What kind of investor are you?

jim hardestyNot too long ago someone asked me what kind of an investor I was. I was tempted to make a joke of the question and answer simply, “A good one.” But then I thought of one of my old professors at Columbia Business School, Benjamin Graham, and I realized the depth of the question.

Graham lived from 1894 to 1976, wrote extensively, and was widely accepted as one of the most influential investment minds of all-time. He was credited with educating many investment luminaries including Warren Buffet, former Goldman Sachs partner Leon Cooperman, Mario Gabelli of the Gabelli Asset Management and, of course, me! (more…)

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Wall Street shrugs off sequester

Ignoring political drama in Washington could be the new norm

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By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun 7:30 p.m. EST, March 8, 2013

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Baltimore asset managers: Economic recovery is on the money

Baltimore-area money managers like what they see ahead for the U.S. economy.

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By Gary Haber, The Baltimore Business Journal Jan 25, 2013, 6:00am EST

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Trends in Local Money Management

dave stephersonOver the last 30 years, there have been monumental changes to the investment advisory industry in our region. Many great, locally owned firms, like Alex Brown and Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust, are gone. Others, such as T. Rowe Price and Legg Mason, survived and thrived. Dozens of small money management firms have been created as professionals left larger organizations over the years to start their own. As a result of these movements, the local investment advisory landscape is currently dominated by brokers, Registered Investment Advisors, and banks. RIAs seem to be growing the fastest at the moment, primarily because that business model appeals the most to both clients and practitioners.

The brokerage industry has witnessed mass defections to the RIA model as brokers have struggled with the shrinking compensation levels they have been forced to endure. Most of the compensation to brokers in the past was centered on transaction-based fees and 12b-1 fees from mutual funds. As brokerage firms reduced payouts and attempted to shift clients toward an assetbased fee, many in the industry decided to start their own practice as RIAs. Entire companies were formed to provide platforms for these disenfranchised brokers to start their businesses. (more…)

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Fiscal cliff: Businesses working hard to head off tax hikes

If you own stock, the fiscal cliff could be your chance to cash in.

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By Gary Haber, The Baltimore Business Journal Dec 14, 2012, 6:00am EST

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Investment Opportunity of a Lifetime

dave stephersonAs Warren Buffet said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Maryland investors do not need a “high-powered” New York investment advisory firm to follow this advice. Our Baltimore-based firm believes so strongly in these words that we’ve placed the quote at the top of the agenda for our weekly investment committee meeting. It’s so easy to get caught up in the emotional side of investing because it is our emotions about money that drive us to invest in the first place. We all love to make money and hate to lose it—greed and fear are the engines of the markets no matter where you live.

There are many reasons why truly successful investors are terrific at what they do. Foremost is their ability to take the emotion out of investing, which allows them to sell closer to peaks and buy nearer the bottom. One doesn’t have to look much further than downtown Baltimore to find famously successful investors—Bill Miller of Legg Mason and Brian Rogers of T. Rowe Price come to mind. (more…)

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Some investors still on sidelines

After a brutal third quarter in which the United States saw an unprecedented downgrade of its credit, many weary investors are staying on the sidelines.

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By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun November 20, 2011

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In volatile market, some see bargains, others, pitfalls

Some investors fleeing stocks; companies, executives buying back

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By Hanah Cho and Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun 10:21 a.m. EDT, August 22, 2011

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Predictions

Does anyone remember this? In May of last year, this gentleman argued on the air that the Dow would reach 5000 by the end of the year- and that wasn’t even his worst scenario! He appeared alongside Jim Hardesty, who rightly argued against his wild “predictions”.

[flashvideo file=http://www.tuftoncapital.com/media_data/media_v/100517.flv /]

The Dow ended the year at 11,577.

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Investment Income — The Growing Problem

Baby boomers throughout Maryland are facing a two-pronged assault on their investment portfolios. As we all know, stocks have performed very poorly over the last ten years. Equally as important and probably less obvious is that investment income has been under assault as well. Not only have yields been falling, but during the last recession many companies cut their dividends. It has become very difficult to grow portfolios in the traditional way,and just as difficult to grow investment income. The importance of a growing income stream cannot be overstated, especially as baby boomers begin to retire. Growing investment income is a problem—and that problem in itself is growing. (more…)

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Value Investing or Investing for Value

stepherson_smValue is in the eye of the beholder. I have been in the investment business for 18 years and have met all kinds of different investors—growth, value, momentum and technical. The one common thread among them is that they believe they are purchasing stocks at a good value. Quite simply put, they are buying a stock trading below their estimate of what it is worth. In this sense, all investors are investing for value. But value investing trumps investing for value over long periods of time.

Investing for value and value investing are very different. Value investing is an often-misunderstood investment style. Benjamin Graham and David Dodd are the founding fathers of value investing. Their book Security Analysis is still considered the bible for true value investors and a must-read for all investors. Although value investing has evolved over time, it is based on fundamental analysis used to derive the intrinsic value of a company. This calculated value is compared to the current share price for relative attractiveness. (more…)

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