I suspect that most preferred income investors are conservative by nature. I am. I don't believe I have any special talent or gift for trading, a crystal ball, or any access to insider information. Consequently, I have little expectation of prospering by consistently buying low and selling high. In fact, prior to becoming a fixed income investor, my trading history boasted the opposite, buying high and selling low. Tis sad but true, over those years, I've given more to the market than I've taken from it. However, that's yesterday's news, and of no real interest. Of importance is that I'm patient, analytical, organized, pretty good at math, and always looking for that angle, strategy, or edge to help guarantee my market success. The Art & Science of Preferred Dividend Investing details my history, education and growth as a preferred investor and the lessons I learned along the way. I want to share that knowledge by introducing you to this effective, profitable, and safe way to invest in preferred equities.
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.
Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA is the Chief Investment Officer of Sizemore Capital Management LLC, a registered investment advisor. He has been a frequent guest on Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News, has been quoted in Barron’s Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post and is a frequent contributor to Forbes Moneybuilder, GuruFocus, MarketWatch and InvestorPlace.com.
Charles holds a master’s degree in Finance and Accounting from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance with an International Emphasis from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and as a Phi Beta Kappa scholar.
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I'm an asset manager at Hebba Alternative Investments with a focus on real assets. In my articles I like to focus on events that affect the macro environment for assets (especially gold and silver), and also introduce readers to different metrics that I believe are under-utilized when assessing investments.
On a more personal note, I'm a firm believer that there can be honesty, morality, and integrity in finance (though its rare) and i'd like to believe that I stick to those principles. Thus I never "pump and dump" stocks, I always list the securities we own, and I take it very seriously when I recommend a company - I do not want to see any investors/readers lose money because of my recommendations.
I'm not always right with recommendations, but investors and readers can know that I always tell the truth (there is no deception) and I eat my own cooking as recommendations are either always owned OR the reason I dont own them is given (usually related to restrictions on stocks I can buy).
Advising people in financial matters is a serious issue and integrity is much more important than money to me, but I do believe both can co-exist. You live with money, but after your death you only have your morality and integrity and thus i've made my choice between the two. A bit philosophical for a bio, but I dont think there's a better way to give investors my background than that.
We offer investors a free weekly email list detailing gold, silver, and general economic markets which you can sign up for at: http://www.communitysynergy.com/subscribe/hebbainvestments_subscribe.html
I am an oil and gas analyst with a focus in the midstream and downstream sectors. I look for companies that achieve a majority of their business from stable income generating activities, but also have some exposure to fundamental underlying energy moves providing additional upside and downside during volatile changes. I have spent the past 9 years trading physical and financial energy markets. I generally hold a portfolio of longs and shorts, while hedging some price exposure using futures and options.
I'm a dividend growth investor that is looking to execute a sound retirement plan.I constantly learn about it from multiple sources and can say that I am a true fan of SA and many of the writers in this forum.
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.
The author of Stockerblog worked for over 20 years in the financial services industry as a stockbroker, investment advisor, Vice President of a San Francisco money management firm, mutual fund wholesaler, and market maker on the Pacific Stock Exchange. He has written numerous articles for the Bond and Share Society Journal, Friends of Financial History Magazine, TheStreet.com and many other investment publications. He has also appeared on CNBC and Fox Business News, and is founder of WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.
Visit Stockerblog (http://stockerblog.com/) and WallStreetNewsNetwork.com (http://WallStreetNewsNetwork.com)
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.