Meet the 2016 Speakers

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Matt Lampert is the director of the Socionomics Institute. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and has spoken about socionomic theory throughout the US and Europe. He is a board member of the Socionomics Foundation and edits the monthly magazine, The Socionomist. His research has been supported by the National Academy of Sciences with funds from the National Science Foundation, and his work has been featured by USA Today, CNBC, the Associated Press and other popular news and scholarly publications.

Presentation title: “What Is a Socionomist?”

Abstract: A socionomist is someone who studies social mood and its influence over social actions. But how? This presentation reviews the tools of the trade in the working life of a socionomist and shows you how to use those tools in real time to surf the waves of social change and make choices few others would dare consider. Learn how to think and act socionomically while staying a step ahead of the herd so you can move from being a passive observer of social trends to an active, agile participant who assesses risks and spots opportunities unlike nearly anyone else.

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Dennis Elam, PhD, CPA, is a tenured accounting professor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Elam’s socionomic commentary has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Socionomist, the Pop Trends, Price Culture podcast and on his blog, which was named a top 50 accounting blog by Masters in Accounting. He holds three degrees from the University of Texas-Austin, where he received the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award. He passed the Certified Public Accounting exam on his first attempt and has earned six NASD Series designations. He has worked in both government and business, including as a comptroller, internal auditor and federal bankruptcy trustee. A West Texas oil veteran, Elam has authored a weekly column on energy issues for more than 15 years. His latest venture is an open online course on socionomics, under development in partnership with the Socionomics Institute.

Presentation title: “Accounting for Social Mood: Hard Times Bring Harsh Regulations”

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Robert Folsom has covered popular culture, economics and the financial markets for more than 25 years with Elliott Wave International. His columns have appeared on the websites of Market Watch, Fox News, Financial Sense and Safe Haven. From 2000 to 2007, his daily blog on elliottwave.com built an investor readership of 70,000 who viewed Folsom’s unique perspective on everything from media follies to mass psychology to underreported facts about investing. He currently shares that perspective with listeners of his Pop Trends, Price Culture podcast. His other interests include politics, history, privacy, movies and trivia. Folsom earned his degree in political science from Columbia University in 1985.

Presentation title: “Mood’s Past Is Present: The Facts, Faces and Sounds of Polarized Politics in America”

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Alan Hall is a regular contributor to The Socionomist. He began studying Elliott wave analysis and socionomics after meeting Robert Prechter in 1994. Hall’s grasp of socionomics made it easy for him to recognize the escalating housing mania, thus he closed his homebuilding business in 2004 and soon joined Elliott Wave International. Hall wrote the lead articles for the inaugural issues of The Socionomist in May and June 2009. Since then, his research has showcased the wide range and deep applicability of the socionomic perspective. He has also lectured on socionomics and contributed to Global Market Perspective, The European Financial Forecast and The Elliott Wave Theorist.

Presentation title: “Applied Socionomics: What’s Next for Despots, Diseases and More”

Gene Stanley LOWRES Portrait

H. Eugene Stanley, PhD, is the William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor at Boston University and one of the founders of econophysics. He has made seminal contributions to statistical physics and interdisciplinary science. He has worked on a range of topics, including the nature of catastrophic financial bubbles and crashes, the constituents of the Alzheimer brain and the anomalous behavior of liquid water. Stanley performed biological physics research in 1962-1963 with Nobel laureate Max Delbruck in Germany with Fulbright funding and was awarded a PhD in physics at Harvard in 1967. Stanley holds concurrent positions of “Honorary Professor” at four universities around the world, and he has received nine Doctorates Honoris Causa. His publications have received 72,390 citations.

Keynote Address: “Bursting Bubbles of All Sizes: Big Data and Economic Fluctuations”

Abstract: Our recent analysis of truly huge quantities of empirical data suggests that classic economic theories not only fail for a few outliers, but that there occur similar outliers of every possible size. In fact, if one analyzes only a small data set (say one million data points), then outliers appear to occur as “rare events.” However, when we analyze orders of magnitude more data (200 million data points!), we find 200 times as many outliers—so ignoring them is not a responsible option, and studying their properties becomes a realistic goal. Remarkably, we find that the statistical properties of these “outliers” are identical to the statistical properties of everyday fluctuations. We report a recent discovery that the same laws govern the formation and bursting of large bubbles as tiny bubbles, over a factor of 1,000,000,000 in time scale.

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Jon Fassett, PhD, is a tenured professor of mathematics at Central Washington University. Prior to earning his doctorate, he taught high school mathematics and worked as a casualty actuary. Fassett’s research areas include topology, dynamical systems and chaos theory, and more recently he has shifted his focus to fractals and financial markets. He has given several talks on fractals to audiences ranging from elementary school children to research mathematicians. Fassett’s publications have also been aimed at a wide audience, appearing in peer-reviewed journals such as Mathematics Magazine and Topology and its Applications.

Presentation title: “Feelings, Fractals and Fibonacci Numbers in Financial Markets”

Abstract: A mathematical perspective on the Wave Principle reveals that Ralph Nelson Elliott was truly a pioneer and forerunner in applying fractal geometry to complex dynamical systems, such as financial markets. Elliott’s Wave Principle accounts for not only the multifractal property of price patterns but also for endogenously regulated waves of fluctuating social mood. Decades after Elliott’s discovery, Benoit Mandelbrot championed the need for a model of financial markets based upon fractal geometry. In this talk we will consider the similarities, and the striking (and important) differences between Benoit Mandelbrot’s approach and Elliott’s Wave Principle.

AJ Macdonald Bio Photo

Alastair J. Macdonald is a Zimbabwean-born investment consultant, writer and entrepreneur. As an ex-professional hunter and safari guide, he led numerous expeditions throughout southern Africa for internationally acclaimed media organizations such as National Geographic and France’s Channel 9. His business expanded into venture capital and early enterprise funding before he moved to the US to work on Wall Street. Since 2004, he has edited The Parallax Letter, a financial and market advisory letter. He also hosts “Alone in the Crowd,” a weekly podcast discussing markets, economics, geopolitics and the social mood that drives them all.

Presentation title: “Living Socionomics: Zimbabwe to Wall Street”

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Peter Kendall has been co-editor of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, a monthly financial newsletter, since its inception in 1999. He joined Elliott Wave International in 1992. He authored The Mania Chronicles with Robert Prechter, and he contributes to research published by Elliott Wave International and the Socionomics Institute. Kendall served as a financial reporter and columnist from 1983 to 1992. His column “On the Money” appeared in The Business Journal of Milwaukee from 1991 to 1997.

Presentation title: “A Socionomic Perspective from the World’s Tallest Peak”

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Nerissa Brown, PhD, is an associate professor of accounting at the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on corporate financial reporting and examines how market participants’ behavioral biases, such as herd behavior, sentiment and limited attention, affect how they use accounting information. An award-winning researcher and educator, Brown’s work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets. She holds a PhD in accounting from the University of Maryland, and her research has been published in the Journal of Accounting Research, Management Science and the Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, among others.

Presentation title: “Herd Behavior in Capital Markets: A Socionomic Perspective”

Robert R. PrechterRobert R. Prechter, CMT, is known for developing a theory of social causality called socionomics, for developing the socionomic theory of finance (STF), and for his long career applying and enhancing R.N. Elliott’s model of financial pricing called the Wave Principle.

Prechter’s socionomic theory accounts for the character of social actions in areas as diverse as financial markets, economic trends, politics, fashion, entertainment and demographics. Under development since the 1970s, the idea first reached a national audience in a 1985 cover article in Barron’s. Prechter has made presentations about socionomic theory at the London School of Economics, University of Cambridge, MIT, University of Oxford, Trinity College Dublin, Georgia Tech, SUNY and various academic and financial conferences. In 2008 and 2010, the Georgia legislature invited Prechter to testify before its Joint Economic Committee regarding the state’s developing real estate and economic crises.

Prechter attended Yale University on a full scholarship and received a B.A. in psychology in 1971. In 1975, he joined the Market Analysis Department of Merrill Lynch in New York. In 1979, Prechter founded Elliott Wave International and began publishing monthly market analysis under the masthead, The Elliott Wave Theorist. Prechter served as a member of the board of the Market Technicians Association for nine years and as the MTA’s President in 1990-1991. He currently serves on the advisory board of the MTA’s Educational Foundation. In 2005, Prechter created the Socionomics Institute, which is dedicated to explaining socionomics, and he funds the Socionomics Foundation, which supports academic research in the field.

Prechter has authored, edited or contributed to more than 15 books. His book Elliott Wave Principle: Key to Market Behavior has been translated into a dozen languages, and Conquer the Crash: You Can Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression was a New York Times and Amazon bestseller.

Presentation title: “Do Supply and Demand Regulate the Price of Oil?”