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Chris Versace

Chris Versace

Chris Versace, the "Thematic Investor," is the director of research at Think 20/20, an independent equity research and corporate access firm located in the Washington, D.C. area. Before Think 20/20, Mr. Versace was the portfolio manager of Agile Capital Management (ACM), a thematically driven alternative investment fund. The groundwork for ACM was laid during Mr. Versace’s tenure as senior vice president of equity research at Friedman Billings Ramsey, where he produced award-winning, differentiated research coverage using an ecosystem perspective of the mobile phone industry and enabling component technologies across various material technologies, including RF semiconductors (RFID, GPS), LEDs and display technologies. During his tenure at FBR, Mr. Versace received honorable mentions in Institutional Investor annual research analyst rankings, was a five-star analyst by Zacks Investment Services and a four-star analyst ranked by Star Mine. Mr. Versace was also an analyst at Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, as well as Salomon Brothers. Mr. Versace is currently a weekly contributor to The Washington Times. He has been quoted extensively in the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, The, USA Today and other publications. He has participated in numerous industry panels, including the Northern Virginia Tech Council, We Media and others, and has appeared on Fox Business, CNBC, CNBC Europe, CNNfn and "America's Morning News." Mr. Versace earned bachelor's degrees in economics and mathematics at Fairfield University before earnings an master of business administration degree in Finance at Fordham University.

Articles by Chris Versace

VERSACE: Rough report card on back-to-school spending hopes

With the lackluster July employment report behind us, we are firmly into August and the temporarily slower pace of life as summer vacation season sets in. To others, it means that preseason fall sports are getting under way -- football, lacrosse, field hockey and so on -- and many parents and students have kicked off back-to-school spending. Published August 9, 2012

VERSACE: Fast balls getting past Fed, Europeans

A swing and a miss or more like several at bat were had this week in terms of the central banks. I'm talking about both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB), both of which stand ready to do something, just not yet. Published August 2, 2012

VERSACE: Drought has commodity prices sizzling

Is it hot out there? More like, it's been hot out there over the past several weeks, particularly in the Midwest. The result is shaping up to look like the worst drought in the U.S. in nearly 50 years, and that means lower-than-expected yields in corn, soybeans and several other commodity crops. Published July 26, 2012

VERSACE: Economy skirting closer to stagnation

Last week, I was on vacation with my family and like any good investor, I kept my eyes and ears open to see what vacationers were doing and spending. Much like walking the malls and counting shopping bags during the year-end holiday season or during the back-to-school season, observing fellow vacationers at amusement parks, waters parks and at the beach can prove insightful. The same goes for how crowded those attractions and restaurants might be. Based on my travels and observations, I have to say that things are not that upbeat out there. This confirms the data that we received during the second quarter of 2012, and thus far in July and we are seeing that reflected in corporate earnings this week. Published July 19, 2012

VERSACE: June's weak numbers could make for a bleak July

By now, you probably have heard that the stock market fell 3.3 percent over the April-to-June period as measured by the S&P 500 because of fears of slowing global growth and uncertainty in Europe. Published July 5, 2012

VERSACE: For insight, look to insiders

Investors watch a number of things as they look for assurance on their current investments, as well as when they try to identify potential new ones. Published June 28, 2012

VERSACE: Mr. President, all is not 'fine' in private sector

Last week, I touched on how, as the second quarter was closing, investors would focus increasingly on earnings prospects for the quarter. Despite what we hear from the Oval Office, the updates we're getting from the field are not encouraging. Published June 21, 2012

VERSACE: Purchasing managers' crystal ball

To some, the end of this week means that July Fourth is right around the corner, but to investors, it means there are two weeks left in the current quarter and less than a month before publicly traded companies start reporting their second-quarter 2012 results. Published June 14, 2012

VERSACE: Picking stocks in a queasy market

There is a growing sense of unease in the investment community and, in looking at the headlines over the past several weeks, it is easy to see why the queasiness is on the rise. Published June 7, 2012

VERSACE: Slower markets for housing, jobs and stocks

While we all wait for the May employment report Friday, we have received the latest data on the housing market, and it seems there have been differing perspectives on what it means. Published May 31, 2012

VERSACE: Searching for light in tunnel of gloom

The turbulence that began as we entered the current quarter turned into a relatively steep drop in the first half of May. That continued with the S&P 500 on track to fall 3 percent this week as the key issues over the past few weeks — Greece exiting the eurozone or not; slowing global growth; and rising concern over U.S. debt, spending and the pending fiscal cliff at year's end — remained at the top of the news. Published May 24, 2012

VERSACE: Looming 'fiscal cliff' demands attention

This week there was more than idle conversation about Facebook's pending initial public offering, an IPO likely to be one of the largest in history. While it's hard to argue with the company's sheer size, several filings with the Security Exchange Commission reveal some concerns over its mobile strategy and growth prospects. More questions were raised this week when General Motors Co., one of the largest advertisers in the U.S., announced that it plans to stop advertising with Facebook. Published May 17, 2012

VERSACE: Rising uncertainties dampen market returns

After one of the strongest first quarters for the stock market no matter what index you prefer — the Dow Jones industrial average, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (my preferred metric) or the Nasdaq — April had the distinction of being the first down month for the stock market since November. Published May 10, 2012

VERSACE: Silver lining to economic dark clouds — Stock bargains

Last week, I shared my view that April would be the first down month for the S&P 500 since last November, and as we saw that was indeed the case. The culprit was renewed concern over the European economy as the U.K. and Spain entered a double-dip recession. Published May 3, 2012

VERSACE: Mixed signals belie Fed's new optimism

This past week has been an extremely turbulent one for the stock market — up and down but essentially flat as this is being written. Not only did more than 1,300 companies report their March quarter-end financial results, but we also had another week of (at best) mixed economic data and learned that Britain has fallen into its first double-dip recession since the 1970s. Published April 26, 2012

VERSACE: Quarterly numbers point to volatility

Volatility has been the market watchword over the last week, whether measured by the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, commonly referred to as the VIX, or by the swings in the major market indices. Published April 19, 2012

VERSACE: From the Beige Book, a murky picture emerges

Midweek, the U.S. stock market rebounded following better than expected first-quarter earnings from aluminum maker Alcoa Inc., traditionally the company that kicks off quarterly earnings, and a calming of renewed concerns over Europe. Published April 12, 2012

VERSACE: Can the second quarter keep up the pace?

Last week brought the first quarter of 2012 to a close and with it some heady stock market returns, as measured by all three of the major market indices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average returned 8 percent for the quarter, which was tame compared to the 12 percent return for the S&P 500 and more than 18.5 percent jump in the Nasdaq for the same period. Published April 5, 2012

VERSACE: Free help in stock-picking, courtesy of SEC

As quarterly earnings reports slow to a trickle and economic data in any given week are light, most professional investors use the downtime to catch up on what's afoot in various industries, sifting through that daunting pile of reading that tends to accumulate. That pile can include newspaper and magazine articles, press releases, third-party reports and studies, and one of my personal favorites — corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Published March 22, 2012