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My Run in With the Law

Apr. 18, 2011 4:56 PM ET
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Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2013

John Thomas is a 50-year veteran of the financial markets. He spent 10 years as a financial journalist, ten more years trading for a major investment bank, and another decade running the first dedicated international hedge funds. Seeing the incredible inefficiencies and severe mispricing offered by the popping of multiple bubbles during the Great Crash of 2008, and missing the adrenaline of the marketplace, he returned to active hedge fund management.

With The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader, his goal is to broaden public understanding of the techniques and strategies employed by the most successful hedge funds so that they may more profitably manage their own money.

He publishes a daily research newsletter, and offers one of the most successful trade mentoring services in the industry. He currently has followers in 134 countries.

In his free time, John Thomas climbs mountains, does long distance backpacks, practices karate, performs aerobatics in antique aircraft, collects vintages wines, reads the Japanese classics, and engages in a wide variety of public service and philanthropic activities.

His career has taken him up to 20,000 feet on Mount Everest, to the edge of space at 90,000 feet in the Cockpit of a MIG-25, and to the depths of a sunken Japanese fleet in the Truk Lagoon.

Why they call him "Mad" he will never understand.

I’m sorry I’m late getting my letter out today. I was racing home from San Francisco on Highway 24 when the California Highway Patrol pulled me over for doing 80 mph in a 65 mph zone.

The officer asked me where the fire was, and I told him I was rushing back to my office to get my investment newsletter out. He asked if this was like a stock market letter, and when I said yes, he informed me that in addition to speeding, I would be cited for a pink taillight.
I pointed out that several pension funds relied on my letter for direction and that the sooner they got it, the better their performance would be. The officer then asked if CALPERS, the California Public Employees Retirement System, was one of those. When I confirmed this, he told me that this was his pension fund, that it had lost a third of its value in the last two years, and tacked on a third violation for excessive smoke belching out of my tail pipe.
I upped the ante by informing him that a lot of home owners read my letter for real estate advice. The cop sighed that his own house had dropped in value by half, and hit me again for using my cell phone while driving, a $148 fine.
Then I noticed a Marine Corp. gunnery sergeant’s pin on his uniform. I casually mentioned that I had been a jarhead captain and was a combat pilot in Desert Storm. He murmured under his breath that he hated all officers, and then noticed the life sized blow up Barbie Doll sitting in my passenger seat that I used to gain access to the carpool lane.
As he handed me my fifth citation for illegal use of a commuter lane, a minimum $340 fine, I decided to keep my mouth shut. Who knew we financial types were so unpopular on Main Street? Looks like the next time I need to rush back from the city, I’ll be riding my bicycle.

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