There are some new people here, so I want to formally introduce myself and the work I’ll do here.
My name is Lyn Alden Schwartzer, and I’ll be covering North American stocks and international ETFs here. I take a conservative, low-turnover, long-term approach to investing for the base of my portfolio, with some opportunistic trading around the edges. I use stocks, ETFs, and options.
I have 15 years of investing experience, a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and a master’s degree in engineering management with a focus on engineering economics and financial modeling.
I began my engineering career as an electronics engineer in the automation and simulation industries about a decade ago, and gradually shifted towards finance and management, eventually coming to run the day-to-day operations of an engineering facility and a team of engineers and technicians, including overseeing the facility’s finances and approving major technical decisions.
My investment approach combines my experience with finance and engineering. I’ve found that taking an engineer’s approach to the markets has given me a unique and emotionally detached way of looking at things layer by layer with a strong quantitative background, which has thus far been quite successful. In addition, it gives me technical insight into some important industries including automation, software, semiconductors, solar energy, communications, and other areas of 21st century growth.
For individual stocks, I often emphasize growth-at-a-reasonable-price; companies with a blend of growth and value that enjoy wide economic moats and strong returns on invested capital, or companies that I expect to turn around and achieve that state. For international ETFs, I take into account economic growth, equity valuation, debt levels, political stability, and currency strength for 30 countries when determining which countries likely offer strong risk-adjusted forward returns.
I have a contrarian streak, and view volatility and market disruptions as places to benefit from. I’m always looking for things that are down. In 2009, I was buying stocks hand over fist. When oil crashed in 2015, I went on a shopping spree for undervalued energy and pipeline stocks. When precious metals hit a high in 2011 I was selling and when they hit a bottom in 2016 I was buying. When Brazil entered a serious recession in 2016 and 2017, I invested heavily. When oil crashed again in 2018, I made a nice quick gain in oil once again. I increased my exposure to some of the best growth stocks on sale right after the Christmas Eve panic at the end of 2018.
But despite taking an emotionally unattached approach towards the markets themselves, I love connecting with my readers and hearing their stories. Investing has a reputation of greed and elitism, but I approach this with real-world experience and empathy.
When I was a child, I was homeless for several years, then grew up in a trailer park for over a decade, put myself through university with part-time work and considerable student debt, and have been financially supporting my mother since my 20’s. Now in my 30’s, I’ve built up significant wealth and passive income, paid off all debt, and enjoy working hard and traveling the world with my husband. So I know first hand the importance of managing money well, and have direct experience of what it’s like at multiple different income levels in society.
I’ve received thousands of emails from readers residing in dozens of countries. Everything from college students excited to start their portfolios to 86-year old retirees managing their wealth into their later years. Many folks that find my work are looking for safe investment income, good long-term stock ideas, contrarian opportunities during periods of volatility, actionable observations about various funds, and no hype, and that’s what I do my best to provide every week.
I'm happy to meet people here, share what I uncover, and learn from others as well.