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Wall Street Breakfast readership of over 900,000 includes many from the investment-banking and fund-management industries.
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Ashraf Laidi is an independent strategist and trader, founder of Intermarket Strategy Ltd. and author of "Currency Trading & Intermarket Analysis". Ashraf is the former chief global strategist at City Index / FX Solutions, where he focused on foreign exchange and global macro developments pertaining to central bank policies, sovereign debt and intermarket dynamics.
Ashraf had served as Chief Strategist at CMC Markets, where he headed a global team of analysts and led seminars and trainings in four continents. His insights on currencies and commodities won him several #1 rankings with FXWeek and Reuters.
Prior to CMC Markets, Laidi monitored the performance of a multi-FX portfolio at the United Nations, assessed sovereign and project investment risk with Hagler Bailly and the World Bank, and analyzed emerging market bonds at Reuters. Laidi also created the first 24-hour currency web site for traders and researchers alike on the eve of the creation of the euro.
Laidi's analysis of currency markets stand out based on his distinct style in bridging the fundamental and technical aspects of the markets.
Laidi's expertise in dissecting Federal Reserve policy, unraveling the cyclical relationships between yield curves, economic indicators and equity market performance has enabled him to predict the Federal Reserve cuts of summer 2007, four months prior to their occurrence at a time when the majority of economists, strategists and traders had anticipated interest rates to be hiked or not changed. He went on to call the record highs in gold and the dollar's break below parity against the Swiss Franc and the Canadian dollar. In June-July 2008, Ashraf persistently predicted the Federal Reserve would continue its rate cuts at a time when Fed funds futures were pricing 95% chance of rate hikes in fall 2008.
Ashraf Laidi's market analysis extends to the study of major equity indices, gold and oil, shedding light on the appropriate signals emerging from these markets and their implications for currencies. His specialty in synthesizing commodities, with risk appetite, market sentiment and Fed policy has won him numerous plaudits. His currency predictions placed him at the top of the 12 and 1-month ranking of FXWeeks currency forecasts and at the top of Reuters monthly Foreign Exchange Poll.
Laidi regularly appears on CNBC TV (US, Europe, Arabia and Asia/Pacific), Bloomberg TV (US, Asia/Pacific, France and Spain), BNN, PBSs Nightly Business Report, and BBC. His insights also appear in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Barrons, the New York Times, Marketwatch, TheStreet.com, Futures, and a host of other international publications. Besides his habitual media appearances and seminars in English, Laidi has given numerous interviews in Arabic, French, and Spanish to audiences spanning from Canada, Central America and Asia/Pacific.
THE VIEWS IN THE PREMIUM INTERMARKET INSIGHTS ARE STRICTLY THOSE OF ASHRAF LAIDI AND NOT OF CITY INDEX / FX SOLUTIONS OR AN ENDORSEMENT FROM THESE ENTITIES.
His book, Currency Trading & Intermarket Analysis: How to Profit from the Shifting Currents in Global Markets (http://www.amazon.com/Currency-Trading-Intermarket-Analysis-Shifting/dp/0470226234), Web site: www.ashraflaidi.com (http://www.ashraflaidi.com)
I'm the founder of Seeking Alpha. I led it for its first 10 years until 2015. Two years later, I returned to Seeking Alpha to run product, which is the aspect of my work as a founder I most loved. I started Seeking Alpha after working for five years as a technology research analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York. After I left, I wrote The ETF Investing Guide (which you can find on Seeking Alpha by searching for "ETF Investing Guide"), and some articles about individual stocks, and then started inviting other people to contribute to the website. Seeking Alpha is now the dominant crowdsourced platform for discussion of stocks and investing, and the only place with coverage of many mid and small cap stocks. I have a B.A from Oxford University and an MSc from The London School of Economics, and am married with five children.
The Oil & Gas Investments Bulletin (http://www.oilandgas-investments.com) is an online subscription-based service that finds, researches, and profiles growing oil and gas companies that have high growth rates (or high growth potential.)
Its team of writers work under Keith Schaefer, Editor/Publisher, who shares his knowledge of the oil and natural gas markets in a simple, easy to read manner. The bulletin outlines which TSX, NYSE and NASD-listed energy companies have the ability to grow, and bring shareholders prosperity even in tough times.
There is tremendous potential to profit in oil and gas companies for informed investors. Mr. Schaefer has a degree in journalism but has spent the last 15 years assisting public resource companies in raising exploration and expansion capital.
Daryl Montgomery is the organizer of the New York Investing meetup, a 7,000 member educational group that provides the public with unbiased stock, bond, currency and commodity market information. For details, see: http://ow.ly/Y6CNhT (it's free to join). The group is the largest investing meetup in the world. It holds monthly general meetings, offers small classes on investing topics, has webinars and provides individual tutoring.
Montgomery, a former professor and expert witness in court cases on data reliability (up to the Supreme Court), has written a number of books on investing and approximately 700 articles on financial topics. He was formerly the chief blogger for the "Helicopter Economics Investing Guide". He has done extensive research on optimal use of technical indicators. Montgomery has never worked for, nor has any association with any Wall Street company and this allows him to bring an independent perspective to market analysis.
The New York Investing meetup's strength is in calling market turns. It called the top in gold and silver in March 2008 and the exact day of the oil bottom in February 2009 and almost the exact peak price in Silver in 2011. The group went to an all-cash position starting in September 2015. The New York Investing meetup uses its own approach to technical analysis and currently has access to a proprietary model that predicts tops and bottoms in stocks and commodities.
Michal Slawny joined Seeking Alpha in August 2008 as the contributor relations manager where she builds and strengthens relationships with SA's contributors. She also oversees new contributor intake, creates contributor newsletters, and manages SA's author database.
Prior to joining Seeking Alpha, Michal was the media communications assistant for The Israel Project, an organization dedicated to educating the press and the public about Israel by providing journalists, leaders, and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. Among other things, in this role Michal was involved in the inception and implementation of press events which were covered by major media outlets ranging from NBC News, ABC News, CNN, and Fox News to the Associated Press, Reuters and The Independent (London). She also conducted research, wrote and edited press material, and created and updated Web page content.
In 2005, Michal interned with Manning Selvage & Lee, one of the world's leading public relations firms. She also gained extensive public relations experience at Koteret Public Relations in Tel Aviv, where she was responsible for writing press releases and organizing photo shoots pitched to the Israeli and international press. Slawny graduated cum laude with a B.A. in journalism, focusing on public relations, and a B.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Georgia. While there, Slawny was heavily involved in student activism and reinstated Dawgs for Israel, heading the group for almost three years.
Michal may be reached at mslawny [at] seekingalpha.com.
Bob van der Valk is the Senior Editor for the Bakken Oil Business Journal as well as an Independent Consultant in the petroleum industry. He has over 50 years of experience in the wholesale and retail gasoline and lubricants industry. His expertise is in gasoline price forecasting, dealer tank wagon/ zone pricing issues, commercial fueling network, wholesale, retail branded and unbranded matters, refined products margin questions and retail fuel supply issues. Bob is a fuel products marketer and a thoroughly knowledgeable businessman in the refining and downstream marketing sector of the petroleum industry, with particular concentration on the U.S. western region. He is articulate and precise in his explanations of supply & demand patterns, pricing and logistics related to these markets. As Bob the Gas Guy he has been often quoted by the news media as well as T.V. and radio interviews. His opinions have been solicited by government entities, besides his ongoing daily business of running large scale supply and marketing operations.
Vice President Corporate Communications for Great Panther Silver and am responsible for all aspects of corporate communications including the strategic direction of investor relations, social media, regulatory compliance and best practices. I have effectively designed and coordinated investor relations programs, industry and media relations, investor products, reputation management programs, presentations and special events for many energy sector public companies over the past 18 years. I currently serve on the Board of the Canadian Investor Relations Institute, Alberta Chapter and am Chairman of the Communications Advisory Board at Mount Royal University.
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.
Boaz Berkowitz has a unique interest being a Seeking Alpha contributor as he not only has a passion for writing and companies in general, but was also Seeking Alpha's Director of Contributor Relations from 2008 to 2011.
Boaz is currently the Founder & CEO of TalkMarkets, a first of its kind financial website. TalkMarkets is a smart site which covers the entire breadth of the diverse financial realm but is customized and tailored to each individual user. Your interests, preferences, and level of investment sophistication influence what content you see and in what medium. This ensures a browsing experience which is easy, quick and personally relevant. Additionally, we've made interacting easy by incorporating the best social media tools and creating a few of our own.
As the first ever contributor-owned website, TalkMarkets is truly unique and issues its founding contributors equity in the company.
Boaz has a diverse background, having begun his career at Bloomberg L.P. in Manhattan. Later he was lured into the world of e-commerce where for nearly six years he served as the Director of Online Operations for Saturn Enterprises. He has also consulted for several companies including Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW), the world's largest operator of 747 cargo aircraft, and GLX, the first global online financial community specifically for investors.
Boaz's interests extend beyond writing - he is involved with several charitable and community organizations. He sits on the Board of Directors for Binghamton University's Hillel and has served as an auxiliary police officer for the NYPD at Manhattan's 24th precinct. Boaz has an unusually supportive and understanding wife and four amazing children.