In 2014 award winning journalist Jason Zweig at The Wall Street Journal described Gary Karz as one of fifteen “Smart People for Investors to Follow” (along with Warren Buffet, Howard Marks, William Bernstein and others). Zweig encouraged investors to socialize “only with investors who are calm and methodical” and "ignore the markets’ momentary twitches and spasms and, instead, to focus on the long term." Zweig summarized InvestorHome as followsThis site, maintained by financial analyst Gary Karz, offers a vast trove of reference material, including countless links to original research. Investors who want to educate themselves deeply using primary sources can start here.Investorhome.com has been cited in
- Financial periodicals and web sites including Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Barron’s, Kiplinger's, Morningstar.com, TheStreet.com, and on CNBC.
- Professional peer reviewed journals including The Financial Analysts Journal, Journal of Finance, and Journal of Portfolio Management.
- Critically acclaimed books including Eric Tyson's Investing For Dummies, William Bernstein's The Intelligent Asset Allocator, and Jason Zweig's "revised" edition of The Intelligent Investor.
My career in the investment business began in 1987 during my junior year in college when I passed the NASD Series 7 & 63 exams and became a fully licensed (but part-time) "Stockbroker" at the age of 20. Like many that started in the investment business via a brokerage firm, I was never comfortable with the conflicts of interest between the broker's incentive to generate commissions and the client's interests in maximizing returns (which logically included minimizing costs).
When the stock market crashed later that year, I recall standing next to the trading room where the door had been locked shut and they were telling brokers not to bother sending in orders (which were submitted on paper slips in those days) because no one could get through to the floor of the exchange to make trades. I was concerned, but felt fortunate that I only had a few clients and not much of their wealth was in the market, so the losses weren't huge. Ultimately the experience was a tremendous learning opportunity.
I also became a licensed California Real Estate Agent while still at USC business school. My grandfather was a successful businessman and Realtor and he encouraged me to get some experience in the field. After graduating, I got some of that experience working as an analyst with a prolific commercial real estate developer. On some developments the firm secured construction loans that were greater than the cost to buy the land and build a shopping center. That was a great situation for the company, but created an interesting problem for an analyst like myself since you can't calculate a rate of return when you have no investment. Looking back after the fact, it was easy to see why the country was soon engulfed by the S&L crisis. Seeing the writing on the wall for that business, I impulsively quite that job, chalked it up as another learning experience and backpacked through Europe for several months.
My luck improved several years later when I met Lewis J. Kaufman, a former Partner of Goldman Sachs (and the founder of their Los Angeles office). Mr. Kaufman had retired from Goldman Sachs over a decade earlier, but had remained active and had a boutique investment firm in Century City. I spent nearly five years working with Mr. Kaufman, learning to become much more efficient and organized, as well as developing a stronger work ethic. I also learned how to make money while making the client's interests the first priority. During those years working for Mr. Kaufman, I also met my wife, became a CFA Charterholder, began acquiring internet domains, and created InvestorHome (which I launched in 1996).
In 1998, Mr. Kaufman moved cross country, but he introduced me to Wayne Wagner (they had previously interacted regarding a growing company called Instinet). Wayne's firm Plexus Group was growing rapidly and was pioneering a new business in the field of measuring "Best Execution" and evaluating equity investing to help large money managers and plan sponsors improve their performance. I was hired by Mark Edwards at Plexus to help service their rapidly growing list of money managers and to assist with the firm's research efforts.
For the next eleven years I was fortunate to build a west coast client roster that included some of the largest and most prominent money managers in the world. Working as an independent and unbiased advisor to the Boards of Trustees, CIOs, Portfolio Managers, Traders, and Compliance Officers within the firms, I had the opportunity to work with and analyze the investment process of some of the biggest players in the global securities markets. My role included helping those managers reduce their trading costs, optimize their performance, and improve returns for their shareholders.
Plexus Group was sold to JP Morgan Chase in 2002 (it's not a coincidence that I ceased updating this site that year) and later to Investment Technology Group at the end of 2005. Following the global financial meltdown (and after having taken on several additional clients following Mark Edward's retirement from the firm in late 2008), I was fortunate in not losing any of my original Plexus clients. Having seen most of my clients recover (or at least stabilized), it was finally time to move on and I separated from the firm at the end of 2009.
I then formalized my long planned return to the business of advising investors via Proficient Investment Management, LLC (on the web at Proinvest.com). I originally acquired the domain in 1996 and while I have sold domains over the years for profit and have had unsolicited offers for this domain, I always planned on eventually using it for this exact purpose.
At the start of 2010 InvestorHome's traffic had actually increased since I started working for Plexus Group, despite the fact that I updated it infrequently over the last decade. I continue to own and publish InvestorHome and other internet properties (several of which have thousands of regular users), and via Proficient I offer low-cost investment management and SecondInvestmentOpinions.
I live in Los Angeles with my wife and our four children. Former New York City Ballet Soloist Zippora Karz (Author of The Sugarless Plum) is my sister. Cousin Mike Karz produced The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, the hit movie Valentine's Day, and the follow-up New Year's Eve.
Your site is a treasure trove of information.
William SharpeYou have created a remarkable resource for investors and anyone interested in the financial markets.
William GoetzmannSite founder Gary Karz, a chartered financial analyst, is a voracious reader equally at home with Money or the Journal of Finance. Karz summarizes like a good journalist while documenting his research with footnotes meticulous enough to satisfy a panel of academics. And if there is any information online about the subject he is discussing, he will drop in a link. He’s also scrupulously fair.
Wayne Harris in “Fund Site of the Month” March 1999, Mutual Funds OnlineWebmaster Gary Karz is an indefatigable organizer... what sets Investor Home apart is its original content-the icily objective rigor of Karz’s investment analysis... Karz’s commentary reveals that he has actually read, evaluated, and assimilated most of the material on other sites.
Wayne Harris in "One-Stop Shops" July 1998, Individual Investor MagazineIntelligent and knowledgeable, Karz has great investigative skills and instincts... Entrepreneurs like Karz who are more interested in providing good information than making a quick buck are a rare breed.
Eric Tyson in "Web investing books provide limited help" February 22, 1998, San Francisco Examiner