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 (U.C.L.A.) 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.
James Gruber is a 15-year veteran of Asian financial markets. Through this time, James has covered Asia as a leading Fund Manager, stockbroking analyst and journalist. Most recently, he spent two years as a Portfolio Manager for Asian Equities at AMP Capital, which manages Asian and China A-share funds totalling US$1bn. The performance of the China A-share fund was ranked no. 1 globally over one and two years during this time there.
For five years prior to this, James was a Research Analyst at Asian brokerage, CLSA, where he covered multiple sectors in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia. He was the no. 1 Asiamoney ranked analyst for the materials sector in Indonesia in 2007. He was also ranked by Asiamoney as the 13th best overall analyst in Australia in 2009.
And in a former life, James was a television and radio news journalist at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He founded Asia Confidential in July 2012.
James is a highly sought-after contributor to financial publications including Forbes, Zero Hedge and Financial Sense as well as a regular guest on CNBC.
He is also an occasional contributor to the highly regarded institutional research firm, Forensic Asia.
I hold a BS in Chemical Engineering and have 31+ years of experience in high tech manufacturing of communications equipment as a process engineer, an engineering manager, and a factory manager. I have traveled extensively in Asia working with various parts of the supply chain. I believe in going long with the best companies, dividend growth, and carefully planned diversification. I do not believe in panic selling or over enthusiastic buying, but I will allow a small percentage of my portfolio to take a risk from time to time. I also believe that a judicious use of options can fit in with a conservative strategy.
I retired as CEO of an Automotive Parts supplier, and manage an investment portfolio for myself and family. I have a BA in History from Royal Military College of Canada and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. My first career was as a fighter pilot in the RCAF, and, following my MBA I joined McKinsey & Company, Inc. leaving them for Canadian GE. I left CGE as a Vice President in 1984 and founded The Enfield Corporation Limited ("Enfield") which grew from 243 employees in 1984 to over 10,000 in 1989 when Enfield was taken over and I was replaced as CEO. In 1989, I acquired control of Algonquin Mercantile Corporation, renamed Automodular Corporation in the late 1990's when I turned it to focus exclusively on automotive parts sub-assembly. Along the way, Algonquin turned a few ageing drug stores into Pharmx Rexall Drug Stores Ltd., sold to Katz group in 1997 and today a major Canadian drug store chain. I have been a private investor since 1971 both directly and through a private company controlled by myself and members of my family.
Retired business owner heavily invested in oil&natural gas E&Ps, pipelines, and other infrastructure plays in the energy field. Spent 12.5 years in the U.S. Army and 30 years building a business in food manufacturing which was sold in 1999. MBA Wharton School of Finance.
Managing partner at Sand Hill East (www.sandhilleast.net), a VC advisory/investment firm specializing in aiding early stage technology companies.
Started career at Goldman Sachs as research analyst. Worked 10 years on the buyside primarily at Moore Capital and offshoot Pia Capital.
Investing long term for the largest part of my portfolio.
I do special situatons and proprietary trading as a regular source of income.
Most of the time I am long only with the majority of my portfolio. February 2014 I am mostly in cash but still do special situations as well as some shorting.
I look for opportunities to invest where the expected value is sufficiently greater than the cost to invest and look to invest the appropriate portion of the total funds available. To make a gambling analogy, a highly favorable investment would be one where you could invest $1 on a flip of a coin and receive $10 if it flipped heads and lose only $1 if it came up tails. However, you would not want to invest all of your funds because you would be broke if the coin turned up tails. Thus, the goal is to find investments where the edge is sufficiently large and then invest the appropriate portion of the funds. The Kelly formula provides a theoretical basis for the appropriate percentage of total funds to invest in a single opportunity.
However, in the real world, the precise odds are rarely known. Thus, I seek to develop the ability and obtain the knowledge to calculate the odds with a degree of accuracy, and conservatively enough, to be able to make intelligent invesments.
With regards to equities, which I have primarily invested in, I seek to understand the economics of the business so as to evaluate its potential for long term success or failure. I seek to use this understanding, along with an examination of its financial statements, to determine if the company is undervalued or overvalued. I may then decide to go long undervalued companies and I may decide to short overvalued companies. My preference is to find companies to purchase, rather than to short.
Elephant Analytics has an Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in marketing and finance, and 13 years of experience as an analyst. Elephant Analytics originally focused on marketing and sales analysis due to geographical and lifestyle considerations, but rekindled his interest in finance and investing several years ago and became a contributor to Seeking Alpha in 2013. He has a particular interest in attempting to understand distressed companies and distressed industries.
Elephant Analytics has unique skills in the areas of numerical analysis and applied mathematics. Elephant Analytics achieved a top 50 score on the Bloomberg Aptitude Test (out of nearly 200,000 test takers) which measures financial aptitude. Elephant Analytics also has achieved a score (153) in the 99.98th percentile on the WAIS-III IQ test and has also been involved in multiple teams that have won awards during business and strategy competitions involving numerical analysis. In one such competition, he captained his team to become North American champions, ahead of MBA and undergraduate teams from universities such as Harvard, Yale and Northwestern.
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A decade of experience with valuing distressed assets and claims trading, special situations analysis, activist-investor plays, and identifying frauds for short-selling. Now developing my own trading ideas, focused on valuing high-yield debt and identifying debt-arbitrage opportunities.