For the Trader and Investor


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For The Trader and Investor

In today’s economic environment the old adage, “buy and hold” is no longer valid. Investors who held stocks in 2000 waited sixteen years for their stocks to get back to where they were. Eight years later the markets crashed again. Those who held positions waited eight years to regain those price levels.

In any business, especially trading and investing, it is important when things are going well to ask why. It is even more important to be prepared for trend changes.

It is the market participants who decide on whether value is higher or lower. Certainly fundamental news events and technical patterns will influence investor decision, but in the end it is the fear and greed of the investment community who decides on whether prices are higher or lower.

Using the “Profile” chart and an analysis of the structure of any price trend in multiple timeframes, we can discern with a high probability where areas of support and resistance are and whether a financial instrument will be extending the trend in vertical development or will rotate back to “value”.

Our books, papers, courses and analysis are all designed to assist the trader/investor in their own analysis to take advantages of both up and down moves in any instrument(s) you decide to trade or invest in.

Our Publications


Trading and investing is the most competitive business environment. Yet, most people begin trading their own money without any thought to planning, management and control. The planning process should be applied in two different areas: planning the business and planning the trade. This book provides a tremendous advantage to those who are interesting in trading and investing by planning as a business and then planning, managing and controlling each individual trade position. If you want to turn you investing around or improve on your performance, this book will provide the path to achieve your personal and financial goals.

Proper planning for the business and the trade will give you an edge over 90% of the other traders and investors who neglect this very important ingredient to success.

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Our History

Joseph James LLC and Joe Mertes have formed over sixty investment partnerships. The purpose of those partnership was the acquisition and development of various investment business entities throughout the southeast. It has always been the vision of those entities to enhance performance, provide for needed development and for a fair return on investment. Those entities offered the ability for investors to provide capital in their local communities and participate in the eventual development and growth of those communities. Additionally, they offered much needed financing for turnaround situations or needed development in the communities in which they existed. Finally, private funds have been formed for the purpose of investing in publicly traded stock and other short term obligations with the goal of producing above average returns.






Investment Entities

Capital Partnerships


GrowSmart Capital LLC was formed in 2017 as an investment analysis, recommendation service and as the Managing Member of Intuitor Capital LLC. GrowSmart seeks to give subscribers an edge in the financial markets through an understanding of financial instruments price development, along with an analysis of the structure of that development. All investments are made in stocks, ETFs, or other liquid investments traded on the US Stock Exchanges. Market analysis with each recommendation is provided to clients. The common process for analysis is:
• Identify companies whose stock is in a development phase, whether it is moving higher or lower.
• Analyze the structure of the development to determine if the price move is strong and strengthening or weakening.
• Provide the opportunity to gain from both rising and falling prices.
• Deliver recommendations, entry signals, stop management and exit strategies.

The recommendations target the more active investor, who would intend to hold positions from one day to longer, should the price development continue. Strategies developed are geared to the short to intermediate term trader/investor.

The recommendations are designed for use within an existing portfolio or as individual portfolio components in a broader, more
diversified investment strategy. In this way clients have recommendations that complement their existing investments


Aslan Capital LLC was formed in 2010, as a North Carolina Limited Liability Company. It is operated for the purpose of making investments in publicly traded stocks, futures, and in making short term financing loans to small businesses. The firm has various investments in the financial markets and in short term lending opportunities. Aslan Capital LLC is seeking additional investment opportunities in the publicly traded markets, real estate, business acquisition and business financing.

For planning purposes, all investments are made with three intended objectives. The first is the opportunity for return. The second is risk tolerance. Finally, the third is the ability exit the investment in a short period of time. These three objectives allow the Company to achieve acceptable returns, and have access to their funds in a short period of time if necessary.


This Limited Liability Company was formed in 2017. GrowSmart Capital LLC is the Managing Member and provides all analysis, advice and management for the company’s investment portfolio. The purpose is to provide a capital base that will trade and invest in liquid, publicly trade, US financial instruments. Each of the recommendations made by GrowSmart to its subscribers are also invested by Intuitor Capital LLC.

The company was formed for the purpose of allowing investors with large investment accounts the ability to take advantage of the analysis and management provided by GrowSmart Capital LLC. Through the use of hedged positions, options trades and the ability to short selected stocks, the Company believes it can generate returns for its investors that are above average and more particularly during market corrections.


Selah Capital LP was formed in 2006. Joseph James LLC and Joe Mertes were instrumental in the formation, capital formation and management of this investment partnership. It was originally formed as a Delaware Limited Partnership. The Partnership operated from 2006 until 2014. The fund operated through the trading of financial instruments, short term loans to various businesses and in the funding of start-up companies that excelled in their business planning and management philosophies.

Joseph James LLC provided the investor base to fund the Partnership and was key in the investment management decision process.

Retail and Hospitality Developments


One of the most successful ventures structured by Joe Mertes was the Village Shops on Main Street in Blowing Rock NC. With the acquisition of a rundown house in the center of the commercial district, a plan was structured for capital formation, donating the house to the Historical Society and the construction and development of a commercial condominium building providing 5 spaces for additional businesses in the highly commercial district.

Asbestos was removed from the house before any work was accomplished. Once the asbestos was removed, the house was moved to a residential lot on US 221 just outside of Blowing Rock. The company received an immediate tax credit for the donation to the Historical Society. In a period of about six months the new structure was completed with the front facing Main Street having the same outer design as the house that was moved. Public bathrooms were installed, thus enhancing the development and enhancing shopping in downtown Blowing Rock for residents and tourists.

Within a year off the acquisition of the property, all the commercial condominiums were sold.



In 1990 Joe Mertes began acquiring key parcels of land in downtown Banner Elk. Prior to this, there was not a significant area for shopping and dining. Over a period of three years enough contingent land was acquired. Approvals from the Town were secured and construction began on a series of four buildings that housed multiple commercial, retail and restaurant businesses.

Each shop was sold as a condominium, providing for a coffee shop, upscale men’s clothing store, woman’s clothing store, a lingerie shop, an upscale restaurant, architect office, Edward Jones office, antique store, a restaurant and grill, a gift shop and a furniture accessory store. The development that was well planned, financed and constructed made a major commercial impact for the Town of Banner Elk and the tourist business the Town thrives on.


Located just behind the Timber Lodge was a development of seven cabins that overlook the Lodge and have access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Joe Mertes, along with a group of investors acquired the cabins, thus providing an economy of scale for the management of the two properties. The cabins were eventually sold individually to people desiring a vacation cabin in the mountains of North Carolina.


Just outside of Blowing Rock is a small hotel located off US 321. The hotel included a pond and quick access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Renovations were made to upgrade the value and performance of the property. The entity formed by Joe Mertes owned and operated the hotel for a period of approximately three years.


Next to one of the most sought after residential developments in Blowing Rock was an eight acre tract of land with lush vegetation, close to the Blue Ridge Parkway that offered a tremendous opportunity for residential development. A private partnership was formed and the land acquired. Approvals from the Town of Blowing Rock were received to move forward with the construction of a new street, utilities, the subdivision of the lots and construction of several homes. While Joseph James LLC developed several speculation homes, other lots were sold to individuals wishing to construct vacation or permanent homes in the Blowing Rock area.


The Green Park Inn is one of the most important historic buildings in the Appalachian Mountain chain and Blowing Rock area. After undergoing major renovations, Joe Mertes formed an investment partnership that acquired the grand hotel. This
partnership’s first action was to place the property on the historical register. Next, the partnership created a first class atmosphere and culture for the hotel by opening a five star restaurant and high end lounge and bar. An agreement with Blowing Rock Country Club allowed guests of the hotel use of the golf course. After two years of operations, the one-hundred-year-old property was sold to another individual and is still in existence today.


Joe Mertes was employed by a major hotel chain to help in the acquisition and restructuring of a hotel company located in the Midwest. The company was composed of fourteen hotels that were either under construction or in operation around the country. Each hotel was an all-suite hotel and included a bar and restaurant. The company was in financial trouble. There were over 132 creditors and limited partnerships involved. Working with a law firm from Nashville TN, Joe Mertes negotiated a settlement for all creditors outside of the bankruptcy court, financially restructured each hotel, completed construction of the hotels and eventually took over management of the company until the acquisition could be accomplished.

Other Business Start-Ups and Financings

Carolina Courts, a tennis and racquet club
The Corner Café & Cooking Company
Corporate financing for Verso Technologies, Inc.
Financing for Legends of Lake Norman restaurant
Over sixty various apartment complexes throughout the Southeast
The Quality Inn in Hickory NC
A major hotel in downtown Augusta GA
J.W. Tweeds, an upscale men’s clothing store
Financing for a surgical supply company