‘Fast Money’ Viewers Guide

CNBC's "Fast Money," created by Dylan Ratigan and Susan Krakower, run by senior editorial producer John Melloy and now regularly hosted by Melissa Lee, has featured since its debut in 2006 a group of panelists who excel at one important thing — making money. (At least, we presume they do.)

CNBCfix, like many viewers, is interested in how these individuals make money. Here is our amateur armchair analysis, based almost solely on two years of watching nearly every show (this writer is not a professional investor, has never belonged to an exchange, and does not know anyone connected with the show).

Pete and Jon Najarian

Nicknames: The Pit Boss (Pete), The Monster (Jon)

♦ Primarily short-term options traders who detect unusually large open-interest buying before information is widely known.

♦ Trademarked a program called Heat Seeker which, according to their Web site optionmonster.com, "uncovers extraordinary buying patterns" in stock, options and futures exchanges.

♦ Pete Najarian makes many pharmaceutical recommendations. Is often ahead of even CNBC's excellent pharma reporter, Mike Huckman, in knowing timetables for new-drug developments and FDA rulings, and knowing which drugs and treatments are under discussion at medical conferences. The Najarians' father, Dr. John Najarian, is a famous transplant surgeon.

♦ Pete Najarian also is extremely well-connected to the tech sector. Both brothers are well-versed in semiconductors and chipmakers.

♦ Both mention energy stocks, and commodity stocks, frequently.

♦ Pete Najarian, unlike Jon (perhaps the most well-spoken person on CNBC), tends to speak in hyperbole about even routine stock news, such as "an absolutely phenomenal" gain.

Guy Adami

Nickname: The Negotiator

♦ Based on show's disclosure, appears to be a buy-and-hold or long-term investor. However, recommends trades most often based on heavy volume reversals, with tight stops at the point of reversal.

♦ Mentions Barron's articles far more than any other panelist.

♦ Also cites analyst upgrades for trading suggestions more than any other panelist.

♦ Once a top gold trader at Goldman Sachs, now shies away from gold and virtually never recommends it. Probably once a week, on average, reminds viewers of the risks of trading gold, how it can plunge $100 in a day.

♦ Has a level of interest in pharmaceuticals but is not as plugged in to drug developments as Pete Najarian. Regularly recommends Gilead, Celgene and speaks of Johnson&Johnson's purchase of Pfizer's consumer health-care unit in 2006.

♦ Under the Najarians' optionmonster umbrella, launched Drakon Capital in 2008, which specializes in "delivering customized market analysis, portfolio strategy, and idea generation for institutional money managers and hedge funds."

Karen Finerman

Nickname: The Chairwoman

♦ Takes fairly long-term positions in cash-strong companies. Is a relentless balance-sheet examiner, dedicated hedger and occasional activist investor. Generally on the show recommends positions taken by her firm, Metropolitan Capital Advisors.

♦ Says "we're always hedged," often using ETFs to short against long positions. Had long been fan of tobacco companies and Microsoft for their stellar balance sheets and cash positions; backed away in 2009. In summer and fall 2008, then in 2009, took a lot of positions across the oil/energy sector, including drillers, refiners and natural gas producers.

♦ Speaks more than most other panelists about developments in the bond markets.

♦ In a few instances, has spoken of quickly getting out of long positions (Citigroup, Google) that had fast moves to the downside even though, unlike Adami and Jeff Macke, she does not generally recommend trades with tight stops.

♦ Regularly decries companies and industries with massive debt problems, such as homebuilders and real estate investment trusts.

♦ Spoke of taking activist positions with Cyberonics and Huntsman.

Jeff Macke

Nickname: The Lone Wolf

♦ Retail expert who almost exclusively buys, and even occasionally shorts, "best of breed" stocks. Most prominent holdings tend to be Dow components.

♦ A huge proponent of the chart — while other panelists are often suggesting "capitulation" bounces in certain crushed companies, is the only one regularly dismissing stocks on the basis of a "broken" chart.

♦ Like Adami, will make very short-term trades based on volume reversals, "capitulation" or a perceived top. Apparently does not use options to hedge trades, but relies on tight stops to quickly exit.

♦ Occasionally speaks of closing out positions moments after the opening bell, although early in the show's tenure, made a point of saying people should not trade right at the market opening but wait for things to settle down a bit.

♦ Often cites cleanliness of stores as the biggest factor in a merchant's success.

♦ Tends to dismiss the most high-flying stocks, often stating "this is going to end badly."

♦ Likely the show's most accurate panelist of 2008 in terms of assessing overall stock direction.

Eric Bolling

Nickname: The Admiral

♦ One of the world's best oil and nat gas traders, the original anchor of the show.

♦ Stock-picking record likely a mixed bag. Famed for touting "miners, refiners, early bird diners" to great success during his tenure on the show, which ended near the time of the Dow's peak.

♦ Most impressive calls were his "Fast Money Ag Play" in which he touted MON, DE, AGU and BG among others, bullish forecasts for crude, and refinery stocks. Also was a big proponent of Apple and Research in Motion during the meteoric rise of gadget makers in 2006-07.

♦ Scoffed at the concept of "averaging" into a stock position when Joe Theismann discussed doing it.

♦ Missed greatly in his advocacy of uranium and water stocks, and with Macau gambling company Melco, and conceded his chart analysis of MasterCard was a big bust, suggesting stock charts might be less predictive than commodity futures charts.

Tim Seymour

Nickname: The Ambassador

♦ Expert on Russia, regularly recommends positions in the largest BRIC companies such as Gazprom, Vimpel, China Mobile, PetroChina, CVRD and Petrobras.

♦ Occasionally recommends stocks from other parts of the world like Latin America, South Africa and Australia, usually in mining, communications, infrastructure and occasionally banking.

♦ Rarely makes recommendations on U.S. stocks; disclosures show he holds a smattering of companies without an obvious theme.

♦ Firm Seygem Asset Management appears to make heavy use of ETFs specific to emerging markets or currencies.

Joe Terranova

Nickname: The Liquidator

♦ Seems to always hover around the oil market; talks about contango vs. backwardation more than any other panelist.

♦ Stock picks vary tremendously across sectors. Mentions technical reversals more than anyone except Guy Adami.

♦ Prone to change his mind on various stocks in less than a day, tends to exit trades faster than any other panelist other than perhaps Pete Najarian.

Tim Strazzini

Nickname: The Risk Doctor

♦ Left the show long before this site started paying close attention to the trades. Once said of Citigroup, "They'll get this thing figured out" and "Chuck Prince isn't going anywhere." However, during his tenure, was probably the best panelist at predicting buyouts, scoring specifically with Cognos, Lyondell and aQuantive.

The complete ‘Fast Money’ nickname list

The Commissioner: Dylan Ratigan
The Admiral: Eric Bolling
The Negotiator: Guy Adami
The Lone Wolf: Jeff Macke
The Risk Doctor: Tim Strazzini
The Pit Boss: Pete Najarian
The Chairwoman: Karen Finerman
The Ambassador: Tim Seymour
The Liquidator: Joe Terranova
The Emissary: Melissa Lee
The Monster: Jon Najarian
The Academic: Zachary Karabell
The Governor: Steve Grasso
El Capitan: Steve Cortes
The Big SUR: Rick Santelli
The Heiress: Erin Burnett
The Contessa: Becky Quick
The Empress: Melissa Francis
The House: Matt Nesto
La Princesa: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera
The Strategist: Jared Levy
The Kentucky Kid: Quint Tatro
The Hammer: Stacey Briere-Gilbert

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♦ Michelle Caruso-Cabrera
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♦ Erin Burnett
♦ David Faber
♦ Karen Finerman
♦ Guy Adami
♦ Jeff Macke
♦ Pete Najarian
♦ Jon Najarian
♦ Tim Seymour
♦ Charles Gasparino
♦ Becky Quick
♦ Joe Kernen
♦ John Harwood
♦ Steve Liesman
♦ Margaret Brennan
♦ Bertha Coombs
♦ Mary Thompson
♦ Trish Regan
♦ Melissa Francis
♦ Rebecca Jarvis
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♦ Carl Quintanilla
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♦ Susie Gharib
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♦ Martha MacCallum
♦ Courtney Friel
♦ Uma Pemmaraju
♦ Joe Scarborough
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