Changes for David — II

Well, it has been a month since the demise of Finacorp.  I don’t know for sure why the company died, but I suspect that it overexpanded, and could not support its larger size.

As for me, I have been mulling over the possibilities and have settled on two main courses of action:

  • Setting up my own asset management shop
  • Setting up my own consulting business on investment, business, and insurance matters

I have left aside the idea of outside employment for now, whether in the private sector or the government.  I have also shelved the idea of writing a book.  I am still reluctant to write a newsletter, because of my experiences in writing about individual stocks.  I was right more often than I was wrong, but when I was wrong the response from readers was disproportionate.

Asset Management

With asset management, I have a great track record with my own portfolio going back to 8/31/2000, complete with all of the brokerage statements to back it up, and a consistent operating philosophy.  I need to get a number of legal matters straightened away before I can start up, though I would consider plugging in to some other firm to provide the   infrastructure that I need.  If you have an interest in that, let me know.  In the early phase, minimum investment amounts will be lower.  Not sure on where that will be yet.

I will likely offer my strategy in two forms: long only, and market-neutral.  Between the two funds, you can express your own bullishness, while I hopefully continue to outperform the S&P 500.

As it is, I have a few nibbles as far as larger investors go.  If any of them hit, that will propel me forward faster.

Consulting

With consulting, I have a few clients already.  I call my consulting applying math to complex business and investing problems.  As it is, when I worked for Finacorp, many of my projects were consulting for clients, providing tailored research to meet a need.

In the past that has involved:

  • Analyzing complex securities to ascertain value, or lack thereof, whether fixed income, equity, or whatever.  I am happy as a clam when digging through complex legal documents.  (I know, that is perverse.)
  • Analyzing portfolios of equities or debts in order to improve performance.
  • Being a second opinion on complex investment questions.  I can provide the contrary opinion on investments that are moving against you.
  • Complex insurance questions.  I am a life actuary, and more than able to analyze tough questions there.

The future could involve:

  • For small municipalities: do you need someone on your side?  I am not able to be fooled by Wall Street investment banks that will pitch you all manner of complex products.  I will tell you he truth, and be on your side in complex negotiations.
  • The same applies to DB plans and endowments.  Is your consultant giving you a bum steer?  Are you wondering if you should fire him?  I can help with that.
  • And more.  I have many skills with data mining, setting compensation schedules for salesmen, and other complex business questions.
  • But most controversial: you can hire me on the question of whether you need a consultant or not.  Most of the time, the answer is no, unless you have a small staff with no experience in the area in question.  Most of the consultants that I dealt with in corporate America were less competent than the middle management of the firms engaging the consultants.  Would that managements would trust their middle managers.

Look, I shoot straight.  If I can’t solve a business problem, I will refuse it.  If I try and find I cannot get to a solution, I will not take payment.  My rule is that I don’t get paid until my client is happy with my work.  I never want to live with negative word of mouth; I want a bevy of clients very happy with my consulting work.  That fits with my work attitude, because I look for the success of my clients first.

That is what I am up to.  I am open to other ideas, feel free to e-mail me.  Please understand that I get a flood of e-mail everyday.  I read it all, but I can’t respond to all of it.

Thanks to all of my readers.  You make my blog better.

Sincerely,

David