James M. Russo is the founder and chief investment strategist of Altrius Capital Management. Jim’s military service as a Naval Aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps gave him a unique global perspective. His extensive travel and residence in small southern towns and cities for much of the past thirty years before moving back to the New York City area has given Jim a singular understanding of the American economy.

The combination of these two life experiences has provided him a unique financial perspective distinctly different from the multitude of pundits, analysts and investment managers immersed in the Wall Street mentality.

While much of the industry chases momentum, Jim remains fearlessly contrarian, like the aardvark he has chosen to represent his investment philosophy. When daily news events drive investors to overreact, Jim calmly asks, “What impact does this have on how many hamburgers are eaten in China or chocolate consumed in Latin America?”

Since the day Jim founded Altrius in 1997, he has always remembered that his clients have entrusted him with their life savings. A former All-American boxer, captain of the Naval Academy boxing team, and Marine officer, Jim has led his clients over the past two tumultuous decades. He has guided his investors by example, investing side-by-side with them in his distinctive value-based, income-focused investment discipline.

Despite the accolades he has received for his sustained investment success, Jim remains refreshingly modest, and believes humility -a trait in short supply on Wall Street- is a vital attribute that enables investors to live to fight another day and not blow up their future retirement savings.



Like the author of this book, the aardvark is big, slow and a bit ugly. He’s not a big game hunter. He’s not hunting for high-flying stocks the pundits love talking about on financial news shows. Instead, the aardvark eats the easily foraged food, like ants. What ants are to the aardvark, dividends are to his investment process. They are the easily scavenged returns. The aardvark hunts at night, alone and unafraid.

He’s contrarian by nature and is completely unique as the only living creature in his scientific classification order. There’s no other animal quite like him. He has giant ears, which he keeps raised to be mindful of what might go wrong while he is foraging for dividends. He has big sharp claws, ideal for digging deep to uncover value. He works well into the night and is diligent in his search, seeking his own path, not following the herd on Wall Street.



Like the aardvark, the author’s investment process in unique and grounded on a time-tested, three-pronged approach providing solid risk-adjusted returns since the founding of his firm, Altrius Capital Management in 1997

Income By Design

While other Wall Street firms, analysts and pundits undependably chase the big game hot stocks, the aardvark instead forages on the reliable nourishment of ants, providing sustenance through steady and growing dividends. He works late into the night digging deep to unearth value.

Macro View

The aardvark scours vast territories, beginning with an analysis of global macro conditions while keeping his ears attuned to the risk of a global economy. He believes that global revenue generation is a key component to growth and this top-down approach enables him to unearth compelling investment opportunities.

Micro Focus

Contrarian in nature, the aardvark in unafraid to hunt alone away from the herd of Wall Street. He believes in patient and diligent fundamental research and that over time, the price of a company will rise to reflect the value of the underlying firm. He views each purchase as if he were buying a piece of a business, not simply a stock certificate.