John D. Seitzer, CFA, CFP, MBA founded Everest Wealth Management in 2004, but John has worked in the financial industry since 1989, including over 11 years for a leading mutual fund company where he was Vice President and Portfolio Manager. Prior to this, he was a Senior Tax Specialist with a large, international accounting firm.
John graduated magna cum laude from Kansas State University with a dual major in finance and accounting. Additionally, he obtained his MBA from Indiana University, a top-ten MBA program as designated by BusinessWeek magazine at that time, with an emphasis in finance and investments. He graduated in the top 10% of his class.
In addition to extensive education and experience, John has achieved the designations of Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Charted Financial Analyst (CFA), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA), but he is not currently a licensed, practicing CPA. He has been recognized in a wide range of publications including Money Magazine, Newsweek, Kiplinger's, USA Today, Investors Business Daily,
Wall Street Journal and Employee Benefits News.
Passion for Investing
John's passion for investing was sparked at age 15, at which time his grandmother gave him $1,000 to invest. He and his mother met with a stock broker and put the money into a Templeton mutual fund and one individual stock, Telex (yes, a tech stock in 1982!). Telex went from $12 to $17 in one month at which time he took his profits, and that sparked his lifelong fascination with investing.
To fuel his newfound passion, he needed money. His interest in making money began with his first job was at age 10, shelving books in a library, then working at a daycare, then cleaning Foam City after school at age 11 (mopeds were great transportation!), then Rax Roast Beef at age 12 (they believed he was 16??), then Cocos and Hayward's BBQ washing dishes, then a grocery store, bringing carts in from parking lot and cleaning bathrooms, all the while mowing lawns and doing other odd jobs for money. He gladly worked holidays for the 50% premium!
His working allowed him to amass a small fortune for his age that he plowed into stocks. At age 15 he opened a brokerage account with BC Christopher and was introduced to penny stocks (small companies that trade at less than $10 per share). This was where the action was! He'd speak with his broker, often weekly, about his investments. John rolled his $3,400 Telex proceeds and savings into AVX, a semiconductor company, which he "patiently" held for 3 months and sold for breakeven, and into IRIS, a healthcare company, which he sold a month later for a 34% gain. A famous investor once said, don't confuse brilliance with a bull market. John just happened to begin his investing at the start of one of the greatest bull markets of all time! The economy was just coming out of recession and stocks had been beaten down to under 10 p/e's.
John had several big winners and by the time he was heading to college, between work and investing, he'd accumulated $15,000 ($42,000 in today's inflation-adjusted $s). At that time there was a company called International Texas Industries that had a motion technology that was first applied to wheelchairs, but was also being evaluated for larger applications, like forklifts, and moving shipping containers. He bought some, it went up, he bought more, it went down, he bought more, it went down more. Eventually, most of the proverbial eggs were in one basket. He ultimately sold and took a big loss, but pocketed much wisdom from this experience - overconfidence and over-concentration kill! Most of his remaining $s he "invested" in a Mazda RX7 Turbo.
However, he continued to follow the markets in college and reengaged on October 19, 1987, the day historians later dubbed "Black Monday". He returned from class early afternoon to discover the stock market was already down 20%. He immediately checked his bank account, then called his mom for a loan, then called his broker to buy Marion Laboratories, Liz Claiborne and Nova Pharmaceuticals that afternoon. Warren Buffet says, be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.
Shopping for sales didn't begin on Black Monday 1987. In middle school, he and a buddy enjoyed shopping the sale racks for clothes, reveling in paying 70%-off for Dillard's sweaters in January. He couldn't understand why others would pay full price in November when every year prices would drop in January. This same principle applies to the stock market, where we know it to be cyclical, but many lack patience to buy right. In fact, stocks are probably the only item where demand goes up with higher prices and down with lower prices, defying the laws of economics and instead, reflecting investors' emotions of fear and greed.
We all have experiences that shape our investment behavior. John's experiences, successes and failures, have shaped his approach to investing today.