Hedge Fund Manager Interviews ~ market folly

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hedge Fund Manager Interviews

Alpha is out with their Hedge Fund Hall of Fame. In it, they have listed the first 14 inductees who have had substantial impact on the creation and rise of the hedge fund industry. The inductees include pioneers from all backgrounds and investment styles. Taken from Alpha,

The first 14 inductees have all had an outsize impact on the hedge fund industry, enjoyed spectacular long-term success and displayed tremendous originality, starting with Alfred Winslow Jones, the inventor of the modern hedge fund. James Simons is on a 20-year roll of 40 percent returns. Bruce Kovner made commodities trading a hot pursuit. George Soros’ larger-than-life adventures put hedge funds on the map, and Kenneth Griffin intends to ensure they stay there. Michael Steinhardt and Steven Cohen brought credibility to short-term trading. Paul Tudor Jones II is the macro trader writ large, Seth Klarman is the premier value sleuth, Leon Levy and Jack Nash pioneered the modern multistrategy fund, and Louis Bacon is the risk manager’s risk manager. Where they blazed trails, others followed — not least the “cubs” sent skittering into the investment world by Tiger Management Corp.’s Julian Robertson Jr. Some of the most influential figures aren’t managers at all, like Yale University’s David Swensen, who made the road less traveled acceptable."

Here are the links to all the individual interviews (
Or, in the case of Levy and A.W. Jones, interviews with their families and former colleagues). I highly recommend reading all of them, as they all bring different perspectives to the table. If anything, I recommend at least reading them for the background they give on each legendary investor. These are names that I will frequently reference on the blog and this is a quick way to get to know legendary investors/fund managers whom you might have been unfamiliar with before.

In particular, I enjoyed reading Bruce Kovner's, Julian Robertson's, Louis Bacon's, and Paul Tudor Jones' simply because I have been following them for a long time and would like to believe that my hybrid investment style combines aspects from each of their individual styles. Here are some excerpts from their interviews.

Louis Bacon, Founder of $20 billion Moore Capital Management, talks about globalization:

What’s the most pressing issue facing the world?

"A Malthusian population explosion intersecting with globalization. We have encouraged all 7 billion of the world’s inhabitants to live like Westerners, and now that they have taken the bait, we are realizing it is impossible on this small Earth. The first big hit has been to the environment; the next, which we are witnessing, is to energy prices, and it is leading to food shortages and eventually more famines. Governments are only starting to address the problem, and the planet’s most inventive and powerful economy, America’s, is leading only from the rear, if at all, given our present administration."

Paul Tudor Jones, founder of Tudor Investment Corp, who has never suffered a losing year, talks about why you also have to focus on the tape/technicals:

What’s so special about macro hedge fund managers?

"I love trading macro. If trading is like chess, then macro is like three-dimensional chess. It is just hard to find a great macro trader. When trading macro, you never have a complete information set or information edge the way analysts can have when trading individual securities. It’s a hell of a lot easier to get an information edge on one stock than it is on the S&P 500. When it comes to trading macro, you cannot rely solely on fundamentals; you have to be a tape reader, which is something of a lost art form. The inability to read a tape and spot trends is also why so many in the relative-value space who rely solely on fundamentals have been annihilated in the past decade. Markets have consistently experienced “100-year events” every five years. While I spend a significant amount of my time on analytics and collecting fundamental information, at the end of the day, I am a slave to the tape and proud of it."

Here are the links to all the interviews in their entirety; click on each name to see their interview.

Bruce Kovner, James Simons, Julian Robertson, George Soros, Michael Steinhardt, Kenneth Griffin, Seth Klarman, David Swensen, Steven Cohen, Leon Levy, Jack Nash, Louis Bacon, Alfred Winslow Jones, Paul Tudor Jones



Mark said...

Thank you - never heard of Bacon, but his quote sounds like its lifted right off my blog. Will go read his thoughts. I always like when smart people agree with me ;)

Mark said...

p.s. you said you "talked to" actual performance (I forgot the term) hedge fund managers when we had the discussion about relative versus actual performance a few weeks ago. How did you get into "contact" with said people. I assumed you were like 22 or 23 yo from your posts and comments but maybe I misinterpreted.

market folly said...

yea Bacon is right up your alley, i assumed you'd like him. you'll like paul tudor jones too, they're similar... friends as well.

and yea you assumed correct. i know some people over at maverick capital. met some others through networking, interviews, and a few presentations. really all over.

Mark said...

I can't wait for the day I know people too. I seem to roll with some huge rollers online - one guy lives on caviar and corporate jets. Another guy rolls with big shots at hedge funds. I thought you guys were just normal people like me. One day I can say I know you. Once I figure out who you all are!

Boo and Yah

market folly said...

nah i'm in the "normal people" category. just happen to know someone who has really helped me network to pursue my passion. people will know you before they know me haha

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hipping me to this set of interviews. Too bad the links go to the paginated versions instead of the print versions (I hate clicking "next").

~C. Maoxian

market folly said...

maoxian yea i hate that too.. didnt even think to link the printable versions. good thought

Mike Masland said...

These interviews are amazing. Thanks.

StockKevin said...

Insightful interviews. Great post.

market folly said...

no problem guys, glad you enjoyed them.