An entrepreneurial generalist who has served principally as a business leader and consultant in the information technology, communications, and business services arenas. Now retired, a stock picker and writer who enjoys writing about the semiconductor memory industry, among other things. When I'm not doing that I'm backpacking, cycling, and playing with my grandchildren.
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.
Lars Christensen is an internationally renowned Danish economist specialised in international economy, Emerging Markets and monetary policy. Lars has over 20 years’ experience in government and banking and is the founder and owner of Markets and Money Advisory and is a Senior Fellow at London’s Adam Smith Institute.He has a long experience as a speaking partner to multinational companies and financial institutions regarding global financial markets, the global economy and geopolitics. He is known for his no-nonsense, out-of-the-box views and as a lively and opinionated speaker.
Lars Christensen worked five years as an economic policy analyst at the Danish Ministry of Economic Affairs (1996-2001). He has a master degree in Economics from the University of Copenhagen (1994).
Lars is particularly known for having been Head of Emerging Markets Research at Danske Bank in Copenhagen. In this role he authored numerous path-breaking economic reports on particularly Central and Eastern Europe.
In 2006-8 Lars co-authored a number of reports warning of a coming economic meltdown in Central and Eastern Europe and maybe most famously Lars co-authored the report “Geyser Crisis” in 2006, which correctly forecasted a major economic and financial crisis in Iceland.
Lars Christensen is the author of the book “Milton Friedman – en pragmatisk revolutionær” (“Milton Friedman – a pragmatic revolutionary”) published in November 2002. He has contributed to numerous other books. Lars Christensen is internationally recognized as a specialist on the economic teachings of Milton Friedman and the history of monetary thought.
Lars also blogs at marketmonetarist.com. His blog The Market Monetarist has since it was started in 2011 become one of the leading international blogs on monetary policy. Lars has coined the name Market Monetarism. Market Monetarism is a new school of economic thought that has emerged primarily in the blogosphere. Market Monetarists like Lars advocate that central banks should target the nominal GDP level (NGDP level targeting).
Furthermore, Lars has a strong interest in monetary policy for commodity exporting countries and he is advocating that commodity exporting countries could benefit from introducing what he has termed an Export Price Norm (EPN), where the commodity exporting country is pegging its exchange rate to a basket of currencies and the price of the commodity the country exports. Lars has been advising governments of oil exporting countries on monetary matters.
I'm a young private investor. I prefer concentrated bets on small, quality businesses. I'm a strategic generalist, tactical specialist; I scan broadly looking for quirky things to become obsessed with for awhile, to accumulate clusters of competence in neglected niches. I'll place on my watch-list most anything that is predictable enough to value accurately, and wait for the right price. My idea horizons, which used to be ~1 year, seem to be lengthening. To the extent I pay attention to macro I outsource my beliefs to Scott Sumner/Market Monetarists; good guys with track records worth noticing.
My current top holdings are FN, KTCC, AGM, NVMI, EMAN, SILC, SLP, and SWIR.
Brian Gilmartin, is a portfolio manager at Trinity Asset Management, a firm he founded in May, 1995, catering to individual investors and institutions that werent getting the attention and service deserved, from larger firms. Brian started in the business as a fixed-income / credit analyst, with a Chicago broker-dealer, and then worked at Stein Roe & Farnham in Chicago, from 1992 - 1995, before striking out on his own and managing equity and balanced accounts for clients. Brian has a BSBA (Finance) from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, (1982) and an MBA (Finance) from Loyola University, Chicago, January, 1985. The CFA was awarded in 1994. Brian has been fortunate enough to write for the TheStreet.com from 2000 to 2012, and then the WallStreet AllStars from August 2011, to Spring, 2012. Brian also wrote for Minyanville.com, and has been quoted in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal.
Lawrence is the Managing Director of Fuller Asset Management. He has 20+ years of experience managing investment portfolios and serving the needs of individual clients. He began his career as a Financial Consultant in 1993 with Merrill Lynch. He worked for First Union Brokerage, Morgan Stanley and ING in the same capacity before realizing his long-term goal of complete independence. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Political Science in 1992.
Michael Pettis is a professor at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management, where he specializes in Chinese financial markets. He has also taught, from 2002 to 2004, at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management and, from 1992 to 2001, at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
Pettis has worked on Wall Street in trading, capital markets, and corporate finance since 1987, when he joined the Sovereign Debt trading team at Manufacturers Hanover (now JP Morgan). Most recently, from 1996 to 2001, Pettis worked at Bear Stearns, where he was Managing Director-Principal heading the Latin American Capital Markets and the Liability Management groups.
Visit: China Financial Markets (http://www.mpettis.com)
James Altucher was the managing director of Formula Capital, an asset management firm and fund of hedge funds. He's written five books on investing: Trade Like a Hedge Fund, Trade Like Warren Buffett, SuperCash, The Forever Portfolio, and his latest book, The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth. He currently writes at Jamesaltucher.com and has released a newsletter, The Altucher Report.
Mr. Altucher is the founder of Stockpickr.com, a social network for finance that had millions of unique visitors per month when it was sold to TheStreet.com in 2007. He has written over 200 columns for The Financial Times and has written for TheStreet.com, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Fidelity.com, and other publications. He was also the founder of a web services firm, Reset Inc, which he sold in 1998, at which time he became a partner at VC firm, 212 Ventures/Investcorp. Mr. Altucher regularly appears on CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, and CNN Radio, and is also in his spare time a nationally ranked chess master. Mr. Altucher received his BA at Cornell University and attended graduate school for computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.
You can follow him on twitter @jaltucher.
Elliott Gue knows energy. Since earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of London, Elliott has dedicated himself to learning the ins and outs of this dynamic sector, scouring trade magazines, attending industry conferences, touring facilities and meeting with management teams.
For seven years, Elliott Gue shared his expertise and stock-picking abilities with individual investors through a highly regarded, energy-focused research publication. Elliott Gue’s knowledge of the sector and prescient investment calls prompted the official program of the 2008 G-8 Summit in Tokyo to call him “the world’s leading energy strategist.”
He has also appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg TV and has been quoted in a number of major publications, including Barron’s, Forbes and the Washington Post.
In October 2012, Elliott Gue launched the Energy & Income Advisor (www.EnergyandIncomeAdvisor.com), a semimonthly online newsletter that’s dedicated to uncovering the most profitable opportunities in the energy sector, from growth stocks to high-yielding utilities, royalty trusts and master limited partnerships.
The masthead may have changed, but subscribers can expect the same in-depth analysis and rational assessments of investment opportunities in the energy sector.
Follow me on Twitter: @NewConstructs
David is CEO of New Constructs (www.newconstructs.com), an independent research firm that leverages proprietary technology to find key insights from the Financial Footnotes of 10Ks and 10Qs. Having analyzed over 70,000 annual reports and their Financial Footnotes, New Constructs helps protect clients from the red flags/unknowns in SEC filings.
David is a distinguished investment strategist and corporate finance expert. He is a member of FASB's Investors Advisory Committee, and he is author of the Chapter “Modern Tools for Valuation” in The Valuation Handbook (Wiley Finance 2010).
David's insights into the markets and his stock picks have been popular with a wide variety of media outlets.
I run my own consulting practice NT Advisors LLC, which serves companies in the technology and communications industries as well as private equity and venture capital firms. I am a former sell side equity research analyst in the technology sector for 18 years primarily at UBS. I was also the Global Technology Strategist at UBS from 2008-2012. During my career on Wall Street, I was voted to the Institutional Investor All-American Equity Research Team in 15 different years.
Richard Zeits is an Oil & Gas industry analyst and consultant. His background includes fourteen years as Energy industry-focused investment banker, portfolio manager and senior investment analyst with bulge bracket firms in New York. Zeits Energy Analytics use elaborate proprietary analytics and data bases to provide in-depth industry research, market intelligence, and forecasting.
Jeff Blokker completed PhD course work in Electrical Engineering at UCSB and earned an MS in Financial Mathematics at Stanford University. Jeff’s first venture was formed in 1984 to develop the LiveWire family of software which analyzed real-time financial markets.
Jeff is the President of NewArc Investments Inc., manager of both individual and institutional investments. Jeff is a registered investment advisor, and portfolio manager for NewArc's investment programs.
Jeff is a former college professor with a hands-on, real world attitude. His quantitative modeling helped inform state and local officials in Wisconsin for more than a decade. A Public Policy analyst, he taught advanced research methods at the University of Wisconsin, and analyzed many issues related to state tax policy.
Jeff began in the financial business as Research Director for trading firm at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He investigated anomalies in the standard option pricing models, taught classes for beginning options traders, and developed new forecasting techniques. In 1991 he established a general research consultancy, working with professional traders at all of the Chicago financial exchanges. In 1998 he started NewArc Investments, Inc.
Jeff has a commitment to the specific needs of individual investors. It is not a one-size-fits all approach, but one that emphasizes the unique circumstances of each client.
Jeff also serves on the board of two small technology companies (currently Chairman at one). He is occasionally as an expert witness in legal cases involving financial markets and hedging.
A*L was established in 2010 by Jon Carnes, a growth and value-oriented investor who lived for six years (from 2005 to 2011) in China where he researched and invested in dozens of Chinese companies, first long (2005-2009) and then primarily short (2010-2012). Mr. Carnes outperformed other investors by performing extensive “on the ground” due diligence, conducted by a team of experienced analysts and local researchers. His investment opinions were greatly respected by other China focused fund managers attracted to the booming economy but wary of getting duped.
Over several years of scrutinizing over a hundred companies in every corner of China, Mr. Carnes realized that many of those that had gone public were seriously exaggerating their financial performance in their SEC filings. Investors raced to invest billions into Chinese companies that were dishonest and legally accountable to no one, a recipe for disaster for investors, both large and small.
Deciding to take action, Mr. Carnes decided to publicly expose the most egregious frauds he had discovered over the years, focusing on the worst offenders: companies that had exaggerated their profitability by at least 100%. In February 2010, he published a series of reports titled “Management Leaving Investors Stuck at the Pumps” showing that China Natural Gas (formerly NASDAQ: CHNG) management defrauded investors by failing to disclose and likely misappropriating $20 million from an acquisition of an undisclosed related party.
Unfortunately, when CHNG discovered that Mr. Carnes wrote the reports, its chairman Qinan Ji responded by sending an agent to threaten him where he lived in China. Frightened by Ji’s threat, Mr. Carnes removed the reports from the Internet. From this point onward Mr. Carnes knew that publishing the truth while living in China might get him killed.
Mr. Carnes nevertheless chose to remain in China to continue exposing fraud. Knowing that the safety of his researchers depended upon absolute secrecy and anonymity, he published my reports anonymously online using the obvious pseudonym “Alfred Little.” Beginning with CHNG, over the next two years Mr. Carnes exposed a diverse array of investment fraud committed by a U.S. listed Chinese companies.
After two years, CHNG Chairman Qinan Ji’s effort to conceal his fraud finally failed. On 9/21/11 NASDAQ halted trading of CHNG and on 3/8/12 CHNG was delisted. Most importantly, on 5/14/12 the SEC filed fraud charges against CHNG and its Chairman Qinan Ji.
Two more of the companies that Mr. Carnes first exposed faced the same fate. On 2/22/12 the SEC charged Puda Coal (formerly AMEX: PUDA) Chairman Ming Zhao with fraud, confirming each of the allegations in his 4/8/11 report, “Puda Coal Chairman Secretly Sold Half the Company and Pledged the Other Half to Chinese PE Investors.”
Then on 4/23/12 the SEC charged SinoTech Energy (formerly NASDAQ: CTE) and two of its officers with fraud. On 8/16/11, Mr. Carnes was the first to blow the whistle exposing CTE’s massive fraud in a report titled “SinoTech Energy: Enhanced Oil Recovery or Capital Extraction.” Unlike other numerous smaller “reverse merger” frauds, Sinotech was a $168 million IPO listed on NASDAQ underwritten by UBS and Lazard Capital Markets and audited by Ernst & Young.
Three companies, Deer Consumer Products (“DEER”), Sino Clean Energy (“SCEI”) and Silvercorp Metals (“SVM”) criticized in reports published by A*L sued Mr. Carnes for defamation. The three companies coordinated their legal and retaliatory efforts, both in the U.S., Canada and China to silence Mr. Carnes.
The epic battle that followed ended swiftly in a complete rout. NASDAQ delisted DEER and SCEI. SVM and DEER both lost their defamation claims against Mr. Carnes. SCEI abandoned its defamation claim against Mr. Carnes.
After winning the battle against DEER, SCEI and SVM, A*L emerged with the best track record of any China focused investment blog.
Whitney Tilson is the founder and Managing Partner of Kase Capital Management, which manages three value-oriented hedge funds. Mr. Tilson is also the co-founder of Value Investor Insight, an investment newsletter.
Mr. Tilson has co-authored two books, The Art of Value Investing: How the World's Best Investors Beat the Market (2013) and More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times (2009), was one of the authors of Poor Charlie’s Almanack, the definitive book on Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, and has written for Forbes, the Financial Times, Kiplinger’s, the Motley Fool and TheStreet.com. He was featured in two 60 Minutes segments in December 2008 about the housing crisis (which won an Emmy) and in March 2015 about Lumber Liquidators. He served for two years on the Board of Directors of Cutter & Buck, which designs and markets upscale sportswear, until the company was sold in early 2007.
Mr. Tilson received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School, where he was elected a Baker Scholar (top 5% of class), and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a bachelor’s degree in Government.
Mr. Tilson spent much of his childhood in Tanzania and Nicaragua (his parents are both educators, were among the first couples to meet and marry in the Peace Corps, and have retired in Kenya). Consequently, Mr. Tilson is involved with a number of charities focused on education reform and Africa. For his philanthropic work, he received the 2008 John C. Whitehead Social Enterprise Award from the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York. He is a member and past Chairman of the Manhattan chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Mr. Tilson lives in Manhattan with his wife and three teenage daughters.
Think B.I.G., by Bespoke Investment Group, provides some of the most original content and intuitive thinking on the Street. Founded by Paul Hickey and Justin Walters, formerly of Birinyi Associates and creators of the acclaimed TickerSense blog, Bespoke offers multiple products that allow anyone, from institutions to the most modest investor, to gain the data and knowledge necessary to make intelligent and profitable investment decisions. Along with running their Think B.I.G. finance blog, Bespoke provides timely investment ideas through its Bespoke Premium (http://bespokepremium.com/) subscription service and also manages money (http://bespokepremium.com/mm) for high net worth individuals.
Visit: Bespoke Investment Group (http://bespokeinvest.com/)