Ben Hunt

Co-Founder and CIO

 @EpsilonTheory

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:

How Gold Lost Its Luster, How the All-Weather Fund Got Wet, and Other Just-So Stories

By Ben Hunt | June 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

Gold is money. Everything else is credit. – John Pierpont Morgan The relationships of asset performance to growth and inflation are reliable – indeed, timeless and universal – and knowable, rooted in the durations and sources of variability of the assets’ cash flows. – Bob Prince, Co-Chief Investment Officer, Bridgewater Associates Like every middle-aged white guy I …

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The Matrix Reloaded — Seeing Markets as Informational Structures

By Ben Hunt | June 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

A review of current market informational structure one week post the June 19th FOMC announcement. epsilon-theory-matrix-reloaded-seeing-markets-as-informational-structures-june-27-2013.pdf (295KB)

2 Fast 2 Furious

By Ben Hunt | June 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

We are all impaled on the crook of conditioning. – James Dean (1931 – 1955) This note is a sequel to my letter from two weeks ago, What We’ve Got Here Is … Failure to Communicate, a sequel made necessary by the market fall-out from the FOMC announcement on Wednesday. The Fed’s communications to the market are …

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The Narrative Battle is Joined

By Ben Hunt | June 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

A review of Narrative formation efforts on June 21st to support the market. epsilon-theory-the-narrative-battle-is-joined-june-21-2013.pdf (227KB)

What’s the Opposite of ‘Green Shoots’?

By Ben Hunt | June 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

An initial examination of the informational inflection point generated by the June 19th FOMC announcement. epsilon-theory-whats-the-opposite-of-green-shoots-june-20-2013.pdf (235KB)

Failure to Communicate, Part Deux

By Ben Hunt | June 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

A review of Narrative formation immediately after the June 19th FOMC announcement. PDF Download (Paid Membership Required): http://www.epsilontheory.com/download/15677/

Through the Looking Glass, or … This is the Red Pill

By Ben Hunt | June 16, 2013 | 1 Comment

There are unwritten rules for almost all social phenomena, from investing to writing epic poetry. Not that these weekly notes aspire to Homeric levels (although they do get pretty lengthy), but Epsilon Theory does follow one unwritten rule taken from the Iliad, the Aeneid, etc. in that I began this story in media res– in the middle of …

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What We’ve Got Here Is … Failure to Communicate

By Ben Hunt | June 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

From the classic Paul Newman movie, Cool Hand Luke, as the Captain administers Luke’s punishment in the prison yard for yet another escape attempt:  Captain: You gonna get used to wearing those chains after a while, Luke. Don’t you never stop listening to them clinking, ‘cause they gonna remind you what I been saying for your …

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Epsilon Theory Manifesto

By Ben Hunt | June 1, 2013 | 3 Comments

Our times require an investment and risk management perspective that is fluent in econometrics but is equally grounded in game theory, history, and behavioral analysis. Epsilon Theory is my attempt to lay the foundation for such a perspective.

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Friday Was an Important Day

By Ben Hunt | November 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

An initial examination of the informational inflection point generated by the Nov. 18th Boehner/Reid press conference. epsilon-theory-friday-was-an-important-day-november-18-2012.pdf (247 KB)