Portfolios With Purpose: Stock Picking for a Cause


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An eternal optimist, Liu-Yue built two social enterprises to help make the world a better place. Liu-Yue co-founded Oxstones Investment Club a searchable content platform and business tools for knowledge sharing and financial education. Oxstones.com also provides investors with direct access to U.S. commercial real estate opportunities and other alternative investments. In addition, Liu-Yue also co-founded Cute Brands a cause-oriented character brand management and brand licensing company that creates social awareness on global issues and societal challenges through character creations. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Liu-Yue worked as an Executive Associate at M&T Bank in the Structured Real Estate Finance Group where he worked with senior management on multiple bank-wide risk management projects. He also had a dual role as a commercial banker advising UHNWIs and family offices on investments, credit, and banking needs while focused on residential CRE, infrastructure development, and affordable housing projects. Prior to M&T, he held a number of positions in Latin American equities and bonds investment groups at SBC Warburg Dillon Read (Swiss Bank), OFFITBANK (the wealth management division of Wachovia Bank), and in small cap equities at Steinberg Priest Capital Management (family office). Liu-Yue has an MBA specializing in investment management and strategy from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Stern School of Business at NYU. He also completed graduate studies in international management at the University of Oxford, Trinity College.

      By Steven Russolillo, WSJ Blog,


Stacey Asher has taken the art of stock-picking to a philanthropic level, with several of Wall Street’s heavy hitters backing her cause.

Ms. Asher is founder and CEO of Portfolios With Purpose, a non-profit organization that runs an annual stock-picking competition where investors aim to raise money for their charities of choice.

The contest has attracted hedge-fund titans such as David Einhorn, Leon Cooperman and Dan Loeb in past years as well as hundreds of so-called mom-and-pop investors. It raised $198,700 this year.

Now, Ms. Asher has her sights set on doubling that amount for the 2014 competition. Participants must register and provide their picks by Dec. 31 to be eligible for next year’s competition.

Here’s how the competition works: Participants are grouped into three categories — master, professional and novice — and pick a basket of five stocks — either long or short — for a mock portfolio. The portfolios’ performances are tracked daily on the Portfolios With Purpose website. By the end of the calendar year, the charities of the top-three contestants in each class are awarded a portion of the entry fees.

Ms. Asher, 31, who previously worked in investor relations and as a hedge-fund marketer, said a trip to Africa inspired her to get involved in the non-profit industry.

“PwP is a way for us to humanize the industry, raise awareness and inspire people to get involved,” she told MoneyBeat.

The 2013 contest has less than two months to go. Doug Silverman of Senator Investment Group is currently in the lead of the master class, as his mock portfolio has generated an 88% year-to-date gain. If he finishes first, his winnings will be donated to the Jericho ProjectJames Dinan of York Capital Management is second, with a portfolio that is up 51% this year. He’s aiming to raise money for the Museum of the City of New York.

Top portfolios in the novice class have actually generated the best performances. William Hennessey is tops among the novice participants, up 169% this year, while Jonathan Blackwell and Kevin Mcniel are up 167% and 151%, respectively.

The novice class, which Ms. Asher says is open to anyone who wants to participate, garners a $100 entry fee. The professional class costs $1,000 a participant and the the master class, which is invite only, costs $10,000 to enter.

The 2014 contest has an added wrinkle: Participants have the opportunity to strengthen their PwP portfolios — through an additional cost — by making a maximum of five trades throughout the year. The idea is for participants to keep close tabs on their stock selections throughout the year and try to fortify their portfolios should some ideas fail to pan out like originally anticipated.

“Everyone loves a really good competition,” Ms. Asher says. “We’re harnessing that and at the same time educating people about the markets and about charities that are either undiscovered or don’t get much attention.”

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