Welcome to Moatiful, a new blog from Trajan Wealth. This is Matt Coffina, portfolio manager of Trajan’s Expanding Moat and Defensive Moat strategies. I hope to make the blog concise, informative, and at least occasionally interesting. We’re planning to publish once per month, and if you’d like to receive future posts by email, please consider subscribing.
I joined Trajan Wealth in July 2022. Prior to that, I spent 15 years at Morningstar, the investment research and management firm based in Chicago. When I started at Morningstar in 2007, I had just finished college and was woefully unprepared to be a professional stock analyst. I had never taken an accounting class, and I doubt I could have told you the difference between amortization and depreciation. Fortunately, I had something more important—a passion for stock investing starting from when I was a kid. I can still remember my grandfather showing me his Vanguard mutual fund statement, or my neighbor walking me through the stock listing in the Wall Street Journal. “You’re telling me that if you put your money in stocks, it can be worth more over time without you doing anything else?” Lightbulb!
I spent my first five and a half years at Morningstar as an equity analyst, mostly covering healthcare services companies. Between the 2008-09 financial crisis and the healthcare reform debates surrounding the 2008 election, it was a trial by fire, and I learned a tremendous amount. Around this time, I also completed the CFA program, designed a new discounted cash flow model to be used by Morningstar’s analysts, and served on the committee that assigned Morningstar’s Economic Moat ratings.
At the start of 2013, a new opportunity emerged: Editor of the Morningstar StockInvestor newsletter, which also meant becoming the portfolio manager for Morningstar’s Tortoise and Hare strategies. A few years later, as assets under management grew, I was able to transition to managing the Hare strategy full time. Altogether, I managed the Hare strategy for 9.5 years. I’ll be forever grateful to Morningstar for giving me these opportunities. Investment management is not an easy business to break into, and I doubt my career would have progressed so quickly anywhere else.
Now I’m excited to be starting a new adventure at Trajan Wealth: A fast-growing, independent fiduciary advisor based out of Scottsdale, Arizona (but with a growing number of offices around the country). I’ve gotten to know Trajan over the past several years, and I’ve been so impressed by their team of knowledgeable and caring advisors dedicated to helping clients meet their financial goals. If you’re in the market for a financial advisor, I don’t think you’ll regret giving Trajan a call for a free consultation.
Trajan offers a broad array of investment products, and I’ll be managing our new Expanding Moat and Defensive Moat strategies. They are available with stocks only, or as an 80/20 or 60/40 mix of stocks and bonds. These concentrated investment portfolios will focus on companies I believe to have strong and improving competitive advantages, above-average revenue and earnings growth, and reasonable valuations.
I plan to share my investment strategy and stock ideas through this blog. Thinking back on my newsletter days, I miss having a direct line of communication with subscribers and clients. I also believe that writing can make you a better investor: It creates a record of your thought process during key decisions and can start conversations with other investors who might point out something you missed. The blog is free, so again, I hope you’ll consider subscribing. You can also reach us by email at [email protected]
If you’re interested in learning more about how Trajan Wealth can help you meet your financial goals, please contact us by clicking here or calling 1 (800) 838-3079.