The story behind invest in the numbers

Established in 1982

Our story

with Tim Lincoln, Co-Founder and
Managing Director
Video duration: 2m 39s

It all started over lunch with an engineer...

Dr Merv Lincoln was having lunch with an engineering friend who couldn’t understand why accountants didn’t predict the risk of a business failing like engineers could predict the risk of a bridge failing. Surely, the health of a business was in its numbers. It couldn’t be that hard to create a formula to analyse those numbers.

Turns out it was quite hard. Six years and a PhD later, Merv had developed a methodology that indicated the health of any business with a high degree of accuracy by analysing its numbers.

... continued over dinner with a computer programmer... 

The strength of Merv Lincoln’s methodology was immediately apparent, with leading financial institutions wanting to invest in Merv’s analysis of the numbers after he was awarded his doctorate. But the power of this approach was only unlocked after a dinner with his son Tim, the computer analyst, who developed the technology that enabled the methodology to be applied quickly, making the most of time-sensitive financial statements to the market.

... to become some of the most reliable investment insights in Australia. 

Today, that technology has been optimised to become the basis of all the investment analysis for Lincoln Indicators’ managed funds business – funds with long term success and stability that have outperformed most of the market in good times and bad. That technology – and the investment insights it generates – are also available directly to you through our proprietary share market research platform, Stock Doctor – Australia’s premier DIY share market research membership platform.

Dr Merv Lincoln

Co-Founder (1984 - 1997)

From very humble beginnings Dr. Merv Lincoln went on to become a world class 1500m and 1-mile distance athlete competing in the 1956 Melbourne and 1960 Rome Olympics and 1958 Commonwealth Games where he won a silver medal behind the great Herb Elliott. Merv was the 2nd Australian, to John Landy, and 11th in the world to break the 4-minute mile barrier during a halcyon era for Australian athletics.

Following his retirement from Athletics in 1960, Merv pursued a career as a Management Accountant and later joined the Economics and Finance faculty at the University of Melbourne in 1963 where he was senior lecturer for some 21 years. During this time, he completed his PhD titled ‘The Usefulness of Accounting Ratios to Describe Levels of Financial Risk’. He was awarded his doctorate in 1983.

Merv left Melbourne University in 1984 to establish his own consulting business, Merv Lincoln and Associates, where he lectured his theories of assessing the Financial Health and insolvency risk of businesses through the analysis of their financial statements and accounting ratios to large Australian corporations for commercial credit risk assessment.

Merv was an avid stock market investor and used his quantitative methodology to assess investment opportunities and manage his SMSF with great success. During the 1980’s Merv witnessed the poor advice being provided to mum and dad investors by brokers and advisors. This sowed the seed of thought that perhaps he could provide a service to investors that could qualify broker recommendations allowing investors to invest with a high degree of confidence.

With the advent of PC based computer technology in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s it was then that Merv realised that he could deliver his theory’s in a practical form to mum and dad investors. In 1991 he invited his son Tim, an experienced computer analyst, to help computerise and commercialise his quantitative methodology.

Merv and Tim set about testing and developing for the next 7 years. In 1997 Merv’s vision was born in the form of Stock Doctor, a software subscription services that analyses the financial statements and financial health of every Australian listed company. This allowed investors to focus on high quality businesses and avoid potential corporate disasters with all the crucial but difficult financial analysis done for them in an intuitive and timely manner.

Merv was an academic at heart and in 1997 decided to move into a more consultative role and appoint Tim as Managing Director to grow the business.
Merv was very proud to see his work embraced so broadly by the investment community in the fledgling years of Stock Doctor.

Sadly, Merv was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004 and couldn’t enjoy and witness the enormous growth of Lincoln Indicators based on his genius. Merv passed away in 2016 after a long battle with the illness.

Merv would be incredibly proud to know that his work is helping thousands of people around the world, a legacy that will live on through his son Tim for many years to come.

Tim Lincoln

Co-Founder and Managing Director

Tim joined Lincoln Indicators in 1991, teaming up with his father Dr. Merv Lincoln to computerise and commercialise Dr. Lincoln’s PhD thesis, ‘The Usefulness of Accounting Ratios to Describe Levels of Insolvency Risk’. Their vision was to create software solutions that via the analysis of financial accounts, would calculate the Financial Health of stock exchange listed companies. This would provide a much-needed solution for DIY and SMSF investors to avoid potential corporate failures and to confidently select healthy, high quality companies worthy of investment.

Lincoln Indicators’ mission was subsequently established to “empower global sharemarket investors to invest successfully with confidence, control and peace of mind”.

In 1996, after 5 years of testing and development, Stock Doctor was launched which has now become Australia’s premier DIY Sharemarket investment platform. Believing in Tim’s ability to fulfil their mission, Merv decided to take on a more consultative role within the business and in 1997 appointed him as Managing Director. Tim was honoured to be custodian of his father’s legacy and excited by the opportunity.

In 2003 Tim launched the Lincoln Managed Funds business unit which caters for time poor investors who trust the Lincoln Indicators quantitative methodology but prefer to outsource the management of their portfolios to the experienced Lincoln Indicators team.

Today, Tim has grown the business into a highly successful enterprise with 50 professional and client centric Melbourne based staff, thousands of trusting members subscribing to Stock Doctor and over $600m invested in their industry leading Australian managed funds. Tim continues to strive towards achieving his global mission with the launch of the Lincoln U.S. Growth Fund in June 2020. This was a very proud moment indeed.

With 30 years of industry experience, Tim is highly regarded as one of Australia’s most experienced financial professionals. He has received many industry and business awards and is an active member of numerous industry bodies.

Tim is a dedicated family man and philanthropist who insists on a very disciplined work life balance and lives by a very strong set of personal values.

Outside of business life Tim loves: family time, marathon running, competing in Ironman events, tennis, golf, boating, gardening and the mighty Carlton Football Club.

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