Ben Hunt

Ben Hunt

Co-Founder and CIO


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:

“Yay, Stock Buybacks!”

By Ben Hunt | June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

I saw this work of art on Twitter today, referring to Dropbox management using stock buybacks to sterilize their outrageous stock-based comp, and it made…

The Fed Won the Narrative Battle in May

By Ben Hunt | June 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Have I changed my views about the reality of inflation? Nope.

But will that impact market world? Not until it shows up in the narrative, and I have no idea when that will be.

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“Yay, Environment!”

By Ben Hunt | June 10, 2021 | 3 Comments

In Epsilon Theory-speak, we use “Yay, Good-Thing!” as shorthand for a narrative that takes a linguistic construction that we all agree is a Good Thing…

Fiat News in Action

By Ben Hunt | June 8, 2021 | 2 Comments

It wasn’t enough for ProPublica to do actual news reporting by publishing these tax records. The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How…

A Disturbance in the Force

By Ben Hunt | June 7, 2021 | 1 Comment

Yesterday, one of Softbank’s largest portfolio companies – Katerra – filed for bankruptcy. Katerra was at the heart of the relationship between Softbank and Greensill,…

The Shift to Dovish

By Ben Hunt | June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

Coming into June, the dominant market narrative around central banks is a constructive what-me-worry attitude about inflation and the Fed’s ability to deal with it.

Personally, I think this is nonsense. But that’s the core strength of systematic narrative analysis … who cares what I think!

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ET Zeitgeist: Deadly Theatre

By Ben Hunt | June 4, 2021 | 1 Comment

What is Deadly Theatre?

It’s corporate logos for Pride Month. It’s speaking gigs for Deborah Birx. It’s the cover up for Leon Black.


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Deadly Theatre

By Ben Hunt | June 4, 2021 | 1 Comment

The Deadly Theatre of corporate signaling on Pride Month continues to run rampant, with feel-good rebranding pop-ups in all the geographies where this is a…

ET Zeitgeist: Raccoons Never Sleep

By Ben Hunt | May 28, 2021 | 5 Comments

Lemonade (LMND) isn’t just an insurance company. No, no … they’re an AI Company! ™.

Plus Chamath is up to his old tricks.

I hate raccoons.

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Shot … Chaser

By Ben Hunt | May 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

P&C insurer Lemonade (LMND) went public last year and now has a $5 billion market cap. They’re not just a sleepy insurance company, of course.…