Meet Your New Editor

Introducing the newest Outsider....

Written by Jimmy Mengel
Posted May 13, 2021

If you've been reading Outsider Club over the years, you'll be well aware that we've had some interesting and — how shall I put this — eccentric editors. We're not your typical desk-jockeying financial analysts that feed you charts, profit and earnings statements, and just regurgitate the day’s stock market news day after day.

You can find that anywhere...

We pride ourselves in being unique voices: ones that tell stories, inject some humor, and are fun to read. All of us want you to be able to take the words from our pages and easily show up to a cocktail party with an insightful and witty story to tell.

Sometimes we're controversial, sometimes we're off-the-cuff, but I like to think that we're always clear and concise when we bring you the latest profit opportunities.

So when we know it's time to invite another writer to grace our pages, it's a really difficult process to find just the right guy or gal. Along with being an engaging writer, they also have to be whip-smart, disciplined, and visionary. You'd be surprised how difficult that is to find.

After months of searching, and hundreds upon hundreds of resumes and writing samples, we finally found our man...

When Alex Boulden's resume landed on my desk, I knew we had something. Not only does he have a degree in history and English, but also a master's in technical writing and scientific communication. That makes him the perfect fit...

He can dig deeper into technology, crypto, and biotech companies; use his knowledge to put the stock market in historical context; and has the chops to make his writing leap off the page.

I sat down with Alex to dig into his intellectual background, his investing history, and what he sees as the big trends that he'll be covering for us in these pages.

Jimmy: Hi Alex, welcome to The Outsider Club. We're thrilled to have you on board.

Alex: Thanks, and it’s great to be here, Jimmy. I’ve actually been a reader of The Outsider Club’s publications for some time, so when I saw you were expanding, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity. It’s rare to find a group of like-minded people under the same roof with the goal of helping others prosper in this new age of investing. And make no mistake, this decade will go down in history as one of the most bizarre yet profitable and downright hilarious times to be an investor.

Jimmy: Let's get started with your education. You've studied English, history, science, and technology. How have those diverse skills served you in the financial world?

Alex: That’s a great question. You’d be surprised how much information is overlooked simply because someone didn’t finish reading a sentence or paragraph. I’m still a firm believer that reading is the most important skill for a person to master (even in today’s world of programming and engineering). From there, anything is possible.

I worked as a technical writer after school because I was passionate about helping others understand complex information through the organization of documents (instructional manuals and software documentation). A bit dry, I know, but I got a behind-the-scenes look at how much of the tech world functions.

I’ve learned much about business and finance along the way, and I enjoy diving into a company's financials to learn about what’s really going on. That interest led me to a job at one of the world's top financial research firms. I got to work alongside former CBOE traders, IMF analysts, and ex-Wall Street hedge fund managers.

Jimmy: So when did you get started in investing? What got you excited to start putting your hard-earned money to work?

Alex: My father, being the hardworking, forward-thinking man that he is, opened a traditional IRA for me in 2005. Looking back, it was one of the best gifts I could ever have been given. At the time, however, I had no idea what it was or what it meant. I thought investing was all a big fugazi. And this was compounded by the fact that two years later, at the start of the 2007–2008 financial crisis, I got my statement in the mail and saw that the value of my fund had been cut in half.

So there I was, bitter at financial institutions and the government (typical broke college student)... but I realized the only way to get a handle on my finances was to educate myself — Lord knows they’re not teaching this stuff in school — and read as much as I could. When I realized I could put my money — what little I had of it — to work for me, I started to get really excited.

And a funny thing happens when you start getting into finance. I call it my Wizard of Oz moment, where I started to see the world in color. You start making new, important acquaintances, and your family even starts asking you for your opinion over Thanksgiving dinner.

If you can believe it, the first single stock I bought was Gamestop (NYSE: GME). And no, this wasn’t during the r/WallStreetBets “Gamestonk”  fiasco a few months back. Following the teachings of Benjamin Graham, I actually bought it as a value play years ago. Turned out to be a pretty good decision.

Jimmy: Good call, though I bet you weren’t howling “to the moon” back then. Speaking of “to the moon” and the Gamestop saga, you’ve made it clear to me that you’ve always had an avid interest in crypto.

Perhaps you can help our readers clear some things up. Most investors are still confused, not only with the technical aspect of how it works, but with the wild fluctuations in coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and now — for better or worse — the coin du jour, Dogecoin.

Can you tell us how you've watched crypto grow and what we as investors should be looking for going forward so we don't get burned?

Alex: Man, oh man, where do I begin? I feel like cryptocurrency is such a touchy subject these days, especially because so many people missed out at the beginning. We’ve really got to be careful and mindful of what is actually going on here. When Snoop Dogg (big fan, by the way) can send out a “Snoop Doge” tweet and cause a security to triple in price, you need to be fearful of a bubble.

I lived with a couple of now-Silicon Valley tech bros who mined Bitcoin in our basement. You’ve probably heard that term before, but it’s when you use a computer or several with powerful processors to solve complex math problems. Once the problem is solved, voilà, you’ve got yourself a Bitcoin. I had no idea what they were doing, and because I didn’t understand it, I shunned the idea of it (how soon we forget) and questioned its legality. But then I started doing my own research and learned all I could before putting my money into it.

Here’s the quick-and-dirty rundown... There are two schools of thought when it comes to crypto. First, and this is the original concept behind Bitcoin, it’s seen as a store of value, something that can be used instead of fiat currencies that can be manipulated and abused by governments. Second, it’s seen as a technological breakthrough, where the blockchain — the technology behind crypto — will be utilized to make monetary transactions easier (think buying and selling real estate). We’ve got a long way to go on either front, but it’s frankly irresponsible not to be exposed to crypto today. 

Jimmy: I hear you. I still have nightmares about ignoring my buddy’s advice to “toss a few hundred” into Bitcoin around 2011. I could have retired already... 

So what other areas are you going to be writing about here at Outsider Club? What can readers look forward to?

Alex: Even though I consider myself part of the new school of investing, I’m still a student of the old-school masters, including Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, and Burton Malkiel, among others.

Like Buffett, I believe in analyzing businesses, in having a strong stomach for short-term market turbulence, and that stocks outperform other asset classes.

I have my own investing philosophy that I’ll be diving into with Outsider Club readers in the weeks and months ahead.

We’ll talk about insider buying, current events, new technologies, and historical trends that have an impact on your portfolio.

I’ll even discuss personal finance and its importance when you’re considering investing.

Look, this has been a devastating time for so many families, and the last thing I want to do is make someone’s life harder. Now that I’m part of Outsider Club, I’m ready to start doing the heavy lifting with you and bring the best information possible to the readers, so they actually feel comfortable making informed decisions with their money.

Although I can't give personalized financial advice, if anyone has any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out. I read every subscriber email.

Jimmy: Really looking forward to it. Now, what do you do in your free time? Are you a Baltimore native?

Alex: I’m an avid rock climber, drummer, and a huge baseball fan. I remember the good old days of the Orioles at Camden Yards. I got to see Cal Ripken Jr., Roberto Alomar, Brady Anderson, and B.J. Surhoff, to name a few, crushing home runs left and right. 

I was born and raised in Maryland, and a lot of my family is from the Baltimore area. My parents met in the city, so you could say I got my start here.

Jimmy: Well we have at least three things in common then. I see a walk down to Camden Yards in the very near future, and I can grill you on your O’s history. And good drummers are hard to come by, so perhaps I can grab my Fender Jaguar and we can bust out a jam or two. 

Alex: I’ll take you up on both of those offers.

Jimmy: Excellent. Welcome aboard, Alex, and I can't wait to start reading your work. Thanks for taking the time.

Alex: Thank you, and it’s great to be here.

You can look forward to Alex's editorials in the coming weeks. I hope you're as excited as we are.

Godspeed,
jimmy-mengel-signature-fixed

Jimmy Mengel

follow basic @mengeled on Twitter

Jimmy is a managing editor for Outsider Club and the investment director of several personal finance advisories, The Crow's Nest, and The Adventure Capitalist For more on Jimmy, check out his editor's page.

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