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.
Dr. Ahanotu is a graduate of Stanford University with over twenty years of experience doing analytic modeling, executing pricing strategies through price optimization, and implementing, developing, and selling enterprise software. He adds to this industry experience another five overlapping years of research in knowledge management and organizational learning. Duru Ahanotu, Ph.D. founded Ahan Analytics, LLC to deliver sustainable, data-driven approaches for improving business performance. He recognizes the unique challenges companies face in leveraging their data to increase revenues, become more efficient, and drive profitability.
Before launching Ahan Analytics, LLC, Dr. Ahanotu was last a Sales Consultant in the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions (APS) group within Microsoft Advertising. In this capacity, he provided product knowledge, functional expertise, and technical support to APS account executives who sold APS’s suite of media monetization products. He led product demonstrations and increased the productivity of the sales team by training and certifying employees on the use and demonstration of the software. Dr. Ahanotu took on this role after Microsoft acquired his former employer Rapt, Inc. Rapt provided software solutions for maximizing revenue and yield for online media publishers.
With Rapt, Dr. Ahanotu last served as an Engagement Manager for a software implementation for a $100 million on-line publisher with a rapidly growing business. With his project team, Dr. Ahanotu created and coordinated novel approaches to inventory forecasting, structuring of product hierarchies, and ETL across software systems for order management, advertising delivery, and Rapt’s software. He also generated a step-by-step methodology for interpreting and using the results of price optimization.
As a Solutions Architect, Dr. Ahanotu served as the lead Solutions Consultant on client engagements and provided technical assistance and guidance to Solutions Consultants on other projects. Dr. Ahanotu designed and implemented price optimization solutions, demonstrating expertise in mathematical modeling, pricing, data analysis, SQL, and relational data models. He led discussions with customers and internal teams to improve implementation processes and product design.
Dr. Ahanotu held oversight responsibility for the analytic modeling for two projects using Price Director, Rapt’s price optimization software. Each project supported pricing decisions in Fortune 50 businesses: one business was a leading online media publisher, and the other was a rapidly growing technology company in a low margin business. Dr. Ahanotu helped the latter client integrate Price Director into pricing workflow. As part of this first-ever client implementation of Price Director, he worked closely with Product Management, Analytic Development, and Software Engineering to ensure that early-stage product functionality met client needs.
Dr. Ahanotu contributed several new methodologies for implementing Price Director analytics and conceptual frameworks for training clients on these analytics. He is a contributor on a related Rapt patent: “Method and System for Producing Optimized Prices for Products for Sale.” Dr. Ahanotu presented a white paper on the pricing of New Product Introductions at the 2006 INFORMS Annual Meeting. The Professional Pricing Society published this paper in The Journal of Professional Pricing (Vol. 16, No. 1, First Quarter 2007) as “Pricing New Products: Turning Portfolio Uncertainty Into Profits.”
Prior to Rapt, Dr. Ahanotu was a consultant with Integral, Inc, a small strategic management consulting firm. During his three-year tenure, he consulted on product development and technology strategy focused on high tech and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Integral, he developed mathematical programming algorithms for managing and optimizing “Y2K” projects as an independent contractor. Prior to this work, he implemented expert systems for diagnosing and troubleshooting automotive and semiconductor manufacturing equipment as a Business Solutions Project Manager and Consultant for Expert Edge, Inc.
Dr. Ahanotu earned a Master’s and Ph.D. in Engineering-Economic Systems (1999), a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and Honors in Values, Technology, Science, and Society (1991) - all at Stanford University.
Charles (Chuck) C. Carnevale is the creator of F.A.S.T. Graphs™. Chuck is also co-founder of an investment management firm. He has been working in the securities industry since 1970: he has been a partner with a private NYSE member firm, the President of a NASD firm, Vice President and Regional Marketing Director for a major AMEX listed company, and an Associate Vice President and Investment Consulting Services Coordinator for a major NYSE member firm. Prior to forming his own investment firm, he was a partner in a 30-year-old established registered investment advisory in Tampa, Florida. Chuck holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance from the University of Tampa. Chuck is a sought-after public speaker who is very passionate about spreading the critical message of prudence in money management. Chuck is a Veteran of the Vietnam War and was awarded both the Bronze Star and the Vietnam Honor Medal.
As an avid stock trader I am always searching for new opportunities. I utilize a very research heavy approach in my strategy that has done quite well for me over the years. I have earned a degree in Physics and an MBA in Finance. Although my educational background is an unconventional pairing, both have served me well. I am currently a consultant that specializes in small business development.
Evan is the founder and CEO of Prattle Analytics, a financial data company. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University as well as Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.
Evan’s financial research has been featured in Bloomberg News while his academic research has been published in journals and edited volumes. Notably, Evan’s first article in Bloomberg, “Strong Dollar Advocates Make a Weak Case” (Jan. 25, 2012), showcased a mathematical model he designed to successfully predict every intermediate S&P 500 market bottom and top since 2008. Evan’s financial research will be further showcased in his forthcoming book titled “How the Fed Moves Markets.”
In his consulting capacity, Evan has vetted the political, economic and financial risks of major infrastructure investments for large corporations. Evan has also vetted finances, management structures and community engagement of small and midsize financial institutions to maximize relationships, tax status and grant opportunities from the government. From 2010-2014 Evan taught courses in economics, public policy and political science at Harvard University and Brown University.
Retired Aerospace Systems Engineer and Physicist (Ph.D, Physics MIT 1965.) HaShem Enthusiast, Gardener, Photographer. My main career focus was on sensor system engineering. This often involved computer based simulation and modeling to perform design studies, system performance analysis, data assessment, and risk assessment. As the saying goes, "when a "well known physicist says something cannot be done, it will be accomplished within a year."
Early in my career, while at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, which is physically located in the next town, Lexington (;-), I worked with ARPA's Jason Committee members. Exposure to such fine minds was quite beneficial. Members were Nobel Prize winning physicists. Next, I was fortunate to work at The Avco Everett Research Lab, in Everett (;-) AERL knew what town they were in! Our work was reviewed by Professor Hans Bethe of Cornell University, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics for analyzing the Carbon Cycle in the Sun. Other very important influences on my approach to analyzing problems were my High School teachers: Mr. Seltzer, Mr. Eisenberg, Mr. Martino, and Dr. Ranucci. An equally important influence was Professor Larry Spruch at The Physics Department of NYU's Washington Square College, where I was an undergraduate. He taught me how to estimate things. His thesis was that a physicist should be able to estimate anything (not limited to physics problems) to within plus or minus an order of magnitude. That's a pretty wide spread. Once you practice, you can work those limits down considerably. It's much easier today with the advent and growth of ARPA's Internet.
I have a new discovery... When financial or rather banking or economic gurus ALL say that something in their area of expertise can not be estimated, it will take (a physicist/systems engineer) less than a month. (Is it because the bankers/ financial miscreants do not know how, or they don't want you to know what they know? It makes you wonder...) Of one thing I am convinced, they do not understand how to use their risk management tools. The bankers have no understanding as to when the results they are getting with their risk managment tools are meaningful, when they are misleading at best, and when they are totally wrong...
The next thing I learned is that the purchasers of financial "products" do not spend significant time with, or even visit the manufacturing line, to see how the "product" is being put together and packaged. To understand the quality of the widget, you need to see the process. Strange they would not have done so. They relied on rating agencies, who also did not visit the issuing process of a mortgage they would actually buy - some for resale, and some to keep - because they were so profitable, in the short term, to service. This lead to such large bonuses that it warped their judgment.
If you analyze the sensor data from a data gathering mission with a sensor mounted on an aircraft, the first person you talk to should be the pilot, then the operators, then the design hardware and software engineers... Is a pattern emerging?
I recommend that the current crop of economics advisors to President Obama study Norm Augustine's laws. They need to learn how to analyze complex systems. They need to study systems engineering and develop alertness and common sense. This is the crop that has not demonstrated any of the necessary skills, and they want to keep their banker buddies on the job using pay raises and bonuses to induce them to remain. Why? You did ask, right? Beats me.
I now understand how to turn around the current recession in a clear, relatively inexpensive way. It should take six months to a year. I will be happy to do it for free if I can dole out the funds, and keep what's left over of the roughly $1.5 trillion already allocated for the financial and economic equivalent of remedial reading. Those funds won't generate any sustainable jobs. The word "sustainable" is very important. No one will deny that. I have not seen anyone else say they know how to do it. Am I an ego maniac? I doubt it. Any reasonably bright four year old could figure it out. Such a person has not been trapped into the demonstrably incorrect assumption set, outmoded ideologies, and failure laden modes of thought of the members of the President's council of economic advisors...
Brad Thomas is a research analyst and he currently writes weekly for Forbes and Seeking Alpha where he maintains research on many publicly-listed REITs. In addition, Thomas is the Senior Analyst at iREIT Forbes and Editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor, a monthly subscription-based newsletter.
Thomas has also been featured in Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger’s, US News & World Report, Money, NPR, Institutional Investor, GlobeStreet, and Fox Business. He was the #1 contributing analyst on Seeking Alpha in 2014 (as ranked by TipRanks) and he is currently writing a book on the legendary investor Donald Trump.
Thomas has co-authored a book (The Intelligent REIT Investor) that is available on Amazon.
Thomas received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Economics from Presbyterian College where he played basketball. He resides in South Carolina with his wife and kids.
Gary Tanashian is proprietor of NFTRH.com and Biiwii.com. Actionable, hype-free technical, macro economic and sentiment analysis is provided in the premium market report 'Notes From the Rabbit Hole' (http://nftrh.com/nftrh-premium/). Complimentary analysis and commentary is available at the public site (http://nftrh.com), at http://biiwii.com and by email with our free - and spam free - eLetter service (http://nftrh.com/free-eletter/).
Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is.
I have retired from a 35 years career in the semiconductor industry. I now have the time to do the deep research necessary for successful investing.
I freely provide investment information for friends and family.
I am a member of MENSA, which means precisely nothing except I wake up in the middle of the night doing pointless math problems in my head:)