Today in Stock Power Daily, a special announcement…
Over the next week, we’re making the rare move of handing over the reins to Mike Carr, senior technical analyst at Money & Markets and, in our opinion, top contender for the most interesting man in the world.
Every day, Mike Carr impresses me with both his breadth of market knowledge and his rich life experience.
He’s coded nuclear missile paths for the Air Force. Installed the first-generation internet at the Pentagon. Traveled across the world many times over.
And along the way, he’s developed a special skill in trading financial markets in terms of days … hours … even minutes.
But today, to properly introduce him, I got to revisit my journalist roots and conduct a special interview with Mike to talk about his background and how he got into investing.
Let’s just say … Mike didn’t take a typical path into finance. You’ll see what I mean in our interview below.
Matt: Mike, thanks for taking the time.
I did a bit of research before we sat down today, and I was blown away with what I found.
Not many people have had such a varied career — from the Air Force, to the Pentagon, to the NSA, to money management and now financial publishing.
Let’s start with the beginning. Where does such a fascinating life start?
Mike: Well, I grew up in Freeland, a small town in Pennsylvania about an hour south of Scranton. I went to Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, just 20 minutes from Scranton.
Now, this was back in the 1980s, a few decades before The Office made Scranton famous. Jobs outside of coal mining were hard to come by. So I decided to go to college.
Matt: What did you study?
Mike: I graduated with a degree in chemistry in 1984. My goal was to find a job paying at least $8,000 a year — the cost of a year at college.
I had an offer at $10,000, but the Air Force paid about $14,000. That sounded good, so I joined in 1985.
The Air Force didn’t have any immediate chemistry needs. But I’d taken calculus in pursuit of my chemistry degree. That subject was the sole qualification for the new computer career field.
Matt: So you started a career that had almost nothing to do with your college major … I can relate to that!
That means you got into computers right when Dell launched its first personal machine, the Turbo PC.
What did you do with computers in the Air Force?
Mike: Well, you already know I coded nuclear missile plans. That was probably the most exciting work I did.
But just like with any career, it wasn’t always so exciting. A great deal of my work was on acquisition management databases and other mundane projects like that.
I also developed ID cards that use chips, a cryptography project with the National Security Agency. And I helped to install the first version of the internet, then called the ARPANET, at the Pentagon.
I was lucky to enter the computing field right when it really took off in the late ‘80s, as the internet was being built out.
I was also incredibly fortunate to deploy all around the world: the Middle East, Egypt, Dubai, South Korea, Guam, Japan, Germany, Spain and more. I worked with NATO in Iceland and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years.
Matt: That sounds like an exemplary military career, one to be proud of. That experience likely opened a lot of doors when you retired.
Mike: It did. Just not the ones you might expect.
The usual career path is that you hang up your blue shirt and the day after retirement you put on a white shirt and become a defense contractor. You do the same thing you did in uniform, just in civilian clothes.
I didn’t want to do that. I’d been trading the markets fairly regularly while I was in the military, so I decided to make that my new focus.
I hit the books. I pursued the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designation in 1998 and finished testing in 2001. You have to be a full-time market professional, so I had to wait until I retired in 2005 to start using the designation.
Matt: I want to quickly emphasize how prestigious the CMT designation is.
Most people are familiar with CPAs, CFAs and the like. But the CMT is a designation exclusive to technical analysts and short-term traders. It’s also much less common, with only about 1/20th as many CMTs as CFAs.
What did you do after you earned it?
Mike: When I retired, I planned to trade on my own and just be retired. I immediately learned that wasn’t a tax-efficient strategy.
The IRS doesn’t generally recognize trader status so my expenses (data, computers, etc.) weren’t deductible.
Well, turns out that the IRS does allow writers and publishers to deduct expenses. So I began writing.
I wrote Smarter Investing in Any Economy and published it in 2008 to share the strategy that had allowed me to accumulate enough security to trade in my retirement.
Matt: After publishing the book, you gave a few presentations about it. And that’s when you got your break into money management?
Mike: Right. After one of those talks, I was approached about joining a money management firm. That sounded good, so I joined and worked there from 2009 to 2011, managing over $200 million for clients.
We developed an incredible relative strength strategy that beat the returns of the S&P 500 over those years.
But eventually, I found it wasn’t for me.
Matt: Was it managing money that you didn’t care for, or was there something else?
Mike: No, that part I liked. The job just involved more than managing money.
I had to help manage the business and raise funds from investors. It was a lot of meetings … and I quickly learned I didn’t like that aspect.
I like designing trading systems above all. I’ve designed hundreds in my career, all with the mission to generate compound short-term returns that rival even the best long-term strategies. I genuinely believe that is the best path for most people.
Matt: It sounds like you have a real love for financial markets, just not all the minutiae surrounding money management.
Matt: So all of that brought you to Banyan Hill where, since 2017, you’ve used your technical expertise to develop proprietary trading strategies and help people grow their portfolios.
I also know that you teach Fundamentals of Technical Analysis and Quantitative Technical Analysis at the New York Institute of Finance every year.
For anyone that doesn’t know, this is where Wall Street analysts learn how to survive and thrive in the cutthroat business that is our financial system.
And right now, you’re on the verge of releasing a new system that capitalizes on the predictable flow of money that happens throughout each trading day.
That’s why we’re dedicating this next week of Stock Power Daily to you and your newest discovery.
Mike: Yes. I’m going to share a lot more this week, but what I can tell you right now is this simple system isn’t about finding the next big stock.
It’s about ignoring the noise and following one easy rule that has the potential to trigger every single day at 9:46 a.m. If it sets up, we have a high-odds trade for a 50% gain before the day is over. We’ve even seen that gain in as little as five minutes.
Matt: It’s pretty remarkable. I’ve seen it myself in your live trade room, and I can’t wait to see how you discuss more about it with our Stock Power Daily readers.
Mike: Thanks, Matt. I’m excited and honored that we’re doing this special feature. I’m sure our readers will get a lot out of it.
Make sure you stay tuned! Starting tomorrow, Stock Power Daily begins its special series — 9:46 Edition — in earnest.
Mike’s kicking this off with a startling message: You can’t invest the way you did for the past 40 years.
Times have changed, and the ability to adapt these changes will decide the winners from the losers. Mike will explain exactly why tomorrow.
If you’re anxious to learn more about what Mike’s 9:46 Rule is all about, click here.
Matt Clark, CMSA®
Chief Research Analyst, Money & Markets