Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 7

It never hurts to go over again something this important. No apologies!

My own portfolio owns every Special Ops position, except that because all my investable assets are in tax advantages accounts, I cannot use margin (short, write puts, write uncovered calls).

It would be unfair to have the research analysts, Jim and Mike, own all Special Ops positions as they do not have portfolio management power and each also has other responsibilities at TMF. Only I have portfolio management decisionmaking power for Spops. We often disagree, but it's my name on the masthead. They are managing their own money for themselves and their family welfare. To require them to follow Special Ops would be, in effect, to make me their investment advisor. Let's leave that there. :-)

My commitment to Special Ops is to eat my own cooking 100%. I do own a position here or three that Spops either can't own (liquidity) or is a legacy position, or is one my better half wants us to own. It's impossible to maintain the same allocations for all sorts of boring laws/sausage reasons, but they are close. For example, I had owned a TON of Biglari Holdings before Special Ops and it grew to 25% of my PA during Spops. I obtained permission from TMF regulatory/compliance to sell it down.

Neither I nor any analyst or advisor on ANY TMF service can ever act contrary to service guidance (can't sell anything that's a buy or hold) without permission from legal/compliance AND express written communication to you. That's important.

If every member were an accredited investor and this were a real hedge fund, I might allocate more heavily in an idea -- even more than we do here. That's because accredited investors are assumed to accept the risk with private investment funds. I have a friend who went 50% in on a stock in his hedge fund (fortunately, it went sky high) many years ago. In the right situation, I would too if I were a hedge fund manager. But not as your advisor. Many of you are not accredited investors. It just wouldn't be right. If members want to concentrate, they can.

So! I view my role as advisor -- as if I were your IA managing your separately managed account. So I must act as if I had a fiduciary duty, preventing me from taking a massive position in one holding.

But I am not your IA, though, and not giving individual investment advice. We do not have a manager-client relationship. So it's a hybrid job -- parts of both portfolio manager and advisor, educator, and so on.

Sometimes, I have a senior moment. For example, I thought I rolled the HLF calls and discovered I did not. So I did. Unlike Special Ops, we do not have to trade within 30 days, because there is no requirement that we own the stocks. (To repeat, I do.) I may also have both Liberties (don't have my IB token/card at the moment.)

Also, I do not check my brokerage account often. In fact, not even monthly, for the most part, unless I'm making a trade.

Just so you know, TMF does not require that any advisor or analyst (consider the per pick services with gazillions of stocks and where there are many analysts making selections) mirror the particular service (except they can't trade against it) they serve on.

Many analysts serve on services which would not be what they might choose 100% for their family resources. Whether anyone does is their business. I have enough work keeping track of mine! I do it because this is how I invest AND given the unique nature of Special Ops versus all other TMF services, it seems especially important to do so. And because we have a focused and concentrated portfolio. This makes us unique, IMNSHO.

Hope that makes it clear. I'm bookmarking this!

Yours, Tom
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.