I have had a passion for investing since my teens and have been investing personally for over 10 years. I mostly use fundamental analysis and common sense, as well as an understanding of how macro factors will affect my investment thesis. I'm a big believer in being greedy when others are fearful and so far this strategy has led to some of my best investment returns, even if it often requires a lot of patience and a strong conviction. I cover a wide variety of sectors and market caps, but I generally try to invest only in companies whose business model I can understand. Having lived on four different continents, I have a global investment outlook, but invest almost exclusively in US-listed stocks. I generally consider myself a long-term investor, but my average holding period can vary significantly. I re-evaluate my portfolio on a regular basis to make sure my original investment thesis for each position still holds. If it does not apply anymore, I sell the position, no matter if it has been one month or five years.
Shaun Rein is the Founder and Managing Director of the China Market Research Group (CMR), the world's leading strategic market intelligence firm focused on China. He works with Fortune 500 and leading Chinese companies, private equity firms, SMEs, and hedge funds. Clients include Apple, Yum! Brands, Richemont, DuPont, Ecco Shoes, LG Electronics, Samsung, Unitas Capital, CLSA, China Capital Today, Hutchison Whampoa, Lane Crawford, Hard Rock International.
He is the author of the international best-selling book "The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that will Disrupt the World” published by John Wiley & Sons in the US.
Rein is a columnist for Bloomberg BusinessWeek on business in China and teaches executive education classes for the London Business School. He previously was a columnist for CNBC and Forbes. He is often featured in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and The Financial Times and frequently appears on CNBC, Bloomberg, BBC, and CNN.
He earned his Master's degree from Harvard University focused on China's economy and received a BA Honours from McGill University. He sits on the Asia Council for St. Paul's School.
Andrew Shapiro is Founder, President and Portfolio Manager of Lawndale Capital Management, an investment advisor that has managed activist hedge funds focused on small- and micro-cap companies for over 23 years, one of the longest periods of experience deploying an activist/relational investment strategy today. Mr. Shapiro’s proactive ownership approach has been effective in directly creating and unlocking shareholder value in Lawndale’s portfolio companies and has contributed to Lawndale’s activist funds often being ranked among the top event-driven and small-cap value funds in peer databases for long-term performance. In addition to leading Lawndale, Mr. Shapiro has also served as a Director or Observer on portfolio company boards and debt and equity bankruptcy committees. Mr. Shapiro is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and, via Lawndale, has been a long-time Sustaining Member of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII).
Mr. Shapiro has more than two decades of portfolio management and analytically varied experience from a number of "buy-side" positions, employing a rare combination of credit, legal and equity analytic and workout skills. Prior to founding the Lawndale organization in 1992, Mr. Shapiro managed the workout and restructuring of large portfolios of high-yield bonds, distressed equities and risk arbitrage securities for the Belzberg family's entity, First City Capital. Before joining First City, Mr. Shapiro was involved in numerous highly leveraged corporate acquisition and recapitalization transactions for both Manufacturers Hanover Trust and the Spectrum Group, a private equity firm.
Mr. Shapiro received his JD degree from the UCLA School of Law where he was an Olin Fellow, an MBA from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management where he was a Venture Capital Fellow and a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, where he has taught finance courses and frequently guest lectures.
Mr. Shapiro was recently selected to the 2012 NACD Directorship 100, a list of the most influential leaders in the boardroom and corporate governance community. He is often quoted on matters of corporate governance, fiduciary duty and activist investing and has been the subject of several articles, including a Business Week article in 2000 calling him “The Gary Cooper of Governance”. Mr. Shapiro frequent speaks and panels on corporate governance and activist investing issues at a broad range of prestigious forums that include the Council of Institutional Investors, National Association of Corporate Directors, American Society of Corporate Secretaries, SEC Advisory Committee on Small Public Companies, and the Director’s education programs of Stanford Law School, UCLA Anderson Grad. School of Mgmt., the Wisconsin Business School and Yale’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance, among others. Mr. Shapiro is a Contributing Author at Seeking Alpha.
Mr. Shapiro started Lawndale’s funds in 1993 with only $188,000 under management and through performance and added capital has grown the firm’s managed assets substantially. Lawndale applies a private equity approach through active and relational ownership of public company securities. In most investments, Lawndale plays a constructive relational role by actively working with boards and management teams to help them achieve their strategic and operating goals. In other instances, Lawndale is a direct value-unlocking catalyst, utilizing a range of tools that include aggressively promoting improvements in a company's governance and operational structures, proxy actions, asserting shareowner’s legal rights and taking active roles in restructuring and buyout proposal negotiations..
Andy Zaky is a Hedge Fund Manager at Bullish Cross Asset Management, and editor of the Bullish Cross financial newsletter. His main area of knowledge is in global macro economics, fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Andy has about 14 years of investment experience, a strong background in accounting and financial statement analysis, technical analysis, broad market analysis, macro economics and law. Andy both focuses on long term investments and trading short term calls and puts on the major index-pegged ETFs (QQQQ, SPY and DIA). Andy has a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.
Michal Slawny joined Seeking Alpha in August 2008 as the contributor relations manager where she builds and strengthens relationships with SA's contributors. She also oversees new contributor intake, creates contributor newsletters, and manages SA's author database.
Prior to joining Seeking Alpha, Michal was the media communications assistant for The Israel Project, an organization dedicated to educating the press and the public about Israel by providing journalists, leaders, and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. Among other things, in this role Michal was involved in the inception and implementation of press events which were covered by major media outlets ranging from NBC News, ABC News, CNN, and Fox News to the Associated Press, Reuters and The Independent (London). She also conducted research, wrote and edited press material, and created and updated Web page content.
In 2005, Michal interned with Manning Selvage & Lee, one of the world's leading public relations firms. She also gained extensive public relations experience at Koteret Public Relations in Tel Aviv, where she was responsible for writing press releases and organizing photo shoots pitched to the Israeli and international press. Slawny graduated cum laude with a B.A. in journalism, focusing on public relations, and a B.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Georgia. While there, Slawny was heavily involved in student activism and reinstated Dawgs for Israel, heading the group for almost three years.
Michal may be reached at mslawny [at] seekingalpha.com.