My name is Mike McNeil and I’m the author of The Dividend Guy Blog along with the owner and portfolio manager over at Dividend Stocks Rock. I earned my bachelor degree in finance-marketing, own a CFP title along with an MBA in financial services. Besides being a passionate investor, I’m also happily married with three beautiful children.
I started my online venture to educate people about investing and to be able to spend more time with my family.
I used to struggle with the same issues millions of small investors deal with on a daily basis. Which stocks to buy? When to sell them? How to find the time to manage my portfolio? How to diversify? I wasn’t into dividend investing until I looked in depth at my portfolio returns and realized I was having difficulty keeping up with the market.
The root of the problem was a very poorly built portfolio that lacked structure and the components required to build a sturdy base. I made good money from the stock market but I was taking unnecessary risk to achieve my investing goals.
From that point on, I was determined to create a portfolio strategy that would allow me to benefit from dividend growth stocks as a solid foundation. Since then, I manage my portfolio with a stress free method that enables me to cash out dividend payments even when the market goes sour.
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.
I am working as a Business Analyst in Germany and have started to build up a portfolio focused on Dividend Growth, both on the high and low-end yield spectrum. Primary focus is on Blue Chips with long-reaching dividend track records. I have been investing for 2 years and have been standing on the sidelines for way too long before.
Tom Dorsey has a BS in Business Administration and a stock analyst for over 20 years.
Improved website! Our recommendations average over 10% each quarter and help accelerate the growth of your portfolio. The overall market is moving sideways, but the results of our selected recommendations have helped investors increase their portfolios every quarter.
We track the overall market, economic conditions, the banking industry and REITs, the oil industry and MLPs As we move forward we describe the effects on your portfolio and how to grow.
The majority of our research has focused on higher paying dividend stocks in REITs and MLPs. Our return is 10% or higher return per quarter that includes the dividends and stock price appreciation. We use concepts called 'analytical sorting" and "90-Day Investment Cycle" that focuses on the effects on the markets and the personal investment strategies. I invest in what I believe in. We ask each person to make their own decisions before investing. Enjoy my articles and visit my website to provide me feedback. The comments are always welcome. Please comment on the articles, and respect each person’s opinion.
I founded and manage Servo Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm that helps people achieve financial independence, a secure retirement, and positions them to leave a meaningful financial legacy.
Sharon di Stefano has spent 20 years as an analyst, beginning her career at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. specializing in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, healthcare information technology, and biopharmacology. Ms. di Stefano had also served as Senior Venture Officer for the Edison Innovation Fund, implemented through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority that provided funding for early-stage life sciences companies. Industry experience includes laboratory research for Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Department of Defense.
Ms. di Stefano received a Masters of Science degree, in Business, from Johns Hopkins University in 1986, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware in 1984 with a minor in biology.
Christopher G.DeMaria is a member of the Global Community. Having lived abroad for more than 18 years, he studied in South America, Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States. Chris is the owner of DeMaria Financial Services and an Investment Advisor Representative with Kovack Investment Advisors, Inc. He began his career in financial planning and portfolio management in March of 1998 after earning a degree from Ohio University where he majored in Economics and minored in Business Administration.
Chris focuses on achieving "positive" results regardless of how the market indices perform. Unlike some managers, Chris manages the risk of each individual portfolio rather than remaining invested at all times. Chris strives to identify low risk entry points and conversely, uses a calculated exit strategy when market risk is high or positions are lagging or down. Chris does not try to beat an index every quarter. Instead, he is focused on the potential for low risk profits. If you manage risk well and avoid large corrections, you will naturally create much better results.
There is no new thing under the sun Ecc 1:9
The headlines in the news change daily and market leaders change regularly but, the one thing that remains consistent over time is how humans react to stock market volatility (aka fear and greed). During highly volatile markets and market inflection points, human emotion is a consistent and measurable phenomenon that generally isn’t accounted for in any research report or stock analysis. This observation precipitated the creation of the proprietary market risk meter for quantifying said human emotion and consequent reactions to short term market activity. Regardless of education, wealth, knowledge, or any other factor that may make a person seem wise, people react the same way when fear or greed sets in. No matter how many times a fire drill is rehearsed, when an emergency presents itself, the exit is often not pleasant.
This methodology is by no means perfect however, it is a best effort attempt to quantify the belief that many things will return to some sort of mean over time and that people consistently exhibit the same undulating responses to fear and greed. Consequently, it is possible to view the ebbs and flows of the markets as ocean tides. When the tide comes in, risk is higher and conversely, when the tide flows out, risk is lower. Although it is not possible to consistently predict exactly when a correction or bounce will occur, it is possible to determine when a change in trend is occurring. Furthermore, a sophisticated investor can often determine when there is more or less inherent risk in the market. It is also possible to examine whether the tide has come in further than normal, presenting greater risk or gone out further than normal, providing a rare lower-risk entry point.
When risk is elevated, active investors should begin trimming losers, laggards, and potentially take partial gains from winners in portfolios. Investors may also consider reviewing the types of positions worth holding when things get ugly. Long-term asset allocation investors can look at re-balancing portfolios by shifting equity gains to other less market correlated asset classes like bonds or cash alternatives. Some investors may also consider hedging strategies like selling calls, purchasing puts, or stop limit orders to try to mitigate risk.
Conversely, when risk is lower, a plan of action should already be in place with a buy list of favored mutual funds, equities, and ETF's having been identified. Secondly, it is essential to identify a high volume, high volatility, downside trading day that is coupled with a strong reversal and 1-2 days' follow through. When all of these conditions are met, this methodology recommends purchasing equities.
Methodology for determining favored sectors
Christopher G. DeMaria has over 18 years of experience managing money for individuals, corporations, and foundations. While adapting from successes and failures throughout some of the most challenging markets since the Great Depression (1998 to 2016), his methodology has been continuously tested over that time in order to improve its reliability and effectiveness.
Part of his investment methodology includes a quantitative approach to identifying changes in trends at early stages and continually monitoring their relative performance against one-another. This process uses simple mathematical ratios (IE: SPY /EFA or SPY/XLB) to determine when one asset class is performing better than another. When properly calibrated, these ratios provide a precise moment when the trend in one asset changes compared to another.
This process is most effective when portfolio holdings are methodically adjusted based on different levels of market risk and relative asset class performance. As stated above, when risk is higher, portfolio holdings should be reallocated out of lagging or losing asset classes and moved into leading, lower risk, or non-market correlated assets. This process inherently frees up cash for future “lower risk entry points” when assets can be allocated
back into equities and other favored assets. Essentially this is a systematic approach designed to attempt to purchase leading asset classes when market risk is lower and sell lagging and losing positions when market risk is higher. In the end, the goal is to buy low and sell high.
There are three key factors to successfully implementing this portfolio management process. The first is having sufficient knowledge and understanding of the financial markets which takes time to acquire. The second is having adequate time and dedication to develop skill. The third is having the proper discipline to continually monitor the process. Many individuals have some or even all of these characteristics but, simply lack the time, interest, or expertise to dedicate themselves to managing their own portfolios properly. With the exception of those whom are confident in their knowledge, skill, and discipline to manage this process, it is strongly advised to seek professional assistance.
This Risk Managed Global Sector Rotation strategy has been well documented on Seeking Alpha during the most recent correction. Furthermore, a full cycle from high risk to low risk and subsequent recovery was well documented on Seeking Alpha in 2014.
The Lows Still Appear To Be In...What's Next?
Wed, Feb. 24th, 2016 (confirming successful retest of lows and providing actionable ideas)
Weekly Leading Sectors Report
Wed, Feb. 10th, 2016 (confirminglows and providing actionable ideas)
In Hoc Signo Vinces... What Market Signs Are You Watching?
Fri, Feb. 5th, 2016 (confirming lows and providing a macroeconomic overview)
The Lows Appear To Be In... What's Next?
Tue, Jan. 26 (confirming lows and providing actionable ideas)
How Can You Identify Market Turning Points?... Reloaded
Thu, Jan. 21 (identifying lows, Dow Theory discussion and providing actionable ideas)
2014 Full Cycle
This Looks Like The Lower-Risk Buying Opportunity We've Been Waiting For
Oct. 24th, 2014 (identifying lows and providing actionable ideas)
Preparing For A Lower-Risk Entry Point In A Secular Bull Market
Oct. 13th, 2014(preparing for the lows and providing actionable ideas)
The Quiet Before The Little Storm
Jul. 8th, 2014 (warning about higher risk and preparing for volatility and short term correction)
How Can You Adjust Your Investment Strategy To Enhance Returns?
May 28th, 2014 (explanation of a possible long term secular bull market and actionable ideas)
On October 31st, 2014, I retired. Turned in the keys to the company car, gave them my computer and my account lists and joined the ranks of those who "slipped off into the sunset." I never thought in retirement that I would be this busy. It's fun. Time with the grandkids, time to perfect my cooking skills, and time to travel and check off the things on my bucket list. I should have done this a long time ago.
If you are interested in any of my digital utility solutions to add to your investing tool box to improve your investment outcomes, please visit my site
You'll find elegant applications that make it simple for you to track your portfolio in real time, make a watch list to follow in real time, track your dividend income and growth, and other applications. These applications will allow you to set alerts at prices you choose in order to obtain the yield and income that you want. They function as real time trade assistants and will improve your investment performance. You can even mirror the successful FTG Portfolio with "My FTG Mirror Calculator", and subscribers can mirror the premium subscriber portfolio with "MY RODAT Mirror Calculator" if they wish to emulate the out performance we've achieved in capital and income growth.
I am a retired clinical psychologist, and administrator and owner of a rehabilitation clinic we founded 40 years ago. For over 55 years I have managed several portfolios composed of investments accumulated over our professional careers. Since the financial crisis of 2008, I have employed specialized, customized dividend growth strategies aimed at enhancing and growing a dividend income stream.
Since December 24, 2014, I have demonstrated on Seeking Alpha the ongoing construction and portfolio management of the Fill-The-Gap Portfolio aimed at highlighting strategies investors may utilize to close the gap between an average Social Security benefit and the much greater costs faced in retirement.
This portfolio has outperformed all of the broad market indexes by a very wide margin, growing dividend income and total portfolio value consistently while the broader indexes struggle in negative territory all year.
Aside from free articles available to the general public, additional early-access, value-added ideas and deep-dive articles are offered to paid subscribers on my premium SA platform, "Retirement: One Dividend At A Time"
Let me show you how to build and grow your portfolio and dividend income, step by step, towards a comfortable and secure retirement.
I am an analyst and 2017 Level III Candidate in the CFA Program that has gained experience in the investment industry through positions as a proprietary trader and a portfolio management administrator. I began contributing to Seeking Alpha as a way to share my thoughts on the biopharmaceutical industry. I discussed ways to minimize risk in biopharmaceutical investing through conservative pipeline valuation and balance sheet analysis to identify companies presenting a compelling valuation to potential investors. I also touched on ways to apply knowledge of the markets to improve personal finance. My pieces included either stock-specific analysis or general biopharmaceutical investing discussion through my Biotech Weekly blog. My research appeared on the websites of CNBC, Seeking Alpha, Reuters, Google Finance, Morningstar, NASDAQ, and MarketWatch.
Note: Articles and comments are my own opinions, are not related to the opinions of my employer, and should not be considered investment advice. Make sure to do your own due diligence before making an investment decision. Thanks!
The Life Sciences Report features leading investment coverage of the life sciences sector, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, tools & diagnostics, and medical devices. A Streetwise Reports publication. www.TheLifeSciencesReport.com
Grant Zeng has over 10 years of professional experience in equity research and analysis. Grant joined Zacks Investment Research Inc. in March 2006, and currently is a senior equity analyst covering biotech/pharma industry. Before joining Zacks, Grant worked for TheStreet.com as a biotech analyst from 2005-2006. From Sept 2001 to December 2003, Grant worked for China Pacific Insurance Co. as an senior equity/fund analyst. Grant was a healthcare equity analyst with Young & Partners, LLC from Aug 2000 to September 2001. Grant had also teaching and researching experience in pharmaceutical science.
Grant Zeng obtained his MBA with a major in Finance in 2000 from McMaster University, Canada. He also holds a Master of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario, Canada; Master of Pharmacology and Bachelor of Medicine from Second Military Medical University, China.
Grant Zeng is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder.
Bill Gunderson @billgunderson is the CEO and Chief Market Strategist of Gunderson Capital Managment in San Diego, CA.
He is also a professional money manager, former research analyst, author of Best Stocks Now, and developer of the Best Stocks Now smartphone app.
He offers four free weeks to his weekly Best Stocks Now to Seeking Alpha readers at gundersoncapital.com
He also hosts a daily stock market radio show that is syndicated nationwide on the Salem Broadcast Network.
Bill has appeared on the Fox Business Channel and on Bloomberg Radio numerous times .His articles have been published in Barron's, Forbes, TheStreet.com and numerous other publications.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (855)611-BEST.
I have been investing through my retirement accounts for a long time now but for the past several years have begun actively managing my portfolio. My main interest in stocks is in the technology sector. My career for the past decade is in the non-profit industry as a senior executive. I earned my MBA back in 2009 and my Project Management Professional certificate in 2008.
I am currently employed by a Fortune 20 company, on any given day I am assessing risk management and the financial health of various companies. My time is spent looking at charts and numbers all day and I specialize in statistical analysis. I use the writers of various finance sites for my investing ideas, then do my own research prior to investing.
Thanks to those of you that have given me feedback and responded to my messages. I have found the writers at Seeking Alpha to be very accommodating and informative.
Follow us on Twitter here: @theinvestar
Editor of theinvestar.com, LLC. theinvestar.com, LLC is a leading news provider on the potash and uranium mining industries supplying data services, commentary, interviews, investment news, newsletters and quarterly industry publications. If you would like to read other articles by theinvestar.com, or sign up for our newsletter (US$149.00/year). For more please visit our website or message us here on Seeking Alpha.
Craig Keolanui is a biotechnology investor and bioengineering major from UCSD. Presently a small business consultant, freelance writer and start-up business guru, Keolanui offers small business writing services and support through the site, mybizwriters.com. Through his website, Keolanui helps many business owners save money and time, while ensuring that marketing and buzz about the business is maintained at a reasonable cost. He has been a biotech researcher and investor for over 15 years and presently has long positions in high yield dividend stocks as well as high risk biotech equities.
QualityStocks (www.qualitystocks.net) assists publicly traded companies by getting their story out to the investment community while helping investors discover emerging companies with plenty of growth potential. Our name, QualityStocks, emphasizes our commitment to connect subscribers with companies that have huge potential to succeed in the short and long-term future.
QualityStocks provides investor relations services to publicly traded companies in exchange for compensation. The content we provide via Seeking Alpha may be part of our efforts to widen a client’s exposure. To read our full disclaimer, visit http://disclaimer.qualitystocks.net.
I am a semi-retired investor mainly trading equities & bonds. Most of my career was spent as an investment analyst in the front office of a private banking house In Geneva. Prior to that I worked for the Emerging Markets desk of a major banking house in London. Now that I'm retired, I write mainly about my lifelong interest, which is science and biology. I now live in Cyprus, on the periphery of the EU taking up the financial chaos from all sides.
Follow @SmithOnStocks on Twitter for more updates (http://twitter.com/#SmithOnStocks
Please read this section carefully for some important disclosures.
Who Am I?
My name is Larry Smith. My career was spent on Wall Street as a biotechnology and pharmaceuticals analyst and also as Director of Research at Smith Barney and Hambrecht and Quist. On my website, SmithOnStocks, which can be addressed from this Seeking Alpha site, I publish articles on biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. I attempt to be objective and present a balanced view of negatives and positives. Readers should not rely on Seeking Alpha for my latest views and articles on Seeking Alpha should be viewed as informational only. The reports section of my website reflects my most current view on a stock.
How Do I Get Paid?
My only source of revenues from my articles is from subscription revenues from my website. I do not receive any compensation from companies or investor relations firms to write articles. I do not receive any direct or indirect compensation from hedge funds, other investment managers or any entity to write articles. I consider direct compensation to be cash compensation that is directly or indirectly tied to my writing articles.
I also do not receive compensation in the form of content. I believe that it is not uncommon for some writers to receive content from hedge funds, other investment managers or any entity that are critical components of the articles that they write. I consider this as non-cash compensation. I do not receive advertising revenues from my website so there is no incentive to be sensational in order to create page hits. I only get paid if my subscribers believe that my articles are of value to them and they then decide to subscribe to my services.
You Should View Articles Published on Seeking Alpha as Informational Only
I want to make clear to readers that not all of the reports that I publish on my website are also published on Seeking Alpha. Also, I will sometimes make reports available on my website a significant period of time before publishing the same or a condensed version on Seeking Alpha. All of the articles that are published on Seeking Alpha and my website at the same time have consistent views and opinions. However, at a later data, it may be the case that my viewpoint and opinion may change and these changes in viewpoint and opinion may only be published in articles on my website.
For this reason, readers may want to check the reports section on my website for my current opinion on a stock and should not rely on the latest Seeking Alpha article as my viewpoint or opinion may have changed. The content on my website is intended only for subscribers, but non-subscribers can view the headlines in the reports section which in most cases but not all will announce a change in viewpoint or opinion. However, I emphasize that I undertake no obligation to update my articles on Seeking Alpha and the latest article on Seeking Alpha may not reflect my latest thinking. This is why I want to re-emphasize that any article published on Seeking Alpha should be viewed as information only.
What SmithOn Stocks is All About
SmithOnStocks is not registered as a securities broker-dealer or as an investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or with any state securities regulatory authority. SOS relies solely on publicly disclosed and available information. While SOS makes all reasonable efforts to confirm the accuracy of its statements and opinions, all comments should be considered only as opinion and should not be considered to be absolute fact. Investors should carefully read the Terms & Conditions and Disclosures sections of my website. Investors should carefully perform their own due diligence, seek other points of view and consult with their broker or financial advisor.
Investing in equities includes considerable risk, and investors should be prepared for the possibility of capital loss. This is particularly the case with biotechnology stocks in which hard to predict clinical and commercial outcomes can often disappoint investors and lead to unusually large declines in price. Potential investors in biotechnology stocks must often be prepared to risk the loss of substantially all of their investment. These stocks are only suitable for investors willing and able to accept unusually high financial risk. Users of my information acknowledge that SOS and its owner are not liable to any person or entity for the accuracy, thoroughness, reliability, or timeliness of the information provided. Users further acknowledge that SOS is also not responsible for any direct or indirect losses that may arise from the use of information provided to any person or entity.
Employees of SmithOnStocks or SOS do buy and sell healthcare stocks, some of which may be the subject of written articles appearing on Seeking Alpha. In the event that employees have a stock investment in a company, that ownership is fully disclosed in notes on Seeking Alpha. On any new recommendation, I have a 48 hour waiting period before initiating a position in a stock. I trade in line with my recommendations.
In 1999 I made an ethical breach that resulted in a suspension from being a registered representative in the securities industry for a period of time. I believe that this measure was harsh beyond any reasonable measure and totally unwarranted. I have gone to great lengths in this report to give my side of the story and I hope that you will read the in-depth account that I have provided. This took place over 16 years ago and has long since ended. There has been no restriction from the NYSE for many years on my working as a registered representative if I choose to go through the required registration procedures.
Still, this NYSE action is like a Scarlett letter that I carry. I would urge you to read the full account of the events that led to this NYSE action and if you do so I believe you will agree that this in no way reflects on my integrity and the way I have always conducted myself, then and now. I strongly believe that the action taken was excessive and I think that if you read my full account you will agree.
People make mistakes. Bill Clinton lied under oath, was impeached and disbarred as a lawyer in Arkansas in connection with the Monica Lewinsky affair. However, society has judged him on the body of work that he has done. Suspensions in the security industry can result from serious infractions in which investors are defrauded or swindled. In the events that led to my suspension no investors lost money and as I explain in this report investors who followed my advice made significant amounts of money. Before you rush to any conclusions, let me tell you my story.
I Am Proud in How I Have Conducted My Career
Before I go into the details of this ethical breach, I want to emphasize that I have had a distinguished career on Wall Street. My record from 1971 when I started on Wall Street until 1999 was unblemished. I came to New York from Indiana with no business connections and no money but through hard work I became a highly regarded Wall Street analyst and was selected to the Institutional Investor All Star team in pharmaceuticals for ten years in a row. Based on my record as being the top or one of the top analysts at Smith Barney, I was selected to be head of research from 1981 until 1989. I also served on the Board of Directors at Smith Barney.
Based on my strong reputation, Hambrecht and Quist approached me in 1989 to head their life sciences research effort and to run the annual H&Q (now JP Morgan) healthcare conference. I was a Managing Director and on the operating committee at H&Q. I left H&Q in the late 1990s because I disliked the bureaucracy that was such an integral part of being head of research. I had made enough money to be financially secure and I wanted to get back into doing what I loved, biotechnology research. I joined Tucker Anthony in 1997 as a biotechnology analyst.
Explaining the Events That Led to the NYSE Issue
Tucker Anthony had a sister firm called Sutro and a decision was made early in 1998 to move health care research from Tucker to Sutro. Tucker was an east coast based firm and Sutro was based in Los Angeles. Sutro leased a New York office to which I moved. It was here that an unfortunate train of events was set in motion that led to the NYSE action that put a stain on what I consider an outstanding career.
When I moved from Tucker to Sutro, I maintained my brokerage accounts at Tucker. I conducted normal trading in this account for some months. Then the research administrative research manager for Sutro contacted me and said that for regulatory purposes I would have to move my account from Tucker to Sutro. After some time spent in looking for a broker to handle my account at Sutro I became frustrated. At that time, I had over $5 million in my brokerage accounts. While I was sophisticated in health care investing which made up 10% of my portfolio, I needed help with other parts of the portfolio. I could find no retail broker at Sutro that I wanted to trust my portfolio to. I asked and received approval to look for a broker outside of Sutro and contacted Schwab about finding an investment advisor there to manage my account.
While this was in process, the research administrative manager at Sutro called again and said that Sutro was probably planning to shut down the New York office and I would have to move to Los Angeles or leave the firm. Moving to Los Angeles was not an option for me as my roots were deep in New York. I informed her that given this choice I would soon be leaving Sutro rather then moving to Los Angeles and began to think about what to do. I came to the preliminary conclusion that I would start a consulting firm dealing in biotechnology. I also concluded that I would have to carefully manage my investment portfolio.
It was here that I made a major mistake that I have regretted ever since. Frustrated that my money was tied up in Tucker and I was unable to trade in my account and unable to find a broker that I trusted, I decided to open an account at Schwab without a broker managing it. I indicated on the account transfer form that I was self-employed based on the assumption that I was going to be leaving Sutro imminently. This was my Bill Clinton moment and turned out to be a major mistake.
I continued to work at Sutro while I was waiting for the New York office to be closed which I thought would be in a matter of days or weeks and during this time, I began to execute trades in my account at Schwab. However, after some weeks the research administrative manager at Sutro called and informed me that based on the response they had gotten from clients and the work that I was doing that the firm had reversed itself and now wanted to keep the office in New York and they were also willing to hire two assistants to aid me. There was also the promise of a significant bonus in the upcoming review that based on my work could amount to several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Not surprisingly, I decided to stay on at Sutro instead of leaving and starting my own firm. I then looked for and finally found a Sutro broker that I could trust to help manage my portfolio. The brokerage accounts at Schwab were opened in February of 1999 and transferred to Sutro in April 1999. When I moved my accounts to Sutro the compliance department at Sutro saw that there was this hiatus when I had an unauthorized account at another firm. This was reported to NYSE.
NYSE Reviewed My Case and Took No Action for Three Years
Management at Sutro looked very closely at what had occurred and decided that while it was certainly not something they could condone, it was a minor infraction and they thought that given my stellar and unblemished record that NYSE would not take any meaningful action other than a wrist slap. Sutro decided to be pre-emptive in administering the wrist slap and fined me and suspended me for one month. They thought that this would satisfy NYSE based on their interpretation of what had occurred. They wanted me to continue with the firm, paid the sizable bonus I was due and committed to picki up all legal fees.
I then had a deposition with a lawyer from NYSE in early 2000. During a one day interview, he went over all of the details of the accounts that were held at Schwab and all of the trades that occurred in detail. He also looked at all of the reports that I had issued as an analyst during this time to compare to the trading in my account to the issuance of research reports. I then heard nothing more from the NYSE for three years.
Sutro concluded as did I that this issue was behind us. Three years later in mid-2003, I heard from NYSE to my shock that they were re-opening the case. Why after three years was the case being re-opened? In talking to the lawyers at NYSE, I came to understand that this was the result of Elliott Spitzer’s attack on Wall Street research. Remember the famous case of Henry Blodgett who recommended stocks of investment banking clients to clients that he thought were actually sales.
NYSE enforcement was under pressure because this unethical practice had been brought to light by Spitzer and they had missed it. They were under pressure to show how tough they could be as enforcers. They reviewed their records and came up with my case which they decided to reopen it in order to show that they were aggressive enforcers.
They went over the same information that had been gathered in early 2000, but came up with an entirely different interpretation. They said that I effected stock transactions shortly before issuance of research reports which I had prepared and this was a violation of Exchange Rule 472.40(2) (iii). They also said that I failed to disclose that I held securities in stocks recommended in a research report. They said that I opened accounts at a member firm that concealed fact of my employment at another member firm; violated Exchange Rule 407(b). They recommended a censure and two and one-half year suspension.
Two Stock Trades at Question
The information on opening an account at another firm is something that I just discussed at length. This was not in dispute. However, NYSE focused on two stock trades that I made and explained the suspension largely on the basis of these two trades. I believe that they were clearly wrong in their conclusions. Let me discuss those trades in detail.
The first trade was in Stericycle, a medical waste disposal company. I had been following the company for some time with a neutral rating. In my reports, I noted that the Company wanted to buy the medical waste disposal business of Waste Management and if they were successful, I would immediately go to a strong buy.
This acquisition was announced on April 14, 2009 after the close at 4 PM EST. Because it was 1 PM in Los Angeles I held a conference call with Sutro’s traders and the salesforce and told them I was going to a strong buy on the stock. It was the practice of Sutro to initiate new ideas with a conference call in this manner. The traders and sales force would then go out to the clients with the idea. After this, the analyst would follow-up by publishing a note on First Call (an electronic distribution network) and this was done on April 15 This was then followed up by a written research report on April 16. On April 16, I bought 2500 shares of the stock at a price of $12. This was accepted practice at Sutro for research analysts buying stocks that they recommended. There was no requirement to wait for a period of time to buy the stock. The analyst was allowed to buy the stock at the same time as other Sutro employees and clients
The NYSE judged my conduct on standards that were different from those that were accepted practices at Sutro. By today’s standards, the Sutro practices seem very loose but they were common at the time. This is why Sutro did not view this trade as a breach of conduct and kept me as an analyst. The NYSE also said that I did not disclose that I owned Stericycle in my written report. However, none of the analysts at Sutro were required at the time to do so. This was also standard operating procedure.
Stericycle was a major success for investors. Adjusting for stock splits the stock traded at about $3.00 when I first recommended it. Fifteen years later, the stock is trading at about $119. This was one of my best recommendations ever. I held the Stericycle stock for many years and only sold it recently.
The NYSE did not accept that my actions were in line with the practices of Sutro even though I produced a letter to that effect from the research administrative officer. I also argued that a $30,000 investment in a portfolio that amounted to $5 million at the time was de minimus. I argued that the stock was bought and maintained as a long term investment. I argued that it was an excellent money making idea for investors. The NYSE dismissed all of these arguments and maintained that I traded ahead of my recommendation.
The second trade that the NYSE emphasized was a trade in Schering Plough. On April 18, the stock had traded down by 5%. I had an accumulate rating on the stock essentially telling investors to buy the stock for the long term, but connoting less emphasis than a buy. In the morning call to traders and salesmen, I alerted them to the price weakness, but told them there was no change in the fundamental outlook and there was no change in my price target. I was not intending to issue a report, but the research administrative manager told me that the price drop in Schering Plough based on my price target indicated 25% upside that was the accepted criteria for a buy recommendation. Hence, I needed to put out a report in which I upgraded my opinion from accumulate to buy.
I bought the stock on April 20 at the same time as the written report was issued. I previously owned 500 shares and this increased my position to 1000 shares for a total investment of about $35,000 which again was within a $5 million portfolio. The NYSE again accused me of the same things as in the Stericycle situation. They said that I traded ahead of my recommendation and did not disclose that I owned the stock. My responses were the same as for Stericycle and were once again rejected.
Was The NYSE Action Justified?
I think that the NYSE action was out of all proportion to what actually transpired. I think the enforcement officers applied new standards in overturning the prior decision to take no action on this case that had been in effect for three years. They were under pressure to make a big splash in the Elliot Spitzer era to show how tough they were. My recommendations were solid recommendations and indeed the Stericycle recommendation was outstanding.
I fully recognize that my decision to open the brokerage account at Schwab prior to resigning from Sutro was an ethical breach on my part even if I was planning to resign from Sutro. When I decided to stay with Sutro, I transferred my accounts immediately. I strongly and absolutely maintain that my trading in Schering-Plough and Stericycle was in accordance with policies in place at Sutro at the time. By today’s standards these seem loose, but this was common industry practice at the time.
The NYSE review was conducted by a mediator and it was he that determined the punishment. He had spent his entire career as an enforcement officer for the NYSE. He was also friends with the NYSE lawyers on my case and sent out to lunch with them during the hearing. He was the judge, jury and executioner of my fate. As I look back, I question his objectivity and motives. In writing his opinion, he did not acknowledge documents from Sutro that showed that my stock trading disclosures were in-line with their internal procedures. I had no opportunity to review or correct his opinion in the opinion he wrote. In a country in which, guilt or innocence is established by one’s peers, mine was determined by a hanging judge with no experience in the securities business and an apparent pre-determined view on my actions.
Ray Dirks has been a respected analyst on Wall Street for decades. Ray has written two books,” The Great Wall Street Scandal” and “Heads You Win, Tails You Win”, published by McGraw-Hill and Bantam Books respectively.
Dirks opened his own securities analysis firm after gaining much attention in the financial press during the 1970s and 1980s.
Ray earned his place in the history books while working as a securities research analyst. He got a tip from a disgruntled employee of a company called Equity Funding that this firm had built its business model upon massive commercial and accounting fraud. Most research analysts on Wall Street took Equity Funding's numbers at face value, and recommended the stock.
Dirks, however, began his own investigation, found the tip credible, then warned both his firm's top institutional clients (who sold out their positions) and the SEC. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to interest The Wall Street Journal in the story. It turned out that the tip was right, and Equity Funding eventually collapsed in a manner that would prefigure some of the scandals that have been seen on the Street today.
StockMatusow.com Writers are:
Scott Matusow; Team Leader, owner and founder of StockMatusow.com.
Scott is an independent investor/writer/trader and team leader of StockMatusow.com.
He has have about fifteen years of stock market experience which include trading, investing, and managing his family’s trust as well as his personal account.
Scott has had the most success in trading/investing in smaller cap growth companies. Because Scott is not 'officially trained' in the markets, he see things 'outside the box.' Scott uses his ability to read situations and emotion, charts, times and sales, historical data, and macroeconomic and other market forces to predict stock price movements. Using these allowed for him to completely divest his own and family's money near the top of the market before the 2008 financial crisis.
Scott has his own online talk show which can be heard at www.scottmatusow.com/radio .
During market hours, we engage in talk about Stocks and Politics. After hours, Scott engages in a variety of talk issues from Poker, Sports, Politics, Current Events and whatever the chat room people wish to talk about.
Other places you can follow Scott are:
Kyle Dennis; writer, analyst, trader, website design, and team member of Stockmatusow.com.
Kyle has a Biology degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and specializes in trading the biotechnology sector.
Kyle has extensive experience in researching, writing, and editing articles that have been published in scientific journals. He uses these experiences to write and comment about the potential of various biotechnology companies. Kyle specializes in evaluating trial success, drug potential, and market valuations.
As an investor/trader, Kyle likes to focus on chart analysis and investor/trader sentiment to identify good entry and exit points.
Kyle can also be followed at www.twitter.com/kylewdennis @kylewdennis
Michael Kovar; writer, editor, investor, trader and team member of stockmatusow.com
Michael has spent over ten years in financial roles with companies large and small. Recently, he spent time in a consulting role with Thomson Reuters legal headquarters in Eagan, MN. He currently works in an analyst position with a healthcare organization. Since 2011, Michael has worked with Scott Matusow to help research and edit articles for Stockmatusow.com.
Michael can be followed at www.twitter.com/MMK_3399 @MMK_3399
Bay Area Biotech is a group of self-organized life science graduate/medical/business students and postdoctoral scholars who are interested in utilizing our scientific training to evaluate biotechnologies and identify investment opportunities. Opinions published here are those of the authors.
I am business graduate with a professional certification in F&A. I have been associated with the academic field, teaching both short and long courses on Finance and Accounting but my passion is following and writing about good investments.
Theodore J. Cohen, Ph.D., a research scientist, has been an investor for more than 50 years. Since 1980, he has focused his attention on investment research and investigative analyses of companies developing therapeutic drugs in the biotech sector. Dr. Cohen is a frequent contributor of Guest Opinions (op-ed pieces) to the Bucks County (PA) Courier Times (circulation: 80,000), where, since 2007, he has addressed such varied subjects as the conflicts of interest (COIs) associated with two members of the Provenge advisory committee (AC); the U.S. Senate’s Durbin Amendment, to tighten COI reviews of FDA AC members; and naked short selling. Cohen is the author of the award-winning novels Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls (AuthorHouse, 2010) and House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Outskirts Press, 2011), which were inspired by real events. The books are available from Amazon.com, B&N, and 26,000 online bookstores worldwide. For details, see http://www.theodore-cohen-novels.com.
Blogger, Self-Made Analyst, Trader, Investor, Crowdfunder and Critical Thinker. Currently, I am looking for a job in the investment space. Job offers are always welcome.
The name "Dutch Trader" refers to The Golden Age. This was a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military and art were among the most acclaimed in the world.
Dutch ships hunted whales off Svalbard, traded spices in India and Indonesia (via the Dutch East India Company) and founded colonies in New Amsterdam (now New York), South Africa and the West Indies. In addition some Portuguese colonies were conquered, namely in Northeastern Brazil, Angola, Indonesia and Ceylon. This new nation flourished culturally and economically, creating what historian Simon Schama has called an "embarrassment of riches". Speculation in the tulip trade led to a first stock market crash in 1637, but the economic crisis was soon overcome.
In 1602 the Dutch East India Company was founded. It was the first-ever multinational corporation, financed by shares that established the first modern stock exchange. This company received a Dutch monopoly on Asian trade and would keep this for two centuries. It became the world's largest commercial enterprise of the 17th century. Spices were imported in bulk and brought huge profits, due to the efforts and risks involved and seemingly insatiable demand.
To finance the growing trade within the region, the Bank of Amsterdam was established in 1609, the precursor to, if not the first true central bank.
My background is Management, Economics and Law. This I studied at Fontys Business School in the Netherlands, with specialization in Banking and Insurance.
My passion is investing, writing, travelling, history, swimming, playing chess and enjoying my family.
I love to analyze companies and sectors and write about it. Main points of interests: China, Biotechnology, Consumer, Energy, Mining, Dividend, OTC Market, Food, Robotics and some other themes.
As an investor I have a bias towards value investing and the markets. All opinions are my own and do not represent the views of my employer.Valuation metrics play an important part of my investment strategies. My investment philosophy is Unloved, Underowned and Undervalued.
One of the best investment quotes is: The key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them from Peter Lynch.
Do you have any other business proposals or questions, just write an email to email@example.com
Dutch Trader, The Netherlands================
For the Securities Disclaimer & Disclosure, read:
I research early (micro cap) and mid phase publicly traded companies in the Biotechnology and Medical Device sectors that are harder to at times find information on for investors. I believe that these companies, although potentially more volatile than their larger cap retail counterparts, hold great value. With a clear understanding of where their product is positioned in the market, the capitalization and the team, these smaller companies can hold incredible value over the long term.
I have a varied background in both business and in the technical sector. Currently, I also am a co founder of BCN Biosciences in Pasadena CA, a privately held biotechnology company in addition to holding a research faculty position at the University of California Los Angeles Department of Radiation Oncology.