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:

The Zeitgeist – May 14, 2021

By Ben Hunt | May 14, 2021 | 3 Comments

The Colonial Pipeline embarrassment will accelerate the US gov’t’s efforts to control and co-opt crypto.

Binance, Kraken, BitMEX … they’re all squarely in the wrathful gaze of the Eye of Sauron now.

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Wage Inflation Isn’t Coming. It’s Already Here.

By Ben Hunt | May 12, 2021 | 13 Comments

Over the past four quarters, the United States has generated more wage inflation than at any point over the past 40 years.

This is not an anomaly. This is not a single quarter aberration. A wage-price inflation cycle is here.

I’m not predicting. I’m observing.

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Wage Inflation Is Already Here

By Ben Hunt | May 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

The investment question you hear constantly today is whether or not supply-driven inflation will eventually make its way into wage and price inflation. This is the wrong question … wage and price inflation are already here.

The right question is how bad this wage and price inflation cycle will be.

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The Zeitgeist – May 7, 2021

By Ben Hunt | May 7, 2021 | 8 Comments

Our weekly digest on what we’re working on …

Including this article from the WSJ: Millions Are Unemployed. Why Can’t Companies Find Workers?

I dunno, if only there were some mechanism by which companies could entice people to work for them. Weird.

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ET Podcast #10 – In Praise of Bitcoin

By Ben Hunt | May 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

Bitcoin has been subverted by the neutering machine of Wall Street and the regulatory panopticon of the US Treasury Dept.

What remains is a constructed narrative that exists in service to Wall Street and Washington rather than in resistance.

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The Martingale Market

By Ben Hunt | May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

The growing narrative resignation to a future hawkish Fed and a future tough road for high-flying, high-multiple stocks is a martingale … it makes market exuberance impossible, but also keeps the market from getting totally spooked.

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The Zeitgeist – April 30, 2021

By Ben Hunt | April 30, 2021 | 3 Comments

Here’s what we’re reading and working on this week at Epsilon Theory.

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In Praise of Bitcoin

By Ben Hunt | April 28, 2021 | 56 Comments

What made Bitcoin special is nearly lost, and what remains is a false and constructed narrative that exists in service to Wall Street and Washington rather than in resistance.

The Bitcoin narrative must be renewed. And that will change everything.

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Building a Short Book

By Ben Hunt | April 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

I’m building a target list of individual companies where I want to do further research in developing a dedicated short or long-vol portfolio with highly asymmetric risk/reward qualities. Here’s what I’ve found so far.

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ET Podcast #9 – Make, Protect, Teach

By Ben Hunt | April 22, 2021 | 3 Comments

How do we change the world? Not through corporations and political parties from the top-down, but through free-thinking citizens from the bottom-up. Not as an alienated flock, but as a cooperative pack. Not with abstractions and transactions, but with making, protecting and teaching.

Let’s gooooooo!

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