Kurt Brouwer is the chairman and co-founder of Brouwer & Janachowski, LLC, a Tiburon, California fee only financial advisory firm that manages over $700 million for corporations, charitable groups and private investors. In this position, he has become a recognized expert in the field of investing and, more specifically, investing in mutual funds. USA Today called him, “…one of the most-respected mutual fund authorities in the nation.” Brouwer is the author or co-author of three investment books, including Kurt Brouwer's Guide to Mutual Funds and Mutual Fund Mastery, written with Steve Janachowski. He has written articles for Forbes, Barron’s, The San Francisco Chronicle, Pension World and other publications. He is also the editor of Fundmasteryblog (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/fundmastery). Brouwer & Janachowski’s web site is: www.fundmastery.com. Brouwer holds a degree in applied economics from The University of San Francisco.
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.
I am a trader focusing largely on the credit markets, though I do dabble often in FX and Interest Rates as well. Across the credit product/market spectrum I trade everything from credit default swaps on corporate/sovereign names to cash bonds and loans to CDO's to credit indices (CDX, iTraxx).
In my commentary I will try to to flesh out and offer an "inside" perspective to the headline stories that grow out of the credit markets such as, for instance, the role of credit default swaps in the current credit crisis or the counterparty exposure to AIG. I will also talk about various risk management issues, pricing and valuation credit models, counterparty risk as well as fundamental value in credit and capital structure relative value plays between equity and credit markets.
Please feel free to suggest ideas or topics.
Visit the A Credit Trader (http://www.acredittrader.com/) blog.