Life Changes & Portfolio Changes

I have often wondered what I would do if I no longer had my trading restrictions, and could invest in financial stocks freely. I no longer have to wonder. As of this morning, I have bought shares in Safety Insurance, Aspen Insurance, Lincoln National, and (what else?) Assurant. They replace the following names in my portfolio: Allstate (waving a fond farewell… but I’ll be back), Noble Corp, and SPX Corp. I will be exiting Lyondell when the arb premium gets a bit tighter. Also, I had two rebalancing buys Tuesday Morning — I added to positions in Lithia Motors and Cemex.

Why do I no longer have restrictions? My employer and I parted ways amicably. I would recommend their services to anyone who wanted to invest in such a hedge fund, but I increasingly found that wanted to do something closer to what I like in investment management. Much as I like analyzing the insurance industry, I’m better at managing broad market equity and bond assets.

So, for the first time in four years, I’m looking at business opportunities. I’ve got a number of them that I am considering, including writing more, setting up my own investment management shop, or working with someone else that I might be compatible with. Do you have any suggestions for me? At this point I haven’t eliminated anything, so if you do have an idea, please e-mail me.

This is bittersweet for me, because I genuinely liked the people that I worked with. That said, I was planning on leaving no later than March 2009 (because of vesting), so this accelerates what was already being considered. This blog was initially developed for this possibility; I just did not expect it to become live only five months after the start.

PS — One of the losses that I feel immediately is the loss of my Bloomberg terminal. I’m going through withdrawal. I’ve used Bloomberg terminals for 15 years now, and given the variety of work that I have done, I know all eleven of the yellow keys to some degree, and I am an expert on eight of them (all except Money Markets, Munis, and Preferred Stocks). I am fitfully learning to do without, but am looking forward to having one back, because I can do snazzy things with it.

Full Disclosure: long AHL SAFT LNC AIZ LAD CX LYO