B. Clark Stamper
B. Clark Stamper, our Chief Investment Officer and President, has a very broad base of experience in the fixed-income markets. He has been an institutional portfolio manager of several different fixed-income asset classes since 1984. He learned the business while restructuring distressed portfolios that he helped bring back to life. It is because he has seen “what can go wrong” that he has a profound respect for downside protection. His reputation over the last ten years is for managing fixed-income portfolios that have (in the past) achieved the highest levels of risk-adjusted performance (see our Disclaimer Page for information about risks and returns.).
He has been an institutional portfolio manager in several fixed-income categories: U.S. Treasuries, mortgaged-backed securities, high yield taxable corporate bonds, and high yield and high grade tax-free municipal bonds.
For just over twenty years (June 14th, 1990 to July 11, 2010), Mr. Stamper was the Portfolio Manager of Evergreen Strategic Municipal Bond fund, one of the few “at large” mutual funds in the municipal bond market. The Fund (now named Wells Fargo Strategic Municipal Bond Fund; previously named Venture Muni Plus (+), Davis High Income Muni, Evergreen High Yield Muni, etc.) has had the highest risk-adjusted performance ratings from Morningstar, the well known independent mutual fund rater – see our article, “Clark Stamper Completes a Superior 20-Year Run Managing the Former Evergreen Strategic Municipal Bond Fund” for more detail.
Mr. Stamper is now concentrating his efforts specifically as the portfolio manager of private client accounts that he has been managing since 1995.
Mr. Stamper has a profound respect for downside protection and a distaste for overheated financial markets.
He began his portfolio management career in 1985 as the manager of the liquidity portfolio (U.S. Treasuries of five years and less) and mortgaged-backed securities portfolio of Far West Savings & Loan in Newport Beach, California. It was in this capacity that he was first exposed to “what can go wrong.” He saw “risk-controlled arbitrage” (mortgage-backed securities hedged with futures) blow up and bankrupt many savings and loans in early 1987. He recalls when the most knowledgeable and well known “rocket scientists” from the major investment banks explain that their “hedge ratios” did not work as planned because mortgage prepayments came in faster than anytime in history and than anyone on Wall Street had expected.
In early 1987 he became a high yield junk bond credit analyst. He helped restructure the Far West’s junk bond portfolio that had been built during the early days of the junk bond market. Following through on that experience, he helped restructure a similar junk bond portfolio owned by ABQ Bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In mid-1989, at the start of the junk market meltdown, he was hired to restructure one of the worst performing junk bond mutual funds of the 1980’s, the National Bond Fund in Greenwich, Connecticut. Then in mid-1990, he moved to Santa Fe, NM to restructure Venture Income (+) Plus), which had problems typical of junk bond funds at that time. Reviewing the wide variety of problem corporate credits in these portfolios gave Mr. Stamper additional insight into the importance of downside protection especially in highly leveraged situations. Mr. Stamper managed that high yield junk taxable bond fund for over eight years through mid-1998.
In mid-1990, he also became portfolio manager of Venture Muni (+) Plus (which has since been renamed several times and was named Evergreen Strategic Municipal Fund and then Wells Fargo Strategic Municipal Bond Fund), and a U.S. Treasury/Mortgaged-Backed Securities Fund, which he managed for over five years. In the mortgage-backed area he was again able to view swift downside loss, this time it was mortgage derivative securities that dropped precipitously in price from 1993 to 1994.
In addition to managing mortgaged backed securities, corporate and junk bonds, and municipal bonds, Clark has achieved an admirable record managing equities, applying his “upside potential/downside protection” systems and methodology. Please see our Portfolio Manager’s interview: “Interview with Portfolio Manager, Clark Stamper: How did the Stamper Strategic Long/Short/Fixed Composite achieve a total return of 98% for year 2008?”
Mr. Stamper founded Stamper Capital & Investments in October 1995 to maximize the risk-adjusted performance of fixed-income accounts for mutual funds, institutions, and high net worth individuals.
Mr. Stamper earned his M.B.A. and B.S. in Finance at San Diego State University.