When Byron Wien, the vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners, speaks, the market listens. The frequent CNBC guest has, in 2013 alone, called for the S&P 500 to retreat to 1300, gold will go to $1900 an ounce, and earnings performance will break down.
Apart from his prescient predictions, Wien's writings have also become cult favorites. His annual "Ten Surprises" are hailed more like the market's "Ten Commandments," and his frequent op-eds consistently provoke discussion. The strategist-cum-journalist honed his craft as a staff writer at the Harvard Crimson in the 1950s, and also served as George Soros' co-author for "Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve
Now, as he's nearing his 80th birthday (on Valentine's Day, no less), his writing of late has often taken a more philosophical bent. Two years ago, He wrote an autobiographical essay for the New York Times' David Brooks two years ago on life at age 78.