Investor / Advisor / Social Entrepreneur
Vilnius, Lithuania

I’ve spent 20 years in Private Wealth Management working for various financial institutions and managing HNWI’s money to finally find myself being lost in social entrepreneurship.

Since 2014 I run M. Čiuželio labdaros ir paramos fondas and it’s core project Sidabrinė linija - a free of charge befriending and support line, providing information, friendship and advise to the lonely and isolated old age people (www.sidabrinelinija.lt).

I am happy to discuss my past and present experience, knowledge gained and lessons learnt in finance, investments, wealth management, social entrepreneurship as well as off-business (for profit and not for profit) topics I’m passionate about:

Wine, food, art, bonistic, travelling, haute horlogerie, road biking, high altitude mountaineering.
MY TOPICS
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Yannick Oswaldabout 9 hours ago
Great to chat with Marius. I can only recommend to engage with him. Special human with exciting insights and story
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Marius Čiuželis on Traditional & Alternative investmentsInvestor / Advisor / Social Entrepreneur1 day ago
"Successful investment is like cooking a gourmet dinner. Even if you <..> buy some really good ingredients, unless you select them in the context of the other ones, you could end up with a very unpleasant meal. And this is where many self-directed investors get it wrong. It’s not enough to just find some good funds. They’ve got to blend together." Industry veteran John Spiers of EQ Investors
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Marius Čiuželis on Traditional & Alternative investmentsInvestor / Advisor / Social Entrepreneur6 days ago
Citywire provides news, information and insight for professional advisers and investors around the world. Because of the fact I was actively engaged with investment advisory, funds research, due diligence and selection few years ago, Citywire asked me to share my insights or even pick some funds where its best to invest in post-covid environment. I’m happy to share with those insights here as well. Please note: it’s neither recommendation nor solicitation to buy or sell mentioned funds, you should make your own research and selection. It’s what suits me as an investor only and not necessarily may fit any other investor needs. Seek for professional advise before making any investment decision. Covid-19 continues to cause uncertainty across global markets. Despite the equity market rebound uncertainty levels remain high which is problematic for investors who rely on their capital producing a steady flow of income. In this context, we are seeking to diversify into truly uncorrelated alternatives which are not linked to the economic cycle or are capable exploit it for the best. This is a good time to remind ourselves of asset classes whose fundamentals remain unchanged even in times of major financial distress. Those certainly include Life Settlements as a unique example of an investment that offers guaranteed pay-outs from A rated Life Insurance Companies, if kept to maturity, with a defined and known cost structure. Important to note that credit risk remains limited as rating agencies maintain stable sector outlook for North America life insurers and believe that most are well positioned to handle the immediate impact of COVID-19, given that they have built up good capital buffers and liquidity. Thus the predictable cash flow of Life Investments offers a fixed income alternative investment opportunity with superior alpha. The low volatility of the portfolio means the asset class also offers a highly attractive, asymmetric risk profile, especially for investors prioritizing capital preservation. To explore the benefits of the assets class we've been investing into a $2bn Long Term Growth Fund managed by Carlisle Management Company since 2012 reaping double digits per year since the start more than 10 years ago with extremely low vol. The current pandemic just proved our selection. To add some spices we recently have allocated a portion of our portfolio to Haidar Jupiter Fund, an opportunistic, global-macro fund which utilizes both directional and arbitrage based strategies. Bond market trading accounts for the big part of fund's portfolio. Haidar foresaw global capital market shocks because of COVID-19 before it blossomed out and that paid off bigtime: while many investors were freaking out as the markets collapsed in March, Haidar posted a 25.26 percent gain in its flagship Haidar Jupiter fund that month. After tacking on further gains during next months, Haidar Jupiter is now up a blistering 67-plus percent for the year. Such gains may not be too surprising to those who have followed the fund since its 1999 launch. We have been following it for the 6 years already. The fund has posted double-digit returns in three of the past four years — a period when most of the largest macro funds were mostly posting small single-digit gains or losses - and double-digit gains in ten of the most recent 14 years. Last not least. The unprecedented printing of money by central banks to fight the economic consequences of COVID-19 makes us worry for the long term inflation and depreciation of value. Assets such as gold which have not been impaired by the pandemic are rising to a multi-year highs. So we started to look more closely to the asset classes which have both fixed-supply and improved usage/fundamentals – like cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency has out-performed most/all other asset classes this year. Decentralized finance (DeFi) subsector of the blockchain industry has emerged as one of the dominant use cases beyond store-of-value and speculation (on future use cases). What’s really exciting is the amount of value that’s been flooding into DeFi protocols over these past few months. Over $3.5 billion in value is locked in DeFi protocols at the moment. People are beginning to experiment with non-centralized finance, particularly with borrowing and lending crypto-assets to generate yield. This might be an inflection point for open finance. For time being we still can't provide with the exact names / funds where our share of wallet was parked - our research, due diligence, discussions with several fund managers still continues.
Marius, what is your story and motivation behind founding a non-profit organization “Silver Line”?
Asked by Justas Janauskas
@justas asked me to share my story what were the reasons to start Sidabrine linija. So, here it is (a long read). I'm an investor. I have been trading capital markets - stocks, commodities, fx - for the last 20 years. It took 24 hours a day for me and... one day I just got tired. Or excausted. Or maybe more matured as an investor. Maturity came not from years spent doing this or that in investing (advising clients, trading my own capital, always searching and researching new ideas, products, instruments, you name it) or capital earned (and lost) during the process but rather from the change in a mindset that extra dollar in your clients' (or even in your own) pocket will not make you more happy. On a personal life there was also a big trigger: our daughter was born premature. The life has changed upside-down almost overnight and we were not ready for such dramatic changes. The first three months of hers life was marked by our three times a day visits to the hospital and spending as much time there as possible, following hers fight for the life every single day. Approximately two thousand preterm babies are born in Lithuania every year. Their lives essentially depend on intensive care facilities. 95 percent of these babies survive and grow up. However, even the survivors may never be fully able to breath, see or think. Intensive medical care in the first weeks of their life is impossible without modern means, enabling even a 0.5 kg newborn baby to grow up a healthy person. As we almost lived in a hospital we had "insider" view on health care and treatment methods and technology. Some were very old schoolish... Although we can say only the best words on professionalism of the staff, the lack of modern and innovative technology was clearly seen. So we decided to "thank you" not only with flowers or pics of our happy daughter but also asked what do they need from a technology side that would help them in their daily work fighting for the life of premature babies. That is how our family foundation was started in 2014. Combining the dilemmas of extra dollar in professional life with events in personal one we decided not just to make a single monetary donation but rather institutionalize our charity initiatives to make an impact as big as possible to help as many kids as possible. In order to improve the nursing conditions for those who cannot take care of themselves, we purchased in Australia (with a prior approval of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Children’s Hospital) and endowed the hospital with an ultrasonic cardiac output monitor USCOM 1A. It is one of the most modern devices in the world for critically ill patients. It allows a non-invasive assessment of heart work and blood circulation using the ultrasound-based technology and enables a real time monitoring of over 20 heart function parameters. In Lithuania, the USCOM cardiac work and blood circulation assessment technology has not been applied for the newborns yet, thus it was a new qualitative step in improving the quality of the smallest patients’ treatment and increasing their survival chances. Few years later we were informed on the number of saved newborn lives because of USCOM and it was in double digits. As it was quick and efficient process and we ourselves were as much happy as the hospital staff we asked for more: do you need anything else? That is how our new project emerged and in late 2015 we granted a human milk analyser Miris HMA to premature babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Children’s Hospital. This innovative technology created in Sweden helps to measure the macronutrient composition of human milk contributing to a better outcome for the baby, the family and the clinic. By then Miris HMA analyser was the only such device in Lithuania (not sure on the current situation). With the minimum time and fuss, the analyser gives energy, fat, carbohydrate, and protein content in human milk. This allows hospital staff to focus on the necessary intervention and supervision. The fact that Lithuania was one of the rare examples within European Union not yet using such technology in its hospitals, was the main reason why we decided to buy the device and fill the gap. Later it become the cornerstone of the newly established donor mother milk bank. We as a family were newcomers to the charity and social sector having no any prior experience, knowledge or understanding. During 2015 when both projects were done we realized how much kids get attention from many parties involved, charitable giving including. We do understand that for many years to come it won't be "too much" of that attention to fill all the gaps, however, we started to look for new areas or niches receiving a lot less and needing a lot more. At present, Lithuania has more than half a million of population aged 60 or over and our population has been aging at the fastest pace in the whole European Union. It's estimated that in 10 years’ time 65+ aged people will make 1/3 of the total population in Lithuania. Based on the latest Global AgeWatch index data Lithuania ranks only 63rd out of 96 countries in terms of living conditions and welfare for the elderly people. The main problems a person faces with at the twilight of hers life are social isolation, poverty and health issues related to old age. Loneliness is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. We picked ageing as a theme and elderly people as a "clientele"; since then one of the main focus areas of our foundation is to improve the quality of life for the elderly people. We aim Lithuania to become an age friendly country where old age people are an integral and important part of the society, where everyone fosters appropriate respect for seniors and seeks old age people to live a dignified, purposeful, active and healthy life. We have started with social action #Prisiliesk (#Touch, bit.ly/prisiliesk), then our flagship be-friending and support helpline Sidabrine linija (sidabrinelinija.lt) was born in 2016, later, in 2017-2018, to celebrate the centennial of the restoration of the independence of Lithuania we have implemented a project 100 metu kartu (100metukartu.lt) - it is a project of artistic visualizations that feature memoirs, experiences and life stories of the contemporaries of the Republic of Lithuania and their families, through photographs and documentary films (you can still buy the album for an absurdly low price of €10). Sidabrine linija (the Silver Line) – a free of charge befriending and support line providing information, friendship and advise to old age people. It offers regular befriending calls; combats loneliness and supports isolated elderly people; protects, supports and empowers those who are suffering abuse and neglect; offers information, friendship and advice; clears the air for the good mood and a better health; empowers elderly people to overcome difficulties. The number of registered users of Sidabrine linija“ has already exceeded 3 200 – so many people were managed to find a new friend to talk to, and thanks to a growing crowd of 500 volunteers and a number of donors they all felt interested and important and needed to someone again. All together they have already had and enjoyed almost 60 000 befriending and emotional support calls lasting more 1 200 000 minutes. That creates a huge social impact diminishing loneliness and isolation and enjoying the countless hours of better, happier, healthier and longer lives. Loneliness is agony and we need to protect our elderly people from being abandoned and too ashamed to admit it. Sidabrine linija is a brilliant and effective way of doing that. They just can’t wait any longer. In addition, we set ourselves an ambitious goal to bring Lithuania into the community of age-friendly countries nurtured by the World Health Organization (after three years of work, the city of Vilnius was the first in the Baltic States to be admitted to this community in January 2019, and the most significant real change in Vilnius was the establishment of Senjorų avilys (Seniors' Hive)). For me personally, this is a radically new stage in life. Unfamiliar until then, but impacted so much that I no longer want to go back. In terms of their dynamics, that fascinating uncertainty, their daily challenges, the two stages of life are hardly different, but in terms of the impact they create on the “serviced” audience and the real change in their daily lives, they are two completely different worlds. It’s much more sensitive, much stronger, much more affected. That's why I don't want to go back. Dear funds, bonds, stocks and financial markets, please forgive me, although I loved you so much, my new passion captivated me even more. At our foundation we want to remind and keep repeating that old age is not a disease we need to treat or a problem that needs to be addressed. It is a natural and inevitable stage in every person’s life. Older people are here, next to us, so let’s look back, notice, hear, bring them back to a full life. Now let's get back to the beginning of the story. I'm an investor. And will also be. Just changed my investment mindset from being for-profit investor to for-social-impact investor. Or at least a combination of the two. That wakes me up each morning for the last five years already and I don't see any reasons for changes in the foreseeable future.

Marius ČiuželisInvestor / Advisor / Social Entrepreneur
Thank you for taking time to read it. You can also jump on and be part of it either by volunteering (sidabrinelinija.lt/savanoriams) or donating (sidabrinelinija.lt/remejams/paramos-budai). Every little helps :)
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Should you lack an inspiration in life read this old article from Forbes published 8 years ago and you will find the one. Let’s start with a short quote of Mr Feeney: I believe strongly in 'giving while living.' I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be achieved through supporting worthwhile causes today. Besides, it's a lot more fun to give while you live than to give while you are dead. Enjoy it: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2012/09/18/chuck-feeney-the-billionaire-who-is-trying-to-go-broke/
Chuck Feeney: The Billionaire Who Is Trying To Go Broke
www.forbes.com

Marius Čiuželis on Sidabrinė linija (the Silver Line)Investor / Advisor / Social Entrepreneur14 days ago
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. It is is an awareness day observed on 10 September every year, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world since 2003. As you know in our country IT still IS a big issue. The good news is that during the last 5 years due to the various private and public initiatives the total suicides number decreased by 25% from almost 900 in 2015 to 658 in 2019, or from 31 to 23.5 per 100k inhabitants (see the graph below). However, suicides among the elderly still dominate compared to the other age groups.
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