My First Stock Call

1240229471-capital_markets_link_4 2010 - A year or so after my first "professional" foray into finance failed I had been upset, disillusioned and burned out. At the time I questioned my whole interest in capital markets. Was my B.S. in Economics (no pun intended) worth it? Why did I bother with such a specialized degree?

I had grown up with a passionate interest in what I commonly refer to as the ‘greatest game on earth’. As a developing youth I had innumerable questions about the ‘game’-- how it was played, who were the players, what were the rules, and what were the objectives...

…Why is the U.S. so wealthy and other countries so poor? ·What is this nebulous “global economy” that TV is always referencing? ·How is the internet changing the world? ·What is money? ·Why is this green paper so valuable? ·Why did the financial media say Alan Greenspan was more powerful than the President? ·Who was Bill Gross and why is he considered the bond king? ·Who are the masters of the universe? ·How do you earn that title? ·What is an arbitrage and how did Ken Griffin do it until he was rich as a college student? ·Why is outsourcing so controversial? ·Why isn’t real estate a good way to get rich? ·What is the housing bubble? ·How did tech entrepreneurs make fortunes with IPO’s without earning any profits? ·Who was Soros and Druckenmiller and how did they break the bank of England? Forex? ·Sounds sexy, what is it? ·LTCM? ·Why was Clinton’s administration considered the best economically? ·Was the prosperity real? ·How has Warren Buffett maintained his longevity? Global markets, decoupling and recoupling? BRICS? ·What is the council of foreign relations, the Bilderberg group? ·Are these nefarious cabals plotting and planning or just mutual intertwining and intersecting interests among the global elite? ...

I sought to find answers to these questions in a largely unstructured way, never really sure if my entrepreneurial, independent, free thinking personality could ever fit into the conservative, drone-like good ole-boy industry I perceived finance to be.

Fast forward to the past, and my job at the time (a lower level CSR role) put me in a position to interact with a lot of portfolio managers, research associates, analysts, and CEO’s, not to mention attorneys, various political figures and other executives. I would hear them discussing various industry news including policy debates, regulatory issues, portfolio positionings, and sector leans. The synaptic sparks started shocking my brain again, causing embers to drift their way into my belly slowly reigniting my fire.

I began to follow the markets again, doing basic research, getting a feel for the major issues and the opposing sides, you know, to do my job better. I needed something to discuss with these industry titans and fortunately I was smart enough that I could engage any of them in a critical discussion.

Then I met “Mr. White”, a man who galvanized me. Mr. White was a true leader in every sense of the word. Always moving with purpose, he possessed a supernatural discipline matched with soul piercing eyes which betrayed only the focused intensity that raged from within him. An incredibly sharp mind, he ascended to CEO and guided his firm into one of the most successful institutional investment firms in Boston with AUM of $20 billion+. After a conversation with him, it was a wrap. The slow burning embers were doused in liquid accelerant and now the dull glow in my stomach became an inferno. Needless to say I tried to pick Mr. White’s brain at every conceivable opportunity but that’s a story for another post.

From those interactions my question was answered. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. The objective was clear; the path however, was not. I needed affirmation that my decision was correct. I began looking for an investment opportunity that I could tout as the fruit of my own research and analysis.

Which finally leads me to my first stock call…I researched and found a little known gem called Atwood Oceanics. Click here for my PowerPoint and analysis…