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:

Narrative and Metaverse, Pt. 3: The Luther Protocol

By Ben Hunt | March 24, 2022 | 73 Comments

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – MLK

Does it? Does it really?

Today we take a stand to defend the arc of the moral universe in its long path towards liberty and justice for all. Today we begin the Luther Protocol.

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The Word of the Day is “Soothing”

By Ben Hunt | March 16, 2022 | 0 Comments

I personally thought what Powell said in his presser today was market-negative. But who cares what I think! What matters is how market participants are geared to interpret what Powell was saying, and our narrative machine clearly showed they would interpret it positively. No matter what he actually said.

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They’re Not Sending Their Best

By Ben Hunt | March 15, 2022 | 16 Comments

The Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act is an abomination. It won’t lower gas prices, it will raise them. And the sponsors of the bill know it.

This bill was not written to become a good law. It was written to tell a good story.

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Trading Sardines

By Ben Hunt | March 10, 2022 | 0 Comments

In commodity markets, crypto markets, and equity markets … we’re all sardine traders now.

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Tough Guys

By Ben Hunt | March 7, 2022 | 49 Comments

Using NATO to escalate a shooting war with Russia – either directly through a no-fly zone or indirectly through a Polish cut-out and NATO “backfill” – is exactly what Putin wants. It’s the only thing that can save him. It’s how we ALL lose.

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Weeks Where Decades Happen

By Ben Hunt | February 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

I don’t think the proposed Russia sanctions are likely to trigger a systemic financial crisis, and I think Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling is posturing for Ukrainian settlement negotiations. I really don’t see the path to a global crisis here. Famous last words, I know …

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By Ben Hunt | February 21, 2022 | 10 Comments

Tired: Pump and Dump

Wired: ChaChaCha!

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The Inflation Narrative’s Third Act

By Ben Hunt | February 8, 2022 | 0 Comments

The structure of a market narrative isn’t as settled or as constructed as a Hollywood script, but it’s not too far off, either.

We’re in Act Three of the inflation narrative.

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Narrative and Metaverse, Pt. 2: Gain of Function

By Ben Hunt | February 2, 2022 | 78 Comments

Big Tech, Big Media and Big Politics are engaged in a widespread program of gain-of-function research on the linguistic entities of the metaverse.

It’s more dangerous than any virus.

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Getting to War

By Ben Hunt | January 28, 2022 | 46 Comments

The international “negotiations” over Ukraine are 100% designed for domestic Russian consumption. They are as necessary a part of successfully invading Ukraine as mobilizing troops and tanks.

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