Who the Heck is Steve Nakamoto?

November 27th, 2016

(Correction: This piece was written at the time Wall Street Craps, the book and the website, were created. Since then there have been changes to my career.) Like many of you reading this book, I am an independent, do-it-yourself investor. I wasn’t always like this, however. During my nearly 40 years of investing, I followed the advice of my full-service stock broker, subscribed to the latest “guru’s” newsletter, and paid close attention to the so-called “experts” on the financial news networks.

As I’ve mentioned, I majored in business administration-finance during college. Yet, my true love was for the stock market. I happened to be the guy who other classmates went to for my opinion on the future price of gold because of the technical charts I carried around in my briefcase constantly. One day, my advanced investment class hosted the legendary market advisor, Richard Russell (who accurately called the 1974 stock market bottom), for an exclusive two-hour lecture.

That day changed my life, and I became a loyal subscriber to Mr. Russell’s Dow Theory Letters for over 30 years. Early in my business career, Russell’s conservative low-risk investment philosophy, based on a firm understanding of compound interest, helped me establish and then build my family’s small business retirement fund over many decades. But most of all, Mr. Russell taught me the important difference between the psychology of successful rich investors versus that of small-minded unsuccessful poor investors.  (Note: Winning starts in the mind.)

Mr. Russell also influenced me to become a true student of the market – learning from the best minds in the stock market business. This thirst for knowledge lead me to unique resources – the legendary stock market guru, Joseph E. Granville; the economist to six Presidents, Eliot Janeway; the weekly broadcasts of Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser; the daily recaps of the McClellan Oscillator on KWHY-TV in Los Angeles (America’s first financial network); the popular Elliot Wave Theory of the early 1990s; the classic stock market wisdom of Peter Lynch, Warren Buffet and Sir John Templeton; the clever writings of Motley Fool authors, David and Tom Gardner; and more recently, the street-smarts and over-the-top personality of Jim “Mad Money” Cramer and other brilliant commentators on the financial news network, CNBC.

Over my nearly forty years of investing, I have experienced the 1974 bear market, the 1982 stock market bottom, the panic of 1987, the roaring 1990s and early 2000s, the 2008 meltdown, the March 2009 bottom, and all of the assorted booms, busts, bubbles, crashes, mini-bulls markets, and mini-bear markets in between. The stock market has always reacted to concerns regarding wars, recessions, natural disasters, currency devaluations, real estate bubbles, savings and loan insolvencies, interest rate hikes, money supply expansions, energy shortages, and mortgage debt problems in ways that have created disaster for some and opportunities for others.

I’ve seen stock market gurus with hot hands come and go. A short list of those who have garnered massive public following over the years (several have been mentioned previously) include such notables as Joseph Granville, Robert Prechter, Elaine Grazarelli, Peter Lynch, Larry Williams, Abby Cohen, Mario Gabelli, Warren Buffet, George Soros, and Jim Cramer. My conclusion from observing these and other investment professionals is that the stock market is ever-evolving, forever challenging, and a place where no person can be right all of the time.

In order to succeed consistently over time, an investor must be smart, disciplined, responsible, flexible, decisive, and wise. Otherwise, the stock market has an uncanny way of making sure that you remain humble by taking away a large chunk of your capital. That’s been my first-hand experience and the same for almost every investor who has ever lived to play this challenging investment game.

LET ME BE STRAIGHT WITH YOU!

I am not a member of the traditional investment industry, but some in my inner circle are. My skiing buddy, Tony, is the vice-president of a major brokerage firm in Denver. My longtime two-man beach volleyball partner, David, is a CPA and Mergers/Acquisitions specialist. My Monday Night Football friend, Joel, is a registered investment broker specializing in non-stock market limited partnerships. And finally, my college roommate, Dave, has been a successful business insurance and corporate benefits broker for over 28 years. (Correction: As of December 2015, I am a licensed life insurance agent holding both a Series 6 and Series 63 securities license in the state of California.)

As for me, I don’t hold any financial certifications, except for my outdated bachelor’s degree in finance from San Diego State University from 1975. That’s probably a good thing because I don’t have any credentials that I’m afraid of losing. And as far as my outdated finance degree, there’s been enough time for me to realize that much of what I learned in college about economics and finance has very little value when it comes to achieving success in the stock market today. (Note: One key exception is that the return is in proportion to the risk.)

This means that I don’t sell investment products, offer money-management services, have any affiliation with a financial services company, nor do I claim to know the answer to every financial question in the Universe. As a result, I do not cater to anyone or possess a securities license to risk losing. I am totally free to give you my honest opinions, from purely an independent investor’s point-of-view.

My sole responsibility here is to share my approach to the stock market, to the best of my ability. I fully realize that I’m an easy target for those who adhere to conventional stock market theories or have a stake in maintaining the status quo in this traditional investment arena. I get that, and I’m perfectly OK with it. I am only here to share an experienced investor’s perspective on how to play the stock market game more successfully in an honest, fun, and unique manner.

WHY I’M THE ONE TO WRITE THIS BOOK

I am already a two-time Writer’s Digest award-winning author. Wall Street Craps is my fourth book – the first one in the area of investing. My first book was titled Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs To Know About Catching A Man. It was written over 10 years ago, as a way to teaching love relationship principles to women (the anglers) through the use of an animated metaphor (i.e., catching a man is like catching a fish). Hence, writing and promoting a book with the use of an empowering metaphor is something I have over a decade of experience in.

In the early 1990s, I served as a personal development trainer for motivational expert Tony Robbins. During this period, I learned to set and achieve goals in key areas of my life. One of those areas was what Tony called “financial mastery.” For me, this meant the effective use of intelligent money management strategies, along with tactical expertise in such areas as real estate, insurance, fixed income, tax-advantaged investments, and the stock market. Like many investors, I always maintained mental and written checklists of how to approach the stock market. But having a truly defined system for consistent success in the stock market was something that I had not fully developed … until now.

This past year is when the right ingredients finally came together – my nearly 38-year love affair with the stock market, the discovery of the ideal metaphor, the ability to write award-winning non-fiction books, the experience to deal effectively with the media, and the willingness to face the inevitable harsh criticism from close-minded self-serving people.

In a nutshell, Wall Street Craps was simply something that I felt destined to express and create.

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