True Contrarian Investments LLC
Steven Jon Kaplan began TrueContrarian.com in August 1996 as a weekly blog and later expanded this to a daily newsletter with intraday updates in February 2006. He has been trading his own account, and those of family and close friends, since 1981, and handles separately managed accounts for qualified clients. As a registered investment advisor, Steve charges a 20 % performance fee on net profits and no management fees. He has been quoted in Barron's, Market Watch, Dow Jones Newswires, Seeking Alpha, Kitco, and elsewhere and has appeared on Market Watch cable TV with Stacey Delo.
Steven's goal is to identify those assets which are farthest away from the best estimates of their realistic fair-value levels. This is done through designing algorithms which examine the most reliable signals in the financial markets. These include insider buying relative to selling; investor inflows and outflows; media and advisors' sentiment; and intraday behavior especially near multi-decade tops and bottoms. He studies historical interrelationships to mathematically identify which divergences from typical behavior are pointing the way toward essential trend changes.
Steve enjoys running with the New York Road Runners Club, composing and performing on piano and voice, writing stories, and traveling to unique places. He enjoys hearing from anyone about a wide range of topics, so please let him know what you think about the web site or whatever is on your mind. You can find his music on ReverbNation.
BES, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The Johns Hopkins University
Assets Under Management:
20% of net profits; zero management fees.
True Contrarian Investments LLC
Steven Jon Kaplan explains why investors repeatedly fool themselves.
Steven Jon Kaplan: April 2010 conference
Whether your portfolio is actively managed or not it should be paying a decent interest rate on your cash balance. Some brokers pay about 1.5%, or you could put it into a short-term U.S. Treasury and get a little over 2%.
You never need a bank or brokerage. Everything can be done at TreasuryDirect.gov and they charge zero commissions. I use this web site often.
This is known as day trading. It is totally legal but foolish since the market is essentially pseudorandom in the short run and cannot be accurately forecast. The only way you can make money investing is in the long run when irrationally emotional behavior will eventually be resolved--but sometimes not for several months and other times not for several years.
You left out a critical piece of information, which is how many years of your mortgage are left and how many you started with. Interest is amortized, so that the early years of a mortgage are almost all interest and the final years are almost all principal. If you have 7 years left of a 30-year mortgage with a 5.75% interest rate then the effective interest rate is about 1%. The fewer the number of years left on your mortgage, the more it makes sense to not prepay it since you are essentially borrowing money on your house interest-free. Even a 2% bank CD or a 6-month U.S. Treasury paying 2.1% would make more sense as an investment than prepaying a mortgage with less than 1/4 of its lifespan remaining. On the other hand, if you have 28 or 29 years left of a 30-year mortgage then you probably should pay it off because your effective interest rate is near 10% for the next few years.
It is almost always advantageous to convert depressed shares from a non-Roth retirement account to a Roth account, since your taxes will be assessed based upon the valuation at the time they are converted. Obviously if you believe in advance that something will drop 50% then you should sell it instead of just watching it fall. But if you are unfortunate enough to experience losses in non-Roth retirement accounts including traditional IRAs, SEP-IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, or anything else, then try to convert them gradually at their lowest points and you will come out way ahead since all future gains in your Roth will be tax-free.