Seeking alpha has been one of the "go-to" sites for the investors in our family. We would like to strike a perfect balance between short term trading and long term investing, hence the name "Tradevestor".Good luck investing. In the interest of full disclosure, this is a group account handled by Father and Son. The Father was a trader for quite a few years years with mixed returns, while the son started out a few years ago with DGI and has slowly convinced the Patriarch towards investing rather than trading.
Disclaimer: Please do your own due diligence before buying or selling any stock. Ideas and thoughts presented in the articles are not professional recommendations.
I am an individual investor. My professional background is in the finance area. I have managed my own investments for over 30 years. For most of that time, my focus was on portfolio building using individual stocks. About 5 years ago, I shifted my focus to investing via ETFs. I have found that this has greatly simplified my investment style yet simultaneously increased the scope and diversification of my portfolio.
I firmly believe that the benefits of investing, and the market, should be understandable and available to everyone, including individuals who may have little or no financial background. My hope is to explain concepts simply, taking much of the mystery and accompanying fear out of the process. I look forward to enjoying the journey with everyone who decides to follow me, and hope I can make a difference in someone's life.
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I am the General Partner and portfolio manager of Gold Street Capital Fund, LP. General Partner of the private equity firm Warbucks Capital, LP, and General Partner Prism Capital Markets, LLP
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Tom Vaughan was 12-years old when his math teacher gave each student $3,000 of Monopoly money to buy and sell stocks. He was told that, at the end of three months, the students with the top returns would be given a special field trip.
Growing up in Silicon Valley and watching the tremendous wealth created by the stocks of some of the world’s greatest companies, inspired him to learn about investing in the stock market. He went home and told his parents about this contest, and they took him to see his grandfather, who was an avid stock market investor. He sat Tom down with the stock listing from the local paper, showing him what he looks for in a good stock. Together they picked three stocks to buy and then they would meet every week to track the progress. This was the genesis of Tom’s life-long interest in investing.
At the end of the contest, they lined the students up on the playground by rate of return. Tom was at the front of the line. He had won the contest. Interestingly enough, the special field trip that he qualified for was a trip to Alcatraz. This is an interesting place to take a budding financial professional. Perhaps, more of our country’s financial professionals should have started this way.
His grandfather was so excited by his interest in investing that they continued to work together on Tom’s investing education. Unfortunately, only two years after helping Tom win the investing contest, his grandfather passed away. He had lost his investing mentor.
Tom then saw what happened to his grandmother. His grandparents had a traditional relationship. Tom’s grandfather handled all of the money and his grandmother was given an allowance to handle the household needs. Although Tom’s grandfather was one of the best investors he have ever met, his grandmother did not have any idea what was in her portfolio and when his grandfather passed, away chaos ensued. He was determined at a young age to help people with investing advice. His advice and outlook has always reflected having his grandmother as his first client.
In 1987, he went to work for a Wall St. investment firm called First Investors. Anyone with a conscience will only last a few years at a firm like this. For example, the firm had its own mutual funds. Everyone worked on a straight commission and the firm would pay twice as much commission if you sold one of its funds versus another company’s funds. The pressure from management to sell these funds regardless of how they performed was intense. This was not a place for his grandmother’s portfolio.
He left and started his own firm, Retirement Capital Strategies (RCS). He selected LPL Financial to clear his business because they did not have any of their own investments, thus reducing the conflict of interest. As his own boss, he did not have to worry about pressure from management to put the wrong things in his clients’ portfolios.
This concept of independent, no conflict of interest, client-first financial advice was wildly successful. RCS was one on the fastest growing Financial Planning and Money Management firms in the country. RCS eventually ended up with three offices in San Jose, Danville and Napa. Over a 26-year period, Tom personally performed over 6,000 financial plans and managed hundreds of millions in assets for over 700 clients. His advice on this website is based on the extensive experience of working with these real life clients.
Over time, he was still dissatisfied with the massive conflicts of interest that exist in the financial advice industry as it stands today.
He saw an opportunity to create a completely new conflict-free, low-cost advice model. He decided to risk everything, cash out of his Financial Planning practice, and show people how to become self-sufficient investors.
By closely watching the investment advisory business, he saw an opportunity to help self-sufficient investors by creating a conflict free, no market-timing set of investment newsletters that contain portfolios of the lowest cost ETFs for the self-sufficient investor to replicate. He also gives ongoing advice on when to replace a portion of the portfolio with a better alternative, when to perform a rebalancing, and educational information on the Remonsy Retirement Income Builder program. All of this advice is designed to help you improve your retirement and help you become a more self-sufficient investor.
The same advice that he charged his clients an average of $4,000 per year is now available in his newsletters.
Benjamin is the founder of ModernGraham.com, a website devoted to the study and modernization of the teachings of Benjamin Graham. Benjamin graduated cum laude with a J.D. and Certificate in Taxation from DePaul University College of Law, and a B.S. in Finance (Honors) from DePaul University College of Commerce.
Articles posted on Seeking Alpha are a sample of the articles posted on ModernGraham.com. Please visit the website for more ModernGraham content.
On October 31st, 2014, I retired. Turned in the keys to the company car, gave them my computer and my account lists and joined the ranks of those who "slipped off into the sunset." I never thought in retirement that I would be this busy. It's fun. Time with the grandkids, time to perfect my cooking skills, and time to travel and check off the things on my bucket list. I should have done this a long time ago.
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David is CEO of New Constructs (www.newconstructs.com), an independent research firm that leverages proprietary technology to find key insights from the Financial Footnotes of 10Ks and 10Qs. Having analyzed over 70,000 annual reports and their Financial Footnotes, New Constructs helps protect clients from the red flags/unknowns in SEC filings.
David is a distinguished investment strategist and corporate finance expert. He is a member of FASB's Investors Advisory Committee, and he is author of the Chapter “Modern Tools for Valuation” in The Valuation Handbook (Wiley Finance 2010).
David's insights into the markets and his stock picks have been popular with a wide variety of media outlets.