Experts

Nicholas Vardy

November 11, 2014

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Nicholas Vardy

ETF Strategist Nicholas Vardy is the latest addition to The Oxford Club.

Based in Europe, Nicholas is a widely recognized expert on exchange-traded funds and an accomplished investment expert. Nicholas has been a regular commentator on CNN International and Fox Business Network. He has also been cited in The Wall Street JournalNewsweek, Fox Business News, CBS MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance and MSN Money Central.

Here’s a little more about the journey that led him to you…

Growing up in Pittsburgh, Nicholas earned spending money by selling flavored ice cubes at Little League baseball games, delivering the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at 5:00 a.m. and shoveling snow during the harsh Pennsylvania winters.

For a kid from the Rust Belt who was a big Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers fan, he also lived a double life. He spent his summers studying in West Germany (before unification), France, Italy and communist Hungary on scholarships he diligently applied for while in high school.

I was lucky. My parents made me aware of opportunities other kids couldn’t even dream about. Every summer, I had the chance to dip into a completely different language, reality and culture. During the bad old days of the Cold War, not a lot of kids from the United States were spending their summers in Europe, let alone behind the Iron Curtain. It was as if I got to visit another planet each summer. And then I spent the school year back on planet earth.

Luckily, this was the kind of unusual background that top colleges were looking for.

Nicholas earned a B.A. in both economics and history and an M.A. in history in less than four years from Stanford University.

There, he discovered the work of free market economist Friedrich Hayek and wrote two theses on his work.

That work put him on track to win a Fulbright scholarship to the Karl Marx University of Economics in Budapest, making him one of the first Fulbright scholars to study behind the Iron Curtain.

Assuming his academic interests in the Soviet Union and centrally planned economies was a professional dead-end, he turned down an economics Ph.D scholarship to Oxford University and went on to attend Harvard Law School instead.

Truth be told, he wasn’t a big fan of the law. Compared with the exciting world of clashing economic ideals, law seemed pedestrian and boring. Harvard proved better fit for his classmates, including future president Barack Obama and good friend, now Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch.

As luck would have it, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down before he graduated. Suddenly, Eastern Europe and Russia were open for business.

After Harvard, he joined the world’s largest law firm, which had just opened offices in Eastern Europe. His mission – as he put it then – was to “help dismantle centrally planned economies.”

For nearly four years, he worked on the privatizations of some of the leading banks, oil companies and telecom companies in the region, listing them on regional stock exchanges. It’s this work that first exposed him to the fascinating world of investing.

Nicholas then set out to learn all he could about finance and embarked on a successful and varied business career, including launching several investment funds in Europe, founding a London-based roundtable of leading investment experts like Steve Forbes and Nassim Taleb, and writing for Eagle Publishing’s The Global Guru for 12 years alongside four other investment advisory newsletters.

In January 2018, Nicholas became The Oxford Club’s first and only ETF strategist, writing for the daily Liberty Through Wealth e-letter (formerly Investment U) and our flagship newsletter, The Oxford Communiqué.

Outside of work, Nicholas focuses on managing his personal investments and his growing family.

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