“The most thought-provoking and empirical strategist on the Street,” as one admirer describes him, Michael Goldstein of Empirical Research Partners earns his fourth consecutive No. 2 finish on this roster and captures third place on the Quantitative Research lineup. Goldstein projects that the U.S. economy will continue to improve into 2016, so he is cautioning investors against high-flying stocks that are “actually negatively correlated” with an upside macro surprise. Examples include online retailer Amazon.com; social networking giant Facebook; video streaming colossus Netflix; and Under Armour, a sports-apparel company. The strong performance these companies have delivered is no longer “the only growth game in town,” he explains, as “other segments of the market start to show improving growth.” In this environment the strategist is fairly bullish on financial services providers — particularly banks — whose shares are trading at lower multiples than current market darlings, “and there’s more optionality to the upside,” he reports. “The financials are more negatively correlated with the returns to Treasury bonds than they have been since the 1920s, which means they benefit if rates rise. Financials also tend to do well when they return capital to shareholders, and there’s scope to do more of that as the regulatory pendulum swings back a little.” On this theme, Goldstein’s favorite names include multinational insurer American International Group, as well as five of the U.S.’s largest bank holding companies, by assets: JPMorgan Chase & Co. (No. 1); Bank of America Corp. (No. 2); Goldman Sachs Group (No. 5); Morgan Stanley (No. 6); and Capital One Financial Corp. (No. 11).