Tag Archives: Jobs

Job Opening(s) for An Analyst at Casey Research

H.L. Mencken, who wrote in The American Mercury (April 1924) that “the aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim . . . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States . . . and that is its aim everywhere else.”

What Does It Take to Be a Casey Research Analyst?


But first, I have a mission to accomplish with today’s missive. And that’s to tell our readers what it takes to be a Casey Research analyst. After all, that’s how I started in the company, so I should know. We’re always looking for new analysts—and right now, we’re actively searching for the next passionate, enthusiastic, and hungry junior investment analyst(s) to join Casey Research.

We receive dozens of applications every month from folks looking to start or continue their career as an investment analyst under the tutelage of the greats like Doug, Louis, Marin, and Alex. But oftentimes it’s not clear just what it takes to get there… or what opportunities and further challenges to expect when you get your call up to the majors.

One of the benefits of working for a growing company like Casey Research is that, if you do good work, there’s plenty of room to blossom. Several of our formerly junior analysts have done just that recently. One now heads his own team of analysts in a sister company, while another manages a small piece of our business himself.

And while we hate to lose great talent to career paths outside of Casey Research, we must admit it happens on occasion—such as the analyst who last year took on a lead role at establishing a Spanish investment bank’s operations in the American South. A loss for Casey, but a testament to the experience and mentorship that comes with the job.

In fact, it’s those vacant shoes above that we’re seeking to fill. But it’s not all glory for the new recruit. It takes years to learn this trade, and it starts with pulling the ox cart—specifically, assisting our senior editors in performing research, picking stocks, and other investments (and having the fortitude to press on when ideas are thrown back at him or her, which happens more often than not), writing articles, briefs, presentations, and much more.

Sure, a degree in finance/accounting/economics, experience screening for and selecting investments, and a track record of generating profitable investment ideas are all plusses. But none are requirements. We don’t believe that a degree alone proves your mettle.

The only non-negotiables are a passion for investing and a hunger to excel. If you possess those traits, our talented team of experienced analysts will gladly take you under its wing to help develop your skills.

This isn’t Monster.com, so rather than continue with a boring list of job requirements, I’ll take an alternative approach by describing some characteristics I believe make for successful Casey Researchers. Then you can judge for yourself if you or someone you know really has what it takes to thrive in what is unquestionably one of the most challenging but rewarding career directions a budding analyst can take.

If you get through this list and still think you have what it takes, check out the application process below, which includes an opportunity for you to show us your best stuff.

With a hat tip to Jeff Foxworthy, you might be the next Casey Research analyst if…

  1. You’re drivenI mentioned this already, but it bears repeating. If you find yourself counting down the minutes to 5 o’clock each day, itching to get home and plop down on the couch to indulge in the sitcoms on your DVR, this is not the position for you.If, on the other hand, you’re a Dexter Woo… scroll down to the bottom and apply!
  2. You have staunch conviction…There’s an investment adage that says you shouldn’t buy a stock unless you would be thrilled if it dropped 50%, allowing you to buy more at better prices. It’s a good mindset, but it takes conviction. Especially in the face of 2,000 upset subscribers who trusted your judgment.If you write articles for one of those popular aggregators of free stock picks, it’s one thing to get an angry comment or two. After all, those folks who followed your advice got what they paid for. But try facing up to a subscriber who paid you handsomely for grade-A, thorough investment research in person at one of our summits. Do you have enough conviction in your investment analysis to put your subscribers’ hard-earned money on the line? Are you so sure you’re right that you’d risk your career on it? Because that’s the kind of certainty it takes to make an investment recommendation in one of our premier letters.
  3. … but are also willing to change your views when confronted with evidence that they’re wrong.I sheepishly confess that for the first 97% of my life, I was certain that technical analysis—wherein traders analyze charts to determine where a particular stock might be going—was on par with voodoo. I think many value investors share my former belief.Then I watched Casey Research technical advisor Dominick Graziano reel off three triple-digit gainers in a row by predicting the movement of gold so accurately it was almost scary. Clearly I was wrong. Seeing three consecutive trades return 430%, 133%, and 175% has a way of changing your mind.Fast forward to today, and Dominick is teaching a course on his style of technical analysis to all Casey Research analysts. I’ve learned a ton; I only wish I hadn’t shunned such a valuable investing tool for so many years.By joining us, you’ll get similar opportunities to learn about topics you may have never even thought about, or perhaps actively avoided. It sounds cliché, but you’ll be surprised by how much you can learn by keeping an open mind.
  4. You’ve got a keen filterThe Internet has brought us much more information than we can ever hope to parse. I can show you twenty articles that argue gold is going up, and twenty more that say it’s going down. It’s up to you to separate the useful from the bunk.Likewise, while a company’s 10-K is a trove of useful information and a good starting point for research, it’s anything but objective. With the exception of the cash flow statement (and in some cases, even that can be toyed with), every number on a financial statement involves some degree of judgment by those who prepared it. Healthy skepticism is a must.
  5. You’re willing to go beyond the keyboardSomewhat related to the above, while the Internet has delivered unthinkable quantities of information to us, oftentimes you need to look elsewhere for quality information.Case in point: recently, Casey Research Senior Analyst Chris Wood was puzzled by the recent actions of a company he was researching. He emailed the company’s investor relations manager, who gave Chris the company line… i.e., nothing useful.So Chris phoned the same person, asked the same question, and voilà: the IR guy answered him straightaway.The reason? Writing something in an email codifies it as digital record until the end of time. If you slip and type something stupid or sensitive, there’s no plausible deniability. That scares the pants off the suits, most of whom are obsessed with liability.

    A phone conversation, on the other hand, evaporates into the air as soon as you hang up the phone, so people are generally more comfortable answering sensitive questions.

    The Internet is great. But sometimes, if you want a candid answer to a tough question, you have to pick up the phone.

  6. You’re a clear thinker and a good writerI put these together because they go hand in hand. Becoming a good writer isn’t easy, and there’s no substitute for experience. But if you’re willing to work at it and have the ability to organize your thoughts within your own head, it’s only a matter of time until you become adept at expressing them via the written word.

One more thing: the norm among Casey Researchers is that there is no norm. We employ economists, geologists, engineers, writers, accountants, professors, appraisers, marketers, mathematicians, and attorneys. We are CPAs, CFAs, MBAs, and JDs. And that’s just off the top of my head.

So if you’d like to apply but are afraid that you don’t “fit the mold,” nonsense. There is no mold!

If you’re interested in becoming a junior investment analyst for Casey Research, here’s what to do:

In 2,500 words or fewer, convince us of your best investment idea. Present it in an entertaining and persuasive manner, backed by solid research and analysis. This is your chance to chance to set yourself apart from other submissions, so include whatever you deem necessary to make a compelling investment case.

If you’re recommending a stock, a sample structure might be:

Introduction: Tell the story behind the investment.

Financials: Analyze the financial statements and generate sales, margin, and earnings or cash flow forecasts.

What You’ll Be Watching For: Outline the major risks.

Why You Like It: Recap why you are bullish and provide any other reasons to like the stock.

Recommendation Specifics: Provide a buy price and price target. Also discuss your projected timing horizon, how you would structure the trade, and how you arrived at your price target.

We’ll judge submissions on the following criteria, in no particular order…

  • Quality of the idea
  • Entertainment value
  • Writing quality
  • Clarity
  • Uniqueness
  • Thoroughness

Send your submissions plus your résumé to careers@caseyresearch.com by January 31, and we’ll contact you if we think you might be a good fit. We’ll use your submission solely to review your candidacy—it will not be published. Good luck!

CSInvesting: Have a Great Weekend!


Here are some roles recently posted on the SumZero.com Job Vault just in the last week. Please check the Job Vault under the Careers section of the site to apply to these and other open positions. Email liz@sumzero.com with questions or if your fund would like assistance on a search.

Analyst – Distressed and Special Situations – Special Situations and Distressed / Credit Fund – NYC

Technology Analyst – Pre or Post MBA – Value-Oriented Long Short Fund – Dallas

Analyst Positions – Pre and Post MBA – Long Biased, Value Oriented Special Situation Fund – NYC

Associate Director of Research – Multi $Bn Multi Strategy Hedge Fund – NYC

Experienced Industrials/Materials/Energy Analyst – Global Long/Short Equities Strategy Hedge Fund – San Francisco

Emerging Markets Equity Analyst – Multi $Bn Investment Fund – Chicago

I would submit a polished research report on your favorite idea. Forget the credentials.

Job or Wealth Creation. Economics in One Lesson and More

Economics in One Lesson

I highly recommend reading the book and/or view the video series on each lesson. It is common-sense economics. Many don’t see the secondary effects (a needed skill for investing!) of particular actions. Say you see a government building a bridge across a river–fantastic, you say because we need infrastructure. But what could individuals have done with their money instead? What products or services were foregone to build that bridge? I bet not 1 in 100,000 thinks of that. YOU will.

The Book: economics_in_one_lesson_hazlitt   RECOMMENDED!

Video Series of Economic in One Lesson: http://archive.mises.org/14406/economics-in-one-lesson-the-video-series/

I will pay someone to find a better introductory book on basic, common-sense economics.

Economic Primers:

Intro to Austrian Economics by Taylor


Essentials of Economics by Faustino Ballve

A more advanced exposition:Foundations of the Market Price System

If you don’t grasp economic principles (especially micro-economics) then investing successfully will be a Herculean task.

More jobs or wealth?


August 30, 2012


While a majority of jobs lost during the downturn were in the middle range of wages, a majority of those added during the recovery have been low paying, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project.

The disappearance of mid-wage, mid-skill jobs is part of a longer-term trend that some refer to as a hollowing out of the work force, though it has probably been accelerated by government layoffs.

The overarching message here is we don’t just have a jobs deficit; we have a ‘good jobs’ deficit,” said Annette Bernhardt, the report’s author and a policy co-director at the National Employment Law Project, a liberal research and advocacy group.

The report looked at 366 occupations tracked by the Labor Department and clumped them into three equal groups by wage, with each representing a third of American employment in 2008. The middle third — occupations in fields like construction, manufacturing and information, with median hourly wages of $13.84 to $21.13 — accounted for 60 percent of job losses from the beginning of 2008 to early 2010.

The job market has turned around since then, but those fields have represented only 22 percent of total job growth. Higher-wage occupations — those with a median wage of $21.14 to $54.55 — represented 19 percent of job losses when employment was falling, and 20 percent of job gains when employment began growing again.

Lower-wage occupations, with median hourly wages of $7.69 to $13.83, accounted for 21 percent of job losses during the retraction. Since employment started expanding, they have accounted for 58 percent of all job growth.

The occupations with the fastest growth were retail sales (at a median wage of $10.97 an hour) and food preparation workers ($9.04 an hour). Each category has grown by more than 300,000 workers since June 2009.

Some of these new, lower-paying jobs are being taken by people just entering the labor force, like recent high school and college graduates. Many, though, are being filled by older workers who lost more lucrative jobs in the recession and were forced to take something to scrape by.

“I think I’ve been very resilient and resistant and optimistic, up until very recently,” said Ellen Pinney, 56, who was dismissed from a $75,000-a-year job in which she managed procurement and supply for an electronics company in March 2008.

Since then, she has cobbled together a series of temporary jobs in retail and home health care and worked as a part-time receptionist for a beauty salon. She is now working as an unpaid intern for a construction company, putting together bids and business plans for green energy projects, and has moved in with her 86-year-old father in Forked River, N.J.

“I really can’t bear it anymore,” she said, noting that her applications to places like PetSmart and Target had gone unanswered. “From every standpoint — my independence, my sense of purposefulness, my self-esteem, my life planning — this is just not what I was planning.”

As Ms. Pinney’s experience shows, low-wage jobs have not been growing especially quickly in this recovery; they account for such a big share of job growth mostly because mid-wage job growth has been so slow.

Over the last few decades, the number of mid-wage, mid-skill jobs has stagnated or declined as employers chose to automate routine tasks or to move them offshore.

Job growth has been concentrated in positions that tend to fall into two categories: manual work that must be done in person, like styling hair or serving food, which usually pays relatively little; and more creative, design-oriented work like engineering or surgery, which often pays quite well.

Since 2001, employment has grown 8.7 percent in lower-wage occupations and 6.6 percent in high-wage ones. Over that period, mid wage occupation employment has fallen by 7.3 percent.

This “polarization” of skills and wages has been documented meticulously by David H. Autor, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A recent study found that this polarization accelerated in the last three recessions, particularly the last one, as financial pressures forced companies to reorganize more quickly.

“This is not just a nice, smooth process,” said Henry E. Siu, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia, who helped write the recent study about polarization and the business cycle. “A lot of these jobs were suddenly wiped out during recession and are not coming back.”

On top of private sector revamps, state and local governments have been shedding workers in recent years. Those jobs lost in the public sector have been primarily in mid and higher-wage positions, according to Ms. Bernhardt’s analysis.

“Whenever you look at data like these, there is this tendency to get overwhelmed, that there are these inevitable, big macro forces causing this polarization and we can’t do anything about them. In fact, we can,” Ms. Bernhardt said. She called for more funds for states to stem losses in the public sector and federal infrastructure projects to employ idled construction workers. Both proposals have faced resistance from Republicans in Congress.  (Editor: More public work means more taxes; more taxes equal less production; and less production equals less wealth).

Dwight R. Lee

Creating Jobs vs. Creating Wealth

Remember the opportunity costs.

January 2000 • Volume: 50 • Issue: 1 •  20 comments

Government policies are commonly evaluated in terms of how many jobs they create. Restricting imports is seen as a way to protect and create domestic jobs. Tax preferences and loopholes are commonly justified as ways of increasing employment in the favored activity. Presidents point with pride to the number of jobs created in the economy during their administrations. Supposedly the more jobs created the more successful the administration. There probably has never been a government spending program whose advocates failed to mention that it creates jobs. Even wars are seen as coming with the silver lining of job creation.

Now there is nothing wrong with job creation. Working in jobs is an important way people create wealth. So the emphasis on job creation is an understandable one. But it is easy for people to forget that creating more wealth is what we really want to accomplish, and jobs are merely a means to that end. (How about having people paid for building sand castles during low tides—infinite work?) When that elementary fact is forgotten, people are easily duped by arguments that elevate creation of jobs to an end in itself. While these arguments may sound plausible, they are used to support policies that destroy wealth rather than create it. I shall consider a few of the depressingly many examples in this column and the next.

Creating Jobs Is Not the Problem

The purpose of all economic activity is to produce as much value as possible with the scarce resources (including human effort) available. But no matter how far we push back the limits of scarcity, those limits are never vanquished. Scarcity will forever prevent us from securing all the things we desire. There will always be jobs to do far more than can ever be done. So creating jobs is not the problem. The problem is creating jobs in which people produce the most value. This is the point of the apocryphal story of an engineer who, while visiting China, came across a large crew of men building a dam with picks and shovels. When the engineer pointed out to the supervisor that the job could be completed in a few days, rather than many months, if the men were given motorized earthmoving equipment, the supervisor said that such equipment would destroy many jobs. “Oh,” the engineer responded, “I thought you were interested in building a dam. If it’s more jobs you want, why don’t you have your men use spoons instead of shovels.”

As I tell my students at the University of Georgia, I will employ every person in our college town of Athens if they’ll only work for me cheaply enough, say a nickel a month. Lower the wage a bit more and I’ll hire everyone in the entire state of Georgia. If I hired workers at those wages, I could make a profit having them build dams with spoons. Of course, the students recognize that my offer is silly since they can make far more working for other employers, which reflects the more important reason my offer is silly: concentrating on the number of jobs ignores the value being created, or not created. More value will be produced in the higher-paying jobs my students can get than in the ones I am offering. A big advantage realized from the wages that emerge in open labor markets is that they attract people into not just any employment, but into their highest-valued employment.

Another advantage of market wages is that they force employers to consider the opportunity cost of hiring workers their value in alternative jobs and to remain constantly alert for ways to eliminate jobs by creating the same value with fewer workers. All economic progress results from being able to provide the same, or improved, goods and services with fewer workers, thus eliminating some jobs and freeing up labor to increase production in new, more productive jobs. The failure to understand this source of increasing prosperity explains the widespread sympathy with destructive public policies.

Dynamiting Our Way to More Jobs

In the 1840s a French politician seriously advocated blowing up the tracks at Bordeaux on the railroad from Paris to Spain to create more jobs in Bordeaux. Freight would have to be moved from one train to another and passengers would require hotels, all of which would mean more jobs. (This proposal was discussed and demolished by the nineteenth-century economist and essayist Frederic Bastiat in Economic Sophisms, pp. 94-95, available from FEE.)

This proposal is even more absurd than my offer to hire people for a nickel a month. At least I would employ workers to produce something of value, rather than to partially undo damage that is inflicted needlessly. Unfortunately, absurdity does not prevent economically destructive policies from being proposed and implemented. Using the jobs-creation justification, politicians commonly enact legislation that increases the effort required to produce a given amount of value.

One of the arguments for restricting imports is that it will create (or protect) domestic jobs. True, it will create some domestic jobs, just as destroying a section of a rail line will create domestic jobs. But also like a break in a rail line, import restrictions make it more costly to obtain valuable products. The only reason a country imports products is that it is the cheapest way to acquire them; it takes fewer workers to obtain the imported products through foreign trade than by producing them directly. In this way trade is like a technological advance, freeing up workers and allowing them to increase the production of goods and services available for consumption. Import restrictions create jobs in the same way dynamiting our railroads, bombing our factories, and requiring that workers use shovels instead of modern earth-moving equipment would create jobs. Always keep in mind that creating jobs is a means to the ultimate end of economic activity, which is creating wealth.

Creating Government Jobs

Because people tend to think of jobs as ends rather than means, they are easily fooled into supporting government programs on grounds that jobs will be created. We have all heard people argue in favor of military bases, highway construction, and environmental regulations on business on these grounds. To justify spending, government agencies commonly perform benefit/cost studies in which the jobs created are counted as benefits. This is like counting the hours you work to earn enough money to buy a car as one of the car’s benefits. The jobs created by a government project represent a cost of the project: the opportunity cost. The workers employed in government activities could be producing value doing something else. The relevant question is not whether a government project creates jobs, but whether the workers in those jobs will create more wealth than they would in other jobs. This is a question advocates of government programs don’t want asked. If it were, there would be far fewer low-productivity government jobs and far more high-productivity private-sector jobs.