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:

A Shortseller’s Perspective

By Ben Hunt | January 24, 2022 | 0 Comments

I am a shortseller by nature and (former) profession. Like my favorite comic book character, Karnak the Inhuman, my superpower is to see the flaw in all things, which doesn’t exactly make me much fun at cocktail parties but is a (sometimes) valuable skill for a portfolio manager.

So here’s my perspective on what’s happening … one big place where my spidey-sense is tingling and one big place where it’s not.

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Narrative and Metaverse, Pt. 1: The Living Word

By Ben Hunt | January 18, 2022 | 75 Comments

The past, present and future of human freedom is not determined in the macroverse but in the metaverse, and it is here where we must make our stand. First we will write the words to see the metaverse. Then we will write the songs to change it.

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.

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Bye Bye, Punch Bowl

By Ben Hunt | January 5, 2022 | 0 Comments

You know who understands how inflation absolutely wrecks the popular support of any government? The Fed.

You know who doesn’t get it? You know who doesn’t get it AT ALL? The White House.

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RIP, Expertise

By Ben Hunt | December 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

This is an unedited thread from the ET Forum that I’ve republished in close to its entirety and put outside the paywall. It’s just one example of why the ET Forum is the best thing on the Internet today … thousands of posts across hundreds of threads, written by truth-seekers from all over the world and all walks of life, speaking to each other with respect and curiosity. If this is your Pack, join us!

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Inflation Is

By Ben Hunt | December 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

Today Jay Powell had a press conference, where he had a very simple and well-delivered message: Inflation Is.

Does this mean that we’re off to the races with risk assets? No. Not by a long shot. But for one day at least, Jay Powell and the Fed got ahead of the common knowledge game.

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Inflation and the Common Knowledge Game

By Ben Hunt | December 8, 2021 | 77 Comments

At whatever point in time you think inflation will start to fade, you are being too optimistic.

Why? Because common knowledge.

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Corporate Margins Are Stronger Than You Think

By Ben Hunt | December 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

Inflation as common knowledge gives pricing power to consumer-facing companies.

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Defund the World Health Organization

By Ben Hunt | November 29, 2021 | 12 Comments

Skipping the Greek letter Xi in naming the latest Covid variant is ridiculous, not dangerous.

What’s dangerous is WHO leadership placing Chinese political interests ahead of global health interests.

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Critical State Theory

By Ben Hunt | November 24, 2021 | 13 Comments

This note is about the narrative process that makes it so politically difficult to say that yes, parents are responsible for their children’s education AND yes, our children should be taught the fact of embedded racism in our nation’s history.

And why it’s so important that we do so, anyway.

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Industrially Necessary Inflation

By Ben Hunt | November 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

Is the narrative machine of Wall Street powerful enough to create a perceived reality of “transitory” inflation even if that transitory-ness is always 12 months away from resolving itself? Even if the real-world endures high levels of realized inflation year after year after year?

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