I Probably Shouldn’t Say This, But…

Investing Strategies

Tim Plaehn here, with a very special treat for you.

Today, I’m introducing you to our newest investing expert here at Investors Alley.

You’re going to be hearing more about him and about his very successful investing approach soon…

(Anyone interested in income investing, like me, should pay special attention…)

And today, he’s prepared a very honest message for you. It was very refreshing to read.

Here he is…

Hi there, Tim Melvin here.

Over the coming days and weeks, you’re going to get to know me very well.

Before long, you’ll see what makes my investment approach so special – and so profitable. I can’t wait to share that with you.

But I think it’s important that we first get to know each other.

You’re probably wondering “Who is this guy? Why is he writing for Investors Alley?”

Here’s the simple truth: I’m doing it because I enjoy writing about and researching markets.

Basically, I’m a bit of a geek. Sitting around reading academic studies, research papers and articles is an enjoyable activity in my version of the world. I like digging in, running tests and simulations to discover what works in markets. I can sit around and talk with like-minded folks about anomalies, patterns, and market puzzles for hours on end.

I enjoy doing it, and I think I have found some things along the way that can help other people – you – make more money investing.

In late 2007 it was becoming evident that I was going to have to leave the brokerage business. I started as a broker back in the 1980s to sell stocks and bonds to investors. I loved doing that. I have great memories of working with folks who understood risk and reward and were willing to be what I call aggressive patient investors.

I was a broker because of things like nuclear utilities with preferred stock arrearage, Canadian Bonds during NAFTA negotiations, and busted real estate deals. These things interested me and were profitable for my clients as well as me. I had no interest in gathering assets for outside managers and mutual fund investing, but that’s where the business had gone during my career.

I spent most of 2007 trading SPAC and risk arbitrage for a handful of clients and managing the retirement accounts for some guys who traded options at the CBOE to keep the lights on and the bartender’s kids in college.

I spent a lot of time fighting with my bosses and the compliance department who wanted to see annuity and closed-end fund IPO revenue and thought arbitrage was the name of some French dessert. I was a dinosaur, and it was time to move in another direction.

I had a couple of options at this point. I could open a hedge fund or RIA firm, and there were enough backers and investors to do so. But after I studied the idea, I realized I didn’t want to that.

I didn’t want to interact with clients who wanted to know why we didn’t own the hot stock of the day and instead owned a bunch of small banks and little companies no one had ever of before.

I didn’t want to raise money or make “pilgrimages” to Wall Street to arrange brokerage relationships.

I didn’t want to invest the time and money to stay on top of the regulatory requirements, and it was not difficult to imagine a scenario where my messy desk and lack of administrative skills could end up with me in hot water with the bureaucrats.

At some point, the squeeze ain’t worth the juice.

The other option was to write about markets for various websites, and I had a fantastic opportunity that pretty much replaced my income as a broker. I jumped on it as it was something I was pretty sure I would enjoy, and the only phone calls I would have to take would be from publishers and editors. Over the last several years, I’ve written for several websites and introduced my newsletters with a degree of success.

I say “a degree” as the investment results have been excellent, but I have made a significant discovery along the way. I’m a decent writer and a good investor. I was a door-to-door salesman when I was in my 20s followed by a stint as a car salesman, so if you put me one on one with someone, I can close the deal.

However, I may well be the worst marketer in the history of the world.

So, when the people at Investors Alley reached out to me, I was very excited. I now have the opportunity to find out what might happen if we put my style of investing together with their marketing expertise – and I can’t wait for you to see the results.

Now, I realize I’m probably supposed to say something about how “I’m doing all this to help the little guy” or something along those lines.

And look, I do think that teaching folks how to invest like the smart, patient money and adopt the right mindset is going to make a lot of people a lot of money.

But the truth is, I’m not that altruistic.

I’m doing this because it’s going to be fun and it fits the way I want to live. Hunter Thompson once advised that one should:

“Beware of looking for goals. Look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living within that way of life.” Writing for you, sharing my investment research with you allows me to make a living within my desired way of life.

The fact the everyone involved, from me and Investors Alley to readers like you will make a bunch of money, that’s a nice bonus.

You’ll see exactly what I mean soon. Stay tuned.

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