I retired in 1999, hoping to spend the rest of my days relaxing and playing tennis…
After all, I had worked almost nonstop for more than 30 years on Wall Street to that point. During my career, I developed the now ubiquitous “Chaikin Money Flow” oscillator.
Now, as a regular investor, you probably haven’t heard of this tool… And I’m willing to bet that you haven’t used it in your personal financial research.
But today, the Chaikin Money Flow is built into the world-famous Bloomberg Terminal… And Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg’s major competitor, has it on tap as well.
Traders use the Chaikin Money Flow to get a read on the money moving behind the price action of a stock. And fortunately, by the late 1990s, it had become an industry standard.
I had spent my life’s work collecting and interpreting financial data to get to that point. It had paid off… And I was ready for a life filled with tennis, books, and relaxation.
But my wife Sandy wasn’t quite ready for retirement…
After working for several years as a vice president at beauty-products company L’Oréal, she built her own business in marketing and consulting. And fortunately, her business was still growing in 1999.
Despite my Wall Street successes, we managed our retirement funds separately. And since her business was getting bigger, she didn’t have much free time on her hands… She was simply too busy to chase down the best mutual funds of the day.
At the time, it made sense for Sandy to pay an expert to look after her retirement. And so, she made what was a pretty common and reasonable decision at the time… She handed the care of her retirement over to a professional who actively managed her account.
Sure, the fees were high… But as the overall market rose throughout the early 2000s, the fees didn’t seem that important. Sandy was busy with her business… And her retirement nest egg was growing alongside it.
In short, life was good… I was enjoying my retirement, and our wealth was still growing.
Then, 2008 came along…
Bleeding Value and Paying to Lose
“Marc, I’m paying him to ride my account to zero”…
That’s what Sandy said to me midway through 2008.
As the financial crisis set in, Sandy’s 401(k) account was bleeding value almost every day. And at the time, it looked like there was no end in sight…
To make matters worse, her high-fee active manager didn’t want to talk to her… The few times she was able to get him on the phone, he was dismissive.
Then, something incredibly ominous happened…
On September 16, 2008, money market accounts “broke the buck.” That’s the fancy way of saying that money-market savings accounts were now losing money. I vividly remember the exact words I told Sandy at the time…
“This means we’re in deep trouble.”
I called my friend, Bill Griffeth. He was CNBC’s “Closing Bell” host at the time.
“Marc, what’s going on? We’re just about to air,” Bill asked me. He hadn’t heard the news about the money market accounts yet. It stunned him.
Even worse, Sandy’s actively managed account was down much more than the overall market at the time… It was sitting on losses of about 50% at that point, while the broader market was down about 20%.
Sandy’s portfolio manager didn’t know what to do. And she wanted out – rightfully so.
Let’s be honest, though… Sandy’s investing horror story isn’t that unique.
Thousands of everyday Americans watched helplessly as their retirement savings were cut in half – or worse – during the Great Recession.
It was awful. And then, many folks made the worst decision they could possibly make…
They got out right at the bottom. Then, they stayed on the sidelines… They wanted to wait to get back in after things had settled down and weren’t as volatile. (Of course, this line of thinking really means after stocks have recovered… But most folks don’t realize it.)
Leaving Wall Street to Help Main Street
Sandy was more fortunate than most everyday Main Street investors at the time… She had me at her side.
And after more than 30 years as a Wall Street insider, I knew what we had to do. As I told her… You have to stay invested. Stocks won’t stay down forever. We need to ride this out.
Sandy understood. But she had also lost all confidence in her portfolio manager. And I don’t blame her… The guy still wouldn’t give her the time of day.
Still, I knew that just “stepping aside” and waiting for things to settle down was the worst possible move. That’s because of how volatility tends to work after a big crash…
When it comes to the broad market, big volatility up follows big volatility down. A quick glance at the benchmark S&P 500 Index’s biggest moves made this clear…
Major rallies have always come after a big bust.
So in the end, Sandy fired her portfolio manager and we took things into our own hands… We rolled her retirement into an index fund at Vanguard.
The first priority was making sure she didn’t miss the upside in the recovery that was coming… But after that, what was Sandy supposed to do?
It was so painfully obvious…
I had spent my career building quantitative tools for Wall Street. And I was darn proud of the work that I had done in helping many elite investors find success with those tools…
But when it came to my wife – and the thousands of everyday investors who lost a large chunk of their wealth, just like her – well, I hadn’t done a whole lot for them.
Although I was enjoying my retirement, I knew that I had the ability and knowledge to fix this problem. After all, I had developed the tools used by many Wall Street insiders.
As Sandy searched for a better solution, I promised myself that I would build the best set of quantitative tools for individual investors on the market. So I ended my retirement and got to work…
After exiting retirement that year, I went on to develop a set of quantitative tools specifically for individual investors. These days, it’s called the “Power Gauge”…
Months of Data at the Push of a Button
The Power Gauge takes 20 quantitative factors into account. It’s a boatload of data. It looks at everything from price performance… to fundamentals… to insider buying trends… to expert consensus.
Collecting and analyzing the data that the Power Gauge uses would take months for most individual investors. And that’s assuming you even know what to look for and where to find the data.
But fortunately, the Power Gauge pulls all this data together in a matter of seconds…
With the Power Gauge, you just put in the ticker of the stock you’re interested in. It pulls all of the data using our 20 factors almost instantly… and builds a complete report for you.
You can see the readings on each of the 20 factors that the Power Gauge uses. And more importantly, you get a simple overall reading – from “very bearish” to “very bullish” – on the stock.
It couldn’t be simpler to use. But that doesn’t mean it’s anything less than professional level…
Today, the Power Gauge rivals the tools used by Wall Street’s insiders.
Along the way, Sandy joined me on this project. We focused all of our time and resources into bringing it to life…
We built a beautiful website that’s easy to understand. We grew our team. And we built a variety of tools for individual investors seeking to grow their wealth and retirement funds.
Most importantly, I was able to keep my promise to myself… In the end, I came out of retirement and developed the best set of quantitative tools for individual investors on the market.
The Power Gauge is the culmination of my life’s work… Simply put, it levels the playing field. Every day, it helps investors make winning decisions in their portfolios.
And this afternoon, it can help you too…
Today at 1 p.m. ET, I’m hosting a special event where I’ll reveal the biggest prediction of my 50-year career… and how it will create a new type of company that could make you substantial gains this year.
I’ll also be joined by a surprise guest. It’s not Warren Buffett, but they’re a legend among his circle… and he’ll give you his take on today’s market from an angle I think you’ll love.
I’ll also share the name and ticker of the Power Gauge’s No. 1 small stock to buy now for the chance to make 5 times your money… along with the name of the No. 1 popular stock to avoid immediately.
The event is absolutely free to attend, and there’s still time to reserve your spot.
Founder and CEO, Chaikin Analytics