Julian Close, InvestorsObserver Financial Writer: Julian Close has been a professional business writer since the first day of the twenty-first century, having written for PRA International and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Masters of Teaching degree from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. He worked as a stockbroker in the mid-1990s and has followed the financial markets ever since.
Michael Fowlkes, InvestorsObserver Options and ETF Analyst: Michael is a financial writer that has been with the Fresh Brewed Media Family for 8 years. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, VA. His focus is on financial writing, using his market experience to present the news in a way that the average investor can digest. His articles typically cover big-picture events and forecasting what impact they will have on the stock market as well as coverage of ETF options. In addition to writing for Fresh Brewed Media, Michael also wrote for AOL's BloggingStocks for 3 years, focusing most of his attention on the energy and technology sectors. Michael is not adverse to high-risk investing when he believes the risks are worth the reward, but in adverse market conditions he takes a more conservative approach. His believes a focus on high-dividend investing offers the safest play given the uncertain global economy.
Kevin Kersten, InvestorsObserver Options Analyst: Kevin is an investor, writer and analyst who likes to dig down into the risk and reward of complex option strategies. He has managed portfolios, blogged about stocks, helped develop proprietary options reports, composed stock reports, conducted online webinars and written extensively about options since 2004. Kevin's favorite investment strategies include bull-put credit spreads and covered calls. He loves taking a complex strategy and breaking it down in an easy-to-understand way so investors new to options trading can understand the risk, rewards, and returns. Kevin has a degree in Business Administration from University of South Florida where he minored in economics. After working as a manager at a Fortune 500 company for a few years he realized he loved playing around with numbers, in addition to people-watching. Economics is right up his alley, since it is the study of how people utilize resources and behave in the free markets. He enjoys watching the numbers come in, spotting trends, and looking for ways to position investments to minimize risk. While Kevin realizes there are risks in life, he is very calculating about which risks are right to accept. Kevin has traveled the globe extensively, giving him an outside perspective on US and International markets. When he is not playing around with spreadsheets, his hobbies include camping, hunting, chess, and photography.
Bobby Raines, InvestorsObserver Options Analyst: Bobby is a former journalist who worked at a mid-sized daily newspaper for several years before shifting gears and spending the years before and during the financial crisis writing about financial institutions. This experience gave him a profound understanding of the imbalance between the way institutions invest and what individual investors do with their money. While individuals can?t become too big to fail or borrow interest free from the Federal Reserve, they can use some of the tactics that institutional traders use to make money regardless of market conditions. Like everyone at Investors Observer, Bobby is interested in finding ways to make solid returns without losing money. While not always a huge risk taker, he is not afraid to go against the grain for the right balance of risk and reward. He manages the Dividends Plus model portfolio for Standard & Poor's Options Research and the MarketSmart10% Hedged portfolio at Investors Observer. He writes feature articles focused on helping experienced options investors find outsized returns as well as timely trade ideas and updates found in the InvestorsKeyhole service.