The Epsilon Theory Archive

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Mark Twain said that, or Abraham Lincoln depending on what corner of the internet you find yourself on any given day. Likewise, there are common themes, topics and subjects that run throughout the Epsilon Theory archive. All of our writing is categorized, tagged and organized to be easily accessible, but beware: your search for truth on one matter may very well lead you down any number of rabbit holes (and we hope that it does).

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The allure of a fundamental truth is powerful. Investors are hungry for that kind of clarity about markets, but it doesn’t exist. In the first in a series, Rusty discusses a framework for investing in a time of Icarus. Read more »

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We live in a Cartoon Age, an era not of alienation per Karl Marx, but of alienation per Groucho Marx. What’s the cause, what’s the future, and what do we do about all this? It’s a TL;DR cri de coeur from Epsilon Theory. Read more »

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The number one question investors ought to ask more often of a financial services company trying to sell them something is: “What is it, really?” If you don’t know what you’re investing in you’re liable to end up eating a lot of crunchy frogs. Read more »

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I don’t need to calculate a Sortino ratio to know if my dogs are doing a Good Job. Same with active investment management. Same with active citizenship. It’s all about embracing Convexity, not as a mathematical cartoon, but as a philosophy. Read more »

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Most investors think that fundamentals are sound. Most investors think that other investors think that last week's correction was about vol-selling, vol-targeting and algos run amok. But neither of those is the real story. The real story is that everybody knows that everybody knows that inflation will change the way portfolios are built and managed. Read more »

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The inevitable result of financial innovation gone awry, which it ALWAYS does, is that it ALWAYS ends up empowering the State. When too clever by half people misplay the meta-game, that’s all the excuse the State needs to come swooping in and crush them, just as they are with Bitcoin today they did with Bear and Lehman in 2008. Read more »

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Everyone reading this note has, at one time or another, gotten scared about markets and decided to hedge their professional portfolio or personal account. The Game of Markets is changing. But should we be scared? Read more »

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We’ve had a heckuva busy year at Epsilon Theory, so to ring out 2017 I thought it might be helpful to distribute a master list of our publications over the past 12 months. We’re long essay writers trying to make our way in a TLDR world, so even the most avid follower may well need a map! Read more »

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In a two-body market, the interactions of fundamental data and prices are generally predictable. In a three-body market, the epsilon — investor behaviors in response to narratives — exerts a powerful gravitational force which must be considered when building a portfolio. Read more »

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What if I told you that the dominant strategies for human investing are, without exception, algorithms and derivatives? I don't mean computer-driven investing, I mean good old-fashioned human investing ... stock-picking and the like. And what if I told you that these algorithms and derivatives might all be broken today? You might want to sit down for this one. Read more »

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