Tom Vaughan was 12-years old when his math teacher gave each student $3,000 of Monopoly money to buy and sell stocks. He was told that, at the end of three months, the students with the top returns would be given a special field trip.
Growing up in Silicon Valley and watching the tremendous wealth created by the stocks of some of the world’s greatest companies, inspired him to learn about investing in the stock market. He went home and told his parents about this contest, and they took him to see his grandfather, who was an avid stock market investor. He sat Tom down with the stock listing from the local paper, showing him what he looks for in a good stock. Together they picked three stocks to buy and then they would meet every week to track the progress. This was the genesis of Tom’s life-long interest in investing.
At the end of the contest, they lined the students up on the playground by rate of return. Tom was at the front of the line. He had won the contest. Interestingly enough, the special field trip that he qualified for was a trip to Alcatraz. This is an interesting place to take a budding financial professional. Perhaps, more of our country’s financial professionals should have started this way.
His grandfather was so excited by his interest in investing that they continued to work together on Tom’s investing education. Unfortunately, only two years after helping Tom win the investing contest, his grandfather passed away. He had lost his investing mentor.
Tom then saw what happened to his grandmother. His grandparents had a traditional relationship. Tom’s grandfather handled all of the money and his grandmother was given an allowance to handle the household needs. Although Tom’s grandfather was one of the best investors he have ever met, his grandmother did not have any idea what was in her portfolio and when his grandfather passed, away chaos ensued. He was determined at a young age to help people with investing advice. His advice and outlook has always reflected having his grandmother as his first client.
In 1987, he went to work for a Wall St. investment firm called First Investors. Anyone with a conscience will only last a few years at a firm like this. For example, the firm had its own mutual funds. Everyone worked on a straight commission and the firm would pay twice as much commission if you sold one of its funds versus another company’s funds. The pressure from management to sell these funds regardless of how they performed was intense. This was not a place for his grandmother’s portfolio.
He left and started his own firm, Retirement Capital Strategies (RCS). He selected LPL Financial to clear his business because they did not have any of their own investments, thus reducing the conflict of interest. As his own boss, he did not have to worry about pressure from management to put the wrong things in his clients’ portfolios.
This concept of independent, no conflict of interest, client-first financial advice was wildly successful. RCS was one on the fastest growing Financial Planning and Money Management firms in the country. RCS eventually ended up with three offices in San Jose, Danville and Napa. Over a 26-year period, Tom personally performed over 6,000 financial plans and managed hundreds of millions in assets for over 700 clients. His advice on this website is based on the extensive experience of working with these real life clients.
Over time, he was still dissatisfied with the massive conflicts of interest that exist in the financial advice industry as it stands today.
He saw an opportunity to create a completely new conflict-free, low-cost advice model. He decided to risk everything, cash out of his Financial Planning practice, and show people how to become self-sufficient investors.
By closely watching the investment advisory business, he saw an opportunity to help self-sufficient investors by creating a conflict free, no market-timing set of investment newsletters that contain portfolios of the lowest cost ETFs for the self-sufficient investor to replicate. He also gives ongoing advice on when to replace a portion of the portfolio with a better alternative, when to perform a rebalancing, and educational information on the Remonsy Retirement Income Builder program. All of this advice is designed to help you improve your retirement and help you become a more self-sufficient investor.
The same advice that he charged his clients an average of $4,000 per year is now available in his newsletters.
Tom Madell, Ph.D., is the publisher of Mutual Fund/ETF Research Newsletter, a free newsletter which began publication in 1999. It has become one of the most popular mutual fund/ETF newsletters on the internet, as shown on the Google Directory page for Mutual Funds News and Media Newsletter websites.
His site has been named as one of the "Top 12 Investment Newsletters Focusing on Mutual Funds" by mutualfunds.com, an important fund information provider. Also, recently his Newsletter was recognized as one of 5 expert mutual fund resources worth following offering free, and, in its case, particularly "unbiased, useful, and original advice" at http://fundreference.com/articles/2015/172/10-mutual-fund-experts-worth-following/
He is also a researcher/writer/investor whose articles have appeared on hundreds of websites, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Morningstar and in the international media.
His articles have been among the most popular among those posted on the Morningstar.com website by non-Morningstar employed contributors.
His Newsletter's Model Portfolios have an outstanding long-standing record of frequently outperforming the major market indices. His complete articles and Model Portfolios can be accessed at http://funds-newsletter.com
Welcome to my author's site.
I hope you find my articles interesting and informative.
A man-with-a-plan, I am utilizing knowledge gained from my business degree 25+ years in the business world and a similar number of years of investing experience, to manage my investments.
I have created and maintain a stable and growing portfolio of individual US listed dividend growth stocks, over 30% of which are non-US based but headquartered in Canada, Great Briton, the Netherlands and Australia.
I believe that asset allocation is the primary decision an investor must make considering his objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. I am fully invested and 90% of that is in stock.
I believe that the small individual investor is often best served by low cost index funds. Stock picking, attempted market timing and frequent trading usually work to the disadvantage of the average small investor. However, you may define small as you like and nothing prevents any investor from emulating the market greats of our time such as Warren Buffett or Peter Lynch. Greater rewards can be obtained by buying and holding individual securities if one has background, the interest, the time and the disciplne to do so in an effective way.
There are many ways to make money in the stock and bond markets. My approach to is to take ownership positions in successful large cap companies and hold them a number of years. Dividend Growth Investing is a conservative approach which involves lower than average risks and higher than average rewards.
My writing experience began when I was a senior in high school. I was a local stringer for Maine's largest newspaper and covered school and amatuer sports. Concurrent with a successful career in the business world I wrote magazine articles, journal articles, short fiction, poetry and a devotional book.
A long time student of security markets I immensely enjoy the opportunity to write for Seeking Alpha, which is a very high quality well run organization with excellent editorial support. It is also possibly the best business forum on the internet and I am proud to be a part of it.
Most of my articles focus on several topics:
Income Portfolio Strategy
Canadian Banks and Telecoms
Best regards and good luck!
-- Bob J
I founded Seeking Alpha, and lead it for its first 10 years until I passed the CEO role to Eli Hoffmann. I started Seeking Alpha after working for five years as a technology research analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York. Seeking Alpha is now the dominant crowdsourced equity research platform.
I wrote the ETF Investment Guide (http://seekingalpha.com/article/15136-etf-investing-guide-one-page-summary-of-the-entire-guide), and I blog about startup best practices at http://davidjaxon.wordpress.com .
I have a B.A from Oxford University and an MSc from The London School of Economics, and am married with five children.