What is Pragmatic Capitalism?
The field of finance and economics seems to be filled with myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings. Pragmatic Capitalism is the personal blog of Cullen Roche that attempts to cut through the noise and describe the world as it is while providing answers to the toughest questions in finance and economics. The goal of the website is to help educate and inform through an unbiased and open-minded approach.
Pragmatic Capitalism (http://pragcap.com) was founded by Cullen Roche in the midst of the financial crisis of 2008. Mr. Roche foresaw many of the events that led up to the crisis and felt that the government was slow to react and when it did finally react, responded with the wrong medicine. Using his expertise in the financial markets and the monetary system, Mr. Roche provides objective answers to the world’s big macro misunderstandings. Pragmatic Capitalism has become a place where investors, economists and laypeople can discuss complex financial issues and find answers to the ever problematic world of economics. Mr. Roche doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, but provides his expertise where possible to help others learn and become more financially aware. Ultimately, the goal of the website is to try to provide a resource for better understanding and a forum for discourse and debate (see here for more).
Who is Cullen Roche?
Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC a financial services firm offering a broad array of products and services that seek to empower investors. The company was founded to provide investors with an alternative to the profit-first, client-second business model that has come to dominate much of Wall Street these days. Orcam was founded with the idea that financial services firms can better serve public purpose and Orcam’s goal is to offer products and services that help create better informed and more independent investors, consumers and producers.
Prior to establishing Orcam Mr. Roche founded his own investment partnership in 2005 after several years working at Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management where he helped oversee $500MM+ in assets under management. Unhappy with the large brokerage firm business model, Mr. Roche formed his own private investment partnership with a substantial personal investment at the age of 25. Over the next 7 years he was able to guide the small business to high risk adjusted returns with no negative full year returns during one of the most turbulent periods in stock market history. Portfolio management left much to be desired, however. As the website grew the need to teach and better impact the public became increasingly apparent. Orcam Financial Group, LLC is the product of this hope to better service the public in a manner that helps bring financial services and public purpose closer together.
Mr. Roche’s primary areas of expertise include global macro portfolio construction, quantitative risk management, behavioral finance and monetary theory (Cullen is proud not to be considered a technical “economist“). He is the long-time #1 economics writer on the popular financial website Seeking Alpha, was named one of the “Top Wall Street Economists, Experts and Opinion Leaders” of 2011 by Wall Street Economists and was named one of the “101 Best Finance People” by Business Insider where he was described as “one of the most influential economic thinkers today.” He is regularly cited in the Wall Street Journal, on CNBC and in the Financial Times. Mr. Roche is a Georgetown University alumnus, growing up in the DC area and now living in San Diego, California with his fiancée Erica and their problem child, Cal, an Australian Shepherd.