Sunday, June 24, 2007


Welcome to my blog -- the first post. I am very excited about the idea of sharing my thoughts on investing, on the economy, on the stock market, funds and of course individual stocks. I intend to post which stocks and funds I own, why I bought them, how much they make up of my portfolio and what my goal is for them.

Who am I? I started investing in 1981 when I inherited a utility stock (Dayton Power and Light DPL) from a grandparent that had recently passed. I was 13 years old and I immediately knew my calling -- to have a job picking stocks. I spent the next 14 years reading everything I could about investing and about companies. I bought and sold many stocks making money often but also losing money too. It all provided lots of lessons learned. Finally at the age of 27 I got a job as an equity analyst recommending stocks for use in mutual funds and other accounts managed by the investment management division of a large financial services company. Several years later I switched career paths and I no longer recommend stocks for funds but I continue to research companies for my own portfolio.

So what is secular value and what does a secular value investor do? It is a term I have seen Bill Miller use to describe what many refer to as growth investing. Secular generally refers to long term trends -- i.e. lasting beyond just an economic cycle. I look for long term trends in the economy driven by changes in technology or other shifts in customer buying patterns that will benefit industries for years. Once a trend is identified, I find the companies with the right competitive position and the right business model to take advantage of the theme. Companies benefiting from secular trends are like the one runner in a race that gets to run down hill while everyone else is running flat or uphill. Lastly, I try to buy these stocks when they are attractively priced -- generally my willingness to have a longer time horizon is an advantage. As Buffett says, time is the friend of the wonderful business.

I have tried to incorporate some of Bill Miller's methods into what I have learned from Warren Buffett, Philip Fisher, Ralph Wanger, Ron Baron, George Michaels, Mike Maubaussin, Jim Cramer and many many others. My style is eclectic but its longer term, focused on great businesses with bright secular prospects that are selling for an attractive valuation. That is just a start to the conversation -- I plan on explaining more through examples.