Chapter 3. Lady's Man
Investor: Mike Koza
Date of Birth: April 10, 1959
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Personal Web Site: None
Employment: Civil engineer, waste management and recycling
Passions/Pursuits: Whitewater rafting, ballroom dancing
Investment Strategy: Turnarounds and other special situations
Brokerage Accounts: Scottrade
Key Strategy Metric: Intrinsic value
Best Pick: Radian Group, Up 1,200 percent
Worst Pick: ChipMos Technologies, Down 92 percent
Performance Since February 2001: Average annual return 34 percent versus 1 percent for S&P 500
You may have heard the old saying that behind every great man there is a great woman. In the case of armchair guru Michael Koza, the saying fits like a glove. If not for his mid-life marriage to Filipina wife Maria, Koza may have never realized his potential as an investor. Nor would the Kozas have become multimillionaires within the span of a decade. Marrying Maria changed Mike Koza's financial life.
In 2001, it was Maria who urged her new husband to dump his broker at Morgan Stanley and begin investing on his own. Koza was content working his civil engineering job for the government and spending weekends in the central California countryside whitewater rafting and otherwise enjoying the outdoors. "I wasn't into money," says Koza. "My wife said to me, you are smart in math, why don't you start investing on your own."
The rest is history. According ...