Vikram is an electrical engineer by training and has held a variety of roles spanning multiple industries. He started his career in the semiconductor industry in the Silicon Valley, before moving to a proprietary trading desk at a bulge bracket investment bank in New York. Vikram has also developed software for health-care systems. He trades actively in the US financial markets relying primarily on quantitative techniques.
Steven Hansen is an international business and industrial consultant specializing in turning around troubled business units; consults to governments to optimize process flows; and provides economic indicator analysis based on unadjusted data and process limitations.
Prieur du Plessis has 27 years' experience in professional investment research and portfolio management. More than 1,400 of his articles on investment-related topics have been published in various regular newspaper, journal and Internet columns. He has also published a book, Financial Basics: Investment.
Prieur is chairman and principal shareholder of South African-based Plexus Asset Management, which he founded in 1995. The group conducts investment management, investment consulting, private equity and real estate activities in South Africa and other countries.
Plexus is the South African partner of John Mauldin, author of the Thoughts from the Frontline e-letter, and also has an exclusive licensing agreement with California-based Research Affiliates for managing and distributing its enhanced Fundamental Index methodology in the Pan-African area.
Prieur is professor extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, teaching investment management. He also serves as Honorary Consul of Slovenia for South Africa, actively developing economic, cultural and scientific relations between Slovenia and South Africa.
Prieur lives by the words “living to run, running to live”. This motto manifests itself directly in his management style and keen participation in long-distance running, and also in Plexus’s sponsorship of the annual Plexus Races (marathon, half-marathon and 8km). The primary goal of these events is to raise funds for a number of charities, especially Proud Partners – an organisation formed by Plexus in co-operation with Prieur’s wife, Isabel Verwey (former TV producer and presenter), which uplifts previously disadvantaged communities through the provision of musical instruments and tuition to a large number of schools.
Prieur is 55 years old and lives with his wife and two children in Stellenbosch, Cape Town. In addition to running, his recreational activities include reading, travelling, motor cycling and scripophily.
We are NO LONGER and HAVE NOT BEEN contributing articles to SeekingAlpha since 2012. Visit us on our SmartKnowledgeU YouTube channel or at https://www.smartknowledgeu.com for up-to-date information.
After earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and two master degrees (a Master in Public Policy and a Master in Business Administration) from the University of Texas at Austin, J.S. Kim started working within the Private Wealth Management division of one of the largest financial institutions in America. In 2005, dissatisfied with the ethics of the commercial investment industry and to be able to serve his clients in a manner consistent with his own commitment to integrity and honor, JS left the corporate world behind to launch his own company, SmartKnowledgeU™ (http://smartknowledgeu.com/), a fiercely independent investment research, consulting and education firm in 2006.
Ashraf Laidi is an independent strategist and trader, founder of Intermarket Strategy Ltd. and author of "Currency Trading & Intermarket Analysis". Ashraf is the former chief global strategist at City Index / FX Solutions, where he focused on foreign exchange and global macro developments pertaining to central bank policies, sovereign debt and intermarket dynamics.
Ashraf had served as Chief Strategist at CMC Markets, where he headed a global team of analysts and led seminars and trainings in four continents. His insights on currencies and commodities won him several #1 rankings with FXWeek and Reuters.
Prior to CMC Markets, Laidi monitored the performance of a multi-FX portfolio at the United Nations, assessed sovereign and project investment risk with Hagler Bailly and the World Bank, and analyzed emerging market bonds at Reuters. Laidi also created the first 24-hour currency web site for traders and researchers alike on the eve of the creation of the euro.
Laidi's analysis of currency markets stand out based on his distinct style in bridging the fundamental and technical aspects of the markets.
Laidi's expertise in dissecting Federal Reserve policy, unraveling the cyclical relationships between yield curves, economic indicators and equity market performance has enabled him to predict the Federal Reserve cuts of summer 2007, four months prior to their occurrence at a time when the majority of economists, strategists and traders had anticipated interest rates to be hiked or not changed. He went on to call the record highs in gold and the dollar's break below parity against the Swiss Franc and the Canadian dollar. In June-July 2008, Ashraf persistently predicted the Federal Reserve would continue its rate cuts at a time when Fed funds futures were pricing 95% chance of rate hikes in fall 2008.
Ashraf Laidi's market analysis extends to the study of major equity indices, gold and oil, shedding light on the appropriate signals emerging from these markets and their implications for currencies. His specialty in synthesizing commodities, with risk appetite, market sentiment and Fed policy has won him numerous plaudits. His currency predictions placed him at the top of the 12 and 1-month ranking of FXWeeks currency forecasts and at the top of Reuters monthly Foreign Exchange Poll.
Laidi regularly appears on CNBC TV (US, Europe, Arabia and Asia/Pacific), Bloomberg TV (US, Asia/Pacific, France and Spain), BNN, PBSs Nightly Business Report, and BBC. His insights also appear in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Barrons, the New York Times, Marketwatch, TheStreet.com, Futures, and a host of other international publications. Besides his habitual media appearances and seminars in English, Laidi has given numerous interviews in Arabic, French, and Spanish to audiences spanning from Canada, Central America and Asia/Pacific.
THE VIEWS IN THE PREMIUM INTERMARKET INSIGHTS ARE STRICTLY THOSE OF ASHRAF LAIDI AND NOT OF CITY INDEX / FX SOLUTIONS OR AN ENDORSEMENT FROM THESE ENTITIES.
His book, Currency Trading & Intermarket Analysis: How to Profit from the Shifting Currents in Global Markets (http://www.amazon.com/Currency-Trading-Intermarket-Analysis-Shifting/dp/0470226234), Web site: www.ashraflaidi.com (http://www.ashraflaidi.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/)
Geoff is the founder of Quantext. Geoff was an early contributor to SeekingAlpha and now writes regularly for Advisor Perspectives and Financial Planning. He has been working in asset management analytics and research for more than ten years. Before entering finance, Geoff was a research scientist for NASA. Geoff holds a PhD in Atmospheric Science and a BS in Physics.
Quantext is a strategic adviser to FOLIOfn,Inc. (www.foliofn.com (http://www.foliofn.com)), an innovative brokerage firm specializing in offering and trading portfolios for advisors and individual investors.
You can find additional resources, including how to download and run a fully-functional trial version of Quantext's Monte Carlo portfolio planning solution, on the Quantext website (http://www.quantext.com/).
David Fry writes a subscription newsletter focused on technical analysis of exchange-traded funds, called ETF Digest (www.etfdigest.com). Dave founded the ETF Digest in 2001 and was among the very first to see the need for a publication that provided individual investors with information and actionable advice on global ETF investing.
We particularly like the overview of financial markets that his work provides. Even if you're not a fan of chart analysis, Dave provides insight and commentary into which global markets are "working" and why.
Specializing as a market strategist and tactician, Fry focuses on evaluating, creating and implementing a variety of ETF portfolios for individual investors and financial professionals. His philosophy and approach incorporates fundamental with technical analysis in pursuit of risk management and capital preservation especially during uncertain and volatile times.
His new eBook, The Best ETFs: U.S. Equities,is now available on Amazon Kindle. Written as a cheat sheet to only the best ETFs for you or your client’s portfolios. For those that don't have a Kindle, you can purchase the pdf here: The Best ETFs: US Equities [https://gumroad.com/l/The%20Best%20ETFs]