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Reinventing the Financial System

By Marc Rubinstein | June 15, 2021 | 4 Comments

If you’re like me, you’ve been put off from digging deeper into DeFi by the terrible signal-to-noise ratio of anything crypto-related on the interwebs. That’s why I found this DeFi primer (using Maker DAO as a specific example) by ET contributor and banking analyst Marc Rubinstein to be so fantastic.

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Why Am I Reading This Now? 12.20.21

Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger Narrative campaign.



Why Am I Reading This Now? 12.06.21

Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger Narrative campaign.




Why Am I Reading This Now? 11.29.21

Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger Narrative campaign.



False Binary Choices

We seem obsessed with false binary choices. What do I mean – choices that aren’t really choices. Sort of like when your mom says do you want orange juice or apple juice? I don’t want juice. I want Soda. But that is not on the menu.

Do you want Brainard or Powell? Seems right in the zip code here. Like does this choice really matter? I don’t think so and the fact that markets are moving on these small binary choices that are meaningless seems like its becoming part of the weaponized Narrative arsenal.

Take a look at what I mean.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-11-23/markets-have-overreacted-wildly-to-the-powell-brainard-fed-drama?srnd=premium&sref=9XsJozxv

And btw, we’ve talked about this before.

— Harper Hunt | November 23, 2021|

Why Am I Reading This Now? 11.22.21

Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger Narrative campaign.



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Why Am I Reading This Now? 07.08.24

Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger narrativ‌e campaign.



Why Am I Reading This Now? 07.01.24

Recent major media stories that feel to us like they’re part of a larger narrativ‌e campaign.



Recent Notes

The Intentional Investor #8: Wes Gray

By Harper Hunt | July 9, 2024

in this episode, Matt Zeigler speaks with with Wes Gray, founder of Alpha Architect and ETF Architect. Wes shares his fascinating journey from growing up on a ranch to pursuing a PhD in finance at the University of Chicago, serving in the Marine Corps, and eventually building successful businesses in quantitative investing and ETF infrastructure. He discusses key moments that shaped his career, including early experiences with investing, his time in academia and the military, and how he identified opportunities in the ETF space. Wes provides insights into his entrepreneurial approach, the importance of community and collaboration in investing, and how his businesses have evolved over time. The conversation covers a wide range of topics including quantitative investing strategies, ETF structures, and Wes’s philosophy on building innovative financial businesses while maintaining a focus on family and work-life balance.

Breaking News #24: The Debate That Changed Everything | Joe Biden’s Common Knowledge Moment

By Harper Hunt | July 3, 2024

In this episode of Breaking News we look at the impact of the presidential debate and the role it played in changing the common knowledge about President Biden’s fitness for office. We explore the concept of common knowledge and illustrate how public perception shifts when everyone knows that everyone else knows something. We discuss the implications for the 2024 election, the role of media in shaping these narratives, and the potential fallout within the Democratic Party. Intertwining serious political analysis with lighter anecdotes, including a story about the Beastie Boys’ early days, we emphasize the importance of community and shared understanding in navigating these turbulent times. Join us as we break down what’s making us tick with Clear Eyes and Full Hearts.

Joe Biden and the Common Knowledge Game

By Ben Hunt | July 1, 2024

Common knowledge is what everyone knows that everyone knows.

Common knowledge is why the 2024 Biden/Harris campaign has collapsed.

All that remains is the cope.

The Intentional Investor #7: Rusty Guinn

By Harper Hunt | June 25, 2024

In this episode, Matt Zeigler talks with Epsilon Theory co-founder Rusty Guinn. Rusty shares his life journey, from growing up in rural Texas to working on Wall Street and eventually co-founding Second Foundation Partners. He discusses his experiences in finance, including roles in investment banking, private equity, and asset management. Rusty reflects on the lessons learned throughout his career, emphasizing the importance of humility, earnestness, and agency. He also talks about his decision to move to a farm in Connecticut, where he now balances his work in finance with homeschooling his children and running an apple orchard. Throughout the conversation, Rusty provides insights into the investment industry, personal growth, and the search for meaningful work and life balance.

The ETF Innovation Black Hole

By Dave Nadig | June 24, 2024

Welcome to regulatory stagnation: ETF Industry style.

Innovation is still happening inside the four walls of the established ETF ecosystem. But the structure itself?

Late-Stage.

Breaking News #23: Biden’s Losing Narrative Strategy

By Harper Hunt | June 20, 2024

In this episode of Breaking News, we examine the current state of the 2024 US presidential election and how it is playing out in the narrative world. We explore the recent Trump trial and its minimal impact on public opinion, as well as growing concerns about President Biden’s age and fitness for office. We then shift to reflections on our recent Epsilon Connect conference about being human in an age of AI, highlighting the importance of maintaining humanity and ethics in our use of technology. We also delve into the troubling state of higher education in America, particularly the exorbitant costs and increasing commercialization of college athletics.

The Intentional Investor #6: Daniel Crosby

By Harper Hunt | June 11, 2024

In this episode of The Intentional Investor, we sit down with Daniel Crosby, a clinical psychologist turned behavioral finance expert and author of the upcoming book “The Soul of Wealth.” We explore Daniel’s fascinating journey from punk rock bassist to leading voice in the world of investing psychology, discussing the importance of setting healthy boundaries, letting life’s phases run their course, and the art of translating complex ideas into actionable insights. Join us as we dive into the power of narrative, the process of learning and unlearning, and the gift of being present in life’s heaviest moments, all while uncovering the parallels between Daniel’s work and our own mission to help people navigate the intersection of investing and life.

The Intentional Investor #5: Perth Tolle

By Harper Hunt | May 28, 2024

In this episode of The Intentional Investor, host Matt Zeigler interviews Perth Tolle, founder of the Freedom Index and Life + Liberty Indexes. Perth shares her remarkable journey from growing up in China to launching a freedom-weighted emerging markets ETF strategy, which recently celebrated its 5th anniversary. She discusses her experiences with personal and economic freedom, the importance of objective data in the investment process, and the challenges she faced in bringing her vision to life.

Breaking News #22: Israel, Meme Stocks and the Rising Risks Across the Globe

By Harper Hunt | May 23, 2024

Risks are rising on a variety of fronts across the world. And market players are positioning themselves to profit before they are realized. In this episode of Breaking News, we take a tour of some of the major issues we face in the current challenging environment. We discuss the peculiar announcement by Ireland, Norway, and Spain recognizing the Palestinian state, the potential for total war in the Middle East, Rick Rieder’s suggestion for interest rate cuts and the return of Roaring Kitty and the GameStop saga. We also cover President Biden’s questionable housing proposal, and the lessons we can learn from Conan O’Brien’s appearance on the YouTube show Hot Ones.

When You Destroy the Tools of Creativity

By Kyla Scanlon | May 14, 2024

We are in an age of tremendous uncertainty. Trust has evaporated. But agency, the individual expression of trust, has evaporated, too. 

Before we can rebuild trust in institutions, we have to start by rebuilding agency in ourselves. 

The Intentional Investor #4: Bogumil Baranowski

By Harper Hunt | May 14, 2024

In this episode of The Intentional Investor, host Matt Zeigler is joined by Bogumil Baranowski to discuss the power of investing with a multi-generational mindset. Baranowski shares his personal journey from growing up in communist Poland to discovering the transformative potential of free market economies and property rights. We also discuss the importance of viewing wealth as a tree that can be planted, nurtured, and enjoyed by future generations and explore the value of community, education, and personal experiences in shaping one’s perspective on investing and life.

How To Win At Story: Conan’s Hot Ones Masterclass

By Matt Zeigler | May 9, 2024

Please, let’s have a laugh at Conan on Hot Ones, but let’s also think this out together:

How do you win at story?

I’ve got 10 rules to try and help. And, using plenty of examples from the show, let’s see if we can’t get just a little bit better at the stories we tell ourselves too.  

Breaking News #21: Donald Trump and the Story the Media Isn’t Telling

By Harper Hunt | May 9, 2024

In this episode of Breaking News, we explore a range of topics, from the lack of media coverage surrounding the billions of dollars funneled to Donald Trump through his social media company, to the pervasiveness of gambling and speculation in our society. We discuss the embedded wage-price inflationary environment and its potential impact on our fragile, optimized systems. Additionally, we delve into the creative process behind Kelly Clarkson’s hit song “Since U Been Gone” and how it relates to the construction of pop stars, media stories, and political narratives.

The Story that Changes The World

By Tom_Morgan | May 1, 2024

The ‘monomyth’ or Hero’s Journey isn’t just a script for movies. It’s also the script of our society and our individual lives.

If we let it.

The Intentional Investor #3: Howard Lindzon

By Harper Hunt | April 30, 2024

In this episode of The Intentional Investor, host Matt Ziegler interviews Howard Lindzon, the founder and CEO of StockTwits. Lindzon shares his journey from aspiring comedian to stockbroker, entrepreneur, and investor, highlighting the importance of mentorship, tight networks, and adaptability in the ever-changing landscape of business and technology. The conversation covers Lindzon’s early investments in companies like Robinhood and eToro, the evolution of social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, and the lessons he’s learned from navigating bull and bear markets.

Fidelity Reminds ETF Industry It Doesn’t Have To Care

By Dave Nadig | April 25, 2024

Free is a good price. It’s how we got Fortnite, and Radio, and a terrible internet. People hate paying for things.

That’s what Fidelity was counting on when they decided to make a stink about 9 ETF issuers not signing their revenue sharing deal.

And they’ll win. They always win.

Breaking News #20: Hot Ones and Phony Wars

By Harper Hunt | April 25, 2024

In this episode of Breaking News, we examine the recent situation with NPR and how it relates to the concept of Fiat News. We also delve into the current state of tensions between Iran and Israel and why we may see a ‘phony war” in the coming months. Additionally, we examine the underwhelming sales of Tesla’s Cybertruck and the broader decline of the EV narrative. We also have a dumb question about expansion of NATO and a Cultish Corner on Conan O’Brien’s masterful appearance on the show “Hot Ones”.

The Intentional Investor #2: Justin Castelli

By Harper Hunt | April 23, 2024

In this episode of the Intentional Investor, Matt Zeigler and Justin Castelli explore the intersection of life and investing, discussing the importance of aligning your financial plan with your personal values and vision. Justin shares his unique perspective on setting goals versus having a vision, emphasizing the significance of investing in experiences, relationships, and intellectual property rather than solely focusing on traditional financial metrics. The two discuss the role of financial advisors in helping clients live authentically and the potential for an abundance mindset within the financial system. Justin also touches on his aspirations to support others through creative ventures and the generational wisdom he hopes to pass down to his children.

Cursed Knowledge #28: Casual Gambling in Videogames

By Harper Hunt | April 18, 2024

Gambling is a big deal. And everyone’s got an opinion one way or another. It’s had a pretty insane increase over the last few years. But what happens when Gambling becomes gambling? When it stops being a grand event and is instead a much more insidious and, well, casual thing. Spoiler Alert. Nothing good. It’s now showing up everywhere. From sports, to finance, to politics, to videogames. It’s rarely obvious gambling, and that’s what we need to be worried about.

The Intentional Investor #1: Ben Hunt

By Harper Hunt | April 16, 2024

In this episode of The Intentional Investor, Matt Ziegler has a wide-ranging conversation with Ben Hunt, discussing Ben’s journey from academia to finance and the pivotal moments that shaped his career. Ben shares his lifelong fascination with games, puzzles, and cracking codes, which eventually led him to the world of investing. They delve into Ben’s experiences in academia, the lessons he learned from starting a software company, and his realization that fundamentals and value in investing are ultimately driven by narratives and game theory. Ben also discusses the genesis of Epsilon Theory, and his ongoing quest to find structure in unstructured data and stories. Throughout the conversation, they explore the interconnectedness of human, intellectual, social, and financial capital in shaping one’s life and career.