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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.
Michael James McDonald is now a stock market forecaster, real estate consultant and author. For twenty years he was a Senior Vice President of Investments at a major international investment firm where he managed over 500 million dollars in client assets. During his career he gave over 700 investment presentations throughout the country. He retired in 2002.
His first book, " A Strategic Guide to the Coming Roller Coaster Market", published in June 2000, was essentially a 200 page market forecast. Some say it was one of the best, long term forecasts ever made in stock market history. On the book's cover was written, "How a new model of the stock market predicts the end of the 18-year bull market (1982-2000) and the beginning of a new era." The new era was to be a long term trading range market like 1970. History shows the book was published three months before the trading range market began. Only now, more than ten years later, is the accuracy of that forecast readilly apparent.
On August 30th, 2010 he annnounced at SeekingAlpha that his long term trading range market ended in March of 2009. He says this date also marked the beginning of what he called in his book, the "Final Stampede" - a sharp, five year bull market that would follow the trading range market.
In 2003 he began an in-depth study of globalization, the trade deficit and what it all means to America. In 2006, in a series of talks to groups throughout California, he detailed this and that America was living about 10% beyond its means and would soon have to suffer a major adjustment. The 2008 financial crisis was the first step in that adjustment.
His studies indicate that the American economy is now affected more by global forces than any fiscal or monetary stimulation done by Washington or the FED. Globalization is known to be very hard on workers in developed countries like England and America. On this he says, "I believe 9% unemployment is now "full employment" in America; the jobs are no longer here. For ten years - from 1998 to 2008 - excess consumer spending created millions of temporary, non essential jobs. This artifical job production masked the damage being done to America from globalization and the loss of twenty million jobs to overseas labor. There are only so many products and services people really need and too many of them are now made overseas. Now that consumer spending and savings are back to normal, this damage is readily apparent." He thinks the correctness of this view, and its forecasting consequences, will slowly be seen and accepted over the next two years.
He also says, "You can't fix a problem until you isolate the true source of that problem. I say the problem comes from outside - from the way America entered into globalization. Washington and FED aren't thinking about these things, they're just reacting. They're using old, consensus solutions that no longer apply to our global economy. We need leaders with the courage to do all the unpopular and difficult things that need to be done; not to do things in the best interest of their party or themselves, but the nation. That's a rare person. But at this critical time its necessary. Only then, with forceful, intended leadership, can we, as a nation, address and possibly correct the real issues taking us down."
He is currently working with Market Watch LLC., a real estate consulting firm in Orange County, CA and Cromford Associates LLC, in Phoenix, AZ, researching the outlook for Real Esate in both Phoenix and the Coachella Valley. His personal email address is email@example.com.
Erik is the senior market technician for Prometheus Market Insight and has been performing chart analysis since 1995. The software program that he developed to monitor long-term stock market trends has correctly identified 92% of the cyclical turning points in the S&P 500 index since 1940. His Gold Currency Index has predicted every major trend change in the US gold market since its creation in 2005.
Dr. John Hussman is the president and principal shareholder of Hussman Econometrics Advisors, the investment advisory firm that manages the Hussman Funds ( http://www.hussmanfunds.com). He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University, and a Masters degree in education and social policy and a bachelors degree in economics from Northwestern University. Prior to managing the Hussman Funds, Dr. Hussman was a professor of economics and international finance at the University of Michigan. In the mid-1980's, Dr Hussman worked as an options mathematician for Peters & Company at the Chicago Board of Trade, and in 1988 began publishing the Hussman Econometrics newsletter. Virtually all of Dr. Hussman's liquid assets are invested in the Hussman Funds.
Note: Dr. Hussman is not an active contributor to Seeking Alpha; rather, SA editors excerpt regularly from Dr. Hussman's public commentary.
Abigail F. Doolittle is the founder of Peak Theories Research LLC, which is an on-line research firm dedicated to providing investors with a technically-inclined view on the financial markets and the economy. The firm’s research begins with the analysis of charts and then ties in various economic fundamentals to better understand the trends pointed to in the charts. She has more than 12 years of experience in the financial services industry including portfolio management, macro research, institutional equity sales, and investment banking.
Abigail F. Doolittle
Peak Theories Research LLC
Sy Harding founded Asset Management Research Corporation in 1988 for the purpose of providing stock market and economic research to institutions and serious investors. Harding’s engineering background, coupled with his experience in operating high-tech businesses through numerous economic cycles, made it natural that the research involves technical analysis and charting, as well as analysis of the economic fundamentals that affect markets and individual stocks.
The firm publishes its research on its website at www.StreetSmartReport.com.
Harding is frequently ranked highly in the ‘Top Ten Market Timers in the U.S.’, and is quoted frequently in the financial media.
He wrote the timely 1999 book Riding the Bear – How to Prosper in the Coming Bear Market, which accurately predicted the 2000-2002 bear market. It also introduced Sy’s remarkable Seasonal Timing Strategy, which more than doubled the performance of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in the nine years since, without a single down year even in the serious 2000-2002 bear market.
He has a new book out ‘How to Beat the Market the Easy Way’, which reveals several new seasonal timing strategies, from short-term to long-term, which have a history of out-performing the market, while exposing investors to less than 50% of market risk.
Felix Zulauf has worked in the financial markets and asset management for over 30 years. He started off his career at Swiss Bank Corporation as trader and portfolio manager. He also trained with a French broker in Paris and several leading investment banks in New York. In 1977, he joined Union Bank of Switzerland as portfolio manager for publicly listed mutual funds and institutional accounts. During his years with UBS, he also acted as global strategist, head of institutional portfolio management as well as Chairman of the investment committee of UBS' pension trust for clients. In 1988, he joined a medium-sized Swiss bank in Zurich as executive vice president in charge of investment policy. He founded his wholly owned Zulauf Asset Management AG in 1990, managing European equities long/short and a long/short fund for natural resources and related equities worldwide. He focuses on macro and strategic issues.
Mr. Hui has been involved in the equity markets since 1980, both on the buy side and the sell side. He is a CFA Charterholder, and has presented numerous papers to quantitative discussion groups (Sample topics include: How Global are Resource Sectors).
Babak’s blog, tradersnarrative.com (http://www.tradersnarrative.com/), mainly covers the U.S markets but also dabbles into European and Canadian markets - with special attention given to the income trust market in Canada. Within the U.S. markets, most of his attention is concentrated on timing, sentiment and new ways of analyzing and trying to understand markets.
Babak used to be quite active on trading messageboards but after the noise to signal ratio got out of whack, he decided to instead dedicate his time and resources to a blog where he would have more control and interact with others on his own terms.
Other than selfish reasons, Babak created his blog as a way to give back in some small way and repay his debt to the many others who have given so generously of their time and talents. Since he didn’t have a mentor to guide him when he started out, he is hoping that this blog will help others who are considering the same journey. While he doesn’t regret not having a mentor, because it allowed him to grow and find his own individual path, he admits that it would have been nice to have a nudge here and there to cut down on time spent pursuing dead ends and reading useless books (cough Bernstein cough).
In his free time Babak enjoys trapping mimes in plexiglas cages, then watching from a distance to time how long it takes passers-by to figure it out.
Prieur du Plessis has 27 years' experience in professional investment research and portfolio management. More than 1,400 of his articles on investment-related topics have been published in various regular newspaper, journal and Internet columns. He has also published a book, Financial Basics: Investment.
Prieur is chairman and principal shareholder of South African-based Plexus Asset Management, which he founded in 1995. The group conducts investment management, investment consulting, private equity and real estate activities in South Africa and other countries.
Plexus is the South African partner of John Mauldin, author of the Thoughts from the Frontline e-letter, and also has an exclusive licensing agreement with California-based Research Affiliates for managing and distributing its enhanced Fundamental Index methodology in the Pan-African area.
Prieur is professor extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, teaching investment management. He also serves as Honorary Consul of Slovenia for South Africa, actively developing economic, cultural and scientific relations between Slovenia and South Africa.
Prieur lives by the words “living to run, running to live”. This motto manifests itself directly in his management style and keen participation in long-distance running, and also in Plexus’s sponsorship of the annual Plexus Races (marathon, half-marathon and 8km). The primary goal of these events is to raise funds for a number of charities, especially Proud Partners – an organisation formed by Plexus in co-operation with Prieur’s wife, Isabel Verwey (former TV producer and presenter), which uplifts previously disadvantaged communities through the provision of musical instruments and tuition to a large number of schools.
Prieur is 55 years old and lives with his wife and two children in Stellenbosch, Cape Town. In addition to running, his recreational activities include reading, travelling, motor cycling and scripophily.