Value investor with about 25 years experience. Im an active trader but don't trade every day. Only when I find something worth buying or selling. Tend to scale in and out of positions. I like stocks below book value, with low PEs, turnarounds & stocks with meaningful insider buying. (Hard to find nowdays) I think MLMs are scams and the country & world would be a better place if most were shut down and/or regulated heavily. I have no position in any of them so my opinion is not tainted by potential gains or losses. Im rooting heavily for Ackman in his quest against the evil & dishonesty of HLF. Apparently, I own a tiny bit of NUS via FBALX. Its less than 1/10th of 1% of the fund. Kind of makes me throw up a little bit.
I am an "extreme value" investor, focusing mostly on micro and nanocap companies selling for a steep discount to price/book, price/sales, EV/EBITDA and other traditional measures of value. (Price-to-book is my favorite.) My emphasis is on low priced stocks, since the marketplace is very inefficient in valuing them. I am a dyed-in-the-wool contrarian, and like to invest in the most unloved and out of favor sectors of the market, and numerically screen for the best relative values in those out of favor sectors. I like to buy companies where the insiders are buying in the open market, to "confirm" the underlying value proposition. I like to buy stocks trading near a multiyear low, and average down aggressively if the stock moves against me (assuming the circumstances for my purchase haven't changed.) I also like special situations, including selective leveraged turnaround situations, that I can catch at their "inflection" point. I have achieved outsized annualized returns, over the last 25 years, with these strategies. I also take 5%+ positions in companies, and engage in selective shareholder activism, to hold accountable the insular and/or corrupt boards that are sadly all too common, especially in smaller, "family run" public companies.
On 1 December, 2016, I learned that an assertion I'd published at least three times on Seeking Alpha fora was in fact misleading per definitions (http://seekingalpha.com/article/4025405-bringing-herbalife-can-media-prevail-ftc-failed#comment-73736844). I'm an outspoken opponent of an 'industry" (MLM) which exploits the public, participants and investors in virtually every civilized nation through an unfair and DECEPTIVE business model. The deceptions begin with relatively small deceptions, often based on inaccurate definitions, which ultimately burgeon into a Main Street fraud which illegally separated at least 16 million Americans from an aggregate $18 Billion in 2014 in pursuit of "business opportunities" which simply don't exist.
If I allow myself to skate on that misleading assertion, I'm no better than the fraudulent "industry" I oppose.
Therefore, I'm suspending my forum commentary until I've found a way to make amends and restore the personal credibility I lost as a consequence of my own poor judgment. If you haven't puked yet and care to read on, here's my bio:
I've been both a social-justice activist and iconoclast for most of my adult life. Since 2012, I've been a proud MLM-described "(illusory) dream stealer" and "loser", as well as a card-carrying fraud "hater". I'm nothing less and claim nothing more.
My current focus is on the consumer abuses endemic in MLM. I'm also an uncompensated member of the entirely self-funded International Coalition of Consumer Advocates (ICCA) and its steering committee.
I earned a BSBA at the University of Colorado in 1983 where I also studied philosophy and logic. I consider having no more advanced or current credentials a handicap. Nonetheless the formal education I do have gives me a foundation for my business analyses. I spent eight-and-a-half years observing four MLMs up close through family members. I also served in administrative support capacities for one of them. While I regret that history, it afforded me insight and understanding that is useful in my MLM analyses. I'm also retired after a twenty-five year EMT/paramedic career and a nine-year overlapping career in EMS education.
My only connection to investment markets is passive, through my pension fund. I'm here because SA's Herbalife-related articles and fora have essentially become central to the ongoing public debate vis-à-vis MLM.
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Jonathan Moreland is the founder and Director of Research at InsiderInsights.com, which produces the weekly InsiderInsights Newsletter, and offers institutional strength, real-time insider data and analytics via a subscription Data Module and APIs. He is also principal of Insider Asset Management llc, a registered investment advisor in New York State, and a past contributor to TheStreet.com, Minyanville, and other financial outlets.
A fundamental analyst with an MBA in finance, Mr. Moreland identified insider data over 25 years ago as an excellent first screen to determine where to focus his research efforts. He is quoted frequently in the media for his insider analysis, and stock recommendations stemming from it. He is also author of Profit From Legal Insider Trading (Dearborn 2001), and has a new book due out with Wiley.
Mr. Moreland is currently on a mission to get investors to expect more from insider data than the commodity feeds they rely on from their Bloomberg terminals, Yahoo!Finance, and other financial websites.
Bruce Craig is an attorney, He lives in New York City with his wife after moving from Madison, Wisconsin in 2000. He retired from the Wisconsin Department of Justice in 1997, after 30 years of service, in the capacity of Assistant Attorney General and served, of counsel, with a Madison law firm for two years thereafter. His primary responsibility at the Wisconsin Department of Justice was as a litigating attorney in its Office of Consumer Protection, duties included a number of cases against pyramid schemes. He was also involved in anti-trust litigation and in the area of criminal appeals. While in New York he has volunteered with the New York Legal Assistance Group, the New York Attorney General's office, and with the Attorney General's project at Columbia Law School. He is presently inactive as a volunteer, but has been active on Seeking Alpha and other forums dealing with the subject of pyramid schemes.
Robert L. FitzPatrick is an expert in examining and revealing deception and fraud in Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes and bogus home-based businesses. He is an internationally recognized authority in multi-level marketing schemes and pyramid sales fraud. Robert FitzPatrick is not an investor in multi-level marketing companies. He has never owned and never plans to own stocks of multi-level marketing companies. He does not offer investment advice and he is not an attorney.
He is co-author of False Profits, the first book to critically examine the recent rise in pyramid and Ponzi schemes in home-based businesses. He was featured on NBC Dateline, ABC World News, and he was interviewed by correspondent Mike Wallace on CBS 60 Minutes. He has been interviewed live on NBC Today show, Canada's CBC National News, Christian Broadcasting Network, and on several BBC radio news programs aired in the UK. He has been quoted in many newspapers around the world, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
In 2012, False Profits will be published in Mandarin by Nanjiing University Press. The booklet, Pyramid Nation by Robert FitzPatrick, has been translated to Chinese and used by government regulators in writing China's first laws on pyramid schemes. His essay, "The 10 Big Lies of Multi-Level Marketing", has been translated into four languages and posted on numerous websites. His White Paper, "The Main Street Bubble", which details the extensive influence-buying of the direct selling industry and in the failure of federal regulators to protect consumers from pyramid marketing fraud has been read by staff circulated among members of Congress.
In June 2005, Robert FitzPatrick was asked by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to address banking representatives from that country as well as India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal in Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo. The presentation was later published as part of a consumer education campaign against pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
Robert FitzPatrick was a featured speaker at the 2006 annual meeting in San Francisco of the Association of Certified Fraud Specialists. He has developed informational resources for consumers, journalists, academics and regulators including a multi-media PowerPoint presentation and a statistical analysis of the losses suffered by participants in pyramid selling schemes. He also published a widely read booklet on the landmark federal case brought against the Amway Corporation.
He is a expert network member of GLG Research, and Coleman Research Group, as well as other networks of experts who are referred to clients for consultation, speaking and report writing. In this capacity, he has provided expert consultation to financial many analysts who sought information about multi-level marketing companies and pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
Robert FitzPatrick co-founded and serves as president of Pyramid Scheme Alert, the first international organization to expose and prevent pyramid scheme fraud. He personally responds to hundreds of consumer and news media inquiries. He has served as consultant and expert witness for Attorney General or State Attorney offices in four states, the US Dept. of Justice, and in numerous cases involving distributor fraud and pyramid schemes.
E. Robert Smith is a novelist, real estate investor, and consumer/environmental advocate. He also spent a number of years as a successful multilevel marketing (MLM) recruiter/promoter. In his recently published whistleblower novel, Downline, he combines his writing skill, his consumer advocacy, and his experience in the world of MLM in exposing the industry’s ethical corruption and illegality. The novel plays out before the Permanent Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, where powerful legal arguments are made proving that most, if not all, MLM companies are operating illegally. E. Robert, along with such consumer advocates as Robert Fitzpatrick and Dr. Jon Taylor, believes that the problem of MLM will ultimately require congressional action, and that this will put an end to an 120 billion dollar a year industry; several companies of which are U.S. based and publically traded. One of these companies is Herbalife, which hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, has shorted for one billion dollars.
AKA Laura Taylor Townsend
Using a wealth of expertise acquired in multiple industries, Laura provides top-notch investigative and analytical skills to assist corporations, non-profits and governmental bodies with confidential matters ranging from employee misconduct, industry/opposition intelligence, reputational/associational risk analysis, financial irregularities, criminal enterprises and highly complex matters requiring sensitivity, security and sophisticated comprehension. Her skills have been sought after by those in the technology sector; local, state, federal and international governments; consumer products companies; large international non-profits, and those in the law enforcement field. Media inquiries: 786-766-0502
Dean, School of Business and Professor of Marketing at The College of New Jersey. Co-author with Peter Vander Nat, a senior economist at the FTC, of 2002 and 2014 journal articles on pyramid schemes and multilevel marketing. Also served as an expert witness in the prosecution of pyramid schemes, including Gold Unlimited, brought by the US Department of Justice, and International Heritage Inc, at the time the largest pyramid scheme prosecuted by the SEC.