Ben Hunt

Ben Hunt

Co-Founder and CIO


Ben Hunt is the creator of Epsilon Theory and inspiration behind Second Foundation Partners, which he co-founded with Rusty Guinn in June 2018.

Epsilon Theory, Second Foundation’s principal publishing brand, is a newsletter and website that examines markets through the lenses of game theory and history. Over 100,000 professional investors and allocators across 180 countries read Epsilon Theory for its fresh perspective and novel insights into market dynamics. As Chief Investment Officer, Ben bears primary responsibility for determining the Company’s investment views and positioning of model portfolios. He is also the primary author of materials distributed through Epsilon Theory.

Ben taught political science for 10 years: at New York University from 1991 until 1997 and (with tenure) at Southern Methodist University from 1997 until 2000. He also wrote two academic books: Getting to War (Univ. of Michigan Press, 1997) and Policy and Party Competition (Routledge, 1992), which he co-authored with Michael Laver. Ben is the founder of two technology companies and the co-founder of SmartEquip, Inc., a software company for the construction equipment industry that provides intelligent schematics and parts diagrams to facilitate e-commerce in spare parts.

He began his investment career in 2003, first in venture capital and subsequently on two long/short equity hedge funds. He worked at Iridian Asset Management from 2006 until 2011 and TIG Advisors from 2012 until 2013. He joined Rusty at Salient in 2013, where he combined his background as a portfolio manager, risk manager, and entrepreneur with academic experience in game theory and econometrics to work with Salient’s own portfolio managers and its financial advisor clients to improve client outcomes.

Ben is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (1986) and earned his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University in 1991. He lives in the wilds of Redding, CT on Little River Farm, where he personifies the dilettante farmer that has been a stock comedic character since Cicero's day. Luckily his wife, Jennifer, and four daughters, Harper, Hannah, Haven and Halle, are always there to save the day. Ben's hobbies include comic books, Alabama football, beekeeping, and humoring Rusty in trivia "competitions".

Articles by Ben:

The Ghost of Arthur Burns

By Ben Hunt | September 14, 2023 | 0 Comments

In Narrative-world, we have now redefined core CPI to not only exclude food and energy prices directly, but also indirectly. If airfares went up in-line with or ‘because of’ rising fuel prices, then obviously we need to ‘adjust’ those airfare readings for a ‘true’ core CPI, right?

The ghost of Arthur Burns haunts us still.


By Ben Hunt | September 7, 2023 | 0 Comments

The latest Narrative development I’m seeing is that the US economy has “decoupled” from the other Big Three economies: China, Germany and Japan, and that has a couple of important implications for market-world, I think.

Bad News Is Good News

By Ben Hunt | August 31, 2023 | 0 Comments

Last week I wrote that the Big Idea (unmoored long-end of rates curve) had been discovered, which always means that the counter-Narrative isn’t far behind.

That counter-narrative is Bad News Is Good News TM.

Reason #7 for Unmoored Rates

By Ben Hunt | August 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

Just in the past week, a new viral thread in Narrative-world to support the ‘unmoored long-dated rates’ trade.

Freedom of Speech, Rich Men of Reach

By Ben Hunt | August 23, 2023 | 54 Comments


This note will make many readers anxious and angry, because you have been told by the political entrepreneurs of your tribe that neither Oliver Anthony nor Greta Thunberg is ‘political’ at all, and that anyone who says otherwise is a bad person.

The political entrepreneurs of your tribe are lying to you.

One Good Idea

By Ben Hunt | August 15, 2023 | 0 Comments

We’re reconfiguring the entire ET Pro service to support our Big Idea for 2023: long-dated interest rates are coming unmoored, meaning that 10-year+ Treasury yields and mortgage rates are poised not only to go significantly higher, but to do so in a sharp, punctuated and painful fashion.

Language is a Virus: Mike Pence edition

By Ben Hunt | August 11, 2023 | 61 Comments

This is not a note about Mike Pence.

This is a note about language.

This is a note about how viral words of *therapy* have infected blue tribe brains and viral words of *war and conflict* have infected red tribe brains, words that change the way we see the world and speak to the world. Words that change the way we THINK.

That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It

By Ben Hunt | July 20, 2023 | 0 Comments

Well, it’s been about three weeks since my “feel it in my bones” email describing why I think the next investable (+/- 7% or so) move in equity markets is down rather than up.

I still think that’s the case.

A Feeling In My Bones

By Ben Hunt | June 29, 2023 | 0 Comments

There is a constructed ebullience in the US economy right now, by which I mean that the usual Narrative wall of worry that Wall Street uses to grind higher has totally vanished.

And that ALWAYS ends in tears.

What Are We Even Doing?

By Ben Hunt | June 9, 2023 | 0 Comments

Over the past 14 years, Quality, Value and Skill have been useless in professional asset management.

They used to work. They don’t work any longer. But we all act as if they work.

What are we even doing?