Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Oddmund Groette
This post is about Steve Watson who appeared in Jack Schwager’s Stock Market Wizards. Watson has not been much in the public, and we know very little about his career after the year 2000 (when the Schwager interview was made). Steve Watson focuses mainly on small caps and has earned his nickname “small cap Steve”.
This article looks very briefly at the life and trading career of Steve Watson, and we end the article by taking some of the most interesting quotes.
Steve Watson’s life and trading career
Steve Watson did not know about the stock market until his time in college. He became interested in the market after taking an investment course during his study at Arkansas University.
After he graduated from college, he got a job as a broker in Dallas but soon realized it was a sales job, and he was no good at sales. By this time, Steve was already trying out his hands in the market, but he was a terrible stock picker and was a victim of the stock market crash of ’87.
He left his job in Dallas and moved to New York. He started working for an insurance company, doing credit analysis. He studied at Fordham University for a semester, got good grades, and transferred to business school at NYU.
After he graduated, Steve started working at Bankers Trust in the small-cap department. They were stocks he was familiar with, so he often stayed up till 3 am researching about them on Bloomberg.
Six months later, he quit and began working at Freiss Associates, which ran the Brandywine Fund. The fund grew exponentially and later became too large for the small caps Steve loved.
Steve resigned two years later and started his own hedge fund with $20,000 from his savings and another $700,000 from small-cap CFOs, whom he had given stock tips. He got a small office and a Bloomberg terminal without charge from someone who wanted to help him.
Steve managed two funds — a micro fund that invests in companies with a market capitalization of less than $350 million and a small-cap fund that invests in companies with a capitalization of $350 million to $1.5 billion. After four and half years of managing the two funds, his maximum loss was below 4 percent, equivalent to one month’s return after fees.
Steve’s approach was to invest in cheap companies with a PE of 8 to 12, which have growth potential. He could hold more than a hundred positions but never exposed more than 3% of his portfolio in any position.
Steve relied on information from third-party sources, an approach that is a good fit for his easygoing manner. He finds about companies that are recovering from poor performance before anyone else. It is made possible because of his constant talk with the companies. In addition to CFOs, his funds speak to customers, distributors, and competitors. However, Steve doesn’t approach CFOs whose stock he is shorting because they had discouraged him from shorting positions that later turned out profitable in the past.
Steve rarely uses charts for trading, because he believes everyone uses them, and there’s no competitive advantage. He uses the earnings estimates by analysts but not their research resources because it is biased by their client relationships. He loves insider buying.
His trading style involves selling when a stock’s price has doubled or tripled, and the PE is close to 20. This approach usually misses the big winners but also gives him protection during a market decline. If Steve sees a stock price does not move to the upside after buying, he will exit his position and move on to the next good trade. His net long position is usually less than 50 percent of assets and sometimes below 20 percent.
Other famous traders and their trading strategies
- Top motivational trading quotes
- How Jim Simons’ trading strategies Made 66% A Year (The Medallion Fund)
- Ray Dalio – life, investment strategies, and philosophy
- Jesse Livermore – The World’s Most Legendary Trader? (Trading strategy quotes)
- Richard Dennis – The Turtle Trader (trend follower)
- William Eckhardt – The mathematical trader (An early Nassim Taleb)
- Stanley Druckenmiller – George Soros’ left hand
- Paul Tudor Jones – Maverick Trader (quotes and strategies)
- Micheal Steinhardt – To Make Money Is Should Be A Little Painful
- David Einhorn – investment strategy and philosophy
- Bill Ackman – investment strategy and philosophy
- Steve Cohen – Stock Market Wizard
- Mark Douglas – All About The Correct Trading Strategy Mindset
- Steve Clark – hedge fund strategy market wizard
- Larry Williams – Indicator Innovator, Strategy Trader, And Tax Rebellion
- Jim Rogers – The Adventurist Macro Trader
- Larry Hite – All About Trading Strategy Risk
- Randy McKay – Market Wizard currency strategy trader
- Michael Marcus – The First Trading Strategy Market Wizard
- Charles Faulkner – Trading strategy trader and programmer
- Richard Driehaus – Turtle Strategy Trader
- Dana Galante – the Market Wizard short seller
- Linda Raschke – Tape Reading Trading Strategy
- Nicolas Darvas – How I made $2,000,000 In The Stock Market
- David Shaw – the king of quant – quant trading strategy
- Van K. Tharp – The psychology of trading
- Larry Connors – Mean Reversion Trader
- Rob Hanna – Quantifiable Edges
- Ahmet Okumus – From Istanbul to Wall Street
- Gil Blake – The master of consistency
- Blair Hull – All about the trading edge
- Howard Seidler – an original Turtle Trader (The Turtle Experiment)
- Steve Lescarbeau – mutual fund trader
- Tom Basso – Mr. Serenity
- Bruce Kovner – Trade Small And Manage Risk
- Michael Carr – Trader, Motivator, And Speaker
- Bill Lipschutz – FOREX trader
- Brett Steenbarger – All About Trading Psychology
- Joe Ritchie – an early quant in the option markets
- Micheal Masters – Stock Market Wizard
- Monroe Trout – one of the first Market Wizards
- Alexander Elder – Trading Author And Indicator Innovator
- Mark Ritchie – Master Option Trader (God In The Pits)
- Alphonse Fletcher Jr. – Triple Digit Returns
- Mark Minervini – stock market wizard trader
- Mark D. Cook – market wizard trader and investor (Net worth and strategy)
- Jeffrey Yass – the founder of Susquehanna
- Claudio Guazzoni – Multillingual trader
- Micheal Lauer – Stock Market Wizard?
Steve Watson trading strategy quotes
You have to be willing to accept a certain level of risk, or else you will never pull the trigger.
My first and most important lesson about the stock market is: Stick to your own beliefs.
Do the research and believe in your research. Don’t be swayed by other people’s opinions.
Invest without emotions. If you let emotions get involved, you will make bad decisions.
You can’t be afraid to take a loss. The people who are successful in this business are the people who are willing to lose money.
I’m a perennial bear….Thank goodness we have been able to make money anyway.
If you can’t summarize the reasons why you own a stock in four sentences, you probably shouldn’t own it.