Saturday February 13, 2010
James Stack, president of InvesTech Research and Stack Financial Management, isn't your typical investment advisor. His office is over 2,200 miles away from Wall Street, in Montana, located on the shores of Whitefish Lake.
But this locale hasn't prevented Jim from helping investors to develop an objective, safety-first investment strategy focused on risk management.
Formerly a project manager for IBM Research with a number of domestic and international patents to his credit, Jim has a graduate degree in engineering, with post-graduate study in business.
After founding InvesTech Research in 1979, he began publishing the InvesTech Market Analyst in 1982 and added the InvesTech Portfolio Strategy (formerly the InvesTech Mutual Fund Advisor) four years later. Jim and his staff maintain over a century of financial and market data, and create all of the custom analysis software used by InvesTech.
In addition to addressing numerous investment seminars, Jim has been a guest on "Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser," and is regularly invited to appear on the "Nightly Business Report", CNN's "Business Day" and "Moneyline," and CNBC.
In June 2000, Jim was awarded a Carnegie Medal in "recognition of an outstanding act of heroism" for a midnight rescue following a boating accident near his home on Whitefish Lake. Working and living near the majestic Glacier National Park (a feature Barron's article described it as "Far From the Madding Crowd"), Jim and his wife Lisa spend their rare spare time skiing and white-water kayaking.
Dedicated to bringing sophisticated analysis of the stock market to the average investor, InvesTech Research began national circulation of its market letter in December 1982.
Today, InvesTech publishes both the InvesTech Market Analyst and InvesTech Portfolio Strategy, which have earned widespread recognition for their time-proven risk allocation strategy, as well as their in-depth analysis of the Federal Reserve. InvesTech maintains over 100 years of financial and historical market data.
From its unique blending of monetary and technical analysis to specific stock and mutual fund recommendations, InvesTech presents unhedged advice and a valuable perspective that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Each issue of the Market Analyst attempts to answer not just where the market is heading, but why.
The Portfolio Strategy reviews recommended stocks or funds, tracks the Model Portfolio and Alternate Mutual Fund Portfolio and also addresses timely topics on investment strategy. In addition, the InvesTech Online Interim Bulletin is a two-page summary of our outlook and analysis published every four weeks, between regular issues of the newsletters.
This distinctive approach to market analysis has led to InvesTech's being frequently quoted in Barron's, Business Week, Forbes, Money Magazine, Worth, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. InvesTech earned widespread recognition as one of only a handful of advisory services to warn of imminent danger prior to Black Monday on October 19, 1987.
In 1991 InvesTech published our "TORO... TORO..." issue, just 10 days before the January stock market blast-off. In the late 1990s InvesTech consistently cautioned investors about the dangers of the speculative bubble gripping Wall Street.
The InvesTech Mutual Fund Advisor (now the InvesTech Portfolio Strategy) was recognized in 1996 by Mark Hulbert (editor of the Hulbert Financial Digest) as “one of only 6 newsletters that have beaten the market on a risk-adjusted basis since inception over 10 years ago.” More importantly, InvesTech's historical performance has been described by Forbes as "more or less impervious to declines."
A twice-weekly hotline keeps subscribers up-to-date on the current market outlook, along with the status of InvesTech's highly regarded proprietary indicators such as the Negative Leadership Composite (NLC), Pressure Factor and other key indicators. The Financial Hotline, daily indicator updates, and InvesTech's current issues are all available online.
From the Desk of Jim Stack…
Over the years, at least four doctrines have influenced and created my personal investment philosophy. These carry a heavy weight in all my investment decisions:
1) My indoctrination into the stock market, or "baptism by fire" as I remember it. It came during 1973-74 as I watched my own portfolio lose over -50%, the Nasdaq Index lose -60%, and even the stock of my bluest-of-blue chip employer (IBM) drop -58%.
I also remember the despair as retirees were forced to cancel or reverse their retirement plans simply because their portfolios had lost too much. I have unending respect for those little ‘blips' on historical wall charts. They represent real bear markets, with big losses. And believe me, they're a lot tougher to recoup than the stories portrayed by mutual funds and the media.
2) An education and professional background based on logic and reason. With an engineering degree and experience as a Project Manager with IBM Research, my approach to the markets could only be analytical, rather than emotional. That can be a valuable asset in an aging bull market fueled by greed and emotion... or in a bear market seized by panic.
3) Historical knowledge that is founded on years of research. I know from research that the "correct" decisions on Wall Street invariably require you to move against the crowd... and at times, against every emotional fiber in your body. It was this historical tempering that permitted InvesTech to identify the start of the huge 1991-2000 bull market (our issue titled "TORO! TORO!" was published on January 4, 1991). Conversely, it is that same tempering that forced us to step aside early, and avoid the Wall Street bubble as it popped in March 2000... devastating the average investor.
4) Our consideration and respect for our subscribers and managed account clients. Surveys show the median age of our subscriber base is 57 years. That means most are in, or within a dozen years of retirement. It's not enough to ride a major bear down with 45% losses, and feel "good" because market indexes lost 50% or more. In that respect, we are not part of the Wall Street crowd or consensus.
Our goal is not merely to maximize return, but to maximize risk-adjusted-return... or provide the best possible gains for the amount of market risk taken. Our long-term track record, especially during the 1987 Crash, and 1990 and 2000-02 Bear Markets, has proven an ability to do just that.
In our ongoing commitment to our subscribers, the staff at InvesTech Research is consistently looking for new tools and models to measure risk and determine when to be an aggressive investor in the stock market. We will always try to improve our investment returns. However, you will never see us sacrifice our objective, safety-first strategy for the sake of a quick profit or the comfort of merely being a part of the crowd.