I'm a 51 year old closet physicist/meteorologist. I went to law school later in life (JD Baylor '99) and practice contract law in central Texas. I am General Counsel to a global rail service corporation and write interstate and international contracts for that enterprise.
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Kurt has a BA and MA in Communication and over 20 years of business experience, almost always serving as a project or program manager, director, or consultant or as an analyst. He lived and worked in many different locations in the U.S., London, England, and Hong Kong. He has experience in at least 18 different industries and 31 different enterprises. Although he was only 49, he essentially retired in 2008 and began spending a lot more time studying investing. His articles are largely written as a public service. They provide investors with a rare totally unbiased view of the investing landscape and often include unique analysis.
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.
Dr. Kris has two degrees from MIT because one just wasn't enough. Her life goal was to figure out the universe and having done that (at least to her satisfaction), she decided to tackle something even more difficult—the stock market.
Applying the scientific method along with an insatiably curious mind, she began trading stocks, futures, and options in order to find the holy grail to market success. She's discovered to her immense satisfaction that not only is there one way to succeed but many. Combining her love of cooking with the stock market, she's devised recipes for investment success designed to please the palate of most investors. Dr. Kris currently manages a private equity long/short portfolio and writes of her current research projects that appear on her website, StockMarketCookBook.com.
Her most exciting project is applying market timing models to Modern Portfolio Theory to not only give greater returns but at substantially lower levels of risk. (See PortfolioPreserver.com for further information.)
Kevin H. Stecyk has a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Alberta, an MBA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and a CFA designation. He spent the earlier part of his career working for Syncrude Canada Limited, an oil sands company in Fort McMurray, Alberta. After Syncrude, he worked for Suncor Energy Inc. in its conventional natural gas division. For the past several years, Kevin has been an independent consultant.
Kevin's financial and business articles are not focused on any one area, but rather whatever industry or company currently interests him.
Visit his site: Specious Argument (http://www.speciousargument.com/blog/)
Zach Scheidt is the editor of Lifetime Income Report and Income on Demand — investment advisories dedicated to finding Wall Street’s best yields. He brings to the table impeccable investment management experience and a solid record of identifying oversized payout opportunities.
Zach previously edited Income & Dividend Report, which was also dedicated to finding great stocks paying high dividends, and Accelerated Income, an advisory that focused on earning income using covered calls.
He started his career as a cost accountant for SunTrust bank, before he left for a more exciting career as an analyst for an Atlanta-based investment advisory. The company catered to wealthy clients with a minimum account balance of $1 million. It also ran two hedge funds with combined assets above $100 million. Zach was personally responsible for $20 million of the firm’s money, as well as $20 million in individual client accounts.
Zach graduated with honors from Lee University, a small private university in Cleveland, Tennessee. Upon entering the investment business, Zachary simultaneously worked full-time as an analyst and portfolio manager, and earned his MBA at Georgia State University.
When he is not scouring Wall Street for ultra-high dividends, Zach enjoys running and spending time with his wife and seven children.
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The author of Market Folly has experience at a long/short equity hedge fund, has been investing for a decade, and has degrees in Economics and Communications.