About Me

Note: You can now follow JohnOnStocks on twitter.com to hear about new posts.

I hope someday to enter the finance world professionally, and possibly start my own portfolio management firm. I’ve developed a rough idea for a trading strategy that could balance market timing with the low fees of an index fund by mechanically diversifying between stocks and investment-grade bonds based on trailing market multiples and economic leading indicators. What remains is for me to take the past data from the fama french website, develop simulations for past performance, and nail down the details of this trading strategy. I will post these simulated results on the blog once this is done, and then open a yahoo finance account simulated dollars to begin trading the strategy. I am also planning on starting a virtual S&P 500 tracking index fund soon and posting results, which will provide excellent experience in running a fund.

I have been trading stocks since 2003, after reading a Motley Fool book on stock investing. I subscribed to Hidden Gems and then Global Gains since late 2003, and I’ve been an active Ameritrade investor and active member of the discussion boards. Recently I stopped renewing my membership because I’m focusing back on school and don’t have incoming cash to invest, but I’m still fascinated with the markets and determined to find an outlet.

My biggest sources right now are the Wall Street Journal, which I read on my iPhone, and the Dave Rosenberg newsletters which you can get free at www.gluskinsheff.com . I’ll also be getting the Economist again soon – a great magazine, especially if you can buy it with airline miles. The big advantage of the Economist is that, as a weekly, they can go into so much more depth than a daily paper.

A couple of updates: I stopped reading Rosenberg when he started charging ~1000 $CAD 2 years ago. Since then I’ve read a number of books including “This Time is Different,” “The Black Swan,” “Endgame,” & “The Age of Deleveraging.” Endgame got me into reading John Mauldin’s weekly newsletter (still free) and then that of Grant Williams who worked with JM but writes his own now. I’m hoping to earn enough money to build my own fund (much like Kiyosaki in “Rich dad poor dad”), but I know the industry is essentially closed to new entrants after a massive banking consolidation following Dodd Frank. I’m still more interested in completing my CFA than my PE though, but my engineering career may have to come first here.

Educational background:

BS Mechinical Engineering, UC San Diego, June 2002

MBA focus in Finance, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, graduated December 2010

CFA progress: First exam passed on June 6, 2010, Second set for June 2011 (I didn’t bother studying or going to the exam and went straight to applying for engineering jobs after getting no interviews or interest from finance firms at the end of my MBA program. Being a self-styled economist, I knew that’s what I’d have to do to get any forward momentum.

My work experience includes 2.5 years in the US Navy (2003-5), followed by 1.5 years working with FEMA in Mississippi for the Hurricane Katrina disaster (2005-7), followed by 2 years working as an HVAC project engineer in commercial construction (ACCO Engineered Systems 2007-9) in Orange County and Los Angeles, CA. Followed by a position as an Automation project engineer with Sachs Electric Co from May 2012 which is still ongoing.

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