Andy Hecht is a sought-after commodity and futures trader, an options expert and analyst. He spent nearly 35 years on Wall Street, including two decades on the trading desk of Phillip Brothers, which became Salomon Brothers and ultimately part of Citigroup.
Over the past two decades, he has researched, structured and executed some of the largest trades ever made, involving massive quantities of precious metals and bulk commodities.
Andy understands the market in a way many traders can’t imagine. He’s booked vessels, armored cars, and trains to transport and store a broad range of commodities. And he’s worked directly with The United Nations and the legendary trading group Phibro.
Today, Andy remains in close contact with sources around the world and his network of traders.
“I have a vast Rolodex of information in my head… so many bull and bear markets. When something happens, I don’t have to think. I just react. History does tend to repeat itself over and over.”
His friends and mentors include highly regarded energy and precious metals traders, supply line specialists and international shipping companies that give him vast insight into the market.
Andy’s writing and analysis are on many market-based websites including CQG. Andy lectures at colleges and Universities. He also contributes to Traders Magazine. He consults for companies involved in producing and consuming commodities. Andy's biweekly radio show, The Commodities Hour with Andy Hecht, can be heard on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6 PM EST on www.tfnn.com. Andy’s first book How to Make Money with Commodities, published by McGraw-Hill was released in 2013 and has received excellent reviews. Andy held a Series 3 and Series 30 license from the National Futures Association and a collaborator and strategist with hedge funds. Andy is the commodity expert for the website about.com and blogs on his own site technomentals.com.
I manage portfolios of alternative ETFs. As a former hedge fund manager of my own hedge fund firm, former chief investment officer of several large investment organizations, and former director of quantitative research, my background has well prepared me for this exciting new niche. I believe that most investors need more diversification than they have, and that alternative ETFs provide a new and better way of getting it because of their low cost and their liquidity.
Individual investor since 2000. I have a natural tendency to question what others take for granted. That's not always a good life skill but it's helped me from time to time in the market.
My degree is in Mechanical Engineering. I also have a background in biochemistry and (oddly enough) in classical Greek literature. My main professional interests are in software, math, and engineering analysis. I've worked in the automotive field, robotics, computer vision and machine learning, and have developed cheminformatics techniques for biotech.
Investment-wise, I tend to be opportunistic rather than systematic. I have a particular interest in volatility trading and in the intersection of technology with societal change.
Vance Harwood is a private investor and consultant whose interests include macroeconomic forecasting, investor psychology, and volatility as an asset class. His investment activities include trading index ETFs, volatility related ETPs and their associated options. He blogs at sixfigureinvesting.com—mostly about volatility, but occasionally about options strategies, bond funds, and general market topics. He tracks the USA based volatility ETPs and has simulated the performance of most of them back to the initiation of VIX Futures in 2004.
A couple things Vance believes:
The past does not predict the future (see Nassim Taleb’s “Fooled by Randomness”). This invalidates much technical analysis–although I think the psychology of stock movements is very important
Past behavior of assets relative to each other (e.g., bonds vs stocks) does not guarantee future behavior
Markets fall a lot faster than they go up, typically at least 2X
“Buy and hold” ensures that you will experience the worst days as well as the best days of the market
Investing in individual stocks carries many more unknowns than aggregates like index ETFs (e.g., earnings surprises, analyst’s ratings)
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Harry Long is the inventor of Hedged Contango Capture and Hedged Convexity Capture and is the Managing Partner of ZOMMA, the world's most innovative strategy index creator.
Mr. Long is a globally recognized expert on the research and development of quantitative investment strategies. The ZOMMA IP portfolio of strategy indices is sought after by asset management firms, investment banks, hedge funds, principal trading organizations, index providers, ETP sponsors, and private equity firms to help them develop and deploy active manager-crushing quantitative investment strategies.
ZOMMA helps investors create long term value by replacing reckless emotional decision making with cutting-edge technology based upon objective evidence.
Mr. Long is a graduate of Rice University with a B.A. in Economics.
Note: Due to the sheer number of requests for bespoke quant strategies, research projects, and quant consulting services, we have instituted the following pricing for the non-exclusive licensing of our algorithms to institutions:
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Co-Founder of VolatilityAnalytics.com, a proprietary volatility strategies firm. Using creative historical volatility analysis, we are able to provide actionable strategies for hedging, trading volatility, and finding value in today's turbulent markets.
Our proprietary strategies utilize derivatives based exchange-traded products, VIX related derivatives, and options analysis. We have analytics for both retail and institutional investors.
Follow me on Twitter and Stocktwits @VolatilityWiz and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Del is a private investor who has maintained an interest in equity and derivative investments for the past thirty years. In the early 1980s he was among the first to develop PC-based software for the analysis of listed stock options and trading strategies. For over twenty years he worked as a scientific programmer within the field of optical metrology for both large and small corporations. During this time his contributions ranged from interferometric analysis performed for NASA’s “The Hubble Space Telescope Optical Systems Failure Report” to defining improved edge metrics for 300 mm silicon wafers. Del received his BS degree in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Arizona.
More recently Del is pursuing an independent study of Austrian economic theory with an emphasis towards integrating physical principles into its logical structure.
Lawrence Chan is a professional trader for well over 20 years. He is known for his research work in custom market breadth analysis and advanced analytical techniques on index and forex markets. His breakthrough research in market breadth analysis is incorporated into the trading platform NeoTicker from TickQuest Inc.
*** Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Please read full disclaimer from my website. ***
Lawrence has numerous articles and trading models published in trading-related magazines and influential financial websites like Futures, Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities and Seeking Alpha here.
Since 2010, Lawrence has switched his focus to summarize and publish his life-long research work after a successful career at TickQuest Inc. as the chief software designer of the trading platform NeoTicker.
His eBook, Special Theory of Price Discovery, has profound impact in the financial industry as it revolutionizes the understanding and predictability of price movements in financial markets.
Axel Merk is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Merk Investments, manager of the Merk Funds. He is a recognized expert on the global economy, monetary policy and international investing. An authority on currencies, he is a pioneer in the use of strategic currency investing to seek diversification and has been named a “Currency Guru” by Morningstar.
Axel Merk is a regular guest on CNBC, FoxBusiness and Bloomberg. His columns and interviews frequently appear in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and other financial media around the world. Merk is a sought after expert speaker at industry conferences, including the annual conferences of the CFA, FPA and AAII organizations in 2011, as well as at universities, government organizations and think tanks. Merk's expertise encompasses topics ranging from the global economy, gold and currencies to sustainable wealth and personal finance. Axel Merk’s Book “Sustainable Wealth” was published by Wiley in 2009 and his newsletter Merk Insights reaches a wide audience of investors, analysts and media following global macroeconomic issues and implications to investing.
Mr. Merk, together with the Merk portfolio team, manages the Merk Hard, Asian and Absolute Return Currency Funds, as well as the Merk Currency Enhanced U.S. Equity Fund. He holds a B.A. in Economics (magna cum laude) and a M.Sc. in Computer Science from Brown University.
The Pendulum blog is an ongoing discussion of portfolio positions, investment ideas and market trends. As an investor I try to use my independence, flexibility and speed to my advantage.
I write three types of articles: (i) stock-specific articles, (ii) analysis of earnings estimates and (iii) overviews of the market that examine different asset classes. I hope you find them interesting and feel free to comment on the articles; I like the feedback. Thanks for reading!
I started thinking about stock prices in terms of a pendulum after reading Howard Marks' investor letters. Marks is the most perceptive investor about the role of investor psychology in the stock market and industry cycles. I always try to incorporate "pendulum thinking" in my analysis, meaning that it is important to think about the intrinsic value of a company as well as how investor psychology is going to drive the stock price to overshoot and undershoot that value.
I am a generalist. I am not an expert in any one sector or asset class. I have found that there is value in listening to generalists as well as experts, but it is important to be able to distinguish between the two. As a generalist, I try to add value by thinking about the relationships between things and comparing various parts of the market. Generalists can be helpful in avoiding tunnel vision and, hopefully, adding some common sense.
I like to establish a long term outlook for a company and then invest using shorter timeframes. I may be bullish on a stock and still sell it if I think it went up too much or if have concerns about the overall market. I don't mind moving to the sidelines and getting back in at a later point and I sometimes prefer to sell before earnings to reduce risk. I may invest in the opposite direction of my long term view if I think the market over-reacted one way or another. I like to hold positions for the long term, but I use stops to cut my losses. There is a difference between a good company and a good stock. Everybody has a different investing style, experience, tax status, risk tolerance, comfort range, etc., so please note that nothing that I write should be used as investment advice.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here should not be construed as investment advice. This is not tailored to specific investment objectives. Reliance on this information for the purpose of buying the securities to which this information relates may expose a person to significant risk. The information contained in this article is not intended to make any offer, inducement, invitation or commitment to purchase, subscribe to, provide or sell any securities, service or product or to provide any recommendations on which one should rely for financial, securities, investment or other advice or to take any decision. Readers are encouraged to seek individual advice from their personal, financial, legal and other advisers before making any investment or financial decisions or purchasing any financial, securities or investment related service or product.
Information provided, whether charts or any other statements regarding market, real estate or other financial information, is obtained from sources which we and our suppliers believe reliable, but we do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness or accuracy of this information. Nothing in this article should be interpreted to state or imply that past results are an indication of future performance.
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James A. Kostohryz has accumulated over twenty years of experience investing and trading virtually every asset class across the globe.
Kostohryz started his investment career as an analyst at one of the US's largest asset management firms covering sectors as diverse as emerging markets, banking, energy, construction, real estate, metals and mining. Later, Kostohryz became Chief Global Strategist and Head of International Investments for a major investment bank. Kostohryz currently manages his own investment firm, specializing in proprietary trading and institutional portfolio management advisory.
Born in Mexico, Kostohryz grew up between south Texas and Colombia, has lived and worked in nine different countries, and has traveled extensively in more than 50 others. Kostohryz actively pursues various intellectual interests and is currently writing a book about the impact of culture on economic development. He is a former NCAA and world-class decathlete and has stayed active in a variety of sports.
Kostohryz graduated with honors from both Stanford University and Harvard Law School.
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Joseph has been an analyst, investor, and student of economic theory; money and banking; and statistical methods for evaluating and implementing risk/reward trading algorithms since 1972. Joseph is also an occasional contributor to financial publications and his essays are frequently cited by other financial websites and publications.
Since the end of the Great Recession, Joseph came to recognize that traditional methodologies for forecasting economic growth and investment asset pricing are no longer of value, and a broader understanding of the post Glass Steagall, financially engineered world that has driven markets and economies since the turn of the century is required today.
He has a good grasp of Shadow Banking, High Frequency Trading, and Dark Pools, and their impact on today’s markets. He has also spent considerable time understanding the new global paradigm of central bank involvement in experimental policy designed to better control economies.
Joseph doesn’t subscribe to a specific school of theory on economics. Rather, his thinking is based on a combination of the Classical School, the Austrian School, and the Keynesian School. He even sees the writings of Karl Marx as particularly instructive.
Joseph is particularly fond of the following quote from Albert Einstein and sees his own work as driven by that same passionate curiosity that Einstein refers to:
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
Coming in a close second in terms of favorite quotes that express his views, Joseph embraces Lord Acton’s views expressed here:
“The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern.
Every class is unfit to govern."
Bill is Chief Investment Officer of Luby Asset Management LLC, an investment management company in Tiburon, California. He also publishes the VIX and More (http://vixandmore.blogspot.com/) blog and an investment newsletter. His research and trading interests focus on volatility, market sentiment, technical analysis, ETPs and options. Bill was previously a business strategy consultant. When not trading or blogging, he can often be found running, hiking, and kayaking in Northern California. Bill has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University. Visit Bill's blog, VIX and More (http://vixandmore.blogspot.com/)