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Ben Hunt

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:

Why Don’t Real Assets Work Better as an Inflation Hedge?

By Ben Hunt | February 29, 2024 | 0 Comments

I think the reason real assets like commodities are typically so disappointing in their inflation-hedging reality relative to their inflation-hedging theory is that they have no inherent pricing power. They only have a market story – and a mechanistic one at that – that they are an inflation hedge. It works for a while because enough people tell the story and believe in the story, until it gets trounced by another story, like growth/recession or supply-and-demand.

Is private credit any different?

The Semantic Universe

By Ben Hunt | February 29, 2024 | 0 Comments

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

Real-Time Narrative Shifts

By Ben Hunt | February 22, 2024 | 0 Comments

Once a truthy-sounding explanation for a market crash is widely publicized, the crash stops. It becomes safe to get back in the water.

That’s true for China today just like it was true for Bitcoin a few weeks ago.

The End of History and the Triumph of Fiat World

By Ben Hunt | February 21, 2024 | 23 Comments

The great danger of generative AI lies in its use by governments and corporations to cement the most anti-human misalignment of all – the misalignment of rulers from the ruled, of the State from the People.

Epsilon Theory University: ETFs with Dave Nadig

By Ben Hunt | February 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

Exclusively for Professional subscribers, I recently hosted ETF expert Dave Nadig for a wide-ranging discussion on everything you always wanted to know about ETFs (but were afraid to ask).

It’s one of the best things we’ve ever done, and regardless of how extensive your investing experience with ETFs might be, I promise you will learn something new here!

How Does Technology Rewire the Intricate Circuitry of the Teenage Mind?

By Ben Hunt | February 16, 2024 | 37 Comments

The central course of our children’s lives is being mind-warped by social media and smartphones, not in some ethereal ghost-in-the-machine sort of way but in an actual neural-wiring sort of way, and this research note by Kiril Sokoloff and the 13D team shows how.

The Washington Pravda and the Wall Street Izvestia

By Ben Hunt | February 14, 2024 | 8 Comments

Today both Wall Street and the White House are determined to tell you a story that inflation is over and mission accomplished. Wall Street because they want a cheaper price of money and the White House because they want to win an election.

It’s not a lie, per se, but it’s not a truth, either. It’s all just story, all the way down.

And like all sclerotic institutions, Wall Street and the White House rely on their media organs to tell the story.

The ‘No Landing’ Narrative

By Ben Hunt | February 8, 2024 | 0 Comments

We’re starting to pick up the “no landing” macro scenario in The Narrative Machine.

It’s All True (Eight Thoughts on Justin Mohn)

By Ben Hunt | February 2, 2024 | 22 Comments

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.

It’s All True

By Ben Hunt | February 2, 2024 | 22 Comments

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.