Ian Bezek worked for 3 years as an analyst at a New York-based hedge fund. He's currently living in Mexico, pursuing some entrepreneurial opportunities.
Feel free to contact him regarding investments, writing, or speaking opportunities.
Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is.
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
I work on the crossroads of design, branding, consumer research and product development. Occasionally, I buy shares of companies, whose industry I understand or work in.
However, I take capitalism and its machinations with the necessary spoonful of quality Swedish stone salt.
I am a simple individual investor who believes that the playing field is level, but may require active management of one's holdings.
I've devised a series of steps that constitute a highly defined covered option strategy that most anyone can follow and that I've described in Option to Profit (2011).
Having retired from a career in Pediatric Dentistry, approximately 10 years ahead of schedule, after spending the previous 10 years working just 2 days each week, I now spend my time trading and alerting others of trading opportunities in large cap positions through the Option to Profit subscription service, a premium subscription service that provides actionable Trading Alerts via text messaging or e-mail at www.optiontoprofit.com. as well as a Web site access only subscription plan.
The Option to Profit subscription service is now in its 4th year.
Now, the Web Access subscription plan is available through Seeking Alpha's "Marketplace." A listing of those articles can be found at https://seekingalpha.com/account/research/subscribe?slug=george-acs
The subscription through Seeking Alpha also includes access to the full Option to Profit web mirror site at http://sa.optiontoprofit.com.
I want you to join me in making your stock portfolio improve the quality of your life. Whatever stage of life you are in, you can make your stocks improve that quality by putting them to work for you.
At Valuentum, we think the best opportunities arise from a complete understanding of all investing disciplines in order to identify the most attractive stocks at any given time. Valuentum therefore analyzes each stock across a wide spectrum of philosophies, from deep value through momentum investing. We think companies that are attractive from a number of investment perspectives--whether it be growth, value, momentum, etc.--have the greatest probability of capital appreciation and relative outperformance. The more investors that are interested in the stock for reasons based on their respective investment mandates, the more likely it will move higher.
Brian Nelson is the President of Equity Research at Valuentum Securities, an investment research firm serving individual and institutional investors, as well as financial advisors. Before founding Valuentum, Mr. Nelson worked as a director at Morningstar, where he was responsible for training and methodology development within the firm's equity and credit research department. Prior to that position, he served as a senior industrials securities analyst, covering aerospace, airlines, construction and environmental services companies. Before joining Morningstar in February 2006, Mr. Nelson worked for a small capitalization fund covering a variety of sectors for an aggressive growth investment management firm in Chicago. He holds a Bachelor's degree in finance and a minor in mathematics, magna cum laude, from Benedictine University. Mr. Nelson has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Get to Know Brian:
Brian led the charge in developing Morningstar's issuer credit ratings, developing and rolling-out one of the firm's proprietary credit metrics, the Cash Flow Cushion. http://select.morningstar.com/welcome/credit/pdfs/Morningstar_CashFlowCushion.pdf
Brian is frequently quoted in the media and has been a frequent guest on Nightly Business Report, Bloomberg TV, and the Money Show.
Mr. Nelson is very experienced in valuing equities, developing Morningstar's discounted cash-flow model used to derive the fair value estimates for the company's entire equity coverage universe.
Brian worked on a small cap fund and a micro cap fund that were ranked within the top 10th percentile and top 1st percentile within the Small Cap Lipper Growth Universe, respectively, in 2005.
Mr. Nelson is also a contributor to Seeking Alpha and an opinion leader in the Industrial Goods space.
You can reach Brian at email@example.com.
Please read our Disclaimer that applies to all articles published on Seeking Alpha: http://www.valuentum.com/categories/20110613
Follow us on Twitter: @Valuentum
Dallas currently owns and operates as CEO an Austin-based enterprise consulting firm that specializes in private company lifecycle management, up to and including taking companies public, and in helping consult publicly traded companies ranging in market cap from $100 million to $500 million. He has a specialization in deal flow management and is often the referring and closing source of Joint Ventures and broader M&A. Dallas often works directly with management teams and Boards of microcap and stressed equity companies in which he or members of his professional network are heavily invested. This includes helping with overall strategy, helping with capital structure management, helping facilitate liquidity, helping facilitate Joint Ventures and broader M&A, and helping restructure the business segments if necessary. Recently Dallas has been interviewed by The Pittsburgh Business Times, The Banker, Columbus Business First, Houston Business Journal, The Deal, Energy Intelligence, and his tweets have been used by CNBC to highlight hot button issues regarding Carl Icahn, Bill Ackman, Nelson Peltz’s takeover attempts at DuPont, etc. Dallas has also been quoted and sourced to by StreetSweeper.org, Marcellus.com, MarcellusDrilling.com, Bakken.com, OilOnline.com, and other physical and online publications. "One place of great inefficiency is in the stressed equity markets – or the markets in which a company appears as bankruptcy or a breakup is inevitable. As equities become stressed they often sell down to absurd levels of value that present, should there be value to be unlocked, opportunities for “venture level” returns. These often range in the 3X-10X range. With my unique ability to actually improve business outcomes by working directly with a company and management/Board I’m in a position, should I view the underlying business as salvageable, to directly improve the long-term viability of the company. I am NOT simply an investor in these names but an acting consultant. This allows me to “overlay my network” and to move the company away from a stressed or defaulting outcome and into an outcome probability that allows the equity price to move substantially higher. Identifying these opportunities has generated shareholders and investors thousands of percentage points in aggregate and is something I’m often recognized by paying subscribers for."
Led by MIT engineers and Wall Street analysts, Trefis.com helps you understand how a company's products, that you touch, read, or hear about everyday, impact its stock price.
Surprisingly, the founders of Trefis discovered that along with most other people they just did not understand even the seemingly familiar companies around them: Apple, Google, Coca Cola, Walmart, GE, Ford, Gap, and others.
This might include you though you may have invested money in these companies, or may have been working with one of them for years as an employee, or have consulted with them as an expert for a long time.
Consider these questions:
•What % of Apple's stock price is iPhones? (Q: Is it 5%, 25%, or 50%?)
•What % of Dell's stock price is Dell Notebooks?
•If Bing took half the market share from Google Search, what % upside could there be for Microsoft’s stock?
On Trefis you will get answers to questions like above.
You can play with assumptions, or try scenarios, as-well-as ask questions to other users and experts. The platform uses extensive data to show in a single snapshot what drives the value of a company's business.
Trefis makes the same content, data, and tools that are currently available only to professional investors today, accessible to everyone. Importantly, it makes the extensive data/tools easy to use and understand, allowing investors to leverage the platform in their decision making much more efficiently than anything else available.
Trefis is currently used by hundreds of thousands of investors, company employees, and business professionals.
Jeff is the President of NewArc Investments Inc., manager of both individual and institutional investments. Jeff is a registered investment advisor, and portfolio manager for NewArc's investment programs. Jeff is a former college professor with a hands-on, real world attitude. His quantitative modeling helped inform state and local officials in Wisconsin for more than a decade. A Public Policy analyst, he taught advanced research methods at the University of Wisconsin, and analyzed many issues related to state tax policy. Jeff began in the financial business as Research Director for trading firm at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He investigated anomalies in the standard option pricing models, taught classes for beginning options traders, and developed new forecasting techniques. In 1991 he established a general research consultancy, working with professional traders at all of the Chicago financial exchanges. In 1998 he started NewArc Investments, Inc. Jeff has a commitment to the specific needs of individual investors. It is not a one-size-fits all approach, but one that emphasizes the unique circumstances of each client. Jeff also serves on the board of two small technology companies (currently Chairman at one). He is occasionally as an expert witness in legal cases involving financial markets and hedging.
Jeffrey Dow Jones is the managing editor for Alpine Advisor. He has previously worked for PaineWebber/UBS and Ford Motor Credit Company, and he spent the last decade co-managing a group of hedge funds. He holds a degree in Business Economics with a specialization in Computer Programming from The University of California - Los Angeles.
He publishes a free weekly newsletter at AlpineAdvisor.info.
Value investor who gains insightful guidance from the most intelligent and humble people on this Earth, including Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Seth Klarman, Bill Gates, and Guy Spier and many more. I enjoy writing insightful and well reasoned investment ideas and strive to learn something new everyday.
Scott is the President of Sabrient Systems LLC, parent company of Gradient Analytics, providing institutional equity research with products that include forensic accounting analytics, quantitative models and rankings, indexes for ETFs, and portfolios for UITs and structured products. He focuses on company strategy, product development, institutional sales, marketing, business development, and client/partner relations, and works closely with subsidiary Gradient Analytics, a forensic accounting research firm. He also writes market commentaries and travels extensively with Sabrient’s institutional partners, speaking at events in support of their sales efforts for co-branded investment portfolios. His prior experience encompasses equity-options trading, operations management, strategic planning, and consulting, including various engineering, analyst, and management positions with Chevron Corp. Scott holds BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from the University of Arizona, and an MBA from California State University-Hayward. http://www.SabrientSystems.com http://www.GradientAnalytics.com http://Linkedin.com/in/ScottMartindale http://Twitter.com/ScottMartindale
Author of the critically acclaimed book, "Taking Charge With Value Investing (McGraw-Hill, 2013)" and the premium subscription service "Tipping The Scale" (as seen below). An analyst that ranks in the top 4% on both tipranks.com and Motley Fool CAPS for stock picking performance.
Tipping the Scale members gain access to the TTS Portfolio Tracker. Here, members see what I am buying and selling the minute it happens, along with what I have owned, bought, and sold historically. These are just a few of the features on the TTS Portfolio Tracker.
Tipping The Scale is an equity research platform that uses a numeric scale instead of the traditional "Buy, Hold, Sell" to identify the best investment opportunities in the market. Stock coverage is determined by market catalyst, and every company goes through a vigorous test in 10 different categories. The higher the total score, the bigger the upside. In addition, Tipping the Scale also provides a number of portfolio strategies to hedge the volatility of the market and protect from downside.
Check out my instablog for more information on the popular research service Tipping the Scale, including performance information, benefits, and how it all works.
Time management is essential to monitoring a 47 position portfolio. My 1st comment concludes with "Rich-unck:xx hrs"; I uncheck from the article to avoid repetitive comments, nonsense, and (most) arguments. I extend another XX hrs when I respond to a question or comment...I also respond to all PMs.
BACKGROUND My journey as a self-directed investor (SDI) began in 1973, and resulted in financial independence at age 52, which also allowed me to retire from corporate life the following year (Feb 1995).
I have no special knowledge not attainable by others who also dedicate themselves to the study of the economy, market, and stocks...I could cease all portfolio management today, and place it with a professional manager; however, I enjoy the psychic and financial rewards. Alternatively, I could become a passive investor via mutual funds and/or index ETFs (those works too! ). With few exceptions, As a rule, Rich only discusses his IRA here--it is only a portion of his and Joyce’s investment assets.
INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY If you ‘lived for today’ over the past 5 or 6 decades, you better invest in lottery tickets. The most probable path to a financially secure retirement is the product of an investment program (either active or passive) started when relatively young; living on less than all your after-tax income (saving means delayed gratification); and either self-directed or via professional management, adopting a sensible strategy suitable to age and comfort zone. There is wisdom in flexibility, diversification, and not being life-long wed to any strategy. It is appropriate to take greater risk for greater rewards (sensible growth stocks) when younger, as those are our lowest earnings years combined with our highest expense years--in the years between early investment and retirement, investments in solid growth companies can double 8 times or more.
There is time to adjust allocations to a more conservative strategy when closer to retirement. Never assume you have an information edge over the professionals. Time-in-the-market is your principle advantage. When/if you become interested in dividend stocks, never forget both price return and dividends compound, and price more so.
Financial independence is achieved when one has sufficient confidence his/her lifestyle will not change significantly, regardless of the potential depth or breadth of decline suffered by their portfolio--including a prolonged series of bear markets such as 1929-37. True, the recent 18-month bear market ending mid-2009, was deep--but also too brief to consider its lack of widespread dividend cuts to be as proof a portfolio of dividend-payers won't suffer income losses in a more prolonged decline (i.e., no portfolio is "dividend bulletproof").
The balance of this profile is lengthy, and likely not helpful to passive investors who simply go along for the ride, their portfolios bobbing up and down like flotsam in the ocean; their course always subject to the whims of winds, waves, and trends...THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING!
PORTFOLIO GOALS Now in my 70s, it’s no longer appropriate to engage in the growth strategies applied in wealth accumulation. As a more conservative investor, 100% of his portfolio consists of dividend-payers. 95% of positions have investment grade credit ratings (the lone exception is a REIT).This combination, along with having companies in 10 of the 11 S&P GICS sectors (none in Materials at this time) provide a measure of diversification. This IRA portfolio holds no bonds, though bonds and other investments are held elsewhere.
Maximizing total return and wealth preservation are mutually exclusive. A key observation: Having the capacity for risk is not the same as having the tolerance for it!
Rich’s objective is now a ‘smoother-ride’ that levels out the market’s peaks and valleys (limit losses, trim notable excess valuation). That smoother ride in an all-equity portfolio cannot be achieved without active management and continuous monitoring of positions--therefore TIME is an essential input to his portfolio management. Active management does not’ means frequent changes, as it is not unusual for a quarter or more to pass between a trimming or sale (nonetheless, when a company fundamentals change, or a mistake is made, corrective action is taken.)
STRATEGY SINCE 2008 Rich targets both legs of TOTAL RETURN (distributions + price change). His Growth & Income strategy often focuses on VALUE investing tactics applied to dividend-payers. Value investors seek out unpopular, companies most investors are avoiding (i.e., fundamentals have declined but credit rating is strong, BoD has implemented a rational recovery plan, and the dividend not in danger). Value investors seek to be paid to wait for other investors to recognize the stock’s value and assign it a greater share price. In any event, value stock or growth stock, Rich always seeks a ‘margin of safety’--no shares are bought at prices >FV, and his margin of safety is derived from dividends paid, price appreciation, and rising FV over time.
In all cases, value or growth, Rich selects well-established dividend-paying companies having a high-probability of growing earnings (growth of earnings is ESSENTIAL to growth of price and dividends). He tends to be flexible, forward looking, reactive to changing fundamentals, and willing to admit a mistake so action follows.
SDI is not easy, success is not assured, and in recent decades, advice from academics, and investment coaches, almost universally recommend index funds. Those NOT having the prerequisite time and interest are unlikely to develop the requisite skills for stock investing--thus the probability strongly suggests most newbies would be better served by indexing (Ben Graham wrote favorably of indexing). However, when done successfully, self-directed stock investing can offer rich psychic and financial rewards.
CORE PORTFOLIO Presently, +/-30 equities. Core holdings dominate at about 65% of total portfolio positions. Favored are traditional, large- and mid-cap, low-beta, best/near-best in class, institutional-owned, moaty, dividend-paying, value and growth stocks, having investment-grade debt ratings, and representing the consumer staples, healthcare, utilities, and telecom sectors.
OPPORTUNISTIC PORTFOLIO The remaining 15+ positions consist of equally well-known dividend-payers found among widely-owned cyclicals, such as financial, industrials, consumer discretionary, technology, real estate, and energy sectors are sensitive to the economy. In an expanding economy, cyclicals typically grow their earnings (and dividends) faster than do the typically slower-growing core companies. But because the reverse is also true, in a contracting economy, these positions are intended to be heavily trimmed to preserve gains as the economy peaks and shows evidence of decline. Some are susceptible to quite significant price declines when Mr. Market assumes their will suffer reduced earnings, and sometimes dividend-freezes/cuts, in anticipation of those events.
Rich is sometimes fully-invested, but unlike some, observes no such rule. Building a large cash cushion at the front-end of a correction/bear market (-20%) provides the dry powder required to both cushion the market's decline, and also creates the cash required to purchase excellent companies at below FV prices (without having to sell a position he wants to keep!).
TRIMMING POSITIONS When positions in either portfolio become significantly overvalued, they are trimmed by 5-10%, and the proceeds applied to fairly valued companies before the (almost always) temporary gift of over-valuation reverts to the price mean. If the position continues to advance, and absent other information, the position will be trimmed again. Added benefits to selective trimming include (1) serves as a more sensible method of rebalancing (as opposed to automatic--professionals do not use such a meat cleaver); (2) reduces the position's remaining Capital at Risk (which may suggest room for additional shares within an otherwise full position), and (3) provides the necessary dry powder to buy other shares at FV or below.
OTHER INTERESTS As we age, the importance of family grows. Rich has long volunteered in his community; over the years has served with distinction as member/chair of a number of advisory committees. Assisting others on SA is also a source of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Finally, having been blessed by years of excellent investment performance, Joyce and Rich have long been avid world travelers, and have visited over 60 countries over a span of 30 years (his SA avatar reflects the Taj Mahal in his sun glasses). They reside in Michigan--for 9 months of beauty, bliss, and family, and thoroughly enjoy wintering in equally beautiful Naples FL--for 3 months of sunny warmth and relaxation.
Life is good--it's been an unbelievably awesome ride!
Ernie Zerenner, co-founder of PowerOptions, has been an active stock trader for over 40 years and an avid options trader for more than 20 years. Each Saturday he would look in the newspaper to find options with the best return Covered Calls. This process would literally take hours. First he had to find the stocks that looked promising. Second, he had to find the best options. Finally, he had to do calculations to determine the best returns.
Ernie thought, "There has to be a better way." In 1997, a colleague and Ernie had an idea - Why not use the power of the Internet to gather the data and use computers to do the calculations. We built a web site to do just that. Ernie used the site to find the best options instead of using the newspaper. Ernie was so excited that he showed it to fellow traders and let them use it also.
It was so successful that he decided to open the web site up to the public...and PowerOptions was born.
Since 1997, PowerOptions has built a winning team to support and continue development of the tools and strategies offered. PowerOptions now includes over 150 pages in its award winning web site and cover 23 of the most popular option strategies. PowerOptions has been reviewed and acclaimed by many in the industry: Forbes, AAII, Active Trader Magazine, New York Post, and Nightly Business Report to name a few.
PowerOptions is so innovative, the US Patent and Trade Office issued us patents in 1997 and 2007.
By 2000, we took over operation of OptionFind.com, a site that has similar options search engine capabilities.
Many of our subscribers told us that they loved the system, but had trouble finding the time to do their own options research. They suggested that we offer an advisory newsletter service. We released such a service under the name PowerOptionsApplied.com in 2005. This service uses our expertise and patented tools to search out, publish, and manage what we feel are great option trades. We offer Covered Calls, Diagonal Spreads and Iron Condors so far, more of your favorite strategies to come.
Also in 2005, we released our first publication in the options education arena. Covered Calls: Aggressive Strategy for the Conservative Investor is a self-study course. It includes a DVD, 130 page book, and a workbook to help beginning option traders learn the basics of the most popular option trading strategy: Covered Calls. The course also includes 2 free months of the PowerOptions online subscription service.
In 2008, we released our second and third publications to compliment our self-study covered calls kit... Naked Puts: Power Strategies for Consistent Profits is a beginner level text that illustrates the details of using cash secured puts to acquire stock at a discount and generate income. It covers the basics of the strategy from understanding the theory, entering a new trade and covers all the way through trade management.
Protective Option Strategies: Married Puts and Collars covers reliable strategies to generate consistent income and provide insurance, especially during times of financial crisis and uncertainty. Topics of discussion include tips on entering protective strategies and the theories behind them, as well as selecting the right stocks and proper protective combinations for investing in today's volatile market.
Also in 2008, we purchased the rights to the RadioActive Trading methodology. This investing methodology is just one strategy that options investors can use, but trading "RadioActively" gives investors a great chance of making money and keeping their capital while they do it. The RadioActiveTrading.com site offers plenty of educational materials to get any investor with any experience level into options trading with the ammunition he needs to be successful. After learning the methodology, investors can implement the trading style themselves with the help of the PowerOptions tools, or look over the shoulder of the RadioActive trading staff as they pick and publish trades to the FISSION advisory newsletter subscribers.
Most recently, in 2010, we published our fourth educational text. Iron Condor: Neutral Strategy for Uncommon Profit. The concepts, ideas, rules-of-thumb and real-world examples presented in the text have been gleaned from the PowerOptionsApplied newsletter's successful trading of the strategy. Readers can take the lessons learned by the PowerOptionsApplied newsletter and repeat the good and forgo the bad in order to profitably invest using the Iron Condor strategy. This text presents real-world examples, real-world profits and real-world mistakes, the concept of optimally trading Iron Condors by balancing risk, reward, volatility, stop-losses and other parameters to achieve the best results from trading the strategy.
Ernie and his staff are active investors; they use the PowerOptions tools and research every day. The company's staff is personally committed to providing you with quality service and an exceptional value.
Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions or problems that you may have.
If you are inside the continental US, our toll-free phone number is: (877) 992-7971, for users outside the country, 302-992-7971. If it is easier for you, you can also send us an email message by clicking any of the email links at the bottom of every page in our site.
Kapitall is the online finance platform for the next generation, where investing is as easy as drag, drop and trade. With an intuitive and playful user experience, Kapitall offers tools that make it easy to build virtual and real brokerage portfolios, share ideas and research stocks and funds.
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.
22 years equity experience at top investment banks in London and asset managers in Europe. I worked on Tech stocks at the research department of the Credit Suisse Tech Group in London till 2002. After that I switched to the Buy side. Last 5 years as head analyst at the Global Equity Fund of Robeco in Rotterdam that manages 9 bln USD in global equity. My focus is long term valuation techniques and rigorous financial analysis that identifies short term exaggerations in the market.