4/29/16 - Student loans paid off six months before I planned on them being paid off. Basically every paycheck minus living expenses since last Oct went towards them. Lower end luxury car amount of money at close to 7% interest. Now I will have more disposable income than I can spend each paycheck (because I've adjusted myself to live cheaply). Maybe I'll return to writing at some point for fun. But probably more likely just update this profile whenever I hit a goal like this. And I've changed some things about the way I invest - more DCA into averages and less worrying about whatever pick I make when I get paid. I've come to believe that the savings rate matters more than getting a percent or so above what's going on in the stock and bond markets (when that can even be done). Second is tax-efficiency. So a lot of that stuff below no longer applies to the way I do things and it's a reminder to me to set a goal and stick with it like a pit bull. Next goal is enough money for a REAL down payment on a house. Or enough to buy a bunch of VTI or whatever if there's a big ol' dip before I'm ready to buy. Whenever I updated this in summer of 2015: I used to frequently write an instablog on my investments, but have realized I was doing things backwards and am currently focusing on paying down as much debt as humanly possible over the next couple of years (it can be done in a year and a half) and that's kind of boring to write or read about. "Oh yes! I scrounged another $10 over the last month by swapping out light bulbs to energy efficient ones and now am one week closer to paying off my student loans!" Bleah. I (still) work as a mental health nurse. I did not get my dream job of helping people to die - but I now have a job that's less violent, pays better, and that allows some autonomy for actually doing some people some good. My goal is to eventually replicate my income via dividends and then retire (so I can quit interacting with people that test my own sanity). I'm in my late 30's. I believe in value investing with high dividends/distributions. That said, my favorite investments are CEFs (not because these are particularly good investments, but because I can find out if they are trading at a good value) and preferred shares (as long as I can buy them below par and the company is making money or is demonstratively turning things around). I'm also implementing a long-term moving average strategy in my 401k and Roth accounts (and as an update, seems to work much better for my mentality for total returns - wax on/wax off). And I've been experimenting with leveraged trading funds with small amounts of money. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The trick, I think, is to make sure that when it works it more than makes up for when it doesn't. I happily admit that I tend to take different ideas from different sources that I think make sense and mix them together. And if you bothered to read this far, you would be well served by reading the articles/comments of the these folks: http://seekingalpha.com/author/monty-spivak/articles (the high/yield with moderate risk articles are the biggest influence of the way I currently invest) http://seekingalpha.com/author/douglas-albo/articles (man has been touting the same line for years and it's starting to pay off - excellent cef analysis - I have read all of his articles twice and will be reading them again) http://seekingalpha.com/user/157675/comments (guy's has excellent long-term investment wisdom and keeps things in perspective) http://seekingalpha.com/author/tim-mcpartland/comments (I don't think he comments or writes much, but has the best free site on the internet) http://seekingalpha.com/article/921541-this-simple-trend-following-model-has-crushed-buy-and-hold (this article is the one that got me interested in trend/momentum following and led me to Mebane-Faber and a bunch of other stuff - personal best results so far in my short investing career have come from these type of strategies though you have to deal with a shrinking scrotum and sinking stomach at times)
As director of research at Portfolio123, I have long specialized in rules/factor-based equity investing strategies of the sort characterized as “Smart Alpha” in the July 2014 Journal of Portfolio Management. In addition, I formerly managed a high-yield fixed-income fund and conducted research involving quantitative asset allocation strategies such as are at the foundation of what today has come to be known as Robo Advising. I formerly edited the the Forbes Low Priced Stock Report, and served as an assistant research director at Value Line. I have long had a passion for investor education, which has resulted in my having conducted numerous seminars on stock selection and analysis, and the authoring of two books: Screening The Market and The Value Connection.
I am a retired professor, a retired investment adviser, and currently a private investor and full-time tennis pro. I bought my first stock in a custodial account in 1958. I am a student of history, particularly military and economic/market history. The intellectual passions of my retirement years are markets, mathematics, and quantum theory. I like to travel. I served in Vietnam.
After 8/28/16, I will be writing no more than 4 substantive Instablogs per year. Those blogs will be published in March, June, September and December.
Those blogs will concentrate on matters relating to portfolio positioning.
I will be posting substantive comments to my last published Instablog.
I have not used, nor will I even contemplate using SA's Instablog service as free advertising to sell a subscription service.
I have never received any compensation for the posts published at my blog website or here at SeekingAlpha. I am simply passing on what I have learned as an investor over 4+ decades free of charge. In all of my 2000+ posts since early October 2008, the primary purpose was to provide a framework for rational and fact based investment decision making that will hopefully reduce the number of errors made. That goal has been accomplished for the very few investors who have some interest in receiving it.
My most basic investment strategy is to focus on income generating securities and then to invest the cash flow into more of the same, creating a compounding impact over a long period of time. I will invest in securities throughout the capital structure on a worldwide basis. I am now and have always been a cautious total return investor (income + capital appreciation). A focus on income generation simply means that income generation through interest or dividend payments is an important part of my total return objective. I am no longer in an asset accumulation mode. Capital preservation is more important than capital appreciation. Income generation is only one aspect of an objective evaluation of potential rewards balanced against potential risks. After several decades of "turtle" investing, which sometimes requires me to pull my head back into the shell and to cease foraging in stock land (e.g. 1999), I am now admittedly absurdly diversified due largely to one of my risk management techniques that limits my monetary exposure to the securities of a single company. My monetary exposure is largely dictated by a balancing of potential risks and rewards taking into consideration income generation and potential for capital appreciation. As a risk control trading technique and in furtherance of my capital preservation emphasis, I will frequently use the natural volatility of a security to gradually build up a position, selling the highest cost shares on price spikes and buying back those shares when the purchase is lower than my average cost per share usually by more than 5%. The general idea is to lower my average cost per share over time with tax efficient share dispositions, thereby increasing my dividend yield for the remaining shares. I have also been a practitioner of dynamic or tactical asset allocation that will be driven by my big picture views, including my Vix Asset Allocation Model, as well as my opinions about the relative risks and opportunities of various asset classes. I was born in 1951, and started to invest in stocks when I was 16. I am not a financial advisor, but simply an individual investor who has been managing my own money for my adult life starting when I was a teenager. All of my brokerage accounts are cash accounts. I have never bought stock on margin. I have not added money to any of these accounts since 1984 and have used those accounts to fund my annual IRA contributions. I started my web site, Stocks & Politics, in October 2008 to do whatever I can to help individuals become better investors, which requires a lot of hard work and effort. After over 2000+ blogs, mostly long ones, I came to a realization that my time consuming and laborious efforts have been mostly futile and have been rewarded at best with faint praise. I will no longer be posting there. I would still emphasize that it is important for individuals to become as knowledgeable as possible before making any decision, with every individual taking full responsibility for their investment decisions and to prepare accordingly, which is what I try to do. The Twitter Generation will need IMO far greater investment skills than previous generations given what I now perceived about future U.S. economic conditions.
INDEPENDENT Financial Advisor / Professional Investor- with over 30 years of navigating the Stock market's "fear and greed" cycles that challenge the average investor. Investment strategies that combine Theory, Practice and Experience to produce Portfolios focused on achieving positive returns over a period of time. Providing advice in helping to avoid the pitfalls and traps that wreak havoc on your portfolio with a focus on Income and Capital Preservation.
I manage the capital of only a handful of families and I see it as my number one job to protect their financial security. They don’t pay me to sell them investment products, beat an index, abandon true investing for mindless diversification or follow the Wall Street lemmings down the primrose path. I manage their money exactly as I manage my own so I don’t take any risk at all unless I strongly believe it is worth taking.
Blogging here on SA is part of my research. I write to find out what I think.
I invite you to join the family of satisfied clients send an e-mail :firstname.lastname@example.org
Professionally, I have done a bit of everything in my long life, from playing rock and roll, to developing software, and running a successful entrepreneurial business. But I am best known as a writer of bestselling books about business and health. I write under a pseudonym here on Seeking Alpha because that way I know readers will evaluate my work strictly on the basis of what I actually said rather than who I am.
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.
Author of Tipswatch.com blog, David Enna is a long-time journalist based in Charlotte, N.C. A past winner of two Society of American Business Editors and Writers awards, he has written on real estate and home finance, and was a founding editor of The Charlotte Observer's website. The Tipswatch blog, which launched in April 2011, explores ideas, benefits and cautions about Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, which David believes are an under-appreciated and under-used investment. David has been investing in TIPS since 1998.
Tim McPartland is a private investor with over 45 years of investment experience. Additionally he is the editor, and former owner, of The Yield Hunter, a website devoted to the hunt for income producing securities of all types, but in particular specializing in preferred stocks, exchange traded debt and Master Limited Partnerships.
Gratian is private self directed investor, managing Roth IRA & Traditional IRA retirement accounts, plus taxable accounts constructed to provide additional income to existing employer sponsored retirement plans.
Gratian is a contrarian investor with a fondness of investing in companies that returns a share its profits to him as additional income. Gratian is always in search of opportunities to buy specific investments when the majority of investors appear to be doing the opposite.
The Intelligent Investor - Benjamin Graham
‘Great investment opportunities come around when excellent companies are surrounded by unusual circumstances that cause the stock to be misappraised.’ - Warren Buffet
Rubicon Associates is headed by a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder with over 20 years of experience in the investment management industry focused on the analysis, investment and management of fixed income and preferred stock portfolios. Over the years, he has analyzed and invested in both public and private companies around the world as well as advised institutional clients on fixed income strategies and manager selection. The principal has been responsible for managing nearly seven billion dollars in credit investments across the capital structure and overseeing the research and trading of credit market activities. Rubicon Associates has written for Seeking Alpha, Learn Bonds, a newsletter and TheStreet.com in addition to advising institutional and private investors.
Long term buyer and holder of silver. I still have silver from when it used to be the actual US money- when it had intrinsic value. I plan to hold it and hopefully accumulate more. Began investing and charting on paper in the late 1980's (hey, a computer cost $5000 then). On Gold: it's not that I am such a die-hard gold bug, it's more that I'm a big government and Federal Reserve pessimist and realist. The 10 cent candy bars I used to buy after school in 1961 when I was 10 now cost about $1.50. I have lived through the 90% decline of the Dollar. Thank you Federal Reserve.
Individual investor. Generally using index Mutual Funds or ETFs. Trying to diversify more (foreign in particular). Pick up tips & concepts, & learn more.
I'm at alpha to keep a finger on the current moods & predictions... and so I notice up coming big financial news events before they impact.
See you around! Feel free to write me!
Specialize in the investment in and trading of "deep-value" high-yield securities, including debt, preferred shares, common shares, put/call options, and ETF's, for my own and family accounts only. Have over seventeen years experience personally directing our personal and family accounts on a mostly full-time basis.
Was previously an international-business executive, general manager and entrepreneur in the medical-technology industry. Also provided consulting, related to general management, new-venture formation and acquisition of venture capital.
Education: Brown University, School of Engineering (Sc. B. '71); University of Virginia, Darden School of Business Administration (MBA '73).
Present Home: Sarasota, FL
Previous Homes: New York City, Mountain View, CA
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Technology and business consultant, who invests in Canada Europe, Australia, and USA. Deep financial sector and financial services experience from both business and technology perspectives. A do-it-yourself income investor, who is always evaluating and seeking high-yield and long-term, long positions.