By AIMarket Editors | August 4 2015
Sandy Chaikin is Co-Founder of Chaikin Analytics, a ground-breaking desktop and mobile stock research and analysis platform. With no prior experience, Sandy started investing in 2012 with Chaikin Analytics and built a portfolio that has consistently outperformed the S&P 500 and most money managers. She spotted the two best-performing stocks of 2014 and bought at the right time – both stocks rose over 125% during that year. Sandy is living proof that you don’t have to be a financial expert to pick winning stocks. She presents webinars and speaks at industry events on fearless investing by following the Chaikin Five-Step Method and learning how to find winning stocks to buy and identify losing stocks to sell or avoid. Sandy is a contributor to Nasdaq.com where she writes and hosts webinars on investing and educates its investment community. Prior to co-founding Chaikin Analytics, Sandy had her own marketing and communications firm in a career that spanned more than 30 years. She’s held senior management roles for companies including Elizabeth Arden, L’Oreal and The Franklin Mint. She is a member of Ellevate, a global professional women’s network, and the Women in Investing Network of Philadelphia.
Sandy, what is the history behind Chaikin Analytics?
Chaikin Analytics was founded in 2009, by myself and my husband Marc Chaikin, a 40-year-veteran of financial markets, to help individual investors and professionals pick winning stocks and identify losers, using the same tools once available only to pros. Chaikin’s professional grade stock tools distill complex information into a simple Power Gauge rating: green for bullish and red for bearish. The Power Gauge analyzes massive amounts of financial data in seconds and is a remarkably accurate indicator of where a stock is headed over the next 3-6 months. It’s the only model that combines technical indicators with fundamentals. But the beauty of the Power Gauge is its simplicity so investors – whether you’re a novice or a sophisticated veteran or a money manager who wants another tool to help him/her invest – can have access to complex data in an easy to use form with our technology. I use it myself for 15 minutes a day and I’ve built a killer portfolio that has consistently outperformed the market and most pro money managers.
How did you go from a novice investor to teaching webinars on investing and picking winning stocks and beating pro money managers?
During the market crash of 2008 and 2009, I was using a financial advisor and, like a lot of Americans, I lost 40% of my portfolio. Others lost even more, and many people after that took their money out of the stock market because they were too afraid to invest again. I took another approach. My husband and I launched Chaikin Analytics for people like myself so individuals like me could make financial decisions using tools that were previously only reserved for professionals. It’s very simple but powerful so I was the poster child for our new company. I started picking stocks with the Chaikin Power Gauge Rating in 2012, and as I gained confidence, invested more and more of my portfolio in stocks versus mutual funds. Thus began my journey to become a winning stock picker. I picked the two best performing stocks of 2014 with Chaikin Analytics – both went up more than 125% that year. I also knew to sell at the right time, too.
You’re targeting women: why is this market so important?
We are targeting women to encourage them to invest in the stock market because they are underserved by the industry, and all the research shows that women as a whole are not confident in financial matters. The most important financial goal for women surveyed by Prudential [pdf] is having enough money to maintain their lifestyle throughout retirement, yet only 33% feel they are on track in planning and saving for retirement.
Why? 72% of women say they don’t have the confidence to make financial decisions so they just don’t invest, according to Fidelity [pdf]. In order to secure their retirement, women must invest in stocks to grow their nest egg, especially since women in America control 51% of personal wealth, which accounts for $14 trillion (Bank of Montreal Wealth Institute). And, 9 out of 10 women are expected to be the sole decision maker for their household at some point (Pew Research). We know women are underserved in the financial industry and in the financial media. They are put off by the jargon, and women complain about being talked down to so it’s not surprising that so many women are frustrated and intimidated by Wall Street. I know how these women feel because I was one of them for many years so I can relate, speak from experience and from the heart. It is vitally important for women to take control of their finances and I am thrilled that our system gives women a very clear five-step process to follow and gain confidence. They don’t have to have prior experience to be able to excel at picking stocks with the Chaikin Five-Step Method.
Why do you think the Chaikin Power Gauge will appeal to women?
Chaikin is simple to understand and to use. Yet it is based on a very complex algorithm that analyzes the 20 most important factors that pros look at every day. If I can use the Chaikin Power Gauge, anyone can.
Can you tell us about your collaboration with Nasdaq.com?
We created three Nasdaq/Chaikin indexes in 2014, based on the Chaikin Power Gauge model – all outperformed their benchmarks by greater than 50% their first year. The logical step was to offer tools to their audience so they can use these tools to invest, based on the Chaikin Power Gauge. Nasdaq has a worldwide audience that appeals to all levels of investors. I’m hosting a summer series on investing “From Novice to Knowledgeable” for Nasdaq.com. Topics include how to find winning stocks, how to invest fearlessly and build a killer portfolio, and how to avoid the biggest mistakes investors make.
What has been the most important lesson you have learned from taking control of your finances and investing for yourself?
I’ve learned that you don’t need a finance background to be a successful investor. If you have reliable, proven tools to help you invest like the pros and have and a desire to educate yourself, anyone can do it. I’m living proof of that.
What would your advice be for young people, particularly millennials when it comes to investing?
I would tell young people that they must take control of their own finances, whether you are a woman or man, no one else will be as interested in your money as you are. You must be involved in your financial future to be able to save for retirement, and enjoy your money along the way, and you must start as early as you can. You’re going to see that the earlier you start, those investments add up with compound interest. It’s disappointing to hear that a staggering two-thirds of all savings and investments held by Americans are in cash, according to BlackRock [pdf] research, which earn nothing! Only 18% is invested in stocks. Thus, the majority of Americans have missed out on the third largest uninterrupted bull market in U.S. equities. Investing in the market is a much better way to grow your money than keeping it in cash or money market funds. You might as well keep it under your mattress.
How has your portfolio performed this year?
My portfolio is up 18% year to date versus S&P 500, which is up 2% YTD. I own 8-10 stocks at any given time and I spend only 15 minutes on Chaikin Analytics reviewing my portfolio.