Pawel Cylkowski - Smart Investor Blog

Who I Am and Why I Run this Blog

My name is Pawel Cylkowski. I am a father of 3 kids and a husband of my lovely wife Ania :). I am also an investments professional with almost 2 decades experience in institutional equity sales and trading, but also in managing and building own financial wealth (please see my detailed Curriculum here).

Throughout my career in leading capital markets institutions I had a chance and pleasure to spend thousands of hours working and learning from the industry’s top-rated analysts, portfolio managers, traders, ideas generators and market gurus. But what was more and more stirking to me throughout the years though, was that capital market is so extremely institutionalized for no real purpose from a retail investor’s perspective. Markets are obviously a jungle or a stormy ocean, where one can easily get hurt or drown. That’s why most people who do not have time or will to spend their days tracking stock exchanges, digesting financial news and worry about prices fluctuations prefer to give the management of their wealth (or even small investments) to professionals. And that’s just fine. But history clearly shows that active asset managers hardly ever beat their benchmarks (indices they refer to as models for their portfolios). That’s mostly because of high fees, vulnerability to amass biggest inflows/outflows at the most improper moments (especially in open-end funds top inflows take place at market tops, top outflows happen at market lows). Additionally, big banks, who control the distribution of people’s excess bank deposits, canal them very often into the management companies, from which they get highest fees. Effectively a person entrusting his/her money to the pros is not really getting the value for money. Financial institutions very often offer us a pallette of useless products, from which a person is supposed to choose without really knowing what’s inside and what the real added-value is that you pay for.

So How about taking your money’s future in your own hands then? I tend to claim that:
(a) in today’s world of easy access to equity/bonds/FX/derivatives markets and the abundancy of cheap passive investing products (ETFs,ETNs,etc) everyone can become his/her own Portfolio Manager and start building wealth
(b) with enough consistency, education and effort an amateur can decide better about his/hers performance on capital markets than most active AMs without extremely sophisticated stock-picking processes (for which a hord of analysts would be necessary), but rather via wise asset allocation
(c) an investor who obeys simple rules of appropriately balanced and sensible portfolio structure throughout business cycles can (in long term) acheive satisfactory returns, while minimising downside risks
(d) self-education is key and knowledge about investing is not reserved only to the capital market professionals (who hardly ever deliver the value they promise), but should be everyman’s privilege.

I strive to educate people (any myself too 🙂 ) with investable savings how to find their own way to become financially independent, save money for retirement or just invest in global markets in a simple but consistent way. The world is full of opportunities and technology allows to invest easily all around the world right from your PC or mobile device! The key is to understand what it means to be an investor and find a balance in life bewteen investing and living – more on this in my post about What it means to me to be an investor (please read carefully!).

In my Blog I run exemplary portfolios aimed at maximizing long-term returns that are risk-profiled. I also comment on what in my view is most imporant and really drives the investing world. The target is to widen my readers’ knowledge about investing and asset allocation. My portfolios do not have certain benchmarks, as the aim here is not competing with any index or other portfolios, but rather a wise long-term adjustment of the relation between (1) the purpose of a certain portfolio (2) the level of risk it carries (3) the effort of running it. Why these three points? This Blog is meant to simplify long-term investing to the point where an investor (pro or amateur) can maximise his/her long-term returns while simultaneously minimise the time and effort spent on analysing it. I call it the Smart Investing Approach (SIA). You can read about it here. Please read carefully!

I also write about current issues and tendencies on global financial markets, which are (in my view) crutial and market moving. My mission is providing financial education to the wide public (please see Diclaimers&Liability Limitations).

I base my work on trust, honesty and respect. I try to provide only the appropriate content to my readers, not too little, not too much. Only things that matter shall be packed into what my readers get from me. I am also open to constructive critics and polemics. This Blog is meant to keep highest standards of ethics and communication. I reserve the right to cancel abusive comments of any kind to any subscriber of this Blog (or the author).

I am happy You are here.

Best regards,

PC 🙂