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

Dividends Can Lie
Dividends are more fickle than most of their fans admit. The infatuation that some money managers have with dividends is misplaced.
Read
Stock Market Games For Children
Games that involve goals, investing and limits are good for children.
Read
Issue Longer Treasury Debt
It’s an experiment. The market doesn’t always know what it wants until you offer an option to it.
Read
Always Late
The Fed should look at forward-looking indicators, and educate the press and public about what they are doing. If they do that, policy will work better until the forward looking indicators lose their value.
Read
ETFs Increase Correlations, But Not Overall Amplitude
I am not in the crowd that thinks that indexing or ETFs will create a crisis. As I have said before, long-term performance of assets relies on the underlying productivity of the businesses issuing the assets.
Read
HH The Stock Market Is Not The Proper Measure Of Politicians
Even if we could, the stock market does not measure most of what a nation does, the happiness and security of its people, etc. It would be a poor measure of success for a President.
Read

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
FB Facebook Inc
HNZ H. J. Heinz Company
KBE SPDR S&P Bank ETF
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.
Load More

TWEETS

PERSONAL BLOG

Latest Posts
The Balance: On Private Activity Bonds
Let me simply say here that I am not crazy about Private Activity Bonds [PABs], and municipal bonds generally. If you have a long enough time horizon to buy and hold a muni bond 20-30 years, then you may as well own stocks.

Work Experience

Principal
Aleph Investments, LLC
September 2010 - Present (9 years 3 months)
I have started my own asset management firm.
Founder
Aleph Blog
2007 - Present (13 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 10 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.