The Story of John Thomas


The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader is written by John Thomas, one of the founding fathers of the modern hedge fund industry.

Seeing the incredible inefficiencies and severe mis-pricing offered by the popping of multiple bubbles during the Great Crash of 2008, and missing the adrenaline of the marketplace, he returned to active hedge fund management. With The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader, his goal is to broaden public understanding of the techniques and strategies employed by the most successful hedge funds so that they may more profitably manage their own money.

David Tepper

In 1999 Thomas sold his hedge fund to concentrate on managing his personal investments. He focused on oil and natural gas exploration and development in Texas and Colorado, pioneering the new fracking technology. After catching a surge in the price of natural gas, John sold this business in 2005.

In 1989 Thomas was appointed a director of the Swiss Bank Corp responsible for its then vast portfolio of Japanese equity derivatives. A year later he left to set up the first ever dedicated international hedge fund, which became a top performer in the industry.

James Chanos

In 1983 he was hired by a top investment bank to build a new division in international equities.

In 1982 Thomas moved to New York as the US editor of a major business magazine. Then a member of the White House press corps he covered the early years of the Reagan administration.

John graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in biochemistry and a minor in mathematics in 1974. He moved to Tokyo, Japan to join a Japanese securities house as a research analyst, becoming fluent in Japanese.

Jon and Pete Najarian

John Thomas with Najarian Brothers (

In 1976 he was appointed the Tokyo correspondent for The Economist magazine and the Financial Times. For the next seven years he published thousands of articles about the economies, companies, and leaders of Asia. He was one of the first American correspondents to cover China during the Cultural Revolution.

He reported on the American attempt to climb Mount Everest and guerrilla wars throughout Southeast Asia. The major figures he interviewed included China's Premier Deng Xiaoping, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, the UK's Margaret Thatcher, the PLO's Yassir Arafat, CIA head William Colby, and of course, President Ronald Reagan.

In his free time, Thomas climbs mountains, does long distance backpacking, practices karate, performs aerobatics in antique aircraft, collects vintage wines, reads the Japanese classics, and engages in a wide variety of public service and philanthropic activities.

His career has taken him up to 20,000 feet on Mount Everest, to the edge of space at 90,000 feet in the Cockpit of a MIG-25, and to the depths of a sunken Japanese fleet in the Truk Lagoon.

Why they call him Mad? That he will never understand.