Epsilon Theory In Brief


Daily short-form pieces for those without the time (or attention span) for classic Epsilon Theory notes. Look out for regular features like the subscriber mailbag and guest contributions from within the Epsilon Theory network.

So I got that goin’ for me

By Rusty Guinn | July 23, 2019 | 22 Comments

Everyone is right about buybacks. They’re good. They’re fine. They’re ethical. Oh, and they’ll be gone, too, if the industry doesn’t realize that it’s playing a metagame and not a parliamentary debate.

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The Problem with Brussels Sprouts

By Rusty Guinn | July 17, 2019 | 17 Comments

Some things are only palatable when they have been transformed into a cartoonish version of themselves. For financial professionals that raises a moral question: how much emphasis on the cartoon of expertise about us is too much?

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Mailbag: A Modern Vocational Curriculum

By Rusty Guinn | July 16, 2019 | 2 Comments

We get a lot of email and responses, but we REALLY got a lot about our comments on a curriculum that could replace the signaling-minded post-secondary degree industry. We publish them here.

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Every Shot Must Have a Purpose

By Demonetized | July 10, 2019 | 12 Comments

Golf, as the saying goes, is a good walk spoiled. But ET contributor Demonetized finds meaning in golf’s pathology of failure.

Swing mechanics and gimmicky shortcuts? Please. In golf and in investing, you’ve got one simple rule to improve your game.

Commit to the shot.

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ET Pack Gathering #1 – Northeast US

By Rusty Guinn | July 3, 2019 | 1 Comment

It’s the Pack Gathering, a small conclave of like-minded people interested in talking ideas and enjoying good, genuine company.

The first event will take place in our headquarters town of Fairfield, Connecticut. New England and Mid-Atlantic, this is your event.

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Narrative Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

By Rusty Guinn | June 27, 2019 | 1 Comment

Missionary activity isn’t always intended to mislead. But when it is, it is almost always aided by another sociopathic tendency – the complete unwillingness to admit error. What’s worse – we are practically designed to empower it.

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A Modern Vocational Curriculum

By Rusty Guinn | June 20, 2019 | 21 Comments

So if you COULD prepare most Americans for their jobs and lives in less than a year, how WOULD you? Well, we took a shot at answering just that, and I’m sure you’ll all agree completely and wholeheartedly with our conclusions.

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The Crossover Point

By Rusty Guinn | June 12, 2019 | 3 Comments

There’s a point in any human activity – investing, politics, religion, or business – where a thing we do together becomes a thing in-itself. It’s a point that changes our thinking and the moral questions we are forced to answer. Knowing where this point lies is in all our activities is important.

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truth and Truth

By Rusty Guinn | June 7, 2019 | 4 Comments

Great Truths can be important engines for social unity and shared identity. In the hands of some, however, they can become tools for obscuring actual truth – facts – in service of cynical use of the emotional memes attached to those Truths.

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Fellow Contrarians Unite!

By Rusty Guinn | June 1, 2019 | 4 Comments

We spend a lot of time on our trade ideas, and do a lot of hand-waving at what we believe that everyone else believes. It’s a core problem for investors, and one that can’t be avoided.

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A Holy Day

By Rusty Guinn | May 27, 2019 | 1 Comment

If Memorial Day is anything, it is a day for telling and re-telling stories about Full Hearts. Let me tell and re-tell you the story of Milton Lee Olive III.

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A Clear Eyes / Full Hearts Story

By Rusty Guinn | May 19, 2019 | 1 Comment

I like to think that we do a good job responding to our readers’ questions. If we have a weak spot, however, I know where it is. It is the unerring target of the question we receive most often: “What books would you recommend?” It is a completely fair question to ask. Our work references …

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The Life Aquatic

By Demonetized | May 17, 2019 | 1 Comment

New from ET contributor Demonetized … how do you handle a counterparty that has engineered a Heads I Win, Tails You Lose investment?

You must be able to hurt your counterparty for realz. No matter what the docs say.

Or in the immortal words of Steve Zissou, “What about my dynamite?”

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What Country Friends Is This?

By Rusty Guinn | May 9, 2019 | 0 Comments

Hyper-awareness of narrative, memes and cartoons can become paralyzing. Once we see them, we see them everywhere. But much of that paralysis comes because the demands of Clear Eyes are less than the demands of Full Hearts. And it’s the latter – identity – that truly matters.

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The Funnel

By Demonetized | April 19, 2019 | 2 Comments

We know what fiat news is: the presentation of opinion as fact. We also know what fiat news looks like: pop on over to Vox and skim a few stories.

But how does fiat news WORK?

New from ET contributor Demonetized, a clear-eyed look at wolf traps and sales funnels.

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By Rusty Guinn | April 16, 2019 | 5 Comments

Disney is making a play to return to Neverland, a land where valuations are based on establishing market share and dominance of an emerging industry, where the moment you start worrying about how much money you’re making is the moment the narrative breaks. For students of markets and narratives alike, it will be worth watching.

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Strange Bedfellows and Proxy Wars

By Rusty Guinn | April 12, 2019 | 6 Comments

The arrest of Julian Assange presents one of the most fascinating, explainer-laden, Fiat News-driven narrative maps we have seen. Tread carefully in taking what you read about this one at face value, friends.

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By Rusty Guinn | April 11, 2019 | 3 Comments

The gravity of political polarization is real, and the mass which lies at the base of its well are narratives of existential risk.

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The Love/Hate Cartoon

By Rusty Guinn | April 7, 2019 | 2 Comments

When it comes to telling us how ‘the smart money’ and ‘the dumb money’ are playing it, there’s always someone who will tell us it’s Duck Season, and someone who will tell us it’s Rabbit Season. The reality is that it’s always Elmer Season. You and me? We’re Elmer in this cartoon.

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First World Problems in Fund Management

By Rusty Guinn | April 3, 2019 | 4 Comments

An interesting question with a straightforward answer. Put simply, if a fund manager tells you they’re selling, ignore the reason they give and replace it with “Big founder wants liquidity.”

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