At StockSaints, we believe the best edge presents opportunity when discipline and timing are allowed to flourish, developing a systematic approach to capital allocation. Variables outside of any given company may influence entire sectors and industries in ways that warrant great care and consideration. With over 50 years of combined market insight, we are uniquely positioned to share our full understanding of the mechanics of the auction marketplace, the emotion and crowd psychology that drives prices, and the methods that produce repeatable results over time. Each trade has two parties, you and your counter-party, only one is correct in their decision.
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!
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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Efsinvestment.com website offers simple do-it-yourself type of investment ideas. You can download excel files that can easily calculate the Fair Value of a stock, along with O-Metrix score and Margin of Safety.
Investment philosophy is to first determine the maximum loss, and invest accordingly. Like many value investors, we prefer to invest in stocks with the highest dividend yields, and highest EPS growth potentials. Telecommunication and energy stocks in emerging markets are among the favorites.
Seeking Alpha offers a great opportunity to become a part of a strong finance network. Based on extensive quantitative analysis, in any market, going short is risky. Statistical analysis shows that technical indicators work only if they are strong enough to convince the majority of the investors. Do not buy a stock at the top, do not sell a stock at the dip.
Rocco Pendola is an associate editor at Seeking Alpha focusing on technology and the sectors it overlaps with.
In addition to technology, I am interested in dividend growth and income investing.
I make references to music I'm obsessed with (e.g., Old 97s, Elliott Smith, Bruce Springsteen) in my writing. If you notice any of these references, it makes me happy.
Nial Fuller is an Australian, Independant Forex and Futures Traders who has mastered the art of 'Price Action Trading' and applies his simplistic methods to the Forex Market and Stock Index Futures. A career spanning nearly a decade, his strong passion for Financial Markets has fueld a successfull Trading career as well as other ventures including His Top Ranked Forex Training Courses, Market Commentary, Videos, Webinars and more.
David Hunkar (pseudonym) holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Economics. He is a part-time consultant for a financial consulting firm where he manages portfolios for manages portfolios for self and family. He has been an investor for the past ten years. David focuses on foreign stocks trading in the US markets including the OTC market. He concentrates on high dividend yield and dividend growth stocks. ETFs are his another favorite investment vehicle. In addition to his contributions here at Seeking Alpha, you can also visit him at his blog www.topforeignstocks.com
Jason Schwarz authors the popular Economic Timing investment newsletter. His fundamental and technical research has become a primary resource for hedge funds and individual investors.
Nick Gogerty he has worked at a value based hedge fund, a quant forex desk and debt prop desks, various technology and marketing firms and a deep future science research lab as well as one of the world's largest hedge funds. He is to be a guest lecturer at Columbia's Value Investing program fall 2014 and wrote, The Nature of Value published by Columbia University Press.
His experience and passion runs deeply across multiple market sectors, audiences and geographies.
Mr Gogerty has lived in 6 countries across 3 global regions, solving complex business problems.
Previously, Mr. Gogerty developed commodity hedge fund portfolios and indexes, working as a quantitative developer and trader on a proprietary foreign exchange desk in London. In addition, Mr. Gogerty has been a serial entrepreneur in convergence spaces between technology and media. He has also testified before the U.S. Senate on technology and counter-party financial risk with regard to the year 2000 transition.
Mr. Gogerty holds a Bachelor of Arts in cultural anthropology from the University of Iowa, an M.B.A. from the Ecole de Ponts et Chaussees in Paris. He holds or has held Series 3, 7, 63 and FSA licenses. Nick holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) (http://www.caia.org/) designation. Mr. Gogerty lives in New York City with his wife Mercedes, where he enjoys reading about finance, technology, design, applied science and sustainable development in emerging economies. visit www.thenatureofvalue.com
Dr. Kris has two degrees from MIT because one just wasn't enough. Her life goal was to figure out the universe and having done that (at least to her satisfaction), she decided to tackle something even more difficult—the stock market.
Applying the scientific method along with an insatiably curious mind, she began trading stocks, futures, and options in order to find the holy grail to market success. She's discovered to her immense satisfaction that not only is there one way to succeed but many. Combining her love of cooking with the stock market, she's devised recipes for investment success designed to please the palate of most investors. Dr. Kris currently manages a private equity long/short portfolio and writes of her current research projects that appear on her website, StockMarketCookBook.com.
Her most exciting project is applying market timing models to Modern Portfolio Theory to not only give greater returns but at substantially lower levels of risk. (See PortfolioPreserver.com for further information.)
MagicDiligence provides useful, simple, and effective stock screening tools inspired by Joel Greenblatt's Magic Formula® Investing methodology. Our Spells give value and growth investors a list of great stock candidates every day, and our advanced Spell Caster lets you create the Magic-style stock screen you've always wanted! Learn more about our exclusive set of investing tools today!
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Only days after the S&P 500 crashed to the depths of hell at 666, the Hoffman brothers launched Wall St. Cheat Sheet: one of the fastest growing financial media sites on the web. Like a samurai, our mission is to cut through the bull and bear sh** with extraordinary insights, a fresh voice, and razor-sharp wit. We provide the highest quality education and information for active investors and financial professionals. We are official contributors to Yahoo Finance, CNNMoney, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Minyanville, SeekingAlpha, and Zero Hedge. Our work has been cited in top finance and trading outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Financial Times, The Big Picture, Real Clear Markets, The Atlantic, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Infectious Greed, DealBreaker, CBS MoneyWatch, Kiplinger, Investment Postcards, ZeroHedge, Business Pundit, TraderFeed, The Kirk Report, AbnormalReturns, and more.
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Damien Hoffman, Esq. decided to launch a financial website and exclusive subscription-based newsletter after achieving a 63% return versus a -48% return for the S&P over a nearly two year time frame as a co-founder of popular stock blog SmartGuyStocks (member of the Forbes Business and Finance Blog Network, and certified by Seeking Alpha). Mr Hoffman is currently Editor-in-Chief of Wall St. Cheat Sheet and trades full-time. After graduating early with honors from Duke University, he raised private equity with friends during the late Nineties to launch a successful start-up. Mr. Hoffman went on to work for boutique sports investment bank Inner Circle LLP where he worked on the sale of the NBA franchise New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn real estate development firm Forest City Ratner Companies (NYSE: FCE-A). Mr. Hoffman also graduated with honors from the University of Miami School of Law as a Dean’s Merit Scholar. He clerked at the Florida Supreme Court for the Honorable Justice Kenneth Bell and Central Staff. In 2006 at Harvard Law School he gave a guest lecture entitled, “Business and Law in the New Independent Music Industry.”
Derek Hoffman joined efforts with his brother to launch Wall St. Cheat Sheet after a decade of investing experience and outperforming the S&P 500 over the past 5 years. Mr. Hoffman is currently the CEO of Wall St. Cheat Sheet and trades full-time. He is a regular contributor to CNNMoney. His long-term investments and short-term trades have yielded extraordinarily successful results: double digit annual returns. Mr. Hoffman has handled media investment and tactical strategy planning for Procter & Gamble and Gillette’s national asset portfolio. He has also worked in private wealth management for Morgan Stanley. Mr. Hoffman graduated early from the University of Michigan’s world class economics department.
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I write The 5th Column, a weekly research product which goes to a number of institutional clients around the world. I seek to supply my clients with heretical opinions and facts that can give them a more informed view of the world. 5th Columnideas is completely independent and therefore does not have to provide research that requires the approval of corporate financiers, or dissenting colleagues.
I’m a swing trader of momentum stocks with a holding period of anywhere from a few hours to a few months. I run a number of screens to locate the strongest/weakest stocks out there, using technical analysis to determine my entries and exits. Trying to calculate the intrinsic value of stocks in my opinion is out of date and there is wisdom in crowds.I've developed a market timing system that determines when it's best to be long, short or on the sidelines, using a number of proprietary indicators based on many time frames. I believe that to have longevity in this field one must find ways to calm the mind and trade from a detached point of view. Emotionless trading will allow you to respond to what's going on right now in the markets, rather than reacting to daily fluctuations.View my personal blog http://zentrader.ca/
Gary Tanashian is proprietor of NFTRH.com and Biiwii.com. Actionable, hype-free technical, macro economic and sentiment analysis is provided in the premium market report 'Notes From the Rabbit Hole' (http://nftrh.com/nftrh-premium/). Complimentary analysis and commentary is available at the public site (http://nftrh.com), at http://biiwii.com and by email with our free - and spam free - eLetter service (http://nftrh.com/free-eletter/).
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.
Marco is a trader of stocks, options, currencies, and futures. He has been fascinated with the financial markets ever since he bought his first stock at 11 years old. Marco entered the business world at the age of 13, with the creation of an extremely successful retail website (GoldenAgeCheese.com), that of which he still has a major role in today. Marco writes about stocks and options whenever he gets the chance. He's dedicated to educate his readers to the best of his ability about the financial markets, particularly about buying/selling options and different strategies. 2008 was one of the most profitable years trading stocks and options for Marco. He trades based on technicals and fundamentals, so you may find many of his posts valuable.
History/Trading Style: I have been trading for 12 years, since I was 15, and have studied a variety of trading techniques and strategies. I combine many trading philosophies and combine technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and macro-economic analysis into every trade. I mostly trade options and implement complex option strategies to take advantage of favorable risk-reward set-ups.
I also believe in industry specific metrics and am developing a trading strategy around these metrics.
As for technical analysis I use a variety of techniques, but favor trading triangles and basic trend line support and resistance in channels and breakdown/breakout patterns, with a major focus on volume on the moves.
I am a trend trader and will not fight a trend, because that is a losing strategy. I take pride in my stock picking ability and have had a lot of success in finding under the radar stocks that provide huge returns, and often find stocks that are eventually taken over.
Options provide the flexibility and leverage so that traders can make major returns in any market. I am an active trader and set strict profit taking targets and stop losses.
Education: Graduated Bentley University in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in finance. Graduated Boston University in 2007 with a master's degree in investment management. Passed Level 1 of the CFA in December 2006
Career: Most recently worked as an Equity Analyst for Thomson-Reuters on a new venture at ThomsonSquawkBox.com (http://www.ThomsonSquawkBox.com). I provided a wide array of live market analysis which includes but is not limited to swing trades, long-term trades, monitoring of the options market, option trading strategies, sector analysis, conference call coverage, earnings previews, trading tools, intraday trades, and other trading strategies. The product never got the chance to get off the ground as we launched when the market was crashing, so it was cut out of the budget.
I then started my own Company, OptionsHawk, where I provide the fastest, most thorough, and most accurate options analysis on Wall Street. I also design trading strategies and provide clients with live market analysis throughout the trading day. My clients are always on the inside, and the first to know, and we swing trade options with a high success rate.
Starting my own Company was the best thing I could have done and has opened up a lot of avenues. I enjoy not having a boss, taking lunch breaks at the beach, and not having to deal with the antics of the Corporate World. My analysis has been featured on Reuters, Bloomberg, and other financial publications.
Momentum Trader/Technical Trader. Move fast when an opportunity arises, cut losers fast to protect from losses, keep risk low, play the odds when in your favor, don't feel obligated to buy as that will ruin your mindset. Plenty of opportunities out there, don't let yourself feel rushed.
Business Owner/Entrepreneur first, Trader second, author third. This business limits my ability to trade, so not as as many articles and updates as some of you were used to in previous years.
Website being rebooted & launched in 2016.
Mike Kudrna and the information on his blog are for educational purposes only. You should speak to your own financial advisor before making any decisions based on Mr. Kudrna’s opinions. Mr. Kudrna is not responsible for any actions you take upon reading his perspective and opinion. Keep in mind that positions that Mr. Kudrna has can change at any time without written notice.
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.
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DailyForex is a one-stop-shop for all Forex traders whether they are new to the market or have years of experience. We offer in-depth objective reviews of Forex brokers, money managers, signal providers, Forex courses, and general market products. We also cover the market news and analysis and offer traders a place to communicate using our forums, groups, and blogs.