Creator of Old School Value (https://www.oldschoolvalue.com), a fundamental stock screening, valuation and analysis for busy value investors.
We seek undervalued and under-appreciated stocks to go long before the market catches on.
By using our universe of stock ratings and methods to quickly compress our list, we look for the best opportunities to build wealth through the stock market.
Team StockMatusow.com research and writers are:
Scott Matusow; Team Leader, owner and founder of StockMatusow.com and Dan Cohen, partner, and independent investor/scientist/inventor/trader and lead contributor at stockmatusow.com.
Scott is an independent investor/writer/trader and team leader of StockMatusow.com.
He has have about 17 years of stock market experience which include trading, investing, and managing his family’s trust as well as his personal account.
Scott has had the most success in trading/investing in smaller cap growth companies. Because Scott is not 'officially trained' in the markets, he see things outside the box, using his experience to provide clarity and alpha. Scott uses his ability to read situations, emotion, charts, times and sales, historical data, and macroeconomic and other market forces to predict stock price movements, in both short and longer terms situations.. Using these acquired allowed for him to completely divest his own and family's money near the top of the market before the 2008 financial crisis.
Dan Cohen is a partner at stockmatusow and entrepreneur in the fields of nanotechnology, medical diagnostics, and energy storage. Additionally, Dan is a Scientist and inventor. He has 7 years of experience investing and trading biotechnology focused equities with a specialty in identifying under-appreciated value in small caps. Dan utilizes his experience reading and reviewing scientific literature to evaluate prospects for success. His work with diagnostics development give him a strong background in immunology which is leveraged in evaluating immunoncology focused approaches. As well Dan has 5 years trading futures, specializing in E-minis and Treasury products. He utilizes a combination of technical analysis, deep scientific research, and macro views to generate alpha for the team.
Places you can follow Scott are:
Places to follow Dan are:
Welcome to my author's site.
I hope you find my articles interesting and informative.
A man-with-a-plan, I am utilizing knowledge gained from my business degree 25+ years in the business world and a similar number of years of investing experience, to manage my investments.
I have created and maintain a stable and growing portfolio of individual US listed dividend growth stocks, over 30% of which are non-US based but headquartered in Canada, Great Briton, the Netherlands and Australia.
I believe that asset allocation is the primary decision an investor must make considering his objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. I am fully invested and 90% of that is in stock.
I believe that the small individual investor is often best served by low cost index funds. Stock picking, attempted market timing and frequent trading usually work to the disadvantage of the average small investor. However, you may define small as you like and nothing prevents any investor from emulating the market greats of our time such as Warren Buffett or Peter Lynch. Greater rewards can be obtained by buying and holding individual securities if one has background, the interest, the time and the disciplne to do so in an effective way.
There are many ways to make money in the stock and bond markets. My approach to is to take ownership positions in successful large cap companies and hold them a number of years. Dividend Growth Investing is a conservative approach which involves lower than average risks and higher than average rewards.
My writing experience began when I was a senior in high school. I was a local stringer for Maine's largest newspaper and covered school and amatuer sports. Concurrent with a successful career in the business world I wrote magazine articles, journal articles, short fiction, poetry and a devotional book.
A long time student of security markets I immensely enjoy the opportunity to write for Seeking Alpha, which is a very high quality well run organization with excellent editorial support. It is also possibly the best business forum on the internet and I am proud to be a part of it.
Most of my articles focus on several topics:
Income Portfolio Strategy
Canadian Banks and Telecoms
Best regards and good luck!
-- Bob J
I provide economic analysis, market commentary and company-specific research. My general view is to operate a diversified basket of long-term investments in both equities and fixed income. I have a bachelor's degree in economics from San Diego State University (2007), eight years of publishing experience and over a decade of cumulative investment experience. I have been published in several newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal and Barron's.
John Lounsbury, Managing Editor and Co-founder of Global Economic Intersection, provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services to a small number of families on a fee only basis. He has a background which includes 34 years with a major international corporation, 25 years in R&D management and corporate staff positions. More recently he was a Series 6, 7, 63 licensed representative with a major insurance company brokerage from 1992 to 2001. Since 2002 he has operated his own sole proprietorship business. Specific interests include political and economic history, econometric analysis and investment strategy analysis. Recreational activities include hiking, non-technical mountaineering and alpine skiing. He is also founding partner and managing editor of EconIntersect.com.
Mark's mutual fund is launching December 15, 2011.
He is a self taught private investor who operates the website Fund My Mutual Fund (http://fundmymutualfund.com); a daily mix of market, economic, and stock specific commentary. Fascinated by the market since an early age, he discovered mutual funds as a teenager in the 80s and moved to equities by the mid 90s. The origin of the website is/was to leverage the power of the internet in developing a transparent track record to attract investors for his potential "long/short" mutual fund.
His equity focus is identifying secular growth trends and the companies most likely to benefit from these macro trends. Stocks are identified through fundamental analysis, although basic technical analysis is used in determining entry and exit points. You can receive Trader Mark's latest posts daily by subscribing free via RSS reader (http://feeds.feedburner.com/FundMyMutualFund) or subscribing free via email (http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=1109639).
With a degree in economics from the University of Michigan, a broader understanding of the economy as a whole, along with interpreting investor psychology, is also a major interest for Mark. To follow on Twitter, username: fundmyfund
Interactive Brokers' Traders Insight is a free online blog drawing together financial market commentary from an array of industry contributors. Exchanges, mutual funds, investment companies and IB analysts provide coverage across stocks, options, futures, forex and fixed income. Visit: Interactive Brokers Group (https://www.interactivebrokers.com) Contact: email@example.com
Follow me on https://twitter.com/#!/RobertWeinstein
Owner of 1 Reason Insurance, a full-line insurance agency licensed in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and 1 Reason Real Estate, licensed in Wisconsin. http;//1reason.com
Let's connect on Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robert-weinstein/12/129/651
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Contributor to StockSaints' weekly Options Investing newsletter
Robert Weinstein is an active trader focusing on the psychological importance of risk mitigation, emotion and financial behavior of market participants. Robert co-founded the investing blog StockSaints, where he writes a journal about his trading activity and experiences.
I'm an experienced options/futures trader, analyst, and freelance writer. I worked as an institutional options trader for a New York-based institutional brokerage firm in the 90s and started my own business in 2001. My focus is on the US listed options market, but also trade futures and single stock options. There are no free lunches in this world. Trading successfully takes a lot of hard work and markets change often. In addition, trading options and futures can involve substantial risk. If you are new, please understand the ins and outs of the products before you trade. Feel free to ask me questions if you have any. Thanks for your interest.
Jeff is the President of NewArc Investments Inc., manager of both individual and institutional investments. Jeff is a registered investment advisor, and portfolio manager for NewArc's investment programs. Jeff is a former college professor with a hands-on, real world attitude. His quantitative modeling helped inform state and local officials in Wisconsin for more than a decade. A Public Policy analyst, he taught advanced research methods at the University of Wisconsin, and analyzed many issues related to state tax policy. Jeff began in the financial business as Research Director for trading firm at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He investigated anomalies in the standard option pricing models, taught classes for beginning options traders, and developed new forecasting techniques. In 1991 he established a general research consultancy, working with professional traders at all of the Chicago financial exchanges. In 1998 he started NewArc Investments, Inc. Jeff has a commitment to the specific needs of individual investors. It is not a one-size-fits all approach, but one that emphasizes the unique circumstances of each client. Jeff also serves on the board of two small technology companies (currently Chairman at one). He is occasionally as an expert witness in legal cases involving financial markets and hedging.
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.
Residing in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Has been trading and coaching using a self-developed option trading system for 10 years. Philosophically conservative, accurately trades weekly options with a strong risk management approach.
Well sought after by investors around the world, he teaches a minimum and hand-selected number of students each quarter how to trade his system.
Besides investing his interests are: Acoustic Guitar, Kayaking, Mountain Biking
Leigh Drogen is the Founder and CEO of Estimize.com and Forcerank.com. Estimize is an open financial estimates platform which facilitates the aggregation of fundamental estimates from independent, buy-side, and sell-side analysts, along with those of industry experts and private investors. By sourcing estimates from a diverse community of individuals, Estimize provides both a more accurate and more representative view of expectations compared to sell side only data. Leigh started his career as a quant trader at Geller Capital, a White Plains, NY based fund where he ran strategies that looked at earnings acceleration and analyst estimate revision models, as well as price momentum and several sentiment indicators. Leigh later went on to be the founder of Surfview Capital, a New York based asset management firm that used many of the same strategies as Geller Capital, with a focus on higher beta names on an intermediate term time frame. His educational background includes focus in economics and international relations, specifically war theory. He is a graduate with honors from Hunter College in New York City. You can contact Leigh by emailing him at Leigh@estimize.com
Michael Lee, founder of Epsilon in Chico, California, is a passionate business professional who has helped establish successful businesses and uses this experience to meet the needs of businesses, non-profits, and individuals with whom he works. The backgrounds of Lee and his consulting staff include finance, accounting, investing, business development, design, and marketing. Also the developer of The Stock Advisor smartphone apps, a series of apps that deliver recommendations and investment education to its users, Epsilon has successfully outreached its services to clients around the world and continues to look for better ways to assist individuals and businesses achieve their financial goals. More information can be found at www.epsilonfbd.com or by searching for "The Stock Advisor" in your smartphone's app store. Follow us: https://www.youtube.com/user/EpsilonFinancial https://www.facebook.com/epsilonfinancial https://twitter.com/epsilonfinance
I am a dividend investor and look for undervalued investments in the stock market. I identify misunderstood and undervalued equity investments and hold those securities until their price approximates my estimate of intrinsic value. I am a long-term investor only.
I am building a $100,000 high-yield income portfolio. I am running this portfolio as an experiment to see if long-term sustainable income can be generated from a diversified pool of high-risk, high-yield securities. I am willing to accept high risk in order to meet my performance goals.
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'd like to do 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 still will be 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 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. As an academic scientist I routinely published my research results. It's how I spent my working career, so it comes more or less naturally to me. It forces me to think about details I might otherwise overlook.Like all academics, I consider it an essential part of doing research. So, the writing I do here is as much for myself as for the reader. It also opens me to feedback from others who may draw quite different conclusions.
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. So, I encourage and appreciate thoughtful comments, especially from those who disagree with me (although I will ignore obvious trolls and encourage others to do so as well).
My Investment Philosophies and Strategies: I maintain two portfolios: one for income and one for growth. As I have reached the age where I have to take mandatory withdrawals from my IRAs,I have transitioned my taxable brokerage account to a nearly pure growth focus along with a large holding in tax-free municipal-bond CEFs. My goal for the IRA is to generate income to meet MRD levels. The remainder is held in a fairly defensive growth portfolio. I've reached a point where I'm more concerned about drawdowns than I am about beating the market.
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 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 address. 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. But I do have a professional on-line presence which I'd prefer not to mix with my Seeking Alpha persona. 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, but when I write about something here, it's something that I have a personal financial stake in (perhaps a negative stake in that I'll tell you why I rejected it). I do not give advice; what I publish is much more in line with my 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.
Steven Bavaria writes about finance, economics and politics, drawing on his fifty years experience in international banking, credit, investment, human resources/training, journalism and public service. Now retired from his "day job" in the finance industry, Bavaria lives mostly off his investments. His focus is largely on income-oriented stocks, bonds and mutual funds, especially closed-end funds, ETFs and other IRA-suitable investments. His book "Too Greedy for Adam Smith: CEO Pay and the Demise of Capitalism" is based on his experiences running human resources at the Bank of Boston, where he first learned about the excesses in the CEO pay arena. The book is available on Amazon and at independent retailers. (Here is the link.)
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, before returning to Boston to run the bank's human resources department.
Later 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. (Read it here.)
Bavaria graduated from Georgetown University and New England School of Law. He lives in Boca Raton, Florida.
I am business graduate with a professional certification in F&A. I have been associated with the academic field, teaching both short and long courses on Finance and Accounting but my passion is following and writing about good investments.
David Zanoni is ranked in the top 1% of blogging analysts on Tipranks.com for performance and accuracy. He focuses on growth & momentum stocks that are reasonably priced and likely to outperform the market over the long-term. David is a graduate of Rutgers University with a B.S. in Management. He is an independent long term investor of quality stocks and uses options for strategy. David believes in the power of innovation, capitalism, and the characteristics of the American spirit: intellect, fortitude, and adaptability to lead our country and the world to growing prosperity. His wants to help make people money by investing in high-quality growth stocks.
Greentech Media (GTM) produces industry-leading news, research, and conferences in the business-to-business greentech market. Our coverage areas include solar, smart grid, energy efficiency, wind, and other non-incumbent energy markets. GTM Research, the research arm of the company, produces competitive intelligence reports and data subscriptions.
Read additional coverage on the renewable energy market on our website: www.greentechmedia.com, and gain additional insight by signing up for our research services at www.gtmresearch.com.
You can also follow us on twitter: @greentechmedia, or like us on Facebook: facebook.com/greentechmedia.
GuruFundPicks.com offers top buy & sell picks based on the collective or Consensus Picks' of over 330 of our hand-picked top hedge & mutual fund managers, incl. 78 legendary or guru fund managers, 27 of the world's largest or mega funds, 165 sector-focused funds (in gold, biotech, tech, energy, consumer, finance & REITs), 59 billionaires, 54 new masters and 40 tiger, 52 shareholder activist and our Winners Circle Top 100 Performing Hedge Fund Managers (updated quarterly). We offer market-beating tools and services including Consensus Picks' DIY Tools, Top 20 Small-Cap and Top 30 All-Cap Long/Short Newsletters based on the Consensus Picks system, and Trade Alert Services for Self & Auto-Trading. All of our services have beaten market averages by wide margins. See our website GuruFundPicks.com for the latest performance numbers, or contact us at support@GuruFundPicks.com.
The two authors are co-managers of a family partnership long/short equity fund since 2001, that have a successful track record in trading primarily small-cap aggressive growth companies based on a fundamental valuation analysis of current news, including quarter reports, guidance, biotech clinical study results and other news. The junior partner is a self-taught private investor with a Business degree from the New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the senior partner has an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, including prior MS & BS (Engg.) degrees, and with experience in business strategy consulting to large fortune 100 companies.
We are generally sector and market-cap agnostic, identifying opportunities using a 'stock picking' bottom-up, fundamentals-based, valuation-driven approach. However, we find most opportunities in the small-cap space, in technology & healthcare sectors, with some also found often in the consumer, energy & basic materials sectors.
Follow us on Seeking Alpha and Twitter (@GuruFundPicks), and connect with us on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/manishbabla)
My name is Phil Mause. I am a Senior Advisor with the Pacific Economics Group, focusing on energy, regulatory and valuation issues. I retired from 40 years of law practice earlier this year. I am a yield oriented investor and in the last two years, I have done reasonably well in junk bonds, BDCs, mortgage REITS, and dividend paying blue chip stocks. As an avocation, I dabble in stand up comedy.
Copperfield Research is the pseudonym of a research team focusing on publicly traded equities. As of the publication date of our articles, we may have long or short equity positions in the companies covered. We do not discuss unpublished reports, or provide any advanced warning of future reports to others. Due to the danger of retaliation, our reports are written under a pseudonym. Please read our Disclaimer on the front page of every opinion piece before reading any of the material.
MarketScanners is a newsletter featuring Market Scans and Trading Ideas based on many different types of fundamentals scans, market analytics and technical analysis. Coupled with fundamentals and news catalysts, some of the plays we highlight for investors tend to move quickly and make great candidates for momentum traders and others seeking quick picks based on solid analysis and research.
Some companies featured in our newsletter pay MarketScanners for research, analysis, articles and distribution. Our reports contain forward-looking statements relating to the developments of the featured company’s products, services, future operating results and the future of the market. Statements contained in writing or in interviews are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected.
Since we are often compensated in shares or cash for our services, investors should evaluate the information on the Site with that in mind and should always perform their own independent analysis.
Follow @SmithOnStocks on Twitter for more updates (http://twitter.com/#SmithOnStocks
Please read this section carefully for some important disclosures.
Who Am I?
My name is Larry Smith. My career was spent on Wall Street as a biotechnology and pharmaceuticals analyst and also as Director of Research at Smith Barney and Hambrecht and Quist. On my website, SmithOnStocks, which can be addressed from this Seeking Alpha site, I publish articles on biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. I attempt to be objective and present a balanced view of negatives and positives. Readers should not rely on Seeking Alpha for my latest views and articles on Seeking Alpha should be viewed as informational only. The reports section of my website reflects my most current view on a stock.
How Do I Get Paid?
My only source of revenues from my articles is from subscription revenues from my website. I do not receive any compensation from companies or investor relations firms to write articles. I do not receive any direct or indirect compensation from hedge funds, other investment managers or any entity to write articles. I consider direct compensation to be cash compensation that is directly or indirectly tied to my writing articles.
I also do not receive compensation in the form of content. I believe that it is not uncommon for some writers to receive content from hedge funds, other investment managers or any entity that are critical components of the articles that they write. I consider this as non-cash compensation. I do not receive advertising revenues from my website so there is no incentive to be sensational in order to create page hits. I only get paid if my subscribers believe that my articles are of value to them and they then decide to subscribe to my services.
You Should View Articles Published on Seeking Alpha as Informational Only
I want to make clear to readers that not all of the reports that I publish on my website are also published on Seeking Alpha. Also, I will sometimes make reports available on my website a significant period of time before publishing the same or a condensed version on Seeking Alpha. All of the articles that are published on Seeking Alpha and my website at the same time have consistent views and opinions. However, at a later data, it may be the case that my viewpoint and opinion may change and these changes in viewpoint and opinion may only be published in articles on my website.
For this reason, readers may want to check the reports section on my website for my current opinion on a stock and should not rely on the latest Seeking Alpha article as my viewpoint or opinion may have changed. The content on my website is intended only for subscribers, but non-subscribers can view the headlines in the reports section which in most cases but not all will announce a change in viewpoint or opinion. However, I emphasize that I undertake no obligation to update my articles on Seeking Alpha and the latest article on Seeking Alpha may not reflect my latest thinking. This is why I want to re-emphasize that any article published on Seeking Alpha should be viewed as information only.
What SmithOn Stocks is All About
SmithOnStocks is not registered as a securities broker-dealer or as an investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or with any state securities regulatory authority. SOS relies solely on publicly disclosed and available information. While SOS makes all reasonable efforts to confirm the accuracy of its statements and opinions, all comments should be considered only as opinion and should not be considered to be absolute fact. Investors should carefully read the Terms & Conditions and Disclosures sections of my website. Investors should carefully perform their own due diligence, seek other points of view and consult with their broker or financial advisor.
Investing in equities includes considerable risk, and investors should be prepared for the possibility of capital loss. This is particularly the case with biotechnology stocks in which hard to predict clinical and commercial outcomes can often disappoint investors and lead to unusually large declines in price. Potential investors in biotechnology stocks must often be prepared to risk the loss of substantially all of their investment. These stocks are only suitable for investors willing and able to accept unusually high financial risk. Users of my information acknowledge that SOS and its owner are not liable to any person or entity for the accuracy, thoroughness, reliability, or timeliness of the information provided. Users further acknowledge that SOS is also not responsible for any direct or indirect losses that may arise from the use of information provided to any person or entity.
Employees of SmithOnStocks or SOS do buy and sell healthcare stocks, some of which may be the subject of written articles appearing on Seeking Alpha. In the event that employees have a stock investment in a company, that ownership is fully disclosed in notes on Seeking Alpha. On any new recommendation, I have a 48 hour waiting period before initiating a position in a stock. I trade in line with my recommendations.
In 1999 I made an ethical breach that resulted in a suspension from being a registered representative in the securities industry for a period of time. I believe that this measure was harsh beyond any reasonable measure and totally unwarranted. I have gone to great lengths in this report to give my side of the story and I hope that you will read the in-depth account that I have provided. This took place over 16 years ago and has long since ended. There has been no restriction from the NYSE for many years on my working as a registered representative if I choose to go through the required registration procedures.
Still, this NYSE action is like a Scarlett letter that I carry. I would urge you to read the full account of the events that led to this NYSE action and if you do so I believe you will agree that this in no way reflects on my integrity and the way I have always conducted myself, then and now. I strongly believe that the action taken was excessive and I think that if you read my full account you will agree.
People make mistakes. Bill Clinton lied under oath, was impeached and disbarred as a lawyer in Arkansas in connection with the Monica Lewinsky affair. However, society has judged him on the body of work that he has done. Suspensions in the security industry can result from serious infractions in which investors are defrauded or swindled. In the events that led to my suspension no investors lost money and as I explain in this report investors who followed my advice made significant amounts of money. Before you rush to any conclusions, let me tell you my story.
I Am Proud in How I Have Conducted My Career
Before I go into the details of this ethical breach, I want to emphasize that I have had a distinguished career on Wall Street. My record from 1971 when I started on Wall Street until 1999 was unblemished. I came to New York from Indiana with no business connections and no money but through hard work I became a highly regarded Wall Street analyst and was selected to the Institutional Investor All Star team in pharmaceuticals for ten years in a row. Based on my record as being the top or one of the top analysts at Smith Barney, I was selected to be head of research from 1981 until 1989. I also served on the Board of Directors at Smith Barney.
Based on my strong reputation, Hambrecht and Quist approached me in 1989 to head their life sciences research effort and to run the annual H&Q (now JP Morgan) healthcare conference. I was a Managing Director and on the operating committee at H&Q. I left H&Q in the late 1990s because I disliked the bureaucracy that was such an integral part of being head of research. I had made enough money to be financially secure and I wanted to get back into doing what I loved, biotechnology research. I joined Tucker Anthony in 1997 as a biotechnology analyst.
Explaining the Events That Led to the NYSE Issue
Tucker Anthony had a sister firm called Sutro and a decision was made early in 1998 to move health care research from Tucker to Sutro. Tucker was an east coast based firm and Sutro was based in Los Angeles. Sutro leased a New York office to which I moved. It was here that an unfortunate train of events was set in motion that led to the NYSE action that put a stain on what I consider an outstanding career.
When I moved from Tucker to Sutro, I maintained my brokerage accounts at Tucker. I conducted normal trading in this account for some months. Then the research administrative research manager for Sutro contacted me and said that for regulatory purposes I would have to move my account from Tucker to Sutro. After some time spent in looking for a broker to handle my account at Sutro I became frustrated. At that time, I had over $5 million in my brokerage accounts. While I was sophisticated in health care investing which made up 10% of my portfolio, I needed help with other parts of the portfolio. I could find no retail broker at Sutro that I wanted to trust my portfolio to. I asked and received approval to look for a broker outside of Sutro and contacted Schwab about finding an investment advisor there to manage my account.
While this was in process, the research administrative manager at Sutro called again and said that Sutro was probably planning to shut down the New York office and I would have to move to Los Angeles or leave the firm. Moving to Los Angeles was not an option for me as my roots were deep in New York. I informed her that given this choice I would soon be leaving Sutro rather then moving to Los Angeles and began to think about what to do. I came to the preliminary conclusion that I would start a consulting firm dealing in biotechnology. I also concluded that I would have to carefully manage my investment portfolio.
It was here that I made a major mistake that I have regretted ever since. Frustrated that my money was tied up in Tucker and I was unable to trade in my account and unable to find a broker that I trusted, I decided to open an account at Schwab without a broker managing it. I indicated on the account transfer form that I was self-employed based on the assumption that I was going to be leaving Sutro imminently. This was my Bill Clinton moment and turned out to be a major mistake.
I continued to work at Sutro while I was waiting for the New York office to be closed which I thought would be in a matter of days or weeks and during this time, I began to execute trades in my account at Schwab. However, after some weeks the research administrative manager at Sutro called and informed me that based on the response they had gotten from clients and the work that I was doing that the firm had reversed itself and now wanted to keep the office in New York and they were also willing to hire two assistants to aid me. There was also the promise of a significant bonus in the upcoming review that based on my work could amount to several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Not surprisingly, I decided to stay on at Sutro instead of leaving and starting my own firm. I then looked for and finally found a Sutro broker that I could trust to help manage my portfolio. The brokerage accounts at Schwab were opened in February of 1999 and transferred to Sutro in April 1999. When I moved my accounts to Sutro the compliance department at Sutro saw that there was this hiatus when I had an unauthorized account at another firm. This was reported to NYSE.
NYSE Reviewed My Case and Took No Action for Three Years
Management at Sutro looked very closely at what had occurred and decided that while it was certainly not something they could condone, it was a minor infraction and they thought that given my stellar and unblemished record that NYSE would not take any meaningful action other than a wrist slap. Sutro decided to be pre-emptive in administering the wrist slap and fined me and suspended me for one month. They thought that this would satisfy NYSE based on their interpretation of what had occurred. They wanted me to continue with the firm, paid the sizable bonus I was due and committed to picki up all legal fees.
I then had a deposition with a lawyer from NYSE in early 2000. During a one day interview, he went over all of the details of the accounts that were held at Schwab and all of the trades that occurred in detail. He also looked at all of the reports that I had issued as an analyst during this time to compare to the trading in my account to the issuance of research reports. I then heard nothing more from the NYSE for three years.
Sutro concluded as did I that this issue was behind us. Three years later in mid-2003, I heard from NYSE to my shock that they were re-opening the case. Why after three years was the case being re-opened? In talking to the lawyers at NYSE, I came to understand that this was the result of Elliott Spitzer’s attack on Wall Street research. Remember the famous case of Henry Blodgett who recommended stocks of investment banking clients to clients that he thought were actually sales.
NYSE enforcement was under pressure because this unethical practice had been brought to light by Spitzer and they had missed it. They were under pressure to show how tough they could be as enforcers. They reviewed their records and came up with my case which they decided to reopen it in order to show that they were aggressive enforcers.
They went over the same information that had been gathered in early 2000, but came up with an entirely different interpretation. They said that I effected stock transactions shortly before issuance of research reports which I had prepared and this was a violation of Exchange Rule 472.40(2) (iii). They also said that I failed to disclose that I held securities in stocks recommended in a research report. They said that I opened accounts at a member firm that concealed fact of my employment at another member firm; violated Exchange Rule 407(b). They recommended a censure and two and one-half year suspension.
Two Stock Trades at Question
The information on opening an account at another firm is something that I just discussed at length. This was not in dispute. However, NYSE focused on two stock trades that I made and explained the suspension largely on the basis of these two trades. I believe that they were clearly wrong in their conclusions. Let me discuss those trades in detail.
The first trade was in Stericycle, a medical waste disposal company. I had been following the company for some time with a neutral rating. In my reports, I noted that the Company wanted to buy the medical waste disposal business of Waste Management and if they were successful, I would immediately go to a strong buy.
This acquisition was announced on April 14, 2009 after the close at 4 PM EST. Because it was 1 PM in Los Angeles I held a conference call with Sutro’s traders and the salesforce and told them I was going to a strong buy on the stock. It was the practice of Sutro to initiate new ideas with a conference call in this manner. The traders and sales force would then go out to the clients with the idea. After this, the analyst would follow-up by publishing a note on First Call (an electronic distribution network) and this was done on April 15 This was then followed up by a written research report on April 16. On April 16, I bought 2500 shares of the stock at a price of $12. This was accepted practice at Sutro for research analysts buying stocks that they recommended. There was no requirement to wait for a period of time to buy the stock. The analyst was allowed to buy the stock at the same time as other Sutro employees and clients
The NYSE judged my conduct on standards that were different from those that were accepted practices at Sutro. By today’s standards, the Sutro practices seem very loose but they were common at the time. This is why Sutro did not view this trade as a breach of conduct and kept me as an analyst. The NYSE also said that I did not disclose that I owned Stericycle in my written report. However, none of the analysts at Sutro were required at the time to do so. This was also standard operating procedure.
Stericycle was a major success for investors. Adjusting for stock splits the stock traded at about $3.00 when I first recommended it. Fifteen years later, the stock is trading at about $119. This was one of my best recommendations ever. I held the Stericycle stock for many years and only sold it recently.
The NYSE did not accept that my actions were in line with the practices of Sutro even though I produced a letter to that effect from the research administrative officer. I also argued that a $30,000 investment in a portfolio that amounted to $5 million at the time was de minimus. I argued that the stock was bought and maintained as a long term investment. I argued that it was an excellent money making idea for investors. The NYSE dismissed all of these arguments and maintained that I traded ahead of my recommendation.
The second trade that the NYSE emphasized was a trade in Schering Plough. On April 18, the stock had traded down by 5%. I had an accumulate rating on the stock essentially telling investors to buy the stock for the long term, but connoting less emphasis than a buy. In the morning call to traders and salesmen, I alerted them to the price weakness, but told them there was no change in the fundamental outlook and there was no change in my price target. I was not intending to issue a report, but the research administrative manager told me that the price drop in Schering Plough based on my price target indicated 25% upside that was the accepted criteria for a buy recommendation. Hence, I needed to put out a report in which I upgraded my opinion from accumulate to buy.
I bought the stock on April 20 at the same time as the written report was issued. I previously owned 500 shares and this increased my position to 1000 shares for a total investment of about $35,000 which again was within a $5 million portfolio. The NYSE again accused me of the same things as in the Stericycle situation. They said that I traded ahead of my recommendation and did not disclose that I owned the stock. My responses were the same as for Stericycle and were once again rejected.
Was The NYSE Action Justified?
I think that the NYSE action was out of all proportion to what actually transpired. I think the enforcement officers applied new standards in overturning the prior decision to take no action on this case that had been in effect for three years. They were under pressure to make a big splash in the Elliot Spitzer era to show how tough they were. My recommendations were solid recommendations and indeed the Stericycle recommendation was outstanding.
I fully recognize that my decision to open the brokerage account at Schwab prior to resigning from Sutro was an ethical breach on my part even if I was planning to resign from Sutro. When I decided to stay with Sutro, I transferred my accounts immediately. I strongly and absolutely maintain that my trading in Schering-Plough and Stericycle was in accordance with policies in place at Sutro at the time. By today’s standards these seem loose, but this was common industry practice at the time.
The NYSE review was conducted by a mediator and it was he that determined the punishment. He had spent his entire career as an enforcement officer for the NYSE. He was also friends with the NYSE lawyers on my case and sent out to lunch with them during the hearing. He was the judge, jury and executioner of my fate. As I look back, I question his objectivity and motives. In writing his opinion, he did not acknowledge documents from Sutro that showed that my stock trading disclosures were in-line with their internal procedures. I had no opportunity to review or correct his opinion in the opinion he wrote. In a country in which, guilt or innocence is established by one’s peers, mine was determined by a hanging judge with no experience in the securities business and an apparent pre-determined view on my actions.
I am the President of TFST Publishing which is a Stock Advisory Service . We publish The Focused Stock Trader an online newsletter www.thefocusedstocktradercom
I have been a stock broker, investment banker, and CEO of 2 micro-cap companies ( see LinkedIn). At the present time I am focused on my newsletter which ended 2013 with 85 profitable trades out of 95 recommendations, for an annualized return of 265%. The Focused Stock Trader recommended the purchase of 49 stocks in 2013. The 49 stocks that were recommended had an average high 64% above The Focused Stock Trader’s recommendation price. The top ten trades all had a high at least 90% above The Focused Stock Trader’s recommendation price. OVERALL THE TOP TEN RECOMMENDATIONS HIGH PRICE HAD AN AVERAGE RETURN OF 170% ABOVE THE FOCUSED STOCK TRADER’S INITIAL RECOMMENDATION PRICE.
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For the past 30 years, I have been involved in startups, as a founder, and active investor. My first company was purchased by Johnson & Johnson, which set the foundation for future investments. By focusing on startups I learned the advantage of investing in promising companies before they became household names. My interest in startups has never waned, and has become my primary focus today.