After spending a dozen years making a big name for herself as a highly respected investigative reporter in the financial arena, Melissa Davis took a chance on her longtime dream in 2015 by becoming her own boss so that she could pour even more time and energy into uncovering the truth about suspicious public companies by conducting the deepest research of her award-winning career. At that point, Ms. Davis had already established herself as a fearless journalist with an impressive talent for exposing corporate fraud. Most recently, she served as the founding editor of TheStreetSweeper, a financial news website dedicated to warning investors about risky stocks that she essentially built from scratch. Under her leadership, TheStreetSweeper soon earned steady applause from some of the biggest names in the business and continued to flourish for years. Prior to launching that well-known website, Ms. Davis spent seven years on the staff of TheStreet.com -- an even more prominent financial outlet founded by "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer -- where she quickly rose to become one of the leading investigative reporters on a large and impressive editorial team. Already the recipient of numerous awards by the time that TheStreet.com hired her away from the largest newspaper in her home state, Ms. Davis went on to land a national prize for enterprise reporting from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) by the time that her tenure there came to an end. Today, she spends her days (and, when necessary, plenty of late nights) trying to do what she has always done the best even better: revealing the dirty secrets about publicly traded companies that investors desperately need -- and inherently deserve -- to know! (She also smothers her adorable granddaughter -- the other great love of her life -- with plenty of hugs and kisses at every available chance.)
I am a retired college faculty in Philosophy, with specializations in Ethics, Socio-political Theory and Rational Choice/Decision Theory. My teaching focus was on Business Ethics, Medical Ethics and Logic. After retirement I freelanced as a Grant Writer/Fund Raising Consultant. I have taught at Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Missouri - St. Louis, and St. Louis Community College.
I believe that potential investments ought to be evaluated through an examination of their fundamentals - i.e., fundamental analysis. Those investments can then be analyzed with respect to whatever criteria an investor may wish to bring to bear, but at least the investments they make will be more or less fundamentally sound. For me, one of the more important features of an investment (after fundamentals are satisfied) is dividend yield. I expect my investment to earn money for me.
I also believe that the day of the "traditional" investment strategy based on one's age/proximity to retirement is over. To be sure, one wants to put one's money in places where it is more secure, but in the day and age of internet-based investment services, a variety of ETFs, and reasonably safe investment vehicles, there is no need for retired people to stick the bulk of their assets in relatively unprofitable treasury notes and bonds.
I got my start in finance as a floor clerk at the CBOE. While I have since moved on to other professional endeavors, I have retained my passion for markets. I became a SeekingAlpha contributor because I subscribe to the idea that writing well is conducive to investing in a consistent manner. Plus, writing for only myself just seems... meh.
Corporate finance axioms to live by:
* "GAAP is crap". - Me
* "Post-Mortem Portfolio Theory " - Me
* "WACC is whack! " - Me
* "You mean the Whack & Scholes?"
* "CAPM? More like CRAPM" - Me
This is all in jest, of course. I periodically feel obliged to sacrilege prevailing doctrine to remind myself that no model is reality, except maybe the simulation that runs Elon Musk's universe.
* "You have to understand the fundamentals first" - Aleks Chechkin
* "You want to know about charts? All ships at the bottom of the ocean had charts; look where that got 'em!" - Bill McMahon
* "If you spend more than 13 minutes analyzing economic and market forecasts, you've wasted 10 minutes." - Peter Lynch
* "The market can remain irrational for longer than you can remain solvent" - Keynes
* "The time to buy is when blood is in the streets" - Baron Rothschild
* "There is no such thing as a bad investment; just a bad price"
* "The solution for high (low) prices is high (low) prices"
* “You can’t compensate for risk by using a high discount rate.” - attributed to Warren Buffet
* "It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong"
* "There are two kinds of businesses: The first earns 12 percent, and you can take it out at the end of the year. The second earns 12 percent, but all the excess cash must be reinvested - there's never any cash. It reminds me of the guy who looks at all of his equipment and says, 'There's all of my profit.' We hate that kind of business." - Charlie Munger
* "Buy straw hats in the winter." - Jay Keyworth
* "Professional allocators will not pay hedge fund fees for the execution of strategies that are on the first year curriculum of any Masters of Finance program." - Tammer Kamel
And finally, some epistemology:
* "You can observe a lot by just watching." - Yogi Berra
* "it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits" - Aristotle, Ethics
* "I believe that ideas such as absolute certitude, absolute exactness, final truth, etc. are figments of the imagination which should not be admissible in any field of science... This loosening of thinking seems to me to be the greatest blessing which modern science has given to us. For the belief in a single truth and in being the possessor thereof is the root cause of all evil in the world."
- Max Born
* "It is not what is not, and it is what it is"
- Aristotle, Metaphysics
"pluralitas non ponenda est sine necessitate"
- WIlliam of Occam
"Dispassionate objectivity is itself a passion, for the real and for the truth."
- Abraham Maslow
"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."
- Winston Churchill
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
- John F. Kennedy
"Living in the limelight -
The universal dream -
For those who wish to seem -
Those who wish to be -
Must put aside the alienation -
Get on with the fascination -
The real relation -
The underlying theme"
- Rush, Limelight
I have traveled through the abyss of Chinese reverse mergers and lived to tell about it. Primarily trade small caps: bio-pharma, commodity related, low float value, and US listed Chinese stocks.
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Legacy is a family office that produces research, analysis and actively trades micro & small cap equities / options in the US markets. Legacy also acts as a sub-advisor for two US based small cap focused hedge funds.
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Mr. Denninger is the former CEO of MCSNet, a regional Chicago area networking and Internet company that operated from 1987 to 1998. MCSNet was proud to offer several "firsts" in the Internet Service space, including integral customer-specified spam filtering for all customers and the first virtual web server available to the general public. Mr. Denninger's other accomplishments include the design and construction of regional and national IP-based networks and development of electronic conferencing software reaching back to the 1980s.
He has been a full-time trader since 1998, author of The Market Ticker (http://market-ticker.org), a daily market commentary, and operator of TickerForum, an online trading community, both since 2007.
Mr. Denninger received the 2008 Reed Irvine Accuracy In Media Award for Grassroots Journalism for his coverage of the 2008 market meltdown.
In 2011 Wiley published his book "Leverage", detailing the causes of the 2008 financial collapse along with analysis and policy prescriptions for the future.