W. 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:

In the Flow – Sometimes the Answer to a Prayer is “No”

By Ben Hunt | December 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

All of the heartfelt prayers to the Fed gods went unanswered last week. Or rather, the answer was “No.” And without a Fed backstop to US-China negotiations (where the narrative continues to worsen), we are immersed in technical uncertainty.

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In the Flow – Beating the Recession Drums

By Ben Hunt | December 16, 2018 | Comments Off on In the Flow – Beating the Recession Drums

The Street is beating the recession narrative drums, culminating in Friday’s sharp sell-off in US markets. But there’s a chance for Powell to save the day, by shifting the Fed narrative to provide a market backstop to US-China trade disputes.

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You Don’t Have to Dance Every Dance

By Ben Hunt | December 11, 2018 | 3 Comments

Discretionary investment always and in all ways boils down to two things: edge and odds. In the US-China trade war game of Chicken, you have no edge. And you don’t know the odds. Time to sit this dance out.

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In the Flow – You Don’t Have to Dance Every Dance

By Ben Hunt | December 7, 2018 | Comments Off on In the Flow – You Don’t Have to Dance Every Dance

Ben’s weekly summary of the week that was in financial markets for the week ended December 7, 2018.

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The Dog That Didn’t Bark

By Ben Hunt | December 7, 2018 | 5 Comments

Sometimes the dog that doesn’t bark gives as loud a warning as the dog that does. That was true for Sherlock Holmes, and it’s true for investors, too.

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We’re Doing It Wrong

By Ben Hunt | December 4, 2018 | 5 Comments

The market is not a clockwork machine, even though we all think it is. No, the market is a bonfire.

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Pics or It Didn’t Happen

By Ben Hunt | December 1, 2018 | 10 Comments

What will it take to Burn The Oligarchy Down? Pics of a certain sort. Which is why “doctored” will be 2019’s Word of the Year.

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Burn. It. Down.

By Ben Hunt | November 28, 2018 | 18 Comments

It’s almost as if there’s a ruling class.

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American Gods

By Ben Hunt | November 25, 2018 | 11 Comments

Every idea has a story, but the story is not the idea. Stories are born, they live, and they die. But if the idea is powerful enough, it can find a new story and be reborn. Crypto must find a new story.

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What’s Your Metagame? An Open Letter to the Crypto Community

By Ben Hunt | November 23, 2018 | 21 Comments

It’s an invitation to explore a joint research program, as described in TFA3. It’s an invitation to share ideas on liberty, resistance and technological advancement. It’s NOT an invitation to share ideas about money.

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