How I Got Started
I was first introduced to the markets and investing during my freshman year of undergrad. I attended a scholarship school and thus, while tuition was covered, I worked several jobs and had extra cash on hand. I opened my first brokerage account with $500 deposit with Scottrade in 2006. At the same time, one of the jobs I was working was a dormitory desk job and I had the 12:00-6:00 AM shift. I sat there and began my knowledge journey in studying company filings, market dynamics, and what this industry was about. I became hooked and knew I wanted to do this for a living.
I love the markets and researching companies and I love to win and that’s what I aim to ultimately do as the foundation of my research and efforts.
The first stock I ever bought was Google (GOOG at the time) for $464 a share. I accumulated over 30 shares just as GOOG was hitting its, at the time, 52 high of $747 in 2007. I sold out and quickly put those gains into Delta (DAL) which at the time, had fallen below $5 due to oil being north of $140/barrel. I was in the Detroit airport returning from the Philippines that summer when I saw DAL had moved over $2 in one day and my account had a large unrealized gain. It was an incredible time of learning and winning, but it was not without the ever important lesson of feeling the sting of losing.
I learned a great deal about risk and the sting of losing money throughout the crisis. Undergoing a series of realized losses during the crisis, I put everything in cash and made an even better investment – an engagement ring and a wedding. I took my winnings from the market which paid for an engagement ring and a wedding.
I’ve been in the markets ever since and hope to manage money professionally one day.
Cosmon (τὸν κόσμον) is the Greek word for “world.” I attended a small private college in Chicago and studied Koine Greek in undergrad and still love the language today as many words paint word-pictures as opposed to a unilateral meaning. Cosmon was fitting as I am an relative value global investor watching equity exchanges around the world. I have lived overseas in East Africa and have visited out developing countries on several occasions and I believe this gives me an unfair advantage into how companies operate and can have an advantage in an emerging context. My main focus, however, is US domestic markets and I only place bets on companies in emerging markets when I come across an interesting idea my research suggests an favorable asymmetric idea.
I consider myself a global relative-value investor. I believe the best way to beat the market is to find the best longs and the best shorts and weight your positions by conviction based upon qualitative and quantitative research. Furthermore, I believe research is at the fore of any decision. I don’t typically look at macro indicators as much as I do underlying stories which contribute to healthier economics of business for my longs, or negative shifts in business models for my shorts.
Some of the discussed stocks I do have capital in, others I do not.