A*L was established in 2010 by Jon Carnes, a growth and value-oriented investor who lived for six years (from 2005 to 2011) in China where he researched and invested in dozens of Chinese companies, first long (2005-2009) and then primarily short (2010-2012). Mr. Carnes outperformed other investors by performing extensive “on the ground” due diligence, conducted by a team of experienced analysts and local researchers. His investment opinions were greatly respected by other China focused fund managers attracted to the booming economy but wary of getting duped. Over several years of scrutinizing over a hundred companies in every corner of China, Mr. Carnes realized that many of those that had gone public were seriously exaggerating their financial performance in their SEC filings. Investors raced to invest billions into Chinese companies that were dishonest and legally accountable to no one, a recipe for disaster for investors, both large and small. Deciding to take action, Mr. Carnes decided to publicly expose the most egregious frauds he had discovered over the years, focusing on the worst offenders: companies that had exaggerated their profitability by at least 100%. In February 2010, he published a series of reports titled “Management Leaving Investors Stuck at the Pumps” showing that China Natural Gas (formerly NASDAQ: CHNG) management defrauded investors by failing to disclose and likely misappropriating $20 million from an acquisition of an undisclosed related party. Unfortunately, when CHNG discovered that Mr. Carnes wrote the reports, its chairman Qinan Ji responded by sending an agent to threaten him where he lived in China. Frightened by Ji’s threat, Mr. Carnes removed the reports from the Internet. From this point onward Mr. Carnes knew that publishing the truth while living in China might get him killed. Mr. Carnes nevertheless chose to remain in China to continue exposing fraud. Knowing that the safety of his researchers depended upon absolute secrecy and anonymity, he published my reports anonymously online using the obvious pseudonym “Alfred Little.” Beginning with CHNG, over the next two years Mr. Carnes exposed a diverse array of investment fraud committed by a U.S. listed Chinese companies. After two years, CHNG Chairman Qinan Ji’s effort to conceal his fraud finally failed. On 9/21/11 NASDAQ halted trading of CHNG and on 3/8/12 CHNG was delisted. Most importantly, on 5/14/12 the SEC filed fraud charges against CHNG and its Chairman Qinan Ji. Two more of the companies that Mr. Carnes first exposed faced the same fate. On 2/22/12 the SEC charged Puda Coal (formerly AMEX: PUDA) Chairman Ming Zhao with fraud, confirming each of the allegations in his 4/8/11 report, “Puda Coal Chairman Secretly Sold Half the Company and Pledged the Other Half to Chinese PE Investors.” Then on 4/23/12 the SEC charged SinoTech Energy (formerly NASDAQ: CTE) and two of its officers with fraud. On 8/16/11, Mr. Carnes was the first to blow the whistle exposing CTE’s massive fraud in a report titled “SinoTech Energy: Enhanced Oil Recovery or Capital Extraction.” Unlike other numerous smaller “reverse merger” frauds, Sinotech was a $168 million IPO listed on NASDAQ underwritten by UBS and Lazard Capital Markets and audited by Ernst & Young. Three companies, Deer Consumer Products (“DEER”), Sino Clean Energy (“SCEI”) and Silvercorp Metals (“SVM”) criticized in reports published by A*L sued Mr. Carnes for defamation. The three companies coordinated their legal and retaliatory efforts, both in the U.S., Canada and China to silence Mr. Carnes. The epic battle that followed ended swiftly in a complete rout. NASDAQ delisted DEER and SCEI. SVM and DEER both lost their defamation claims against Mr. Carnes. SCEI abandoned its defamation claim against Mr. Carnes. After winning the battle against DEER, SCEI and SVM, A*L emerged with the best track record of any China focused investment blog.
Over 5 years' experience on the buyside. Spent nearly 3 years of my professional career as a Research Analyst investing in public markets (stocks) and the other 2 in the private arena (VC/growth equity and distressed/restructurings). I am a highly passionate investor and always consider both the macroeconomic backdrop coupled with in-depth fundamental research to identify the best investment ideas, which are generally contrarian, value-biased, opportunistic or event-driven.
I specialize in understanding the dynamics that underlie and drive investment performance in today's global financial markets, despite a muddling of views among regulators and investors alike in the new, free money era. Following the global financial crisis, expansionary monetary policies of unprecedented magnitude implemented by major central banks across the globe (primarily those of the so called "core economies") have completely redefined the ways in which the global markets operate. I am not your typical hedge fund or money manager who stamps a disclaimer on investment performance with the assertion that "we are bottom-up, fundamental equity investors" who "do not attempt to forecast the markets." I go far beyond this basic, fundamental analysis and offer unique foresight into major anticipated (equity and credit) market movements BEFORE they materialize.
I have a with a knack for identifying under- and over-valued positions and a strong understanding of macroeconomics. I constantly analyze and evaluate central bank policies globally as well as global trade conditions. I have unique experience particular to sectors such as energy (both conventional and non-conventional), agriculture, infrastructure and real assets (industrials, real estate, water infrastructure, roads/railways, etc.), in addition to chemicals and consumer products; however, I've been a generalist research analyst for the majority of my career to date. Options are a trading mechanism of choice, particularly when I have visible catalysts for near-term price appreciation (or depreciation in the case of puts). I also utilize options strategies to earn large profits with limited downside risk.
K2 & Associates is a hedge fund with an 18 year track record of successfully managing money and creating value for our shareholders and stakeholders at large. Our returns rank in the top decile of all funds during this period.
Our repeatable investment model includes a diverse range of strategies employed in different weights across a variety of market cycles. We are activists who work to surface value, and we have competitive advantage in many areas that create alpha. We have a solid reputation as a good partner, lead investor and strong sponsor for companies looking for risk capital.
Our passionate and dedicated team of investment professionals and risk managers include have a broad array of skill sets ranging from the CA and CFA to Engineering and MBA designations. Moreover, we maintain relationships with domain experts across all industries. Our firm’s principals have all their material capital invested in the firm and represent 40% of all capital in the fund.
I am a licensed stock broker with over 20 years experience in the financial services industry. I have an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics from UCLA and an MBA in finance from cross-town rival USC. I also have a CFA.
I have been working with hedge funds and other institutional investors and generating ideas on strategies for hedging the long bias in their portfolios.
Professional investor and overall good guy.
By reading Mako Research reports, you agree to use the information at your own risk. In no event should Mako Research or any affiliated party be liable for any direct or indirect trading losses caused by information contained in the research reports. Research reports are not investment advice or a recommendation or solicitation to transact any securities. Mako Research is not a registered investment advisor. You agree to do your own research and due diligence before making any investment decision with respect to securities covered herein. You should assume that Mako Research stands to profit in the event the issuer’s stock declines. Research reports may contain opinions, which are based upon generally available public information, field research, inferences and deductions through due diligence and analytical processes. All information is believed to be accurate and reliable, and has been obtained from public sources. Mako Research makes no representation, express or implied, as to the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of any such information. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice, and Mako Research is not obligated to update or supplement any reports or any of the information, analysis and opinion contained in them. You should assume that Mako Research has and/or will submit findings with the Securities Exchange Commission, and other entities that may find the information useful.
Equanimity is one of the most powerful characteristics to possess in investment management. Opportunities are always available in the market but it is a job that requires extensive research, analysis, objectiveness, and sometimes secondary opinion.
Disclaimer: All articles provided are for entertainment purposes only. Interpret everything as opinion rather than fact and do your own due diligence. These statements are not an offer to buy or sell any security.