Acting Man has been named after the title of the first chapter of Ludwig von Mises' book "Human Action" - the best treatise on economics ever written. The blog's main author is Pater Tenebrarum, an independent analyst who has been involved with financial markets for 34 years and is writing economic and market analyses for independent research organizations and a European hedge fund consultancy. Acting Man presents articles on the markets and the economy, a mixture of commentary on current events as well as economic theory and history, mainly from an Austrian School of Economics viewpoint. As more authors have joined the site, we have begun to broaden our palette a bit, but our orientation remains the same: pro-free market, anti-state, pro peace.
Perhaps more than any other time in the last six decades, the fate of markets is inextricably intertwined with the ebb and flow of geopolitics. From the ECB's attempts to use the central bank's balance sheet to influence political outcomes across the eurozone to Saudi Arabia's efforts to transform the kingdom's influence over crude prices into an instrument of foreign policy, it's become increasingly clear that one simply cannot fully comprehend market movements without a thorough understanding of concurrent political outcomes. Drawing on extensive experience in both politics and finance, Heisenberg will help demystify a world in which investors can no longer hope to conceptualize markets as existing in anything that even approximates a vacuum. "I am the one who knocks."
Senior Portfolio Manager and individual investor who started in high school and has been at it ever since. I have an MBA and have earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. I have worked in the business for over 15 years. My specialties include fixed income closed-end funds for generating income during retirement, micro and small-cap value investing, and macro analysis.
I had my first passbook account in the 1960s, and lost money in the 1987 crash. Subsequently, I have run investor chat rooms and an investing blog. I also am a published author and write a film animation blog at animatedfilmreviews.filminspector.com.
I bought my first Manhattan property in 1993 and also own property in Colorado. I enjoy investing in real estate and writing about it. I invest in income stocks such as REITs and consider that my area of expertise.
Oh, and I was mentioned in "Scam Dogs And Mo-Mo Mamas: Inside the Wild and Woolly World of Internet Stock Trading" (2000), by Wall Street Journal reporter John R. Emshwiller, a good guy. It's about the bad old dot.com days.
Day trader whose strategy is based on arbitrages in preferred stocks and closed end funds.My group consists of 10 traders.We trade every single preferred stock or closed end fund that provides an arbitrage opportunity. Our research includes stocks that most of the people have not even heard. We have developed our own statistical tools that make most of our arbitrages statistically proven. As a trader I don't just analyse , I trade my analysis and pay the price when I am wrong.That is the main reason I respect opinions only when backed by taking the risk of being wrong.Words or opinions mean nothing in this business and the only person who is right about a certain situation is the one who makes money out of it.
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. 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.
My education is a tier 1 Economics undergrad, MBA and masters in Finance for grad school.
I spent several years in the military after my undergrad studies and then managed operations at several fortune 50 companies before striking out on my own as a small business owner.
Currently, seeking to retire very early as an expat preferably to a warm, sunny location in the next few years.
I write covered calls and cash secured put as well as focus on dividend income from a diversified portfolio of closed end funds.
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
BSEE The Cooper Union, school of engineering 1966
Engineering manager Harris corp. 23 years
Software development, Grumman Corp. 10 years
Manage my own IRA accounts in retirement for over 23 years with a CAGR of 10.8%
Reuben Gregg Brewer spent about 15 years at world renowned Value Line, the Publisher of The Value Line Investment Survey. During this time he worked in various facets of the company's research efforts, including equities, mutual funds, convertibles, and options. For six years, he directed all of the company's research efforts as Value Line's Executive Director of Research. Today he writes about the things that interest him.
Gary A. Gordon, MS, CFP® is the president of Pacific Park Financial, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC. He has more than 25 years of experience as a personal coach in “money matters,” including risk assessment, small business development and portfolio management.
Gary is often asked to consult as an educator. He has taught financial concepts in Mexico, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States.
As a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), Gary has distinguished himself as a reputable and trusted investor advocate. He writes commentary for ETF Expert, Seeking Alpha and The Street. Gary’s participation on local and national radio has spanned more than a decade, and he currently hosts the ETF Expert Show.
Gary is a “good sport” when his wife, Denise, beats him at Scrabble. Most of all, Gary takes special pride in a not-so-little energizer… his 19-year old daughter, Wei Elizabeth Gordon.
My name is Phil Mause. I am a Senior Advisor with the Pacific Economics Group, focusing on energy, regulatory and valuation issues. I retired from 40 years of law practice earlier this year. I am a yield oriented investor and in the last two years, I have done reasonably well in junk bonds, BDCs, mortgage REITS, and dividend paying blue chip stocks. As an avocation, I dabble in stand up comedy.
Convergence Investment Management is a Registered Investment Advisory firm that focuses on unique opportunities within the Closed-End Fund and Exchange Traded Fund marketplaces. We believe that the markets, while very efficient, are not perfectly efficient and that opportunities for superior risk adjusted returns exist for those willing to put in the work to identify short-term price dislocations. Charles “Chad” Gray is Convergence Investment Management’s Portfolio Manager. Prior to launching Convergence, Mr. Gray spent much of professional his career in Silicon Valley developing better data analytics platforms and data management techniques, many of which have been applied to the Convergence approach. Mr. Gray earned both an M.B.A. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Engineering from Northwestern University. He has also earned the CFA designation and is an active member with the CFA Society of San Francisco.
Mr. Hui has been involved in the equity markets since 1980, both on the buy side and the sell side. He is a CFA Charterholder, and has presented numerous papers to quantitative discussion groups (Sample topics include: How Global are Resource Sectors).
I am a contrarian investor with a long term outlook. I am looking for stocks that offer relative value with an income component. I focus on more inefficient parts of the market such as small market capitalization stocks, stocks with low float, and closed end funds. I also look to invest in blue chip dividend paying companies that have been sold off due to short term stock specific issues.
I have been involved in the investment industry since 1988. I started as a research analyst for a small hedge fund. In 1992, I worked as an international equity arbitrage trader for a British bank. I worked for a variety of investment banks including Bank of America, Societe Generale and Bloomberg as a trader until 2012. I am currently managing family money using a hedged Closed End Fund model that I have developed over the years.
I'm an individual investor who has been investing for over 20 years. I am semi-retired and focused on creating a portfolio that will return enough to meet my needs with as little risk as possible.
Chris Ciovacco is the founder and CEO of Ciovacco Capital Management (CCM), an independent money management firm serving individual investors nationwide. The thoroughly researched and backtested CCM Market Model answers these important questions: (1) How much should we allocate to risk assets?, (2) How much should we allocate to conservative assets?, (3) What are the most attractive risk assets?, and (4) What are the most attractive conservative assets?
Chris is an expert in identifying the best ETFs from a wide variety of asset classes, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and precious metals. The CCM Market Model compares over 130 different ETFs to identify the most attractive risk-reward opportunities.
Chris graduated summa cum laude from The Georgia Institute of Technology with a co-operative degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Prior to founding Ciovacco Capital Management in 1999, Mr. Ciovacco worked as a Financial Advisor for Morgan Stanley in Atlanta for five years earning a strong reputation for his independent research and high integrity. While at Georgia Tech, he gained valuable experience working as a co-op for IBM (1985-1990). During his time with Morgan Stanley, Chris received extensive training which included extended stays in NYC at the World Trade Center.
His areas of expertise include technical analysis and market model development. CCM’s popular weekly technical analysis videos on YouTube have been viewed over 700,000 times. Chris’ years of experience and research led to the creation of the thoroughly backtested CCM Market Model, which serves as the foundation for the management of separate accounts for individuals and businesses.
Copy and paste links into your browser:
More About CCM:
CCM Home Page:
Steven Bavaria writes about finance, economics and politics, drawing on his forty-five years experience in international banking, credit, investment, human resources/training, journalism and public service. Now retired from his "day job" on Wall Street, Bavaria lives mostly off his investments. His focus is largely on income-oriented stocks, bonds and mutual funds, as well as closed-end funds, ETFs and other IRA-suitable investments. His book "Too Greedy for Adam Smith: CEO Pay and the Demise of Capitalism" was just published and is available on Amazon and at independent retailers.
Bavaria began his career at the Bank of Boston, where he handled international credit workouts that included managing a fleet of ships, chasing a Vatican-owned bank in Switzerland, and leading the turnaround of troubled branches in Australia and Panama. He also ran the bank's human resources department, which is where he saw personally the beginnings of many of today's executive compensation excesses.
More recently he worked at Standard & Poor's, where he introduced ratings to the leveraged loan market. In between Bank of Boston and S&P he was Assoc. Commissioner of the Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health, worked briefly for Citibank, and was a reporter for IDD Magazine. He also did a short stint at a smaller rating agency where he had to leave in a hurry after writing an article called "From Banker to Bookmaker" that was deemed a bit too candid in describing the conflicted role of major commercial and investment banks.
Bavaria graduated from Georgetown University and New England School of Law.
A full time investor in stocks, bonds, options, and real estate who previously worked as a financial/investment journalist/analyst. Previous industry stints include privately held SageOnline Inc. - where he held multiple positions - as well as Multex.com, acquired by Reuters, where he was an equity research editor. Aloisi is a cum laude graduate of Penn State University, currently residing in native South Central Pennsylvania with his wife and 2 children.
Income investing has become his focal interest due to the challenges that the ZIRP environment presents. Not an advocate of any single portfolio strategy, he promotes a "go anywhere" philosophy predicated on value, forward thinking, sustainability, and personal objectives. While the past may be instructive, Aloisi cautions on over reliance.
In his free time he likes to talk politics, play the piano, garden, and go antiquing. Mr. Aloisi was recently elected to a 4-year term on his local school board, garnering the most votes out of 6 candidates.
I provide economic analysis, market commentary and company-specific research. My general view is to operate a diversified basket of long-term investments in both equities and fixed income. I have a bachelor's degree in economics from San Diego State University (2007), eight years of publishing experience and over a decade of cumulative investment experience. I have been published in several newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal and Barron's.
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.
John Cole Scott is Chief Investment Officer at the firm and holds the Series 66 FINRA Licenses. In 2002 he earned the Certified Fund Specialist designation (CFS). For over 15 years John has specialized in closed-end fund/BDC research, analysis and trading.
He has been quoted or interviewed by Bloomberg, SmartMoney, Investment News, The Street, Morningstar, Registered Rep, Reuters, Bond Buyer, Better Investing, USA Today and The Richmond Times Dispatch and published in SR Consultant. He has presented at conferences or events in Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, Boca Raton, FL, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO, Houston, TX, Miami, FL, Minneapolis, MN, Naples, FL, Newark, NJ, Richmond, VA, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, Tampa, FL and Washington DC including several keynote addresses.
In April 2008 John founded CEFA's Closed-End Fund Universe, a comprehensive weekly data service covering the closed-end fund industry currently with 185+ data points per traditional CEF and 115+ per Business Development Companies (BDCs). We launched BDCUniverse.net in August 2015 as the first BDC Research website covering all public BDCs. In November 2008 he founded "The CEF Network" on LinkedIN with 1375+ members.
John is a long time member and current Board Member of The Richmond Association for Business Economics (RABE) and serves on the Investment and Standing Committee for The New York State Society of The Cincinnati. He can be reached via: email@example.com or (804) 288-2482.
I am a retired engineer with a PhD in Engineering Science (mostly exotic math) together with a Masters in Statistics. I currently manage my website www.superchargeretirementincome.com, where I use my math background to select high-return, low-volatility investments. I also love teaching so I also provide a number of tutorials about all aspects of investing. I am an avid reader and have read just about every book I could find on the stock market. I am still learning so I welcome comments and suggestions. Over the years I have learned that there is no “holy grail”; you cannot receive a good return without taking risks. However, you can choose your investments to reduce risks and those are the kind of investments I like to make. Although financial markets are my passion, engineering is my profession. I have spent the last 30+ years as a program manager at a large aerospace company, working on improving defenses for our U.S. Army customers.
I'm a 65-year-old investor focused on dividends in a Retirement Income Portfolio. I'm not yet in the distribution phase of retirement.
I've been a member of the National Association of Investment Clubs (NAIC) since 1982, which now operates as BetterInvesting.org. For many years as a volunteer I helped lead workshops to teach tools developed by NAIC to educate investors about how to do basic fundamental stock analysis. I continue to have a strong interest in investor education.
NAIC's historic "four principles" have been very helpful to me:
1) invest regularly throughout your lifetime;
2) invest in growth companies;
3) reinvest earnings and profits;
4) diversify by industry and size.
Bill Bengen's "4% Rule" concept inspired me to set a goal to create a retirement income portfolio of individual dividend growth stocks as a way to tap only dividend income from the portfolio as long as possible rather than selling assets.
Helpful mentors and colleagues include:
- Charles Allmon, former columnist for Better Investing, taught me to look for growth stocks
- Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor taught me the importance of intrinsic value
- Peter Lynch instilled confidence that the average citizen can win in the stock market
- Louis Rukeyser demonstrated how to ask probing questions about market conditions
- Brad Thomas introduced me to a host of real estate investment trusts
- Bob Wells' analytical discipline keeps me focused on dividend growth
- Lowell Miller's The Single Best Investment helped me focus on quality and safety
- David Van Knapp's holistic style of portfolio building helps me see the big picture
- David Fish and Factoids inspire me to keep digging for data
- Chowder reminds me that each buy is the purchase of a business
- BDC Buzz has helped me sift through business development companies
- Tom Konrad opened my mind to alternative energy investments
- George Fisher is a helpful "lookout" scanning the horizon for utility opportunities
- The Seeking Alpha community--both veterans and young contributors.
George Spritzer, CFA is a registered investment advisor at Southland Investments and specializes in managing closed-end funds for individuals.
George uses the following investment strategies:1) Opportunistic Closed-end fund investing: Buy CEFs at larger than normal discounts to NAV and sell them when the discounts narrow. 2) Exploit special situations: tender offers, fund terminations, fund activism, rights offerings etc.
Dale Roberts is an Investment Funds Associate with Tangerine Investment Funds Limited, a subsidiary of Tangerine Bank wholly owned by Scotiabank. My articles are for information purposes only and do not constitute investment advice or an offer or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities. These articles are my personal opinion and are not those of Tangerine Bank or its subsidiaries. Remember past performance is not guaranteed and may not be repeated. Investment strategies are not suitable for everyone and you should always conduct your own research or speak to a financial advisor.
Independent. Insightful. Trusted. Morningstar provides stock market analysis; equity, mutual fund, and ETF research, ratings, and picks; portfolio tools; and option, hedge fund, IRA, 401k, and 529 plan research. Our reliable data and analysis can help both experienced enthusiasts and newcomers.
I am a medical professional, but I have been studying investing for many years so that I can control my own portfolio. DGI seems to be the best way for me to invest for my retirement while being able to sleep at night.
I have also been successfully trading cash secured puts for extra income. I share my experience on my websites, Tradingcsps.com and my blog Tradingputs.com.