Founder, Aleph Blog
Contributor's Links: The Aleph Blog Aleph Investments, LLC

David J. Merkel, CFA — 2010-present, I run my own equity asset management shop, called Aleph Investments.  I manage separately managed stock and bond accounts for upper middle class individuals and small institutions.  My minimum is $100,000.

From 2008-2010, I was ... more

ALL CONTRIBUTIONS

The Crisis Lending Fund
Who wouldn’t want a fund that made additional money during a crisis, and was safe the rest of the time as well?
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Short-Term Rational, But Intermediate-Term Irrational
The market goes down double-speed. Just because the 10-year returns don’t lose much, doesn’t mean that there might not be better opportunities 3-5 years out, when the market might offer returns of 6%/year or higher.
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EC The Little Market That Could
So what do you think of the market? Why are both actual and implied volatility so low? Why are the moves so small, but predominantly up?
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“Bank” Some Of Your Gains
What do you reinvest in? The short bonds help if there is inflation, the long bonds help if there is deflation. Both remove the risk of the stock market.
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The Many Virtues Of Simplicity
If you don’t have that level of understanding, then at some point you will be tempted to change your investments during a period of market duress, and it will likely be a mistake.
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EC Estimating Future Stock Returns, June 2017 Update
We are now in the 93rd percentile of valuations. This era will ultimately be remembered as a hot time in the markets, much like 1965-9, 1972, and 1997-2001.
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STOCKS I FOLLOW

AIG American International Group Inc
AIZ Assurant Inc.
AMZN Amazon.com Inc.
BBK BlackRock Municipal Bond Trust
BLV Vanguard Long-Term Bond ETF
BND Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF
BRO Brown & Brown Insurance
BX The Blackstone Group L.P.
C Citigroup Inc.
DB Deutsche Bank AG
ERO iPathSM EUR/USD Exchange Rate ETNs
FB Facebook Inc
HNZ H. J. Heinz Company
KBE SPDR Series Trust
NYT New York Times Co.
PEP PepsiCo Inc.
PRE PartnerRe Ltd.
SHLD Sears Holdings Corporation
TNP Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited
TWGP Tower Group Inc.
TWTR Twitter Inc
VR Validus Holdings, Ltd.
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TWEETS

LATEST ACTIVITY

David Merkel
Big insurers welcome regulators' rethink of sector risks https://t.co/e8mrXz2Tk8 Regulators should focus on liquidity of liabilities $$
David Merkel
Mobile Homes Are So Expensive Now, Hurricane Victims Can’t Afford Them https://t.co/fqnXfXi3Mh Who will make trailer parks 4 the poor? $$
David Merkel
‘Every time you walk out the door your life is in jeopardy’ https://t.co/LtFnAZIWzp Black leaders of Baltimore must decide what they want $$
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PERSONAL BLOG

Latest Posts

Work Experience

Principal
Aleph Investments, LLC
September 2010 - Present (7 years 4 months)
I have started my own asset management firm.
Founder
Aleph Blog
2007 - Present (11 years)
I try to write something interesting on an economic, business, or financial topic every day. Some pieces are more advanced, some are geared to beginners. I write my best stuff when I am really passionate about my topic.
Contributor
Seeking Alpha
2007 - 2011 (4 years 11 months)
Chief Economist and Director of Research
Finacorp Securities
February 2008 - June 2010 (2 years 5 months)
Daily market research and updates Protected the company against unscrupulous purveyors of investments. Tried unsuccessfully to start an asset management business. Had to start it on my own to get the proper motivation.
Senior Analyst
Hovde Financial
April 2003 - July 2007 (4 years 4 months)
Senior Analyst covering insurance equities. Also managed profit sharing and endowment funds.

Education

University of California, Davis
None
1982 / 1986
Applied Economics. Dissertation Committee fell apart, and could not resurrect it. Passed my Ph.D. orals, but no Ph.D.
The Johns Hopkins University
BA, MA
1979 / 1982
Political Economy

Publications

The Aleph Blog
David Merkel
David Merkel
My objectives in this blog are relatively simple: To interact more broadly with the blogosphere, adding my own distinct ideas to the mix. To fight for what is right in money management, and encourage readers to pursue strategies that reduce risk and enhance returns. To develop an investment management shop. Initially, this would be personal & institutional money management on a “long only” and hedged basis. Eventually, I would create a mutual fund so that smaller retail investors can invest with me. I would try to buy up a failed mutual fund shell, allowing a way in that is cheaper, and providing tax-sheltered gains to early investors. But all of this is a dream that might not be realized. Until then, I can tell you about managers who manage money in a way similar to mine. All of these goals rely on the help of Jesus Christ and my readers. I thank you for taking the time to read what I write.