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.
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)
Mr. Berger is the creator and developer of the YDP screening tool, a chart system and its analysis for screening and monitoring dividend income equity investments. The recipient of Seeking Alpha's Outstanding Performance Award, he also has been Seeking Alpha's #3 ranked Author for Income Investing Strategy & #4 for Utilities.
20 years of sitting in the board room gives me unique insights into Oil & Gas investments and corporate deal making in general. Additionally, he offers a Premium Research subscription service for boosting income while reducing market risk using covered option writing on a dividend income equity portfolio.
Residing in Brazil gives me a local's inside view on the pulse of its economy, politics, investment climate and breaking news. A view of my front yard is available here.
A former Chief Operating Officer, Director, Vice President and General Manger of Oil and Gas for Southern Pacific's Oil and Gas Operations, Business owner, geologist, and cribbage player, I've been an investor for over 48 years (started young at 13) and learned my lessons the way that makes them stick, by hard knocks and both big and little mistakes. Hopefully I can share some of those lessons with others.
I am an American expatriate that decided to retire at age 57 in 2009 and now live in Brazil. As an early retiree I invest for income and manage portfolio risk by screening for strong and reliable historic data along with favorable fundamental and technical current trends.
I spend 6 months/year living at home in Brazil and 6 months/year traveling the world. I have structured my financial positions so that I live virtually tax free with much of my income exempt from US tax since I live ex patriot and a lot of my US derived income over the annual ex-patriate exemptions is held in my tax free ROTH and tax deferred IRA/SIMPLE plans. This enables my tax savings to pay for my 6 months of annual traveling :) .
My investing is for income and appreciation with a balance of low to moderate short term risk and low long term risk. To accomplish this I use quality dividend payors with a long track record of steady or increasing dividends along with slowly appreciating equity prices. I target a 6 to 9 % yield and almost exclusively require a minimum history of 5 years of steady/increasing dividends and no decreases in dividend ever or at least past 10 years. I diversify through sector, country and currency unit the stocks are traded in, and security type (equity, royalty trust, REIT, mlp, etf, and ADRs).
I use covered call writing to enhance my portfolio yield with no added risk. In fact, it lowers the risk substantially. Once I identify a stock I want to own and an entry price for it, I write cash covered puts at or below that entry price (with a minimum of 1%/month time premium. Thus i obtain at least a 12% annualized yield before compounding just from the option premium.
Likewise, I use the sale of cash covered puts to generate income and and generally get an entry point at 5 to 10% below my acceptable entry level price if/when the put stock does get presented. Thus my strategy provides a 12% pre compound yield on cash and entry into stock purchases at a 5 to 10% discount from "retail".
Because I only select stocks that I am willing to hold long term for their reliable dividend yields of > 6%, I am not concerned much with market volatility or short/midterm risk. Indeed, market volatility is my friend since it increases the premiums paid on the options I sell. I also selectively sell covered calls on positions I hold long so as to add to my yield that way while not taking on any additional risk.
This strategy has kept me happily living off my portfolio income and traveling 1/2 the year while my portfolio has been slowly increasing in value even after my harvesting income for living expenses. Of course my income will incrementally increase when social security kicks in for me in a few more years and I may then slightly mofidy my goals and strategies.
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I run two services, Free CoT Data and Simple Stock Model. Free CoT Data reveals how different types of traders are positioned in the futures markets. Simple Stock Model aggregates financial and economic data so that investors can easily form a comprehensive data-based outlook on the S&P.
Founder and Lead Analyst at Lone Wolf Publications Ltd (www.lonewolftrader.com).
I also manage a private investment portfolio full time, and also provide mutual fund analysis and buy recommendations to individual investors managing their own investments.
I trade for myself via ETFs and futures markets, with interests in commodities generally and a special interest in precious metals.
Philstockworld.com is the fastest growing stock and option newsletter on the Web. "High Finance for Real People - Fun and Profits" is our motto and our Basic and Premium Chat Sessions offer readers a chance to speak to Phil live during the trading day as well as authors like Optrader, Sabrient, Income Trader and Trend Trader - who send out Alerts during the market sessions and discuss trade ideas live with Members.
We even have a new low-cost "Trend Watcher" Membership that lets readers view our chat sessions without directly participating a great solution for people who want to test-drive the site and profit from our experience! Trend Watchers get to view all of our Chat Archives, weekly Webinars - as well as the amazing PSW Wiki, which gives you Phil's recent opinions and trade ideas as well as technical and fundamental analysis of hundreds of stocks that we follow.
Philip R. Davis is a founder of Phil's Stock World (www.philstockworld.com), a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders. Mr. Davis is a serial entrepreneur, having founded software company Accu-Title, a real estate title insurance software solution, and is also the President of the Delphi Consulting Corp., an M&A consulting firm that helps large and small companies obtain funding and close deals. He was also the founder of Accu-Search, a property data corporation that was sold to DataTrace in 2004 and Personality Plus, a precursor to eHarmony.com. Phil was a former editor of a UMass/Amherst humor magazine and it shows in his writing -- which is filled with colorful commentary along with very specific ideas on stock option purchases (Phil rarely holds actual stocks).
Visit: Phil's Stock World (www.philstockworld.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]
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:
I. Exclusive commercial licenses for unique bespoke algorithms run six figures and up.
II. Non-exclusive AUM licensing fees for our strategy indices run 10 basis points and up for commercial licenses.
Please realize that we often get more than 3,000 e-mails per week. This means that we read everything that comes in, but we cannot respond to any email or message that does not include the sender's full name, phone number, request, and budget. Thank you for your understanding.
This Dubai-like pricing is necessary, because we can't freely give answers to tough problems which we have dedicated massive R&D capital to solving. World-class statistical talent is hugely expensive, valuable, and rare. Our clients recognize that outsourcing quant work to our firm and paying our fees represent a huge cost savings over hiring full time employees, and usually results in a far more profitable, turn-key solution.
Marc Chandler has been covering the global capital markets in one fashion or another for 25 years, working at economic consulting firms and global investment banks. A prolific writer and speaker he appears regularly on CNBC and has spoken for the Foreign Policy Association. In addition to being quoted in the financial press daily, Chandler has been published in the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and the Washington Post. In 2009 Chandler was named a Business Visionary by Forbes.
Marc's commentary can be found at his blog (www.marctomarket.com) and twitter www.twitter.com/marcmakingsense
Friedrich is the name given to our algorithm for analyzing companies that trade on the global stock markets. In creating Friedrich we concentrated on analyzing each company’s Main Street operations through various established ratios, along with our own unique ratios that we developed over the last 30 years. What we came up with is a final "Main Street" price per share based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which is a framework of accounting standards, rules and procedures defined by the professional accounting industry, which has been adopted by nearly all publicly traded U.S. companies. We feel that our Main Street price result is what each company would need to trade at in order to be attractive to a businessperson on Main Street looking to buy at a bargain.
Since the only constant in the universe is change, the results for each company fluctuate by varying degrees. No company is an island unto itself, but each operates in a world of constant change and at times in areas where Chaos is the norm. By analyzing a company’s Main Street operations over time, Friedrich is able to give the potential investor a decade long analysis (opinion) as well as offering a Trailing Twelve Month (TTM) analysis (opinion), as well. Thus our readers will not only get as close to a real time view of operations on Main Street as is possible, but then can measure the consistency of the company’s operations over time to determine if s/he should invest or not.
Through our Friedrich algorithm we can analyze ten years of Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement data for each company all at once and generate one final result in seconds. Friedrich was designed to be ultra-conservative and thus will cut zero slack to any company under analysis and will do so with zero emotion. Companies must be exceptional in order to get an attractive Main Street valuation and the ideal investments according to our backtesting are the ones that have been consistent over time.
By being so ultra conservative Friedrich is designed to identify bargains that Wall Street investors may have overlooked. Companies shares may trade on the stock market but the companies themselves operate on Main Street, so Friedrich is designed to generate a Main Street price per share first and only then does he go to Wall Street and see the price for which Benjamin Graham’s “Mr. Market” is offering the shares.
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/)
I have worked in the financial service industry for 40 years. My area of expertise is risk management and complex financial products. I have been a frequent speaker, on behalf of many financial firms, to financial professionals across the country.
I have extensive experience in statistics and actuarial science.
Peter Way Associates is the only known provider of the price range forecasts of widely-held, actively traded stocks derived from the hedging activities of market-making [MM] firms as they balance big-$-fund sellers and buyers in large block trades. The price ranges offer explicit downside exposure forecasts not commonly found in publicly published investment analyses.
This is all forward-looking data, based on what the MMs will pay for protection against coming unwanted price change while temporarily committed firm capital is exposed to market risks. It is available by modest subscription cost at blockdesk.com.
The behavioral analysis involved has been performed daily since Y2K, now on over 3,000 stocks, ETFs, and market indexes. That has built an actuarial history of how market prices have subsequently behaved following several million price range forecasts, issue by issue.
That data provides a qualitative backdrop to current forecasts in terms of odds of profitable positions, size of prospective gains, credibility of forecasts, and worst-case price drawdown exposure experiences.
Peter F. Way is a veteran Chartered Financial Analyst, having taken and passed the CFA Institute’s required 3 examinations in the first years they were given, 40+ years ago.
Armed with BS in Economics from the Wharton School and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School, he has managed staffs of dozens of Investment Researchers and Quantitative Analysts for the nation’s largest bank, arbitraged index options for NYSE Specialists, and managed portfolios of hundred-million-dollar equity investments for Fortune 100 corporate pension funds and non-profit endowments.
He has been elected President of professional Investment Analyst Societies in San Diego and New York City and has served on the editorial boards of the Financial Analysts Journal and the CFA Digest. He has spoken at numerous schools and professional meetings.
Academic background in accounting; MBA/CPA/JD. Headed a corporate pension fund; served as CFO for insurance company; established title/transactional firm; served as REIT CEO; former professor; served on profit and non-profit boards; currently share management responsibilities for hedge fund; compete in professional golf tournaments. Writing background includes various briefs in federal courts, including US Supreme Court. Currently trying to finish a science fiction novel. Trading experience focused on options and portfolio enhancement. Plans to retire from hedge fund as of December 31st. Future activities will include pro bono assistance to individuals and groups in need of retirement guidance. Looks forward to more time for writing and travel.