I have been a business journalist and editor for over 20 years, focusing on industry news and how government regulations affect industry. My investments have a long-term focus, with an emphasis on value stocks and dividends, supplemented with income from options.
I have been an active investor/trader since 1994, with quite good results.
I have done both academic and practical research on computer-based (fully automated or semi-automated) short-term stock market prediction and negotiation, but for consistent returns, I still believe it is hard to beat long-term investing based on fundamentals.
At present, the basis of my personal investment portfolio mainly combines energy-related commodities and stocks.
I recognize that the risk/reward tends to be heavily skewed against the short side and as such I believe short positions should be kept small, when not part of a well thought out long/short strategy.
Besides being an investor I'm a professor at a Portuguese university.
Who I Am: I'm a retired individual investor. I retired at the end of 2013 after a 35 year career as a professor and research scientist at a major research university. So -- a career as a researcher and an educator, which is what I hope to continue here. Virtually every good teacher I've ever known says some version of "I learn more from teaching than my students do." There's a lot of truth in that, enough that there's an underlying selfish motivation for my writing here as I continue to learn about investing.
My professional life involved multiple international projects and collaborations, so I traveled extensively over those 35 years. I plan to continue doing so in my retirement. One consequence is that I'm liable to disappear from the site for extended periods. How can you miss me if I don't go away?
My investing priorities are building and refining portfolios designed to provide income and capital growth: Income for my retirement needs, and capital growth for my estate. My investing interests are tax-advantaged income from a range of sources, portfolio strategies, information- and bio-technology, and momentum-based strategic allocation.
Why I Write for Seeking Alpha: I learned long ago that "writing is nature's way of letting you know how sloppy your thinking is." The line comes from a Guindon comic strip of many years ago, and could not be more true in my case. When I did research professionally, I learned that writing it up forces me to think about details I might otherwise overlook. It's how I spent my working career, so it comes more or less naturally to me. I consider it an essential part of doing any research. So, the writing I do here is as much for myself as for the reader. As I started to contribute articles here, they grew out of research for my personal investment portfolios. They're based on things I've uncovered that are of interest to me and may be of interest to others of like mind. My primary purposes in writing them are to help clarify my thinking and to get feedback from others who may have very different opinions. It's those thoughtful comments that make Seeking Alpha such an important resource.
I try to actively engage myself in the comment streams in my articles, contributing what I can and learning from others. As a research scientist I spent a career spanning four decades devoted to free exchange of information vetted by rigorous peer review. It's a concept I firmly believe in. I hope to bring that approach to my interactions and contributions on Seeking Alpha and welcome critical commentary on anything I may contribute here. I especially encourage and appreciate thoughtful comments from those who disagree with me (although I will ignore obvious trolls and encourage others to do so as well). So, go ahead, start a conversation in the comment threads. It's one of the best things about Seeking Alpha.
My Investment Philosophies and Strategies: I maintain two portfolios. My income portfolio is a taxable account. I try to keep it separate from the growth portfolio which is housed in a series of IRAs, traditional and Roth. My income focus is on tax-advantaged income. In 2016 I face minimum required withdrawals from my tax-deferred accounts, so tax efficiency is an important consideration. The IRAs I see as my estate and are focused on generational wealth building. That means the growth portfolios have a long-term horizon, well beyond what an investor of my age might be expected to maintain.
Who Is Left Banker? Ah yes, the name. When I first joined Seeking Alpha I had no intention of being anything but an occasional reader. I saw it as another research site. So, I just ported a name I've used on other sites. I spent some of the best times of my life living on the left bank of the Seine and am always thrilled to be back in La Belle Paris. Add that I also like it because I find several subtle word plays there; I'll leave it to you to decipher that comment.
Finally, I've chosen to remain anonymous, which I feel obligated to justify. First, I have no professional role in finance and nothing to sell, so there is no advantage to be gained by "making a name for myself' here. Second, I value my privacy and have kept my internet presence as low-key as my professional life allowed. I certainly want to avoid any possibility of some internet connection trying to track me down. Odds against that happening are, of course, outrageously long, but why take them on at all?
Disclosures: I have no ties to the financial or security industries in any form. My interests are strictly personal. The banker part of the nym has absolutely no relationship to the profession of the same name. Readers should be aware that I am an investing novice, some might say dilettante. I do not give advice; what I publish is much more in line with a research notebook. Anyone who finds anything of interest will necessarily want to do his or her complete research and due diligence. It would be foolish to rely on my conclusions without having done so.
The Pendulum blog is an ongoing discussion of portfolio positions, investment ideas and market trends. As an investor I try to use my independence, flexibility and speed to my advantage.
I write three types of articles: (i) stock-specific articles, (ii) analysis of earnings estimates and (iii) overviews of the market that examine different asset classes. I hope you find them interesting and feel free to comment on the articles; I like the feedback. Thanks for reading!
I started thinking about stock prices in terms of a pendulum after reading Howard Marks' investor letters. Marks is the most perceptive investor about the role of investor psychology in the stock market and industry cycles. I always try to incorporate "pendulum thinking" in my analysis, meaning that it is important to think about the intrinsic value of a company as well as how investor psychology is going to drive the stock price to overshoot and undershoot that value.
I am a generalist. I am not an expert in any one sector or asset class. I have found that there is value in listening to generalists as well as experts, but it is important to be able to distinguish between the two. As a generalist, I try to add value by thinking about the relationships between things and comparing various parts of the market. Generalists can be helpful in avoiding tunnel vision and, hopefully, adding some common sense.
I like to establish a long term outlook for a company and then invest using shorter timeframes. I may be bullish on a stock and still sell it if I think it went up too much or if have concerns about the overall market. I don't mind moving to the sidelines and getting back in at a later point and I sometimes prefer to sell before earnings to reduce risk. I may invest in the opposite direction of my long term view if I think the market over-reacted one way or another. I like to hold positions for the long term, but I use stops to cut my losses. There is a difference between a good company and a good stock. Everybody has a different investing style, experience, tax status, risk tolerance, comfort range, etc., so please note that nothing that I write should be used as investment advice.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here should not be construed as investment advice. This is not tailored to specific investment objectives. Reliance on this information for the purpose of buying the securities to which this information relates may expose a person to significant risk. The information contained in this article is not intended to make any offer, inducement, invitation or commitment to purchase, subscribe to, provide or sell any securities, service or product or to provide any recommendations on which one should rely for financial, securities, investment or other advice or to take any decision. Readers are encouraged to seek individual advice from their personal, financial, legal and other advisers before making any investment or financial decisions or purchasing any financial, securities or investment related service or product.
Information provided, whether charts or any other statements regarding market, real estate or other financial information, is obtained from sources which we and our suppliers believe reliable, but we do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness or accuracy of this information. Nothing in this article should be interpreted to state or imply that past results are an indication of future performance.
THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED AS TO ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, OR RESULTS OBTAINED FROM ANY INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE OR ANY LINKED WEBSITE.
James A. Kostohryz has accumulated over twenty years of experience investing and trading virtually every asset class across the globe.
Kostohryz started his investment career as an analyst at one of the US's largest asset management firms covering sectors as diverse as emerging markets, banking, energy, construction, real estate, metals and mining. Later, Kostohryz became Chief Global Strategist and Head of International Investments for a major investment bank. Kostohryz currently manages his own investment firm, specializing in proprietary trading and institutional portfolio management advisory.
Born in Mexico, Kostohryz grew up between south Texas and Colombia, has lived and worked in nine different countries, and has traveled extensively in more than 50 others. Kostohryz actively pursues various intellectual interests and is currently writing a book about the impact of culture on economic development. He is a former NCAA and world-class decathlete and has stayed active in a variety of sports.
Kostohryz graduated with honors from both Stanford University and Harvard Law School.
You can receive custom delivery of all of Mr. Kostohryz's published work on Seeking Alpha, The Street, and other media, as well as exclusive material, by following the link below. It is absolutely free:
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Charles Rotblut, CFA is the editor of the AAII Journal, the flagship publication of The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). Charles provides both insight about individual investor sentiment and market analysis. He is also the author of "Better Good than Lucky: How Savvy Investors Create Fortune with the Risk-Reward Ratio" (W&A Publishing/Trader's Press).
Mark's mutual fund is launching December 15, 2011.
He is a self taught private investor who operates the website Fund My Mutual Fund (http://fundmymutualfund.com); a daily mix of market, economic, and stock specific commentary. Fascinated by the market since an early age, he discovered mutual funds as a teenager in the 80s and moved to equities by the mid 90s. The origin of the website is/was to leverage the power of the internet in developing a transparent track record to attract investors for his potential "long/short" mutual fund.
His equity focus is identifying secular growth trends and the companies most likely to benefit from these macro trends. Stocks are identified through fundamental analysis, although basic technical analysis is used in determining entry and exit points. You can receive Trader Mark's latest posts daily by subscribing free via RSS reader (http://feeds.feedburner.com/FundMyMutualFund) or subscribing free via email (http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=1109639).
With a degree in economics from the University of Michigan, a broader understanding of the economy as a whole, along with interpreting investor psychology, is also a major interest for Mark. To follow on Twitter, username: fundmyfund
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The author of Market Folly has experience at a long/short equity hedge fund, has been investing for a decade, and has degrees in Economics and Communications.
Jake Huneycutt is a former Portfolio Manager. Jake holds an MBA degree with a concentration in finance from Emory University. He earned a Master of Accounting degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his B.A. in History from East Tennessee State University. Jake is originally from Johnson City, TN and currently splits time between Boston, MA and Atlanta, GA.
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.
Chief Investment Officer, Stanford Wealth Management. Retired senior exec of Charles Schwab. 36 years active and reserve military service -- 6 in special operations, 30 in the intelligence community. Geopolitical analyst.
Author -- investment book Bringing Home the Gold.
Editor -- The Investor’s Edge®. In the 16 years from inception through year-end 2015, the Investor’s Edge® Growth & Value Portfolio increased in value from $250,000 to $1,038,453. That same $250,000 invested in the S&P 500 rose to just $422,905. (Past results are no guarantee of future performance; maybe those 16 years were pure luck.)
Featured in Forbes, Barrons, The Wall Street Journal, Financial World, Wall Street Transcript, Global Investing, Welling on Wall Street, etc.
If you have a $500,000 portfolio ($250,000 for solely mutual funds & ETFs) you may contact me for a no-obligation "second opinion." email@example.com.