Dan AmossDan Amoss

Dan Amoss, CFA, tracks aggressive accounting and other red flags that markets miss. He’s a student of the Austrian School of economics and Daily Reckoning fan since 2000. Agora Financial relies on Dan for macro market commentary as well as profitable plays like his 2008 call to readers to buy Lehman Bros. puts, which gained 462% as the stock fell from $45 to $12. And he called American Airlines’ bankruptcy long before the Chapter 11 filing, telling readers to short the stock, which tanked from $6 to just 26 cents.

Formerly, he was investment adviser to one of the top small-cap mutual funds in the country. He grew up on a semi-working small farm that his great-grandfather bought in 1907, learning thrift and the value of hard work through generations. 

This informs his drive to seek truth and expose frauds and promotions that suck in investors. He cut his teeth in finance interviewing management teams in “roadshows” and so knows the kind of BS they sell.

His bottom-up investing style focuses on management strategy, return on capital and the truth (and lies) buried in financial statements.

Coronavirus Starts to Hit Tech Hardware Stocks

With the news that Apple Inc. has cut its revenue guidance due to the coronavirus outbreak, other tech hardware companies will suffer from both its supply chain and from lower demand for hard drives within China. This includes our latest play on Seagate Technology that has suffered unrelenting revenue declines in the past several years.

The Perils of Shorting Volatility

The perception of a limitless “Fed put” has encouraged investors to become dangerously overconfident by shorting volatility. But there are risks by doing this. When the short volatility trade unwinds due to a catalyst that’s not easily identifiable in advance, there could be a major reversal of the S&P 500 and in public perception that central bankers are all-powerful superheroes.

Project Prophesy February Portfolio Update

The markets continue to absorb bad news and reach record highs as the bull market is moving into its 11th year. A slowing global economy, falling corporate profits margins and increased geopolitical tension are not enough to stop investors large appetite for stocks. We continue to focus on stocks with low expectations to profit from as valuations remain high. For now, read on for Dan’s review of our portfolio, including three plays moving to a hold position.

Markets May Feel the Bern Starting on Monday

As the Iowa caucuses near, many projections call for Bernie Sanders to come out on top. Any momentum that Sanders gets with a win in Iowa (and New Hampshire) could make investors uneasy at the prospect of falling profits for most companies — particularly in the health care sector. This could be a perfect setup for betting against health care stocks in the short term while the probability of a Sanders nomination is sorted out.

Yes, Public Companies Can Still Go Bankrupt During QE

Many investors believe as long as the Fed is printing money through QE or repo lending, stocks are insulated and will remain bullish. But good fundamentals and consistent profits must happen for market gains to continue. Even though investor risk appetites are high even in credit markets, companies that are highly leveraged and burning through cash are still vulnerable to bankruptcy.

A Road Map for Investing in the 2020s

With record highs in the markets, investors are understandably euphoric as stock valuations are rich. But factors could change during the new decade that could affect market performance. Will strong fundamentals return as a gauge for investing, or will the trend of central bank manipulation continue the bullish environment for stocks? Preparing for new risks is key for successful investing in the 2020s.

Project Prophesy Portfolio Update

The stock market continues reaching record highs as we move into the new year. Stock valuations are rich despite the warning signs of an economic slowdown, lower corporate earnings and geopolitical tensions. With large-cap stocks overextended, keep an eye on stocks with low expectations to outperform them. For now, read on for Dan’s review of all the open positions in the portfolio, including a moving two stocks to hold.