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.
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.
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Equanimity is one of the most powerful attributes 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.
I am an event-based investor focusing on opportunities with hard or predictable catalysts - particularly companies undergoing demergers or mergers, or otherwise able to manufacture high-probability growth due to some quirk of corporate structure, capital structure, accretive share issuance, growth via acquisition pipeline, competitive advantage/reinvestment, or other high-probability mechanism.
I am always on the look-out - especially in context of the opportunities mentioned above - for supply and demand imbalances: forced or uneconomic sellers, predicable (exploitable) behavioral trends, or unusual securities that can't be held by many industry players. Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated.
Stock investors are always asking what is the catalyst for value to be realized? I originally thought like this which lead me to take too much risk. I now focus on being patient, controlling risk, and minimizing permanent capital losses. These steps have lead to significantly better returns. Even when there is no clear catalyst, an undervalued stock is eventually its own catalyst.
I think the benefits of communicating on Seeking Alpha are enormous. Many times I have a strong financial view of a company but do not understand the specific industry or industry competitive dynamics. I can often interact and read insightful comments from engineers, scientists, and technology experts. These experts offer great free advice and I try to add value in my specific areas of expertise. One area that I have been specifically helped is the energy sector.
While some investors are very negative of people who short, I view shorting stocks and posting factual information as noble. The focus of course is on truthfulness and accuracy of this information. Anyone who is posting rumors, lies, or other unscrupulous behavior (long or short) to manipulate a stock should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2002 with a BS in Finance. From 2002-2006 I worked in the Wealth Management Group at Bank of America. I left Bank of America to manage family/friend money in long/short equity strategies. I also helped start-up two internet retail businesses.
I don't post much on twitter but think it is another great resource. I can be followed at https://twitter.com/jrhUofA
I currently live in Phoenix, AZ. If you live in the area and are a serious investor, please send me a note as I would be happy to meet and exchange our best ideas.