Jason Kelly is the author of The 3% Signal (3Sig), which introduced the technique that pushed dollar-cost averaging aside as the stock market’s new best practice. His nine other books include The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing, a BusinessWeek best seller now in its fifth edition; and its companion volume, Stock Market Contest.
Every Sunday morning he sends out The Kelly Letter, one of the only noise-free investment advisories on the market. It highlights the latest coin-toss forecasts being foisted on the unsuspecting by “z-vals,” a shorthand introduced in 3Sig for zero-validity pundits, proven to be wrong half the time but still blathering on a regular basis. The letter also runs the original 3 percent signal plan and two permutations, providing subscribers with a clear (and usually humorous) look at financial markets. Yes, 3Sig is still running circles around the z-vals with just a single quarterly rebalance to its famous signal line, no forecasting required — or desired.
He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1993 with a BA in English, but not before a professor told him that he would never succeed as an author because he “lacked a basic command of the English language.” Luckily, IBM disagreed and hired Jason as a technical writer at its Silicon Valley Laboratory in San Jose, California. Once income from his freelance writing matched his income from IBM, Jason left corporate life to become a full-time freelance writer. About IBM hiring him for the only “real” job he’s ever had, Jason wrote in his book Financially Stupid People, “I keep a special smile for Big Blue because of that break. It was the only company that believed in me. I never knew the meaning of the term ‘competing offer.’”
One of Jason’s Japanese publishers, Shueisha, brought him to Tokyo on book tour in 1999. He took that opportunity to visit his old high school exchange student friend, and wrote a funny article about the experience. That article remains one of Jason’s most widely read. It’s still on his site. Japan went straight to Jason’s heart, and he decided to live there. He rented out his home in California and moved to Sano, Japan in 2002 for what he thought was going to be a one-year stay. This many years later, he still lives and works there.
After the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, he started Socks for Japan, a volunteer organization that hand-delivered 160,000 care packages from around the world to survivors. See photos and read reports about the effort here.
In addition to writing new books and The Kelly Letter, he’s an investor in Red Frog Coffee in Longmont, Colorado, a delightful shop managed by his sister and business partner, Emily. It was voted Longmont’s Small Business of the Year in 2014.
He divides his time between Japan and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
You can contact Jason on the contact page.
Jason is on LinkedIn and Twitter, but your best bet for timely investing info is a subscription to The Kelly Letter.
Hi, Mr. Kelly!
I just finished reading your latest revision of “The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing” and wow what an informative book. I’d like to think that initially I had the steel nerves to invest and was just lacking useful knowledge and practical know-how. But after reading your book I think I’m finally armed with what I need to invest wisely and for the long haul. At least to get started on the right foot anyway Keep up the amazing work and happy investing!
Brandon C. Lewis
Thank you, Brandon, for the enthusiastic comment. Good luck to you in the market. Remember to start slowly. Learn with small amounts of money, not large, and find the style that works for you. There’s no rush and no time limit, so make the effort to find how you fit into the great squirming money machine of the stock market.
Here’s to your success!
This is brandon from Buffett Magnet middle school. We are doing a work project called World In Need about Japan’s nuclear crisis and were wondering if your organization could help the people in that area.
Yes, we could and did help people forced to evacuate from the Fukushima radiation zone. A family of such refugees even moved into an apartment in my neighborhood for part of last year, providing me with plenty of firsthand information as we continued Socks for Japan.
In the first weeks following the disaster, all of our volunteers wore protective clothing to help guard against radiation. After a while, though, we read that the protection didn’t do anything, anyway, and continued working in the danger zone in normal clothes because that’s what survivors were wearing and we wanted to blend in well with them. We trusted the radiation level reports of the government, but also compared them with privately collected readings. All of them indicated that we were safe to continue operating.
The controversy now is over whether the readings were accurate or not. We won’t know for sure who was affected by the experience for many years yet, when cancer rates and other long-term effects can be charted. Fingers crossed.
Rumors circulated that our volunteer team lost weight due to radiation sickness. That’s not true. None of us went through typical radiation sickness symptoms. The reason we became thinner was because we were extremely busy, doing physical work, and eating little while in the field with survivors.
Good luck with your project!
I just finished reading your Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing. Excellent book and I am hoping to implement its fundamentals soon.
I have about $50k in an IRA that has been there for several years. It was only the last couple of years that I got interested in purchasing stocks. It’s a bit depressing that I didn’t have that interest back in 2008/2009 when everything was on sale, but I guess everyone has to start somewhere. Of course, the stocks I bought a couple of years ago were all done on emotion and website “tips.” Fortunately I am up about 30 percent, but nowhere near the potential it could have been. I wanted to let you know I appreciate a well written book that is easy to follow, with sound fundamentals.
Thank you, Jason! I’m glad the book is helping you to ratchet up the performance potential of your IRA.
You’re wise to notice that the prime buying opportunity of this cycle is behind us. It’s good to get started, but remember the advice in the book to move gradually. The volatility of just the past month provides a good case-in-point. Averaging into the stocks you want to own removes some of the stress of getting the timing exactly right, which none of us can, but prevents your capital from stagnating on the sidelines forever. I would further urge you to focus on high-yielding stocks. Get paid while you wait for capital appreciation.
I wish you well!
How does you subscription letter work? Is it a month to month payments?
thank you sincerely
Yes, Jose, most subscribers pay month to month with Amazon Payments, but you can also pay yearly with Amazon Payments or a check. All three options are shown at the bottom of the subscribe page.
I hope to see you on the list soon!
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