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Wagner Award Winners Share Their Success Stories

David Klein – 2013 1st Place Winner

Last year’s Wagner Award Winner, Dave Klein, continues in his role as Partner at Capital Context, an independent research provider.  Capital Context (CAPCON) was formed to offer individual investors a decision-making toolkit previously only available to sophisticated Wall Street and hedge fund investors. Simple-to-understand (and utilize) content is created thanks to a unique blend of unparalleled credit market data, cutting-edge model development, and real-world trading & research experience

Klein says that winning the Wagner Award has helped him in a number of ways.  “First, I’ve been able to present my research to a couple of different groups”, he says.  He goes on to say that winning the award has opened doors for him in business, making it easier to get hold of people and to set up business meetings.

Being a Wagner Award winner has brought Klein and his company more visibility as well.  “I’ve been contacted by a couple of large family offices about implementing the strategy from my paper. Nothing has worked out yet but the award provided visibility that I did not previously possess”, he states.

Visibility is important, as Klein and his partner Tim Backshall look to transition Capital Context from an independent research provider into a money manager, ideally as part of a larger firm.

Dave Klein of Capital Context would love to hear from NAAIM members who are interested in tactical asset allocation, licensing or partnering. To learn more, go to their website,

Tony Cooper – 2010 1st Place, 2013 2nd Place Winner, and 2011 3rd Place Winner

“I was completely unprepared”, says Tony Cooper of his first place Wagner Award win in 2010.  As a quant, Tony is more used to devising custom algorithms for people rather than winning research awards.  Tony is Managing Director of Double-Digit Numerics, a quantitative analysis and research firm located in Auckland, New Zealand.

Since 2010 and his first award, Cooper has been a major contributor to the Wagner Awards, going on to win 3rd place in the 2011 competition and 2nd Place in 2013.

Cooper attended the 2010 Uncommon Knowledge conference to present his winning paper.  He learned a lot from that conference, including discussing active management investment strategies and techniques with many US money managers.  “In New Zealand, we have fairly simple indices”, Cooper explained.  “So it was very interesting to learn from the other conference attendees what they were doing and why”.

One session in that 2010 Conference really stands out for Cooper.  He says, “It was the first time that I experienced real-time trading during a conference session.  The speaker did live trades while he was presenting his technique.  It was wonderful to see strategy put into practice”.

When he won the 1st Place award in 2010, Cooper decided to invest his $10,000 winnings into a volatility strategy.  Importantly, he waited about a year and a half before starting, to make sure the right ETF product was available.  Using the methods and strategies from his most recent win, his 2013 paper, he has significantly increased his $10,000 award to between US$30,000-$40,000.

Along with his monetary award and its investment, Cooper has profited from winning the Wagner Award sometimes where it matters the most: gains in his reputation have brought him more clients who have purchased his custom software solutions.

To learn more about Tony Cooper and his company, Double Digit Numerics, go to his website

Thomas Krawinkel – 2011 1st Place Winner

Thomas Krawinkel is a private trader based in Germany.  At the time of the Wagner Award competition, he had only recently started trading full-time, after a life as a successful financial controller and director of a small business.

When he started as a full-time trader, he had been working at it part-time for some years.  He started off using methods learned in Van Tharp’s trading courses before delving into the research presented in his paper.  It was through a trader’s chat room that Krawinkel learned of the Wagner Award competition and decided to submit his research on buying power and how it affects simulated and real-life trading results.

When asked what impact the Wagner Award had on his career, he answered “Writing this paper helped me organize my own thinking in a way that would not have happened if I had not submitted it. As a result of the research and writing the paper, I have changed my approach to trading.”

In fact, Krawinkel said that after winning the award and preparing for the presentation at the NAAIM Uncommon Knowledge conference, he discovered some new aspects to the topic of his paper and was able to present the new ideas at the conference.  He also found most helpful the appreciation of his ideas by a knowledgable audience, as NAAIM conference attendees are well versed in active investment management techniques.

Krawinkel is a private trader and as such, does not manage money for other people. However, winning the Wagner Award has brought him inquiries on managing money for others, plus he has successfully incorporated his research into his own trading.

When asked how the Wagner Award affected his career, Krawinkel joked “My supervisory board – my wife – was very pleased!”

To learn more about the Wagner Award and how to apply for the 2014 competition, download the Intent to Publish paper from the NAAIM website.

Thomas Krawinkel is interested in talking with other traders about the pros and cons of buying signals or systems from third parties.  If you are interested in discussing this topic with him, you can contact him via email at  

Gary Antonacci – 2012 1st Place Winner and 2011 2nd Place Winner

Gary Antonacci is familiar with the benefits of NAAIM’s Wagner Award, having been a winner in two consecutive years of the competition.

Gary is a consultant with Portfolio Management Consultants of Vancouver, BC, a firm that he started in 1990 to translate academic ideas into real-world applications.

After winning first place in the competition in 2012, Antonacci added several new consulting clients and also licensed his methodology to others.

Antonacci has made several appearances both in Canada and the US to discuss his methodologies.  Winning the Wagner Award has helped raise his profile in the industry.

Antonacci also said that the Wagner Award competition helped attract some publishers.  In fact, he currently has three well-known publishers that want to publish his book on dual momentum, which should be out later this year.

Gary Antonacci is grateful to NAAIM for this opportunity and for the chance to meet so many NAAIM members at the national conference and says “Winning the Wagner Award was a wonderful experience and one I will always remember”.

To learn more about Gary Antonacci, visit his website