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:

Don’t Fear the Reaper

By Ben Hunt | February 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

Buck Finemann, seventy two years old. Cantankerous old geezer. No-one liked him much, but they allowed him to play poker with them once a week because he was a terrible card player and had been known to lose as much as seventy five cents in a single evening. – Carl Kolchak, “Kolchak: The Nightstalker – …

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Goldilocks and the Dog That Didn’t Bark

By Ben Hunt | February 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

Det. Gregory: Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention? Holmes: To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. Det. Gregory: The dog did nothing in the night-time. Holmes: That was the curious incident. – Arthur Conan Doyle, “Silver Blaze” The market was down more than 2% …

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Oh Stewardess, I Speak Jive

By Ben Hunt | February 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

Instead of a long-form note this Sunday, I thought I’d write a briefer note in advance of this Friday’s jobs report. I’ll be back next Sunday, Feb. 16, with a long note taking an Epsilon Theory view on portfolio diversification. Please feel free to forward this email to whomever you think might be interested, and …

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Yen Strengthens Below 102

By Ben Hunt | February 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

There was a clear short-term narrative developed in the financial media last week creating a focal point at 102 in the Yen/USD exchange rate. The short-Yen trade is perhaps the most crowded trade in the world right now, so a strengthening of the Yen to break below the focal point is a big deal for …

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The Play’s the Thing

By Ben Hunt | February 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

There has to be a middle ground between being a Cynic and a Fool, some way of playing the game without losing one’s soul. Recognizing that all of us human animals, including me and including you, are playing multiple multi-level games … well, that seems like a good start to me.

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Flatland

By Ben Hunt | January 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.  – Oscar Wilde, “The Importance of Being Earnest” Behold yon miserable creature. That Point is a Being like ourselves, but confined to the non-dimensional Gulf. He is himself his own World, his own Universe; of any other …

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American Bandstand

By Ben Hunt | January 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

Well, Dick, it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.  – standard response to Dick Clark’s “how do you rate this song” question Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire. – Robert Frost I know nothing, except what everyone knows – if there when Grace dances, I should dance.  – …

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Parasite Rex

By Ben Hunt | January 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

The most effective alpha-generating strategies are, technically speaking, parasites. I say this with love and admiration.

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Adaptive Investing: What’s Your Market DNA?

By Ben Hunt | January 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. – Charles Darwin We think we know that chimpanzees are higher animals and earthworms are lower, we think we’ve always known what that means, and we think evolution makes it even clearer. But it doesn’t. It …

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The Construction of Robert Capa

By Ben Hunt | December 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

I went to the Democratic Convention as a journalist, and returned as a cold-blooded revolutionary. – Hunter S. Thompson Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism — which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma …

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