Author Information

Dan Amerman

Daniel R. Amerman is a Chartered Financial Analyst, author, and speaker, with BSBA and MBA degrees in Finance, and over 30 years of professional financial experience. As an investment banking vice president in the 1980s he did groundbreaking work in the security originations and asset/liability management areas, including CMO/REMIC originations as part of portfolio restructurings for financial institutions, as well as the creation of synthetic securities for institutional clients. As an independent quantitative analyst in the 1990s and 2000s, he provided structural, analytical and mathematical verification services for investment banks, trust departments, rating agencies, tax-exempt issuers and multifamily real estate investors. 

Mr. Amerman is the creator of a number of DVDs and books on finance, including two books published by McGraw-Hill (and subsidiary): Mortgage Securities, and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations: Unlock The Secrets Of Mortgage Derivatives. Articles by Mr. Amerman or referencing his work have appeared in numerous publications and websites, including Reuters, MarketWatch, U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Seeking Alpha, Business Insider, ValueWatch, Nasdaq.com, Morningstar.com, TalkMarkets and Financial Sense.

In his 1993 Mortgage Securities book, Mr. Amerman characterized the then dominant financial planning projection that stocks would reliably average 8-10% total returns over the long term as being "patently absurd" for the reason that this belief was based on a projection of the compounding of high historical dividend levels that no longer existed.

While this statement was a major disagreement with the mainstream at the time, it became the mainstream professional viewpoint over the following 25 years, for the simple reason that financial mathematics are what they are. Much lower modern dividend yields have necessarily produced materially lower total returns in practice, and there is now widespread professional agreement on this issue.

By the mid 2000s, Mr. Amerman had become an outspoken critic of conventional retirement planning, arguing that the accepted paradigm had multiple deep flaws that could potentially lead to profound long-term underperformance, resulting in millions of retirement investors finding themselves with neither the retirement portfolios nor the retirement lifestyles that the traditional financial education system had led them to believe would almost assuredly be theirs. 

This was also well outside the mainstream at the time, but a little more than 10 years later, reviewing "Daniel Amerman's Six Fatal Financial Planning Flaws" (link here) was part of one of the curriculum options for CPAs earning continuing education credits in most U.S. states in 2017.

As a mortgage derivatives expert, Mr. Amerman was among the few warning investors in 2007 and 2008 of the specifics of the dangers in the mortgage derivatives markets, and how interlocked derivatives counterparty risks could bring down Wall Street in a flash. However, Mr. Amerman suggested that readers "invest for the bailout and not the crisis", and discussed in workshops that a derivatives crisis could potentially lead to both a federal government bailout and the Federal Reserve using its powers to create new money as needed to contain the crisis.

What is sometimes forgotten about 2008 is that the financial crisis did not go out of control, but was instead contained via a massive federal government bailout (TARP), and by the Federal Reserve creating extraordinary sums of new money in the first round of quantitative easing.

When it was indeed the containment of crisis that dominated financial markets in the following years rather than crisis itself, Mr. Amerman spent years analyzing the tools of crisis containment, and communicating the investment implications to readers. Some of the key topics were quantitative easing, financial repression, very low and negative real interest rates, the alignment of investor interests with governmental motivations, bail-ins, the formation of rational bubbles as a result of containment efforts to exit secular stagnation, and how each could impact investment outcomes.

An important part of Mr. Amerman's work has been analysis of how the national debt and the containment of crisis are likely to impact individual Social Security benefits, and how to take these factors into account when making Social Security decisions as well as for general financial planning purposes. A series of analyses which examines these critical decisions from a decidedly non-mainstream perspective is linked here.

The combination of a $20+ trillion national debt, soaring deficits and rapidly increasing Social Security and Medicare expenses means that future cannot work like the past, and the results could be transformative for interest rates, inflation and investments. A series of analyses which examine these topics is linked here.

Conventional financial planning is based upon projecting "normal" future investment returns for stocks and bonds - but are we really in "normal" times or have we been so in the last 20 or so years? A series of analyses linked here considers an alternative perspective, which is that we have been in a continuous cycle of crisis and the containment of crisis since the collapse of the tech stock bubble, which has major implications when it comes to investment choices and financial planning.

Contact

Professional Services

For information on asset/liability management consulting, workshops, speaking engagements, and other educational and consulting services please contact us at:

mary@danielamerman.com