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:

It’s Always Something

By Ben Hunt | September 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

More evidence that QE is no longer an emergency government policy, but is now a permanent government program. epsilon-theory-its-always-something-september-29-2013.pdf (508KB)

Uttin’ on the Itz

By Ben Hunt | September 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

High hats and arrowed collars, white spats and lots of dollars Spending every dime, for a wonderful time If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to Why don’t you go where fashion sits, Puttin’ on the Ritz.– Irving Berlin Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it …

Read moreUttin’ on the Itz

Heeere Comes Lucky!

By Ben Hunt | September 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

“It is my understanding that the Constitution of the United States allows everybody the free choice between cheesecake and strudel.” – Sky Masterson (“Guys and Dolls”) “One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to show you a brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken. Then this …

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It Was Barzini All Along

By Ben Hunt | September 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

“Tattaglia is a pimp. He never could have outfought Santino. But I didn’t know until this day that it was Barzini all along.” – Don Vito Corleone

Same with Emerging Market growth narratives. It was Developed Market monetary policy all along.

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Shifting Narrative around Central Bank Omnipotence

By Ben Hunt | August 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

The strong Narrative around Central Bank Omnipotence, which solidified in late September 2012, is now clearly weakening in late August 2013. There are two strands of this weakening: growing concerns over Fed competence given its reliance on communication as a policy instrument, and pronounced concerns that Emerging Market central banks are powerless to control their …

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The Narrative Shift around Emerging Markets

By Ben Hunt | August 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

The core Narrative around Emerging Markets is shifting away from growth and towards value. This is a profoundly disruptive development. epsilon-theory-the-narrative-shift-around-emerging-markets-august-21-2013.pdf (50KB)

Increased Instability in US Markets

By Ben Hunt | August 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Common Knowledge informational structure around the US market has weakened in recent weeks, making the risk/reward assessment of ALL exposures — long and short — less certain. epsilon-theory-increased-instability-in-us-markets-august-19-2013.pdf (246KB)

Schrödinger’s Portfolio

By Ben Hunt | August 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

“The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived.” – Erwin Schrödinger “Quantum theory provides us with a striking illustration of the fact that we can fully understand a connection though we can only speak of it in images and parables.” – Werner Heisenberg “What we observe is not nature itself, but …

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The Framing of Macro Data

By Ben Hunt | July 31, 2013 | 0 Comments

A review of Narrative formation immediately after the July 31st release of Q2 US GDP data. epsilon-theory-the-framing-of-macro-data-july-31-2013.pdf (232Kb)

Rise of the Machines

By Ben Hunt | July 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

“Music, this complex and mysterious act, precise as algebra and vague as a dream, this art made out of mathematics and air, is simply the result of the strange properties of a little membrane. If that membrane did not exist, sound would not exist either, since in itself it is merely vibration. Would we be …

Read moreRise of the Machines