James Aitken

James Aitken

Formal First Name

James Aitken is the Founder and Managing Partner of Aitken Advisors, a one-man macroeconomic research boutique. Prior to this, he has had a lengthy career on the sell-side, advising bold institutional investors about financial system fault lines. With more than 30 years of financial industry experience, his work is widely followed by key policymakers, entrepreneurial thinkers, and investors around the world. He is also known as the insider's insider, demonstrating a great understanding of macro, politics, and financial plumbing.


  • Aitken started his career in 1992 as a foreign exchange trader.
  • He moved to London in May 1999 and in March 2002 joined the AIG Financial Products team in London.
  • He moved to UBS in 2006, where he deployed his knowledge of the inner workings of the financial system to help his institutional investor clients successfully navigate their portfolios through 2007 and 2008. 
  • At the encouragement of his clients, he established his own firm in June 2009.


  • Aitken has institutional investor clients in every asset class and sector, and in every time zone. 
  • He is a macro insider with particular expertise in FX markets. 
  • Many of the world's largest hedge funds and asset allocators rely on him to help them think through the complexities of the changing macro environment.
  • He is referred to by Raoul Pal as the "Expert's Expert".


  • Aitken has been living in London for more than 20 years now. 
  • He likes to spend his spare time with books and golf.


  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova
  • Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders by Jack Schwager
  • A Man for All Markets: Beating the Odds, from Las Vegas to Wall Street by Edward Thorp
  • An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets by Donald Alexander Mackenzie


  • Aitken has appeared as a guest on Real Vision multiple times.