I graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1984 with a degree in electronic engineering and from 1984 until 1998 worked in the commercial construction industry as an engineer, a project manager and an operations manager.
I began investing in the stock market 2 months prior to the 1987 stock market crash and thus quickly learned about the downside potential of stocks. Only slightly daunted by the rather inauspicious timing of my entry into the world of financial market investments, my interest in the stock market grew steadily over the years.
In 1993, after studying the history of money, the nature of our present-day fiat monetary system and the role of banks in the creation of money, I developed an interest in gold. Another very important lesson soon followed: gold may be the ideal form of money for those who believe in free markets and a wonderful hedge against the inherent instability of the government-imposed paper currencies, but it is not always a good investment.
By mid-1998 the time and money involved in my financial market research/investments had grown to the point where I was forced to make a decision: scale back on my involvement in the financial world or give up my day job. The decision was actually quite an easy one to make and so, at the beginning of 1999, I began investing/trading on a full-time basis.
My major concern in deciding to pursue a career in which I devoted all of my time to my own investments was that I would miss the personal interaction that had been part and parcel of my business management career. The Speculative Investor (TSI) web site was launched in August of 1999 as a means for me to interact with the world by making my analysis/ideas available on the Internet and inviting feedback from others with similar interests.
During its first 14 months of operation the TSI web site was free of charge, but due to the site's growing popularity I changed it to a subscription-based service in October of 2000. Its popularity continued to grow, although I remained -- and remain to this day -- a professional speculator who happens to write a newsletter as opposed to someone whose overriding focus is selling newsletter subscriptions.
My approach is 'top down'; specifically, I first ascertain overall market trends and then use a combination of fundamental and technical analysis to find individual stocks that stand to benefit from these broad trends. This approach is based on my experience that it's an order of magnitude easier to pick a winning stock from within a market or market sector that's immersed in a long-term bullish trend than to do so against the backdrop of a bearish overall market trend. Fortunately, there's always a bull market somewhere.
I've lived in Asia (Hong Kong, China and Malaysia) since 1995 and currently reside in Malaysian Borneo.
Mr. Roche is the founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC, a low fee financial services firm based in San Diego, CA as well as the founder of the popular financial website Pragmatic Capitalism (some articles from Pragmatic Capitalism get syndicated on Seeking Alpha so please see the full site if you don't want to miss articles by Mr. Roche).
Orcam Financial Group, LLC (www.orcamgroup.com) is a low fee financial services firm offering asset management, personal advisory, consulting and educational services. Pragmatic Capitalism (http://pragcap.com) was founded by Cullen Roche in the midst of the financial crisis of 2008. Mr. Roche foresaw many of the events that led up to the crisis and felt that the government was slow to react and when it did finally react, responded with the wrong medicine.
Mr. Roche's primary areas of expertise include global macro portfolio construction, quantitative risk management, monetary economics and behavioral finance. Prior to establishing his own business, Mr. Roche worked at Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management where he worked on a team overseeing $500MM+ in assets under management. Upon leaving Merrill Lynch, Mr. Roche managed a private investment partnership for 7 years generating substantial positive alpha (high risk adjusted returns) without a single negative year of returns. He has since transitioned back to retail asset management to better serve the much needed low fee retail space with sophisticated but simple asset management and financial planning services.
Mr. Roche is also a prolific writer. In addition to the daily musings on his website, he is the author of the popular book “Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Know About Money and Finance” as well as “Understanding the Modern Monetary System”, one of the top 10 all-time most downloaded research papers on the SSRN academic research network. He was named one of the “Top Wall Street Economists, Experts and Opinion Leaders” of 2011 by Wall Street Economists and was named one of the “101 Best Finance People” by Business Insider where he was described as “one of the most influential economic thinkers today.” In 2015 Mr. Roche was named one of the “40 Under 40” most influential people in finance by InvestmentNews. He is regularly cited in the Wall Street Journal, on CNBC and in the Financial Times.
Mr. Roche is a Georgetown University alumnus, growing up in the DC area and now living in Southern California with his wife Erica, troublesome collie Cal and 4 irritable laying hens. In addition to being a financial dork Cullen is an avid outdoorsman, mediocre gardener, proficient complex carbohydrate consumer (i.e., loves brownies and cake) and finisher of one of the most difficult IRONMAN races at Cabo in 2015.
David P. Goldman was global head of debt research for Banc of America Securities and earlier global head of credit strategy at Credit Suisse. He was until July 2008 the strategist for a credit hedge fund, Asteri Capital, one of the few credit funds to show a profit between July 2007 and July 2008. He is now Associate Editor of First Things (www.firstthings.com) and a columnist (under the byline "Spengler") for Asia Times Online.
Graham Summers is Chief Market Strategist for Phoenix Capital Investment Research, an independent investment strategy firm based in Washington DC with clients in 56 countries around the world.
I wrote a book called DISCIPLINE. I am a father, a financial analyst, an economist, a programmer, and a privacy and security specialist. I am curious about everything.
I am a 30-year veteran of the bond market. My career began at the Open Market Desk of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the significant majority of the subsequent years were spent trading (Treasuries) or selling high grade fixed income product for some of the largest primary dealer firms. I am currently “on the beach” and choose to remain in contact with the bond business via my blog (http://acrossthecurve.com/). Thanks in advance to all who contribute, and since this is a work in progress, I invite constructive criticism regarding the structure and format of my blog (http://acrossthecurve.com/).
John can be contacted at email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Visit John's blog, Across the Curve (http://acrossthecurve.com/)
Follow John on Twitter: @acrossthecurve
I write about dividend growth stocks on my website www.dividendgrowthinvestor.com.
I am mostly a buyer of high quality dividend stocks, with solid competitive advantages. My holding period is forever, as long as the dividend is at least maintained. I tend to concentrate my efforts on stocks which grow earnings and dividends, which provides outstanding total returns over time. I only focus my attention to stocks with sustainable dividend payments. I am also a firm believer in diversification accross sectors and geographic locations.
I have been focusing my attention particularly to companies that regularly increase dividends to their shareholders on my website. On my blog I share my thoughts on investing in dividend paying stocks that have consistently increased their payments over time and tips on growing my dividend income. I hope that my blog will serve as an inspiration for my readers and that it would change their financial lives for the better.
Visit my website, Dividend Growth Investor (http://www.dividendgrowthinvestor.com/)
Think B.I.G., by Bespoke Investment Group, provides some of the most original content and intuitive thinking on the Street. Founded by Paul Hickey and Justin Walters, formerly of Birinyi Associates and creators of the acclaimed TickerSense blog, Bespoke offers multiple products that allow anyone, from institutions to the most modest investor, to gain the data and knowledge necessary to make intelligent and profitable investment decisions. Along with running their Think B.I.G. finance blog, Bespoke provides timely investment ideas through its Bespoke Premium (http://bespokepremium.com/) subscription service and also manages money (http://bespokepremium.com/mm) for high net worth individuals.
Visit: Bespoke Investment Group (http://bespokeinvest.com/)
Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham serves as Chairman of the Board of Grantham, Mayo Van Otterloo (GMO) and oversees quantitative products and investment strategies. Before GMO’s founding in 1977, Mr. Grantham was co-founder of Batterymarch Financial Management. Prior to helping found Batterymarch, he was a portfolio manager at Keystone Custodian Funds, a management consultant with Cresap McCormick & Paget, and an economist with Royal Dutch Shell. Mr. Grantham earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Sheffield (U.K.) and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Note: Mr. Grantham is not an active contributor to Seeking Alpha; rather, SA editors excerpt regularly from Mr. Grantham's public commentary.
Visit GMO (http://www.gmo.com/)
The Prudent Investor blog is written by Toni Straka. Straka, who is 45, resides in Vienna, Austria. Straka is an independent certified financial analyst (OeVFA, EFFAS) who worked as a financial journalist for 15+ years and now evaluates global market trends.
The Prudent Investor' believes we are in an era of global redistribution of wealth in which the US-European centric approach does not work much longer. "Five billion people in the developing countries will demand their fair share of the world's resources," he writes. When not blogging, the Prudent Investor enjoys taking long trips to "far off" destinations. Visit his site: http://prudentinvestor.blogspot.com/