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Worlds' Greatest Investors Part 9; John W. Henry

We profile some of the greatest investors in the world. Their achievements have influenced and inspired many. In Part 9; we feature John W. Henry.



John W. Henry



1. Who Is He?

John William Henry II was born on 13 September 1949 in Quincy, Illinois. He is a futures and foreign exchange trading advisor who founded John W. Henry & Company (JWH) in USA. He is the owner of the Boston Red Sox and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing. In March 2006, Boston Magazine estimated his net worth at $860 million.


2. John's Early Life

Henry's parents were farmers in Illinois and Arkansas. At 15, he suffered from asthma encourage the family to move to California. He graduated in California from UCLA, where he majored in philosophy. Henry started trading corn and soybean futures, to learn the basics of hedging against price risk. Henry developed a mechanical trend following method for managing a futures trading account.

He tested his trend reversal method and always held a position either long or short. In 1981, he opened a small office across the street from the airport in Irvine, California, and began marketing his management to the largest commodity brokerage firms in America. By 1983 that proved so successful, that he moved to considerably larger quarters at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.


3. John W. Henry & Company, Inc.

JWH was established in 1981 and began taking retail clients in 1982. For approximately 20 years, JWH was known as the largest retail alternative asset money management firm in the world measured by assets under management. As of 31August 2008 total assets under management were estimated at $248 million. The firm's management methods make mechanical, non-discretionary trading decisions in response to systematic determinations of reversals in each market's trend. His intention was to preclude not only human emotions, but also any subjective evaluation of the fundamentals, to trigger each decision to be long or short each market.

On 29 May 2007, Bloomberg News reported that Henry's assets under management had fallen by 80% after losing 33% over the prior two years. On the same day, the Wall Street Journal reported that the firm was in talks about affiliating with that of another investment manager, but that no transaction is imminent. After acquiring his fortune, his first foray into professional sports was in purchasing an AAA minor league team, te Tucson Toros of the Pacific Coast League in 1989. He was also one of the founders of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in Florida.

Henry co-owned the winning team in 1990. He sold his interest in 1991 and the league went out of business the following year. Henry entered Major League Baseball with his purchase of a small interest in the New York Yankees in 1991. Henry became the sole owner of the Florida Marlins in 1999, purchasing the Major League club from Huizenga for a reported $158,000,000. In January 2002 Henry sold the Marlins in a multi-franchise deal to Jeffrey Loria then owner of the Montreal Expos. Simultaneously, Henry led a purchase of the Boston Red Sox with partners Tom Werner and the New York Times Company from the Yawkey Trust headed by John Harrington.




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