My academic background is in Engineering and management.
Besides one basic accounting course at university my investment knowledge is self-taught.
Reading books, SEC filings, annual reports, analyst reports, blog posts, MOOCs, message boards and listening to select podcasts and conference calls has helped me enormously to evolve as an investor.
I'm a computer engineer with a great interest in finance. I'm not a pro, I do it for my family. But I'll share what I know and try to be as helpful as I can. I own about 10% of my assets in precious metals. As for currencies, I keep about 75% CAD vs 25% USD of my assets. I have about 35% in mutual funds; global small cap, global fixed income and global real estate. These allocations are fully managed by me, but I re-balance twice a year or so. That mutual fund core is insuring sufficient diversification and low correlation to the following US and Canada single stocks.
About another 35% is a trusted core of single stocks, both Canada and US. These positions are generally overweight at about 3% of portfolio. Core positions have a few properties in my portfolio: low turn-over, very long term, low debt, often dividend growers with low payouts, good valuations, good growth, low beta. They are safe and feel safe, and I usually build those position over the years. I consider it core after 2 years of reliable service. A stock can gain my trust by presenting profits. Not much mega caps, mostly small to medium caps. Another property of my core: easy to understand businesses. They wash linen, they sell groceries, they make boxes, they produce wine. As I build confidence and understanding, I allow more exotic positions in core. They manage money, they rent retirement houses, they dig for metals, they patent software, etc.
At the other extreme, I keep a few lottery tickets as satellite positions for about 20% of portfolio total, 0.75% to 1.5% of portfolio each position. More risky or difficult to understand business, more volatile and some signs of stink. Could be reversal plays, could be momentum stocks, can display signs of breaking out. Usually, I rely a little more on technicals than fundamentals there. And I trade. I learn. I make mistakes. I churn. Survival of the fittest.
I always look for dips in my core positions, and I wait for clear signals to buy back (volume, a few moving avg). If I have cash, I use it. If I don't I look at core and I trim large gains. If no gains there, I look at satellites for gains. If no gains, I look at satellites for mistakes, stinkers, unreliable bets. With money, I buy dips in core positions or in-the-middle stocks. In middle stocks are first buys aiming core, or rising satellites gaining confidence and improving.
Here's my complete stock portfolio as of mid-March 2016, where each record corresponds to (yes I would like to display as array):
NAME, TICKER, MKT CAP, PE, BETA, % of portfolio
Alimentation Couche-Tard ATD.B 33.71B 21.4 -0.11 5.0%
Richelieu Hardware Ltd. RCH 1.59B 26.74 0.57 4.9%
Winpak Ltd. WPK 2.89B 21.65 0.42 4.7%
Milestone Apartments MST.UN 1.49B 4.44 -0.17 4.7%
Supremex Inc SXP 144.07M 9.43 0.92 4.7%
Savaria Corporation SIS 311.44M 29.33 0.48 4.6%
K-Bro Linen Inc KBL 356.99M 30.42 0.4 4.4%
Intertape Polymer Group ITP 1.25B 17.94 1.05 4.3%
Andrew Peller Ltd. ADW.A 384.42M 20.23 0.22 4.3%
AMERCO UHAL 7.87B 15.9 1.55 3.6%
Saputo Inc. SAP 15.48B 25.96 0.25 3.6%
RDM Corp RC 98.02M 16.8 0.88 3.4%
Acadian Timber Corp ADN 306.91M 20.22 0.48 3.3%
Richards Packaging RPI.UN 280.52M 23.04 0.6 3.2%
Lassonde Industries Inc. LAS.A 649.85M 22.6 0.08 2.9%
Pason Systems Inc. PSI 1.46B 1000 0.37 2.8%
Tricon Capital Group Inc TCN 1.05B 11.43 0.43 2.8%
Metro, Inc. MRU 11.24B 21.33 0.22 2.8%
CCL Industries Inc. CCL.B 8.17B 26.01 0.85 2.8%
Walt Disney Co DIS 155.07B 17.59 1.34 2.8%
First Trust Health Care... FXH 1.18B 20 0.9 2.5%
Photon Control Inc PHO 79.55M 10.22 1 2.3%
Brookfield Asset Management BAM.A 44.31B 19.34 0.52 2.1%
Brinker International EAT 2.64B 14.54 0.4 2.1%
Sylogist Ltd. SYZ 249.35M 52.2 1.34 2.0%
Logistec Corporation LGT.B 442.18M 16.21 0.55 1.6%
Enbridge Income Fund ENF 4.00B 16.83 0.17 1.5%
Ceapro Inc. CZO 129.92M 19.85 2.14 1.3%
ProShares Ultra Nasdaq BIB 493.79M 30 2.18 1.3%
Pivot Tech. Solutions PTG 73.55M 9.55 0.45 1.3%
Biosyent Inc. RX 125.79M 34.13 -0.29 1.2%
XPEL Technologies Corp DAP.U 28.62M 18.28 0.1 1.0%
Pacific Safety Products PSP 10.96M 13.21 1.98 0.9%
Omni-Lite Industries OML 17.38M 22 1.11 0.8%
American Water Works AWK 14.82B 31.17 0.13 0.8%
IWG Technologies Inc IWG 11.88M 13.06 0.77 0.7%
Master in Applied Maths & Computer Science from Moscow State University. MA in Economics from New Economic School, Moscow, Russia. CFA Charterholder.
First 3 years - sell side research (first equity, then fixed income).
Next 3 years - buy side, equity & HFs (first analyst, then fund manager).
Ever since - Private Banking, all asset classes, fund selection, FoF manager, ETF strategies; some single stock mandates and M&A advisory (biotech/pharma, IT, resource juniors).
Renaissance Investment Management, HSBC, Raiffeisenbank Austria. Currently PM at Leon Multi-Family Office (Russia/Cyprus).
Thomas Bachrach, CFA is the founder and principal of PFH Capital, a single family office and financial consultancy. He received his BA in Economics from Cornell University in 2005 and became a CFA charterholder in 2014. He resides in the Philadelphia area with his wife and two young girls.
I'm a young private investor. I prefer concentrated bets on small, quality businesses. I'm a strategic generalist, tactical specialist; I scan broadly looking for quirky things to become obsessed with for awhile, to accumulate clusters of competence in neglected niches. I'll place on my watch-list most anything that is predictable enough to value accurately, and wait for the right price. My idea horizons, which used to be ~1 year, seem to be lengthening. To the extent I pay attention to macro I outsource my beliefs to Scott Sumner/Market Monetarists; good guys with track records worth noticing.
My current top holdings are FN, KTCC, AGM, NVMI, EMAN, SILC, SLP, and SWIR.