When investors are seeking alternatives to the S&P, the ideal vehicle with proven success is Futures, Options and Commodities offered by Diversified Management.

By Rick Weinberg, Editor, California Business Journal.

While the majority of America sleeps soundly, James Levitz and Thomas Southerland head toward their Santa Monica, California office to begin an intense and exciting day of work at their company, Diversified Management.

It is 5 a.m. as Levitz and Southerland flip on their computers and begin checking out the state of the world financial markets, as well as the world news, which has a direct impact on how productive their day will be for them and their select list of clients.

“We are in a war environment,” Levitz says with concern as he glances at the news of the day. “That’s seriously affecting the markets.”

Both Southerland and Levitz represent a plethora of knowledge in risk management; they are among a specialized breed of financial consultants that distinguishes them from the widely recognized advisors from such companies as Merrill Lynch.

But with today’s market volatility, war and general uncertainty, it takes specialists such as Levitz and Southerland to bring together risk management to create portfolio security. It is financial experts like Diversified Management that stand above the crowded investment field and help clients earn money through such vehicles as crude oil and gold.

While millions of people suffer through the financial ruins of the S&P and NASDAQ markets, Diversified Management clients are sitting back and enjoying participation in the volatile Commodities market on a regular basis.

Several clients invested $6,000 in gold contracts and two months later they recounted earnings of $17,000, a 300 percent gain.

That’s the power of Options and Commodity trading, a style of investment still unfamiliar to many people. Yet the pendulum is swinging the other way. Virtually everyone knows about stock trading, mutual funds and annuities, but what’s becoming more and more popular these days is Options, Futures and Commodities trading.

Approximately five percent of financial brokers and advisors specialize in Options and Commodities, a fascinating and exciting side of the of the financial markets that is an alternative investment vehicle.

Levitz and Southerland are among the top experts in the field by virtue of their experience, knowledge, and creativity.

“Jim and Tom are brilliant,” says Michael Newfield, a Diversified Management client who lives in Washington. “They’re far superior to other financial advisors I’ve worked with in the past. Both take a serious personal interest in you and your account. They genuinely care and they take the time to educate you.”

That’s because options on Futures can create large swings in account values in a short period of time, and Diversified Management works closely with clients to manage the volatility.

The objective is to “benefit from that volatility by capturing profits made by price changes while controlling the associated risk of such positions,” Southerland says.

What Diversified Management does is help clients “benefit from upswings by controlling the downswings,” Levitz says.

Options, Futures and Commodity trading has traditionally been ideal for investors who can handle the risk. Today, all types of investors have jumped into the game. Why? Because of the opportunities to make large percentage returns. Of course, it’s helpful to have experienced advisors like Levitz and Southerland on your side.

These financial wizards have a combined 40 years of financial trading experience, including valuable floor experience, where all the action occurs.


oth Levitz and Southerland are former members of the New York Stock Exchange. They have a wealth of financial planning and trading experience, but it’s the excitement of the Futures, Options and commodities side that gets their blood flowing.

“It’s exciting because the market is always changing and every day is different,” Levitz says. “It’s a great way to participate in what’s going on in the world.”

It’s also a huge challenge because “I’m always trying to always figure out where the market is going before it goes there,” he says. “It’s   like putting a puzzle together.”

Southerland loves the Future and Options side of the business because of “the excitement, the financial opportunities and the connection to political and economic events.”

The bottom line for Diversified Management is getting the job done for its clients, which is what it excels at.

Newfield, for instance, was up 100% at one point in gold and oil investments. Investing in Futures is different than straight stock trades in that investors purchase an oil or gold “contract.”

A contract for gold, for instance, costs $2,000, yet it’s worth $35,000, so the opportunity to increase your wealth is magnificent.

“If you’re right, you’re really right,” Levitz likes to say.

Say an investor buys 100 shares of AT&T at $17. They’re paying $1,700 for a $1,700 stock. But if they purchase an oil contract, which is $4,000 for 1,000 barrels, the investor is controlling a $40,000 contract.

There are no schemes, no tricks. It’s simply a matter of having good, experienced consultants like Levitz and Southerland, and being educated about the process.

These two financial pundits are so effective in their field because of their technical analysis, otherwise known as chart reading.

“We use patterns of the past to predict the future,” Levitz says.

The analysis works. After all, charts are objective. They represent past price performance that help illustrate where prices may go in the future.

“There’s certain chart patterns that give you indications of what will happen in the market,” Southerland says.

Levitz and Southerland identify those patterns and get to work for their clients, increasing their wealth, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, as any experienced advisor will point out, there are no guarantees.

Options, Futures and Commodities will remain the core and specialization of Diversified Management, but the firm will eventually evolve into a one-stop financial shopping center by offering stocks, real estate and insurance among a wide array of products and services.

Editor’s Note: Diversified Management has been sold to a major securities financial institution.

Copyright © 2013 California Business Journal
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[Rick Weinberg is Editor-in-Chief at California Business Journal. He is a well-known journalist, writer and reporter who has worked for the New York Times, FOX and ESPN. He launched CalBizJournal.com to focus on California businesses and business professionals and California business information and news.]