, and ETF research, ratings, and picks; portfolio tools; and option, hedge fund, IRA, 401k, and 529 plan research. Our reliable data and analysis can help both experienced enthusiasts and newcomers.
Dave Fish is Executive Editor for The Moneypaper and co-manager (since 1999) of the MP 63 Fund (Symbol: DRIPX), a fund that invests exclusively in companies that offer Direct Investment (or Dividend Reinvestment) Plans. He is also the author of the U.S. Dividend Champions spreadsheet (and PDF), which is updated at the end of each month...and lists companies that have increased their dividend payout for at least 25 consecutive years. (Separate tabs list "Contenders" that have increased their payouts for 10-24 years and "Challengers" that have increased their payouts for 5-9 years.) http://dripinvesting.org/Tools/Tools.asp
Kevin Grewal is the founder, editor and publisher of ETF Tutor as well as serves as the editor at www.SmartStops.net, where he focuses on mitigating risk and implementing exit strategies to preserve equity. Additionally, he is the editor at The ETF Institute, which is the only independent organization providing financial professionals with certification, education, and training pertaining to exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Prior to this, Grewal was an analyst at a small hedge fund where he constructed portfolios dealing with stock lending, exchange-traded funds, arbitrage mechanisms and alternative investments. He is an expert at dealing with ETFs and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California along with a MBA from the California State University, Fullerton.
The author has a background in Chemical Engineering and an MBA specializing in Finance and Biotech Management. He is primarily focused on alternative investment strategies that aren't widely covered in the mainstream press such as hedging strategies, non-market correlated instruments, high-yield investments, international/developing markets, small biotechs and arbitrage.
In addition to his contributions here at Seeking Alpha you can also visit him at his blog ETFBase (http://www.etfbase.com/), which provides free independent stock research, a real-time personal accounting of his personal trading portfolio, market commentary, and personal finance advice.
Visit: ETFBase (http://www.etfbase.com/)