KenSkarbeck

Investing columnist

Skarbeck has shared the writing duties for IBJ’s “Investing” column since June 2004. A lifelong Indianapolis resident, he is the managing partner of Indianapolis-based Aldebaran Capital LLC, a money management firm. Skarbeck is a chartered financial analyst and has more than 28 years’ investment industry experience. His company utilizes a value investing approach to portfolio management and specializes in seeking out undervalued investments, primarily in small and medium size companies. Skarbeck is a graduate of Brebeuf Jesuit High School and Hanover College. His hobbies are astronomy and fishing, and he is an avid Green Bay Packers fan. Skarbeck lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two daughters.

Phone:
818-7827

E-mail:  ken@aldebarancapital.com

Recent Articles

Skarbeck: Bucking common jitters rewards stock investors

July 26, 2014
When it comes to investing, some deep thinking can provide perspective on your finances. A reflective investor will find himself challenging some of the accepted beliefs held dear by the investment industry.
More

Skarbeck: Lots of reasons to avoid 'liquid-alt' mutual funds

July 12, 2014
Considering that annual fees can run 3 percent or more, and investment performance for the vast majority of these funds has been subpar, if offered a liquid-alt mutual fund, our decision would be to pass.
More

Skarbeck: Multi-asset model risky for institutional investing

June 28, 2014
Wall Street’s propensity to create arcane products and sell them to investors within broad asset-allocation programs has increased portfolio complexity and altered overall performance.
More

Skarbeck: Hedge fund fees pile up despite bad performance

June 14, 2014
Investors continue to pour money into hedge funds, even though their performance has been downright awful.
More

Skarbeck: Trillions raised, invested by private equity players

May 31, 2014
An estimated 2,700 private equity firms manage some $3.5 trillion in assets. Often called “buyout firms,” they solicit investments from pension funds and other well-heeled investors that are pooled into “funds” and used to acquire public and private companies.
More

Skarbeck: Understand accounting--or pay the consequences

May 17, 2014
Throughout history, good accounting practices have promoted trust in government and capitalist systems, while inadequate accounting has led to financial chaos and even revolutions.
More

Skarbeck: Companies using mergers to sidestep taxes in U.S.

May 3, 2014
Merger activity has exploded this year, and a key factor behind many of the deals is the ability to use cash stockpiles held overseas.
More

Skarbeck: Debt levels have shot higher in wake of financial crisis

April 19, 2014
According to the Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements, aggregate global debt has ballooned more than 40 percent since the financial crisis and is estimated to have reached $100 trillion.
More

Skarbeck: Being a company director can be a lucrative gig

April 5, 2014
As another annual report season arrives, the compensation tables in proxy statements clearly show that it pays to be a director of a public company.
More

Skarbeck: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac roil big investment firms

March 22, 2014
In 2012, Fannie and Freddie started making money as the housing market rebounded and losses in their mortgage portfolios reversed. By the end of this month, the firms will have returned $203 billion to taxpayers. In the meantime, several hedge funds began acquiring both the preferred shares and common stocks of Fannie and Freddie.
More

Skarbeck: Tactics have proliferated to gain edge in trading

March 8, 2014
Critics are divided on whether Regulation NMS has achieved its stated purpose, or whether it has produced unintended consequences.
More

Skarbeck: Trendy 'quant' hedge funds have run their course

February 22, 2014
For those who feel they missed capitalizing on the bull market in stocks, consider that an elite fraternity of heralded money managers actually lost money for their clients over the past three years.
More

Skarbeck: Analysts' quarterly focus can lead investors astray

February 8, 2014
Wall Street analysts are notorious for their short-term attention spans. This leads to undue scrutiny of a company’s quarterly figures and can lead to poor decisions by investors.
More

Skarbeck: Decline in listed stocks not likely to continue

January 25, 2014
The number of traded stocks has been shrinking, but as both the economy and stock market continue to recover, private equity firms will seek to list their holdings as IPOs and the number of publicly traded stocks may once again expand.
More

Skarbeck: Next wave of regulators needs to keep reforming

January 11, 2014
Since last year, there have been several personnel changes in key financial and regulatory positions in the federal government.
More

Skarbeck: Market has way of looking beyond today's headlines

December 28, 2013
The stock market has a remarkably perceptive ability to see past inconsequential issues that sometimes dominate the investment environment and instead peer ahead into the future.
More

Skarbeck: There are no substitutes for buying assets cheaply

December 14, 2013
The recent white paper issued by investment firm GMO’s James Montier ridicules some of the “innovations” that are popular in the investment field. His criticism addresses concepts like smart beta, risk parity, and real asset inflation hedges.
More

Skarbeck: Stocks still the best bet among investor choices

November 30, 2013
Many observers are raising warning flags that stocks are overvalued, and some even say a market bubble is forming. A review of the evidence, in our opinion, doesn’t support their alarm.
More

Skarbeck: Controversy dogs some public-pension programs

November 16, 2013
Heated talks are taking place in public-pension boardrooms across the country over issues like risk levels of investments and fees paid to fund managers.
More

Skarbeck: Use these financial tables to figure retirement goals

November 2, 2013
There are two key financial tables that can help you plan for retirement. They can be found on the Internet. With them you can input two simple factors—period invested and interest rate earned—and quickly see how your net worth is affected.
More

Skarbeck: Firms with high ratios could take a tumble

October 19, 2013
On occasion, it is interesting to study the stocks of businesses that are outliers on the bell curve of business valuation. For a value investor, that means looking at stocks selling at huge multiples above traditional valuation yardsticks.
More

Skarbeck: SEC turns up spotlight on pay for top brass

October 5, 2013
The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a rule that would require large public companies to disclose the total annual compensation of their CEO, the median annual compensation of all their employees (excluding the CEO), and the ratio between these two figures.
More

SKARBECK: Rising interest rates not always bad

September 21, 2013
Some market constituents benefit from higher rates. For example, payers of fixed cash flows—the consumer who locked in a loan at a lower fixed-rate, companies that issued bonds at lower rates and insurers that pay annuitants fixed rates.
More

Skarbeck: Views abound on how to structure portfolios

September 7, 2013
There are many approaches and differing opinions on the best way to manage your portfolio. The conclusion comes down to which style or philosophy leaves you feeling the most comfortable while you fully understand the cost, risks and potential performance of that strategy.
More

Skarbeck: Smart capital allocation by CEO can swell returns

August 24, 2013
The masterful allocation of a company’s cash flow, over long periods, is the single greatest determinant of shareholder value for an investor. This is the conclusion in the 2012 book “The Outsiders” by William Thorndike.
More

Skarbeck: Sale of Washington Post reflects new world order

August 10, 2013
The sale price of The Washington Post Co. exposes just how far the industry has sunk. In the first half of this year, the iconic newspaper's operations generated $138.4 million in revenue and lost nearly $50 million ($40 million of which was a non-cash pension expense).
More
View All Articles
Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

ADVERTISEMENT