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James Cloonan

author Image James B. Cloonan is founder and chairman of AAII. He is author of the book "Investing at Level3: Higher Returns With Minimal Risk for the Long-Term Individual Investor".

Articles by this Author


James B. Cloonan earned his MBA from the University of Chicago and his B.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. After teaching for several years in 1974 he helped found and served as CEO of Heinold Securities, a brokerage firm specializing in options. After selling his interest in that firm, he returned to teaching and began the preliminary work leading to the founding of the American Association of Individual Investors in 1978 and is currently chairman of AAII.

Cloonan is the author of books and articles on investing and writes the Model Portfolios column for the AAII Journal. He created and manages the Model Shadow Stock Portfolio, which has realized an annualized return of over 15% for the past 23 years.

Cloonan has served on several industry and regulatory panels, including the Consumer Advisory Council of the National Futures Association, the Advisory Panel on Securities Markets and Information Technology of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the NASD Special Committee on the Quality of Markets, the New York Stock Exchange Panel on Market Volatility and Investor Confidence, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Financial Instruments Advisors Committee, the New York Stock Exchange Individual Investors Advisory Committee, and The Consumer Affairs Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He lives with his wife Edie in Chicago.

Articles by this Author

  1. AAII Model Portfolios »

    Model Fund Portfolios: Answers to Questions About the Level3 Approach

    Find out why foreign and small-cap stocks are excluded and how the new approach fits into an individual investor’s portfolio.

    November 2016 | Journal

  2. AAII Model Portfolios »

    New Rules for Model Shadow Stock Portfolio, Including Momentum

    The portfolio rules governing market capitalization and industry classification were modified, and a new momentum requirement was added. Plus, three new stocks were added to the portfolio.

    October 2016 | Journal

  3. AAII Model Portfolios »

    Model Fund Portfolio: Introducing the Level3 Passive Portfolio

    The new Level3 Passive Portfolio is an ETF portfolio comprising funds that should have returns higher than the S&P 500 over the long run.

    August 2016 | Journal

  4. AAII Model Portfolios »

    Model Shadow Stock Portfolio: The Limitations of a Real Portfolio

    A key difference between strategies and real portfolios is not being able to buy all passing stocks due to limited investment dollars.

    July 2016 | Journal

  5. Portfolio Strategies »

    Why a New Allocation Approach Is Needed

    The traditional way of allocating portfolios costs investors significant wealth and fails to consider how risk actually occurs in the real world.

    June 2016 | Journal

  6. AAII Model Portfolios »

    Model Fund Portfolio Holding Opens to New Investors

    Aston/Fairpointe Mid Cap reopened to new investors. Plus, see the special note about upcoming changes to the All-ETF Portfolio.

    May 2016 | Journal

  7. AAII Model Portfolios »

    Model Shadow Stock Portfolio: Many Opportunities Among Micro Caps

    The price decline in micro caps made valuations more attractive. Plus, one shadow stock was deleted due to a lack of profitability.

    April 2016 | Journal

  8. AAII Model Portfolios »

    Model Fund Portfolio: REITs Show Their Long-Term Value

    During the portfolio’s past 12 years, long-term equity REITs have provided excellent diversification without sacrificing return.

    March 2016 | Journal