Wohl Of Wall Street Adds Strategy As Legal Threats Don't Scare WitnessMark Melin
Self-proclaimed hedge fund guru Jacob Wohl appears to be shifting to yet another strategy as he apparently issues legal threats to his one-time employee who spoke on the record in a previous ValueWalk article.
Jacob Wohl is a master of three of the most diverse strategies in alternative investing history
The 18-year old Wohl must be an amazing financial specimen. Judging by nothing more than his self-proclaimed strategy prowess, he is unlike any known hedge fund manager in one respect. Wohl has now successfully master three of the most diverse strategies in the alternative investing strategy spectrum: long only, managed futures and now tax liens.
Wohl started his career in equity stock picking, which in itself has taken some fund managers years to master. From this defined talent and research focus, he transitioned into a widely opposite trading methodology, algorithmic managed futures and its macro-market, long / short opportunity focus. That’s not just like going from Venus to Mars, that’s going into another universe. But in less than one year’s time he made this transition and has reached teaching master status in managed futures.
This man – he is no kid — is amazing. Not only does he advertise living in the Hollywood Hills, nestled inside the spooky Laurel Canyon, but he offers a “Director of Fun” as a party favor for those who attend his classes, which can cost up to $6,000 for a week.
Wohl’s background touches on strategy diversity that moved from pure milk to a taste of whiskey
Wohl’s real story might be most interesting. Very few people have the experience of peeking inside such diverse alternative strategies as managed futures and long only stock picking.
Wohl started out as a value equity investor, picking stocks much like the vast crowd on Wall Street. He moved from stocks to adding options and learned how an investor might receive monthly income while waiting for a stock to appreciate. In other words, he got a taste of strategy whiskey mixed in with his mother’s milk.
Wohl took the optionality in derivatives concept and, perhaps lured by the siren sound of a high win percentage and consistent income, he was drawn to what some consider the dark side and became an “option seller.”
He likely wasn’t told the key risk statistic to pay attention to is size of loss and crisis correlation. In other words, during a stock market crash, unlike most managed futures strategies when they can catch the short, this strategy can have “unlimited loss potential.” Those are real words when understood by veterans with scars, but at the tender age of 18 years old he has not been around long enough to see what “crisis performance” really means.
Wohl, living the LA hedge fund lifestyle apparently on the edge, is actually a mimic of a real subculture in the region. His lifestyle and strategy usages are not that different from a little industry and geographic subculture that isn’t much documented but exists. From some reason, perhaps the regulation, Wohl might have found greener pastures, however.
Wohl promoting a third strategy on social media
Wohl’s next strategy to conquer might be tax liens. An advertisement posted on his Instagram account close to a picture of him being received by Donald Trump links to a Montogory Assets phone number with an [email protected] also in the advertisement. There were no legal disclaimers on the advertisement and it was unclear if they were offering a regulated security or if they were simply selling an educational seminar.
Using the CFTC’s SmartCheck broker confirmation system to check both NFA registration for a derivatives broker and FINRA for a securities broker yielded no results, meaning they are not registered to sell investments. When dealing with the retail public, non-registered persons can provide education so long as that education is generic and not targeted towards an individual. An unregistered individual cannot participate in commission trail and any involvement of a registered individual should be fully disclosed. It is unclear what Montgomery Assets was specifically offering as a call requesting education when unreturned.
Wohl apparently goes on the offensive as legal threats with former employee and potential witness don’t scare him
Wohl, for his part, appears to enjoy playing multiple roles. The transplanted “Inland Empire” native, having grown up in the often overlooked far west suburban LA region, his life has taken a turn.
He is now in Hollywood and someone has decided to play the role of attorney, according to Eddie Bryant, the source who initially provided ValueWalk details and now claims to be the subject of legal threats. Bryant doesn’t appear to be backing down, providing a copy of the recent letter to ValueWalk.
Several weeks ago Bryant, Wohl’s one-time employee, left the firm. He then provided ValueWalk the play-by-play of what appeared like a fund management company who didn’t recognize where the regulatory fence was located. Understanding this fence is sometimes nuanced in a world where regulators don’t often answer tough questions on the record. But for a retail-level regulated participant such as Wohl, a group mostly unaware of the political level, the regulations in this case are written in a generally clear language and have generally understandable logic as their basis.
In this environment, when fraud is being considered as a possibility, Bryant spoke to ValueWalk with candor. As an apparent result of speaking out, he has been the subject of legal threats from Wohl. But the threatening letter being represented as from a law firm and reviewed by ValueWalk is currently in dispute.
A source close to Bryant and familiar with the legal process raises several questions, noting that when a case involves potential fraud such nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements become legally subjugated and for various reasons unenforceable.
It is unclear the source of the letter, as it was not sent by a law firm, is not signed and pro ports to represent the interest of Wohl’s fellow employees
The letter that is represented to have come from a legal firm but was not sent on the firm’s letterhead. It was further sent to Bryant on behalf of all Wohl’s “associates person,” the letter claimed, the first correction in a long list of issues.
Those who might have concern at Wohl’s NeX Capital Management regarding wrongdoing is most likely the highly regulated “Associated Persons” at the firm. These same regulated individuals are required to pass a test that also serves as acknowledgement they understand certain regulations and regulatory authority.
The letter characterized information used in an original ValueWalk article as “privileged, confidential and on many accords, patently false and defamatory in nature.” In April when ValueWalk previously confronted Wohl with the very same information he did not provide public comment.
Legal threats – Who sent the letter?
A ValueWalk source with familiarity of the legal process wondered why the letter and other correspondence didn’t come from the law firm themselves and on legal stationary, which is common practice.
“I don’t pay attorneys to write and represent me and then file or send it myself,” the source said. “Maybe things are different in the inland empire that’s governed by the ‘Wohl of Wall Street,’” one of the more noxious self-given nicknames, the source told ValueWalk.
The purported author of the legal threats made numerous key spelling and procedural errors not normally associated with accredited lawyers.
To confirm authenticity of the letter, ValueWalk reached out to the apparent signator, the Palo Alto-based law firm of Broderick Saleen, described as “Council for NeX Capital Management LLC,” but they did not respond by publication time. “Council,” it should be noted, is correctly spelled as “Counsel,” the source pointed out.
When reached, Jacob Wohl declined to comment.