Rani Jarkas is a Chairman and founder of a global investment firm. He has been involved in the Nanotechnology field for almost a decade. Under Rani’s leadership, his firm has become a worldwide leader and the longest-standing firm in the nanotechnology investment arena, offering investors superior intelligence and investment products including a fund and two indices that enable them to participate in the growth of this exciting emerging technology.
Rani Jarkas has been leading and working with a team of nanotechnology experts including Dr. Thomas Kenny, who is an internationally renowned nanotechnology and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) expert. Through Rani’s designed platform, he was able to provide access to proprietary nanotechnology equity research and offers an array of investment products to investors.
In October 2009, Rani introduced two global nanotechnology indices in order to meet the needs of diverse investors. These indices serve as performance benchmarks for nanotechnology investing. The diversified index includes equally-weighted companies spanning all five nano-markets, including electronics, manufacturing, energy, life sciences and clean technology and is inclusive of both diversified companies that have nanotechnology as only one of their many growth drivers, and pure-play companies that have nanotechnology as their primary driver of growth. The pure index is a concentrated index, comprised of equally-weighted pure-play companies spanning also all five nano-markets and is best-suited for small-cap investors.
Today, Rani is very proud to announce that the 1Q2014 performance of these two global nanotechnology indices have outperformed many of the major equity indices in the period, including S&P 500, NASDAQ Composite, MSCI World, Russell 3000, Nikkei, Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite with a respective return of 9.83% and 11.25%.
“We are delighted that our nanotechnology indices have outperformed major global indices since their inception. With many economies facing major environmental issues and aging populations, application of nanotechnology is set to accelerate to a new level in industries such as clean technology and life sciences. I believe that nanotechnology will enable the next major Technology Revolution,” said Rani.
Rani Jarkas is an effective and reliable executive with abilities of overcoming complex business challenges and making high-stakes decisions using experience-backed judgment, strong work ethic and irreproachable integrity with over 20 years of financial service industry experience. “In my opinion, going to a bulge bracket firm is just not the ideal and most effective option for everyone. When you read the story below, you might find the answer,” said Rani Jarkas.
A famous engineer was called to look at a malfunctioning piece of manufacturing machinery. One fourth of a city block in size and completely encased in a shell of concrete, repair of the machine would require breaking through the barrier wall – a correct diagnosis was imperative before work could begin. The engineer set his price for coming to look at the machine at $100,000. The owner of the plant thought that a very high price, but the machinery was vital to his operation and this man was reputedly the very best available, so he agreed to the terms. Having arrived, the engineer walked slowly around the encasement, listening carefully to the workings of the machine inside. At long last, still listening carefully, he took a red Sharpie out of his pocket and drew a small X on the wall. “Tell your mechanic that this is where the problem is”, he said to the plant owner. “What is this?” screamed the owner, “I paid you $100,000 for you to draw an X on the wall?” “No”, said the engineer. “You paid me $100,000 for knowing where to draw it”.
Rules are presumably put in place to protect the investor, but as always, it is the unintended consequences that are the ones that you need to watch out for.
When uncontrollable events take place that cause specific market sectors to fall, whether caused by market failures, acts of God or some other intervention, a well-intentioned money manager has to have the liberty to move assets to those areas that are on the way up, or at least get out of the way of the ones that are falling. Many people lost their pensions and other savings and investments during the 2008 crash due to restrictions to do just this.
One safe haven that was not open to many money managers in the last financial crisis was the option of moving to cash. The stigma of moving assets to cash is based on urban myth, propagated by institutions that have insisted that investors entrust their money to those who were going to actually invest it – any lay person could hold cash! But this is faulty logic. Investors are entrusting their savings to experts who know where to draw the X on the wall. Investors want money managers who know when cash is king and when and what to buy and sell.
Knowledgeable investors have been frustrated by limited alternatives available in the market and passive investors are unaware of the conundrum that exists.
Investors today are looking for independence. They want to employ money managers who have the freedom to make investment choices that are focused on long-term growth and the preservation of wealth, regardless of geographic boundaries, industry segments or asset type. Investors are looking for fund managers who use a variety of research sources to gain their information – without solely relying on a centralized internal research department that provides all company fund managers with the same information, commonly resulting in collective buying and selling and potentially impacting price and performance execution. Investors are also concerned about the bottom line – how the fund actually performs in terms of real gains or losses, not how it performs against a benchmark. Beating a benchmark by 5% is great, unless of course the index was down 50% itself. And finally, over-dependence on fundamental analysis and portfolio size could mean a delay in decision-making to avoid or cut losses or holding on to falling assets for fear of missing out on the chance of a return rally. Investors want money managers who are focused on protecting and growing capital – managers who know precisely where to mark that X on the wall.
Some say that globalization has ‘shrunk’ the world. From Rani’s perspective, the world is still a pretty big and diverse place and there are opportunities everywhere – even when the mainstream media depicts a direr story. From this viewpoint, it made good sense to develop efficient products with built-in resilience to economic environments and market conditions without limitations to specific sectors or geographical focus.
The rise of the independent boutique firm is testament to these ideas – knowing where to draw the X on the wall — by developing and using creative products based on solid constructs, exploring markets and opportunities all around the world and appropriate discretionary investing suitable to an investor’s risk/return tolerance.
As technology continues to advance, more uses for rare earths are being discovered by industry. In recent years, rare earth applications are gradually expanding into the field of magnetic materials, luminescent materials, hydrogen storage materials, etc. Great prospects for the industry have brought great investment opportunities. “Without rare earth metals, we cannot have a digitally driven, cleantech-powered economy.” says Rani Jarkas, a well-recognized lead investor in the industry. He recently attended the 9th Annual International Rare Earths Conference in Hong Kong together with other 200 delegates from all over the world, and across various parts of the industry. The following is a summary of Rani’s findings from the gathering after spending time with industry experts and his profound insights of the current state of the rare earth market.
Rare Earth Elements (REE) are playing an increasing role in technology, which is attracting mounting interest from investors worldwide. However, the market for REE is increasingly volatile due to the increased demand coupled with controlled supply.
On the demand side, REE materials are becoming increasingly critical elements in many newly emerging and rapidly growing industries including electric vehicles, rechargeable batteries and cleantechnology.
On the supply side, the sources of REE materials are limited and geographically distributed in a ways that often makes political factors as relevant to the equation as economic factors. China controlled 95% of the rare earths market in 2011, and its government was limiting exports and placing restrictive taxes on their sale, causing prices to soar. This policy triggered supply fears and a subsequent price surge of certain REE materials, some skyrocketing 10 times in the past two years, before plummeting by as much as four times in the last three months as some of these fears have subsided.
The market has responded and increases in supply have been achieved through smuggling (the quantity of smuggled material may be larger than the quota limits), increased efforts to source alternatives to REE materials including nanotechnology approaches, identifying new (and more expensive) sources and operations, improving materials processing yields and recycling.
Although the gigantic REE commodity price increases in 2009 – 2011 created enormous profits for producers and some investors, there have been huge swings in valuation and market cap of companies with REE assets or pending REE production. 2011 was especially dramatic with huge mid-year prices increases driven by panic buying and fear of another quota cut announcement from China, which was followed by erosion as those fears relaxed, decimating prices. This is exacerbated by the significant internal/external price differences present because the quotas do not apply to production manufactured goods inside China.
In response, the large global REE consumers such as Toyota, Siemens, Seagate Technology and others are starting to support REE production outside of China through strategic investments, with a view to guaranteeing supply stability for their long-term product development activities. This is a capital and time- intensive proposition.
Dominated by artificial factors, the REE market is very difficult to predict and further fluctuations in REE commodity prices should be expected. Fortunes can be made and lost in REE commodities trading in this market. That said, special opportunities with inherent value do exist for new resources that are rich in heavy REE and located in areas where political manipulation and local factors will be manageable.