Robert L. FitzPatrick is an expert in examining and revealing deception and fraud in Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes and bogus home-based businesses. He is an internationally recognized authority in multi-level marketing schemes and pyramid sales fraud. Robert FitzPatrick is not an investor in multi-level marketing companies. He has never owned and never plans to own stocks of multi-level marketing companies. He does not offer investment advice and he is not an attorney.
He is co-author of False Profits, the first book to critically examine the recent rise in pyramid and Ponzi schemes in home-based businesses. He was featured on NBC Dateline, ABC World News, and he was interviewed by correspondent Mike Wallace on CBS 60 Minutes. He has been interviewed live on NBC Today show, Canada's CBC National News, Christian Broadcasting Network, and on several BBC radio news programs aired in the UK. He has been quoted in many newspapers around the world, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
In 2012, False Profits will be published in Mandarin by Nanjiing University Press. The booklet, Pyramid Nation by Robert FitzPatrick, has been translated to Chinese and used by government regulators in writing China's first laws on pyramid schemes. His essay, "The 10 Big Lies of Multi-Level Marketing", has been translated into four languages and posted on numerous websites. His White Paper, "The Main Street Bubble", which details the extensive influence-buying of the direct selling industry and in the failure of federal regulators to protect consumers from pyramid marketing fraud has been read by staff circulated among members of Congress.
In June 2005, Robert FitzPatrick was asked by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to address banking representatives from that country as well as India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal in Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo. The presentation was later published as part of a consumer education campaign against pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
Robert FitzPatrick was a featured speaker at the 2006 annual meeting in San Francisco of the Association of Certified Fraud Specialists. He has developed informational resources for consumers, journalists, academics and regulators including a multi-media PowerPoint presentation and a statistical analysis of the losses suffered by participants in pyramid selling schemes. He also published a widely read booklet on the landmark federal case brought against the Amway Corporation.
He is a expert network member of GLG Research, and Coleman Research Group, as well as other networks of experts who are referred to clients for consultation, speaking and report writing. In this capacity, he has provided expert consultation to financial many analysts who sought information about multi-level marketing companies and pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
Robert FitzPatrick co-founded and serves as president of Pyramid Scheme Alert, the first international organization to expose and prevent pyramid scheme fraud. He personally responds to hundreds of consumer and news media inquiries. He has served as consultant and expert witness for Attorney General or State Attorney offices in four states, the US Dept. of Justice, and in numerous cases involving distributor fraud and pyramid schemes.
I have no expertise in investment markets. However, I have spent more than six years researching MLM full-time — at first to find any reason to stay on board with a cherished domestic partner who was fully immersed in MLM and it's culture. My research consisted of reading a lot of others' unrefuted primary research and running theoretical simulations based on MLM structure and function. In all cases, I discovered that starting an MLM or succeeding in one can only be done with a great deal of deception and unfair practices.
The deceptions are deniable unless they're carefully analyzed; and advances in technology are exposing the unfairness essential to the survival of every MLM. Sadly, my research revealed enough for me to realize that my domestic partner and I had been involved in deception and unfairness for more than eight years. By then, she had become so immersed in the culture that she couldn't recognize the inherent fraud; and the ensuing values conflict between us culminated in our mutual choice to part ways.
My objective is to dissuade others from becoming collateral victims of MLM fraud. SA's broad reach and its commitment to the public good has provided an important platform for that purpose.
Having a front-row seat for watching Herbalife lead the way as the first publicly-traded MLM to crash and burn is an added bonus.
I'm an Army veteran and former energy dividend writer for The Motley Fool. My goal is to help all people learn how to harness the awesome power of dividend growth investing to achieve their financial dreams, and enrich their lives. With 20 years of investing experience, I've learned what works and more importantly, what doesn't, when it comes to building long-term wealth and income streams. I'm currently on an epic quest to build a broadly diversified, high-quality, high-yield dividend growth portfolio that:
1. Pays 5% to 6% yield
2. Offers 9%-10% annual dividend growth
3. Pays dividends AT LEAST on a weekly, but preferably, daily basis
Eternal Daily Dividend Growth Endeavor (EDDGE)
Projected Long-Term Dividend Growth: 10.0%
Projected Long-Term Total Return: 14.8% (63% above S&P Historical norm)
Portfolio FCF Margin: 21.8% (vs S&P 500 4.24%)
Portfolio PE: 15.82 (15% below S&P 500)
Real Estate: 27.5%
Consumer Discretionary: 6.4%
Consumer Staples: 4.1%
Business Services: 3.3%
Basic Materials: 1.3%
Auto, Tire, Truck: 0.8%
Industrial Products: 0.6%
1. Icahn Enterprises (IEP): 1.63%
2. Dynagas LNG Partners (DLNG): 0.98%
3. Gaslog Partners (GLOP): 0.97%
Glen Bradford MBA is a born again independently wealthy accredited private investor and prior hedge fund titan that enjoys the process of discovering where and why he's wrong as soon as possible. He contributes to Seeking Alpha primarily to read people's negative feedback so that he can avoid generating unnecessary losses.
The absolute best you can do is give someone an opportunity and incentive to take it.
Take upon yourself worth carrying and enjoy as your own.
"Uncertainty will certainly work for me." - Glen Bradford March 2009.
Richard Zeits is an Oil & Gas industry analyst and consultant. His background includes fourteen years as Energy industry-focused investment banker, portfolio manager and senior investment analyst with bulge bracket firms in New York. Zeits Energy Analytics use elaborate proprietary analytics and data bases to provide in-depth industry research, market intelligence, and forecasting.
Upon receiving my Masters degree in Music from Connecticut's Hartt School of Music, I took a job at a local Friendly's serving ice cream, where I perfected the disgruntled, comatose look, as seen in the photo at left. As a first-time participant in the American economy by way of fast-food, I noted the vileness and squalor into which our country was plummeting.
Now, as an SA commentator, I look forward to multiplying my earnings, once I get some, and settling down as a prime member of society, living out my remaining years in the luxury every red-blooded American deserves.
I currently live in a barn with my saxophones, watching America decline around me.
ValueWalk has gained popularity among all circles for its breaking stories on hedge funds, and investigative reports on investments by major funds.
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Mike Holt is a Senior VP, Wealth Management Strategist with The MDE Group, an innovative Wealth Management Firm located in Morristown, NJ that manages over $1 billion for corporate executives and other high net worth individuals located across the US. Mike's diverse background includes auditing financial services firms in NY for a Big 4 CPA firm, a 3-year foreign assignment to Saudi Arabia during which he also travelled extensively, primarily in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and the provision of sophisticated income and estate tax services to partners, directors, and executives at ARAMCO, KKR, Citibank, Lloyds, Lehman Brothers, McKinsey & Co., and Pfizer among others.
He is also a CFP and a PFS, and since 1994 he has been helping clients of The MDE Group to accumulate wealth, and then to preserve that wealth against the backdrop of an increasingly uncertain economic and market environment. Mike's dedication to his clients has driven him to draw upon his broad experience and intense curiosity about the world to investigate global macro risks that have become increasingly relevant to both the successful management of their portfolios and, more importantly, their overall financial well being and that of their families.
Mike earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Cal State, Long Beach and participated in the MS Taxation program at Pace University in New York.
Please note that the views I express in my posts and comments do not always reflect the views of The MDE Group.
Mercenary Trader (www.mercenarytrader.com) was created by traders, for traders. We are aggressive swing traders who routinely combine fundamentals, technicals and sentiment with deep awareness of global macro and rigorous analysis of individual equities.
See all of our content, including free educational materials on the theory and practice of trading, at www.mercenarytrader.com
I am a policy risk analyst with more than 25 years of experience in China's political economy. I believe in looking beyond the spreadsheet to identify the wider issues leading to policy change - and what that means for investment decisions in a market where the stock index is more responsive to the velocity of political gossip than the velocity of money.
Contributors: Scott Tzu, Parke Shall, Thom Lachenmann
(contributors write under pen names for anonymity purposes)
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Founder/manager at Shih Investments. In early 2009, I quit my job as an engineering manager at Google, to start my company. That was right in the middle of the crash, and, it relates to my investment style - deep value when others are frightened. My preference is to be deeply analytical, scouring documents that many will by-pass, to come up with my investment ideas.
We are a small firm that focuses on investigative investing. We scan the market for indicators of financial shenanigans, dig deep into financial filings and other public information, and conduct detailed field work whenever possible and advantageous.
When evaluating equities, we approach all potential investments from a "red team" perspective by assuming that a company's management cannot be trusted and searching first and foremost for the unstated downside risk.
I'm a Georgia Tech industrial engineer with experience in the M&A department of a large German corporation. I've been investing my own money for 6 years quite successfully, and am currently working and studying my masters in consumer affairs in Munich.
Investment professional with umpteen years of experience in Greater China. Seen lots of dreams and scams, and a couple of real companies. What I do know? Trust nothing in China. There is always something else underneath the surface...
Investment professional and CFA charterholder. I write on Seeking Alpha as a personal hobby and to elicit feedback on specific ideas and topics, help organize my thinking, and connect with intelligent people.
Stephen Simpson, CFA, is a freelance financial writer and investor.
I have worked for both sell-side and buy-side firms (equities and fixed income), with the largest percentage of my working time spent in med-tech. At this point I am now effectively in a "working retirement".
I write because I find that the process helps me take better notes, be more disciplined about modeling, and come up with a more coherent investment view for my portfolio management needs. If I'm writing about a stock, it's generally because I'm interested in it as an investment prospect or I think there's an interesting story to tell.
I don't share my models, so please don't ask.
More of my writings can be found at my blog Kratisto Investing (kratistoinvesting.blogspot.com), or Twitter (@Kratisto_Invest).
Former private equity fund partner...over 10-years in Asia...seen a few scams, invested in a few scams...got burned by some...made money in others...do not take it personally...but the market is ultimately a zero-sum game...