Background: What is the Intrinsic Value of a Financier?

The question actually came to me last weekend at a party when an Englishman I was talking to said “Good Riddance” on hearing that BlueCrest had moved headquarters from London to Geneva.  I actually partly agree — probably for the first & last time — with Michael Farmer

“If one is a citizen and your country’s having a tough time, you pay your taxes and that’s it – although rather reluctantly if they are not spending it wisely,” Mr Farmer told the Financial Times. Continue reading “Background: What is the Intrinsic Value of a Financier?”

Background: More Institutional Investors in Hedge Funds may be a Mixed Blessing

Preqin has the latest Hedge Funds investor review out.  The headline number itself makes interesting reading:  Institutional Investors now comprise 61% of HF investors globally.  That usually means large investors like pension funds (note:  if you’ve been inclined to scream about greedy HF managers and have a pension fund, now might be a good time to calm down). Continue reading “Background: More Institutional Investors in Hedge Funds may be a Mixed Blessing”

Investment Strategy: How to Make Money in Bill Gross’ “New Normal”

Bull and bear in front of the Frankfurt Stock ...
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I re-read a copy of Bill Gross‘s April 2009 Investment Outlook and some things — besides his very consistent world-view and investment philosophy — were refreshed again, especially his parting words: Continue reading “Investment Strategy: How to Make Money in Bill Gross’ “New Normal””

Background: Hedge Fund Fees, Terry Smith and Warren Buffett

Terry Smith has written again about the kerfuffle he’s raised about his last entry on the Hedge Fund 2 & 20 deal.  He says that commentary on his calculation has centered either against the calculation methodology or basically said “so what?”  I don’t question his methodology, nor do I think it doesn’t rate some soul-searching.  However, there are a couple of other things that I really have an issues with: Continue reading “Background: Hedge Fund Fees, Terry Smith and Warren Buffett”

Trade Notes: Is There a way to Play Global Warming and Weather Volatility?


Mean surface temperature change for the period...
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The short answer would be an easy “Yes”.  This was emphasised most recently by the September returns of Clive Capital, Chris Levett’s commodity hedge fund based on macro calls.  He used to run a similar portfolio at Moore Capital before he left to start up his own firm in December 2007 (in case you’re wondering,  his middle name is Clive).  That fund returned 6.6% last month, that’s a pretty tidy profit on roughly USD 4 billion AUM.  More so considering it was up around 1.7% for the previous nine months.  I’m not a big fan of Clive because they tend to use rather a lot of leverage, don’t communicate much, and haven’t been able to protect the downside as they claimed in their marketing material.  In any case, the reasons for the performance are interesting, Continue reading “Trade Notes: Is There a way to Play Global Warming and Weather Volatility?”

Background: Terry Smith, Warren Buffett and Hedge Fund Fees

Terry Smith

Terry Smith, CEO of Tullett Prebon has a blog of his own, probably preparatory to his starting his new fund management shop Fundsmith.  He talks about straight talking in his aptly named blog.  If one of his first blogs is anything to go by, it should be interesting reading.  In this, he talks about fund management fees versus investing in Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett‘s investment vehicle.  To wit, Continue reading “Background: Terry Smith, Warren Buffett and Hedge Fund Fees”

Background: The Funds of Hedge Funds BS continues

After getting caught with their pants down in the Bernie Madoff affair, the FoHF industry has rediscovered Due Diligence.  You know,  the thing they used to have great reams of reports on, without any supporting evidence of investigation.  Continue reading “Background: The Funds of Hedge Funds BS continues”