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John Thomas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with honors and a minor in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1974. He moved to Tokyo, Japan where he was employed by a medium-sized Japanese securities house. Thomas became fluent in Japanese and was trained as a domestic Japanese research analyst and money manager. In 1977 Thomas became the Tokyo correspondent for The Economist magazine and the Financial Times of London. Thomas traveled extensively throughout Asia, interviewing premiers, presidents and prime ministers, writing on macroeconomic trends, and producing countless features about individual companies. Thomas witnessed China’s cultural revolution and was one of the first American correspondents to enter China prior to the U.S. normalization of relations. Thomas authored several books about the Japanese financial system still in use by business schools today. In 1983 Thomas joined a top US investment bank in New York with the mandate to develop an international equity business for the firm. In 1985 he moved to London, England to establish a presence in Japanese equity derivatives for the firm. In 1989 Thomas was appointed a director of one of the big three Swiss Banks with a mandate to design sophisticated hedging strategies for the bank’s considerable holdings of Japanese equity warrants and convertible bonds. With the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, Thomas was drafted by the US Marine Corp to serve as a pilot. In 1990 Thomas became a pioneer in the nascent hedge fund industry by founding the first dedicated Japanese hedge fund. The firm managed segregated accounts for a variety of government agencies, banks, and high net worth individuals in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. After a decade of spectacular absolute and relative performance he sold his firm in 1999 and retired to manage his personal investments in the oil and gas industry. Seeing incredible opportunities in the marketplace and yearning for the adrenaline and satisfaction offered by active management, Thomas launched a new hedge fund in 2007. In his free time Thomas is a commercial aircraft pilot, long distance hiker and mountain climber, wine collector and avid photographer.
Jim Hawthorne is an ex pilot, retired Program/Project Manager and one time Washington Beltway Bandito. Began trading in the 1990's and have been a full-time cyber-trader in equities and options since retiring in 2000. What began as a hobby has become one of life's passions!
Interests include hunting, fishing, photography and travel.
Currently reside in the Kansas City, MO area with my wife who is also an active trader. We spend the winters in Puerto Rico. Life may not always be bowl of cherries, but it certainly is a gift!
Tricky is a human being, despite what some people may think about him.
He is currently alive. At least at the time of writing this bio.
For some strange reason, he seems to have a few followers. He has no idea why anyone would do that.
Shayne Heffernan is an Economist, Trader, Fund Manager and Venture Capitalist based in Asia.
He also serves as Editor and contributor at www.livetradingnews.com,
Founder of The Heffernan Group and currently building the company's financial services business in China.
Major shareholder and CEO of several Asian companies.
Private investor. Bought first stock in 1965. Held on for 20 years, following dad's advice, The Bulldog Philosophy: "Bite on to something that's got some meat to it and hold on until they chain you down, shoot you in the head, and tear it away from you with your teeth still attached to the carcass." Ahem.
Been through it all: the Crash after LBJ called for Guns and Butter & raised taxes & spending; Nixon campaigning to the right and governing to the left (stocks crash); the fear-mongering claims of the late `60s and `70s that the earth was heading into another Ice Age and the whole planet would soon be frozen, and if that didn't get us, exponential population growth would; the Nifty Fifty Crash (the first media/big NY House promoted stock con & ensuing blowout);
the first time the media and the government told us the world was running out of oil and prices spiked and stocks tanked; the Carter Years: 20% interest rates, 70% tax rates, & stagflation; the October `87 Crash; the `80s real estate crash after "tax reform" and the ensuing S&L Blowout along with 2200 lending institutions busting out over the next 7 years;
the fear-mongering claims beginning in the late `80s and continuing today that the planet is heating up to the point of boiling over (seas overflowing; islands disappearing; parts of the US East Coast under water; massive starvation from heated grounds causing soil erosion; coral reefs dying; fish and animals dying; Florida gone!);
Papa Bush's sharp turn to the left: a huge tax increase, the multi-billion-dollar handicap bill that busted thousands of small businesses, and the sex discrimination law, all costing businesses billions and producing the ensuing bad economy and stock turn down (big boon for lawyers, per usual);
the Clinton Administration attacks on every business sector: cigs, pharms, techs, banks, etc.; the Asian Contagion; the Y2-K Con (over $650 billion spent for absolutely nothing according to CNN; never mentioned again by the media or the government; they simply moved on to other scary predictions: Saddam Hussein, e.g.); the March 10, 2000 Dotbomb Explosion and tech blood bath aftermath;
15 years of Greenspan's manic interest rate moves; 9-11; the government forcing lending institutions to create the subprime loan (beginning in the `90s under Clinton) and the ensuing Cash-Credit-Crunch Crash of `08; 5 years of constant threats and attacks against Wall St., investors, Banks, savers, entrepreneurs, all forms of natural earth fuels, and most business sectors by Obama. Still standing.
Not a broker. Never been one. Not a tout. Never been one.
Do not own or run a hedge fund. Never have. Do not own or run a mutual fund. Never have. Do not receive any type of compensation for bullish or bearish statements. Never have. Never will.
Traded futures for four years in the 1980s, mostly index futures, but some commodities. Quit. Too antzy to sit in front of a screen all day. To heck with the money; would rather be broke than bored.
Hate charts. Refuse to read one. Don't send or tell me about them. If you do I'll delete you and them from my life. Must therefore dig through financial records and study ratios and try to figure out whether a company is actually doing what it claims. Some really boring stuff, trust me.
Have no idea at any time which way markets are going. Don't ask me. When someone tries to tout me on market direction, I stick my thumbs in my ears. If you write an article predicting market direction, I'll put you on my inexperienced boob list or my sham-artist list, and will not read you anymore until you mature or turn honest, whichever the case.
Occupation: Never had one. A drunkard by nature. Played golf when a child. Poker when I still had the brain of one.
My First Finite Absolute in Stock Investing: Never, ever buy a stock because an emissary from one of the Big New York Houses or Big National Banks touts it. When they upgrade or tout one, stay far away from not only that company—but that entire sector. If you happen to be invested in that company, take a second look at your investment. For it may be time to flee. The reverse is true when they downgrade one: you might want to take a look at buying it. No exceptions!!
First rule I pass on to young investors: Be humble about your investing and trading abilities, for if you do not, markets will eventually make you so.
Second Rule: Learn from your successful elders. For if they are still standing in the investment world when they are past 55 (and are not mere salesmen or touts or novices) and are still investing, they had to be doing something right—because it is a cruel environment that few survive.
Third Rule: Understand that, as soon as you step onto the investing field, you are dealing with heartless predators who work 24-hours a day to find ways to get your money out of your pockets and into theirs. The only way you can stop them from doing that is to start an account at a conservative brokerage firm that doesn't send you fliers every week telling you how its brilliant employees can make money for you or manage your money for you. Invest your money in companies that have good products, well-established management, good balance sheets, and have proven they can make it through hard times—which are bound to come every few years or so. Put your shares in an account that does not charge you for holding them, and leave them there as long as possible. You're about as safe from predators as you can possibly be, if you follow this rule.
Fourth Rule: Get the idea of making money by trading stocks out of your head. You're not going to be able to do it. If you think you're that good of a trader, trade futures—where you have a tremendous amount of leverage. If you are as good a trader as you think, you can make more money trading futures than you can find a place to put it. Of course, about 98% of futures traders lose money, so don't get your hopes too high on replacing Mexico Slim on the Forbes 400.
Fifth Rule: Invest; don't trade. Invest; don't save.
I help friends and family with their investments—gratis. I'm sorry to say, however, they all have to have jobs.
James Quinn has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 29 year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of strategic planning. He is married with three boys and is writing these articles because he cares about their future. He earned a BS in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Villanova University. He is a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager. These articles reflect the personal views of James Quinn. They do not necessarily represent the views of his employer, and are not sponsored or endorsed by his employer.
Harry Tuttle is an aspiring independent thinker who is barely arrogant enough to create a blog, but not enough to take himself too seriously. He is a mildly successful speculator who has managed to survive many bear markets resting mainly on his cynicism and paranoia. He prefers anonymity in the belief that most people buy books only because of the cover. Thus, his ideas, if any, should stand on their own. A few may even be good. Visit Harry's blog: The Very Serious Blog (http://theveryseriousblog.blogspot.com/)
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.
As a traditionlist a strong belief that honest money is an essential component in the foundation of freedom, prosperity and the pursuit of happiness. Fraudulent manipulation of currency or other financial instruments should be a crime, punishable by courts, rather than "regulated" by the very powers that profit from doing so.
The paper casino of the last decades has rotted out the foundation of savings and, even more harmful, diverted talent from the creation of real products and technology that could have begun to lift the world from poverty, leaving that rewarding task to China, now enjoying the benefits of their success.
Investments for the last ten years have been in commodities, mainly gold, silver and oil plus some real estate. Thanks to todays financial artists (and some regulatory control) this direction has become an almost sure, steady winner as more and more have discovered the benefits of investing in fundamental value rather than gambling at a zero-sum paper casino.
Alan Young has been a full-time student of the market since early 2008. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and plays jazz piano. (The photo is not of Alan, but of a life-sized 1000-year-old statue of Ganesh, found in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.)
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Jake Berzon spent his teens in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with Bachelor degrees in Applied Math and Electrical Engineering/Computer Science. He continued his technical studies, received a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Math from University of Minnesota, and went on to complete all the requirements for a PhD in Control Systems, except the thesis. In addition to his extensive technical training, Jake has received formal business training at University of Colorado and San Francisco State University.
Jake spent 15 years in California before returning to Colorado in the summer of 2005. His years in California were mostly spent in Silicon Valley working first in technical and then managerial roles for international: American, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and German companies. Jake authored patents, developed standards and contributed articles to industry publications. He also traveled extensively throughout the USA, Asia and Europe.
Jake eagerly participates in financial markets, having always been fascinated with the subject. His first major foray into the world of investment was a purchase of an apartment building almost 20 years ago, while he was still a graduate student in Minnesota. Since then he has dabbled in various investments, but has generally preferred the relative liquidity and predictability of the US stock markets. Recognizing new dominant global trends, he made his first investments in BRICs in September of 2001.
20 yrs in the USMC. MA international business and MBA. 4 years process engineer at GE aircraft M&I division. Now own a management company with 12 employees running dental offices. Managing doctors is like herding cats. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk7yqlTMvp8) Second language Japanese.Photo is Upper Gully West Virginia white water rafting past pillow rock Class 5. OOHRAH