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Founder of "The Contrarian", a premium research service, featuring the "Bet The Farm" Portfolio. Actively investing since 1995, I have soared like an eagle, and been unmercifully humbled by the markets. Achieved positive returns in 2008, and turned an account with $60,310 on 1/1/2009 into an account with $3,177,937 on 11/30/2009. My best years have been 1995-2003, 2008-2012, and 2016-????. My worst years were 2013-2015. I believe inflation is coming, and we are at an inflection point in the markets.
Twenty year career as an investment analyst, investor, portfolio manager, consultant, and writer. Founder of Koldus Contrarian Investments, Ltd, which was incorporated in the spring of 2009. Dyed in the wool contrarian investor, who has learned, the hard way, that a good contrarian is only contrarian 20% of the time, but being right at key inflection points is the key to meaningful wealth creation in the markets. I believe we are near a meaningful inflection point, perhaps the biggest one yet, for the third time in the past 15 years.
Historically, I have had huge wins and impressive losses based on a concentrated, contrarian strategy. Trying to keep the good while filtering out the bad.
Seeking to run an all weather portfolio with minimal volatility and index overlays to capture my strategic and tactical recommendations along with a concentrated best ideas portfolio, which is my bread and butter, but the volatility only makes it suitable for a small piece of an investor's overall portfolio. The following are a couple of my favorite investment quotes.
"Life and investing are long ballgames." Julian Robertson
"A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure."
"Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." Albert Einstein
I’ve been on top of the world, and the world has been on top of me. I have learned to enjoy the perspective from each view, and use opportunities to persistently acquire knowledge, and enjoy the company of those around me, especially loved ones, family, and friends.
At heart, I am a market historian with an unrivaled passion for the capital markets. I have had a long history and specialization with concentrated positions and options trading. Made money in 2008 with a net long portfolio, deploying capital in some of the market's darkest hours into long positions including purchases of American Express, Atlas Energy, Crosstex, First Industrial Real Estate, General Growth Properties, Genworth, Macquarie Infrastructure, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, and Vornado near their lows. Shorting, hedging, and option strategies also helped me in 2007 and 2009, and these are skills that I have developed ever since I started trading heavily in 1996.I enjoy reading, accumulating knowledge, and putting this knowledge to work in the active capital markets, learning lessons along the way.To this day, I continue to learn, and some of these learning lessons have been excruciatingly difficult ones, especially over the past several years, as I made mistakes allocating capital, including a sizable portion of my own capital (I always invest alongside my clients), to commodity related stocks. While all commodity related stocks have struggled since April of 2011, coal companies, which attracted me due to their extremely cheap valuations, and out-of-favor status (I am a strong believer in behavioral finance alongside fundamentals and technicals) have been the worst investing mistake of my career. The focus on the commodity arena has been the biggest mistake of my investment career thus far, yet in its aftermath, I see tremendous opportunity, even larger in scope than the fortuitous 2008/2009 environment.The capital that I accumulated and the confidence gained in navigating the treacherous investment waters of 2008 gave me the confidence to launch my own investment firm in the spring of 2009, right before the ultimate lows in the stock market. At the time I was working as a senior analyst at one of the largest RIA's in the country, and I felt strongly that the market environment was the best time since 1974/1975 to start an investment firm.
Prior to starting my firm, I was a senior analyst for three different firms over approximately 10 years (Charles Schwab, Redwood, Oxford), moving up in responsibility and scope at each stop along my journey. Since I was a paperboy, I have always had an interest in the investment markets. I love researching and finding opportunities. I am a Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA, as well as a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, CAIA. After starting in the teaching program at Ball State University, I switched to a career in finance when I turned a small student loan into a substantial amount of capital. I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in finance from Ball State.
Full disclosure, I am not currently a registered investment advisor, though I did serve in this capacity from 2009-2014, while owning Koldus Contrarian Investments, Ltd. Additionally, I held various securities licenses from 2000-2014, without a single complaint filed, and I continue to hold industry designations. At the end of 2014, I voluntarily let my state registration expire, as I transitioned the business to a different structure. At the time, I was in the midst of a difficult two-year plus divorce (my ex-wife left for another relationship) and custody battle, which occupied a lot of my time. Prior to this, I had passed, and held, various securities exams and licenses, including the Series 7, Series 63, and Series 65 exams, in addition to others, alongside my CFA and CAIA designations. Unfortunately, I did not file the proper paperwork to withdraw my state registration, and I did not disclose a personal arrangement, and subsequent civil case, between myself and a former close personal friend and client, that was initiated in 2011. I was unaware that I was required to disclose these items, and my securities attorney, at the time, did not advise me to do so. Previously, I had managed a portfolio for this gentleman, and we had taken an investment of approximately $7 million in 2009, and grown it to over $25 million at the beginning of 2012. After a difficult year of performance, an employee of the firm I owned, and friend, resigned in early 2013, and took the aforementioned client to a competing firm. As a result of not filing the proper paperwork, I agreed to a settlement, with a potential $2500 fine in the future, depending on if I choose to reapply to be a non-exempt advisor.
Keith began his career as a research scientist (developmental biology, biochemistry, molecular biology) at the Australian National University, University of Oxford (UK), the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry (Munich, Germany) and finally Macquarie University (Sydney) where he held a Chair in Biology and established the Centre for Analytical Biotechnology. Pioneering the area of proteomics (with Marc Wilkins in his group coining the term), Keith established the world’s first government-funded Major National Proteomics Facility (Australian Proteome Analysis Facility) which was involved with industrialising protein science.
Keith left academe with his team to found Proteome Systems Ltd in 1999 to commercialise proteomics. The company had a strong focus on intellectual property, engineering/technology and bioinformatics. As CEO he led the company to ASX listing in 2004. Since 2005 Keith has been involved in new business development in biotech, e-health and other emerging technologies. Keith sees climate change and sustainable development as a major issue for humankind and also a major business disruptor/risk and opportunity.
Keith holds a Bachelor Agr Science from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from the Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering and received an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) for services to the Biotechnology Industry. He has received various industry awards including an Innovation Hero Medal from the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering.
With 300 scientific papers and many patents written, Keith has a clear view of innovation in the Biotechnology and Climate/Renewable Energy space. He is not a financial advisor but his perspective adds relevance to decision-making concerning feasibility and investment in technology innovation.
Think B.I.G., by Bespoke Investment Group, provides some of the most original content and intuitive thinking on the Street. Founded by Paul Hickey and Justin Walters, formerly of Birinyi Associates and creators of the acclaimed TickerSense blog, Bespoke offers multiple products that allow anyone, from institutions to the most modest investor, to gain the data and knowledge necessary to make intelligent and profitable investment decisions. Along with running their Think B.I.G. finance blog, Bespoke provides timely investment ideas through its Bespoke Premium (http://bespokepremium.com/) subscription service and also manages money (http://bespokepremium.com/mm) for high net worth individuals.
Visit: Bespoke Investment Group (http://bespokeinvest.com/)
e21: Economic Policies for the 21st Century is a Washington-based center of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Manhattan Institute dedicated to economic research and innovative public policies for the 21st century. Drawing on the expertise of practitioners, policymakers, and academics, we aim to advance free enterprise, fiscal discipline, economic growth, and the rule of law.
I am constantly searching for great value stocks in today's bloated market. Stocks trading under net tangible assets that are profitable are my favorite. Sadly, they are becoming harder and harder to find. To benefit from my research, feel free to browse my articles.
I have been in the financial services industry for 15 years as a broker, wholesaler and as a director of research for insurance products where I commented on current events and have written studies. I am less active on the trading front than I used to be and primarily buy ETFs and mutual funds, and like to trade currencies.
While I hold extensive knowledge on the markets, I have devoted much of my last few years to the variable annuity industry. These products mix the best of both worlds, investments with guarantees, and I try to help individuals understand how the products work at http://www.annuityiq.com.
I have seen it all in the industry, from the good to the bad, and never hold back what I really think is happening. You will find my honesty refreshing and entertaining. I will always admit it if I make a mistake and have thick skin, so feel free to criticize me because I do not know everything, but love to learn.
My user name is my middle name, I use it because I like it and I do consulting work where it makes sense for me to use an alias versus my full name - hey, we all have to make a living, right? Don't get your hopes up for inside info, I work with insurers on the product development side.
I strongly advise any reader to make sure they do their own research or consult a financial advisor before investing in anything.
Jim Van Meerten is an advisor to Marketocracy Capital Management and writes on financial subjects here and on Barchart Portfolio Blogs and Seeking Alpha. He earned a BS in Accounting and Business Administration from Berry College; a Juris Doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson School of Law; and attended post-baccalaureate and graduate courses in Business Administration, Quantitative Math, and Education at Florida Atlantic University, Georgia State University and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In the past he has been an accountant, attorney, adjunct professor in Business Law, Accounting and Internal Auditing, financial advisor, supervisory principal, and compliance officer. He also passed the Georgia CPA Exam, the Certified Internal Auditor Exam, and the FINRA Series 7, 24 and 9/10 exams.He is presently also a contributor on MSN Top Stocks Blog, Motley Fool and is a member of the M100 on Marketocracy, an elete honor chosen by the editors of Marketocracy as being in the top 100 portfolio managers of over 100,000 portfoiios they review. He would enjoy hearing your comments at JimVanMeerten@gmail.com.
Henry W. Schacht, CFA is the founder of Schacht Value Investors, an investment management firm. He earned his MBA at the University Of Chicago Graduate School of Business and a degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame.
In 2008, Derek Pilecki founded Gator Capital Management (http://www.gatorcapital.com). At Gator, Derek is a Portfolio Manager and is the firm's Managing Member. Gator Capital Management serves as the advisor to the Gator Focus Fund. He can be reached at email@example.com.
From 2003 through 2008, Derek was a co-Chair of the Investment Committee and a Portfolio Manager for Goldman Sach’s Growth Equity Team, where he helped to manage $30 billion in high quality growth stocks. Derek was also a member of the portfolio management team responsible for the Goldman Sachs Capital Growth Fund, and provided primary coverage of the financial sector for the Growth Team.
Prior to Goldman, Derek was an Analyst at Clover Capital Management in Rochester, New York and Burridge Growth Partners (now part of Essex Investments) in Chicago, Illinois. Before entering graduate school, Derek worked at Fannie Mae providing risk analysis for the company’s mortgage investment portfolio.
Derek holds an MBA with honors in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago and a BA in Economics from Duke University.
James Quinn has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 29 year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of strategic planning. He is married with three boys and is writing these articles because he cares about their future. He earned a BS in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Villanova University. He is a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager. These articles reflect the personal views of James Quinn. They do not necessarily represent the views of his employer, and are not sponsored or endorsed by his employer.
Tom Brown became one of the most respected Wall Street analysts of financial-services stocks in the 1980s and 1990s, working at Smith Barney, PaineWebber and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. In 1998, he joined hedge-fund manager Julian Robertson, heading Tiger Management's North American financial-services group. In 2000, he formed Second Curve Capital, a $550-million-in-assets hedge fund that invests exclusively in financial-services stocks. Brown's original fund, Second Curve Partners, has generated a 20% yearly return, net of fees, since its May 2000 start.
Visit his site: www.Bankstocks.com
Scott Licamele, Senior Vice President, Business Development & Investor Relations at MSL Group, Inc. He has an extensive background in global capital markets and asset management. Scott was previously a senior emerging markets equity broker with Sberbank CIB in New York, the largest bank in Eastern Europe, where he dealt with large US institutional investors. Prior to that he was Director of Equity Research at Red Star Asset Management, a Greenwich, CT based hedge fund focused on emerging markets equities. Scott received a B.A. in European History from Bard College and an M.A. in International Finance & Banking from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York. He is fluent in Russian.