François Trahan Wolfe Trahan & Co.
François Trahan “relies on the same macroeconomic data and leading indicators that everyone else does, but he breaks it down to simpler terms and makes it more understandable,” as one money manager says. The Wolfe Trahan & Co. strategist drops one rung to third place, and he also captures the No. 2 spot in Portfolio Strategy. In the first of a new series of reports, in March, Trahan concluded that the economy was entering a “late expansion” stage and that “contraction was right around the corner.” Less than two weeks later, the International Monetary Fund lowered its outlook for 2011 U.S. real gross domestic product growth from 3 percent to 2.8 percent; in June the IMF decreased its forecast to 2.5 percent and in September reduced it even further, to 1.5 percent. Trahan’s report also highlighted stocks that he believed would deliver positive returns despite a downturn, including such health care companies as Humana of Louisville, Kentucky, and two New York–based outfits, Forest Laboratories and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; those stocks rose 17.8, 10.7 and 12.9 percent, respectively, through August. During the same period the broad market fell 7 percent.