Communiqués, News

Larry Robbins Sets New Standard For Quarterly Letters

As we have discussed many times in the past, the letter to investors is an art form, especially in a down month/quarter/year. All the best shops know deflection of responsibility + rationale for losses is essential. Got your ‘nads ripped off and shoved down your throat? Naturally the explanation there is that it was due “the market’s ridiculous mispricing of equity” and investors can take solace knowing it’s just a temporary reaction– you’re still right on the numbers. But…you know…that’s what everyone says. How does one set himself apart from the pack? One word: analogies. Eleven words: Analogies likening being a steward of capital to being a bus driver.

And hey, while you’re at it– and no joke, investors LOVE this– how about a nonsensical story about driving your kids to school wherein you debate the merits of taking the GWB versus the Harlem River?



What it basically boils down to is heavy traffic = not our fault. Investors will not only be thankful their money wasn’t involved in a horrific twelve car pile up involving a fuel truck explosion but they’ll appreciate your ability to explain things (e.g. losses) in ways they can understand. Might even thank you for it.

Glenview Capital Q2 Letter [PDF; also includes 5 paragraph analogy about how investing today is like bowling]

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69 Responses to “Larry Robbins Sets New Standard For Quarterly Letters”

  1. Dart Monkey says:

    Sweet Baby Jesus ! This guy manages peoples’s savings?!!

  2. Pfluger the Barbarian says:

    Every single losing position I have ever been involved in was due to market “mispricing”. My models are flawless, but the market is imperfect.

    – Lehman Quant

  3. Chuddy says:

    Why do all of his letters have grease and chocolate stains on them?

  4. Bill Gross says:

    I would like to hear about Larry’s bathroom habits next month.

  5. Mr. Nobody says:

    How does a bus driver generate Alpha?

  6. AIG Quant says:

    Every morning I decide how to play with your money while taking a crap watching the traffic cams.
    -L. Robbins

  7. Larry Kramden says:

    One of these days Alice- bang! Zoom! To the moon!

  8. A Callous Bastard says:

    Here’s an analogy for you, sir. You are a driver of a ‘Tard Cart. Whether or not you’re on time, you’re still a retard.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Did you watermark this?

  10. Mr Tarkanian says:

    Larry Robbins I love it! I’m actually gonna murder you!

  11. Anti DB says:

    Thought the pirate spin off was pretty cool
    Larry robins
    MTA Advisors

  12. Guest says:

    TMI. I like it better Bernie Madoff style where they don’t d!ck around with your money, lose it and give you this patronizing BS but rather they give you a reliable, +1.5% up every month report.

  13. AIG Quant says:

    Managing money is like my morning craps. Whether the toilet flushes would be our alpha, and the flow out my rear would be the beta. Sometime we are so liquid and the beta so great, I feel as if I should be taking a crap standing up. Now these are great days as we are liquid, the flow is high, and the toilet always flushes; thereby generating you plenty of return. Other days I am pushing so hard, I feel as if I will go blind before it comes out. These days are not good as our liquidity is gone, the flow explodes, and the toilet only has a 52% chance of flushing.

    Now this makes me think about my taking my kids to school. My kids are a dual mandate as I want to generally beat the crap out of them, but fear someone will see me and report my actions.

    -L Robbins

  14. Anonymous says:

    nope, my darling source did.

  15. CMBS 4-Life says:

    they/it doesnt come watermarked. The bowling ally analogy was pretty solid. L-train’s analogies > GW Bush’s…which are hard to beat

  16. trojan says:

    Trade of the Week: Long E-Zpass, Shortbus

  17. CMBS 4-Life says:

    Adobe Professional editing software is sooooo nifty!

  18. The Margin Clerk says:

    they guy is worth more than all of you clowns combined….

    suk it.

    • LittleArborLoveR says:

      COF was up over 200% last year, albeit after a down 65% ’08…but still. Larry is a godsend to the investment industry/women worldwide/bus drivers/homeless people/dolphins

    • LittleArborLoveR says:

      COF was up over 200% last year, albeit after a down 65% ’08…but still. Larry is a godsend to the investment industry/women worldwide/bus drivers/homeless people/dolphins

  19. Guest says:

    LOL at use of the term clowns and also being a retard and not knowing who reads this site…

    “becoming a must-read not only for $250,000-a-year-bonus investment bank drones wondering which boss’s head is about to roll, but also among the corner-office types themselves. Financial powerhouses like JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, as well as hedge fund managers like Steve Cohen, Dan Loeb, and Ken Griffin, have been known to visit the site.”

    thanks for playing though.

  20. AIG Quack says:

    Larry, can you tell me if trading is like eating? Juse need to ask as I see food stains, so I was trying to determine if you were attempting to make an analogy between the markets and food.

  21. guest says:

    It’s a game. If he gets the money he wins, if the bus blows up he wins.

  22. guest says:

    It’s a game. If he gets the money he wins, if the bus blows up he wins.

  23. trojan says:

    quote of the day

  24. Guest says:

    Someone forgot to eat more fibre?

  25. guest says:

    I think he’s on to something. When he tanks in Q4 the GW will have been ice coated and enveloped in a white out, and the city will have no budget for snow removal. The best advice is to stay indoors and weather the storm … That should suffice to substantiate a good downside risk.

  26. xel says:

    oh oh oh… in that case, bus is hard to maneuverer, an 18 wheeler is even worse so in case anyone is interested in investing with that guy, consider me on my moped, I’ll make you billions!!!

    – prop desk guy, started in the biz with $2000 security deposit

  27. Negative ROE says:

    Analogy Analysis:

    Life is like a box of chocolates (Forrest Gump) > Investing is like driving a bus (Larry Robbins)

    Congratulations, Larry, you just lost to a retard.

  28. CoveredLong says:

    Larry,

    Monday morning, meet me in Lane 3, I’ll be the guy in a meatsuit driving a lifted El Camino with a flying B hood ornament blasting Bad Romance. Fuck my tailpipe so I know it’s you.

    -Angry Investor

  29. Education: Try it, it works! says:

    wow, i don’t think i’ve been witness to a more tasteless class of idiots commenting on an article in all my time reading dealbreaker… maybe if you guys push a little harder you could squeeze out an intelligent, and even slightly humorous line from time to time, in place of the turds you scatter on this site…stop hiding behind the net and go get a job

  30. Education: Try it, it works! says:

    wow, i don’t think i’ve been witness to a more tasteless class of idiots commenting on an article in all my time reading dealbreaker… maybe if you guys push a little harder you could squeeze out an intelligent, and even slightly humorous line from time to time, in place of the turds you scatter on this site…stop hiding behind the net and go get a job

  31. CoveredLong says:

    Yea, get a job you sparkling wiggles!

  32. Anonymous says:

    What is the Palisades Expressway??

  33. Anonymous says:

    What is the Palisades Expressway??

  34. Guest says:

    1. “wow, i don’t think i’ve been witness to a more tasteless class of idiots commenting on an article in all my time reading dealbreaker”

    really?

    2. why don’t you stop hiding behind the net, Larry, and sign your posts like a big boy hedge fund manager (Cliff Asness knows what I’m talking about!)

  35. AIG Quant says:

    Larry,
    I had a wonderful job where I was partying at the best rooftop bar in town, but while there was asked to do a trick on my skateboard. Well this is when it becomes embarrasing, as I had forgotten my skateboard at home. My boss did not think it was a forgiveable matter (unlike investors with bad PM’s), and fired me. Well that was not the worst of it, becuase when I had arrived home, I found my girlfriend (who for the record is a 7.5) in bed with some first year analyst that had “I only ride 8’s” tattooed on his chest. Now I am stuck at this place that makes me wear a pirate outfit, but that is not too bad. If only the damn parrot on my shoulder would STFU once in awhile, I would enjoy it here. I am hoping to get my CD license next week, and that should allow me to drive a bus. Upon completion of obtaining my CDL, I will promptly submit my resume to you (as a bonus I already know how to open the door on a bus).

    Your’s truely,

    Ex Skateboarding Trader

  36. mom and pop says:

    on that note what kind of decision is it to make between take the GWB and the Harlem River Drive?

  37. Aig quant says:

    P.S. I am fucking awesome at Wii bowling.

  38. Guest says:

    They shouldn’t he be able to hire a few a few of us clowns to drive his kids from Jersey to NY so that his performance can be based on financial instruments rather than parking lots?

  39. Guest says:

    They shouldn’t he be able to hire a few a few of us clowns to drive his kids from Jersey to NY so that his performance can be based on financial instruments rather than parking lots?

  40. Guest says:

    What I want to know is how many traffic violations he’s been caught making.

  41. Guest says:

    What I want to know is how many traffic violations he’s been caught making.

  42. trojan says:

    Larry, to be fair & non-sarcastic for a moment: I agree with your take on the idiosyncratic nature of lane traffic. Here after work it goes: 2 fastest, switch to 3, then maybe all the way to 4, then back to 1, before cutting into the exit lane right before the exit to screw the people who waited.

  43. Guest says:

    This would never happen at Goldman’s. They’ve got their Queueing theory quantified down to the last EZ Pass lane.

  44. Moron says:

    Goldman’s? really?

  45. Anonymous says:

    And you guys think what I write is nonsense. Seriously, I should get a job doing this stuff.

    http://proposition13.blogspot.com/2010/09/verint-systems-scenarios.html

  46. The Blacksmith says:

    Doesn’t the doofus know that a stool only has three legs and that it’s a chair that has four? A four-legged stool would be rickety, much like his theses.

  47. RichardB says:

    Glenview’s soft-dollar business is a scam

  48. Anonymous says:

    This sort of writing happens all the time in business. There are people who draft “scenarios” exactly for this purpose: http://bit.ly/9Ev5bM

  49. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly the stuff I was telling you about. They write up this nonsense and then peddle it in their marketing materials.

    http://proposition13.blogspot.com/2010/09/verint-systems-scenarios.html

  50. Guest says:

    WTF? Why all the hate and scorn? It was a quirky letter, so f*cking what? I’d rather have this than some boring, mundane regurgitated macro crap which investor letter are filled with these days.

    ~Not the L-train

  51. Samari_Sam says:

    Well if he doesn’t generate good ROI, his investors know where to wait.

  52. WhichLane says:

    I bet the diagram is on the back of the page so you have to keep flipping BACK and FORTH trying to figure out just what the hell he’s getting at with all the damn #s

  53. A Nony Mouse says:

    Get back to work, bitches!

  54. 2020 says:

    I enjoy all the comments. Asinine or not, almost always amusing. When they are too non sensical, takes away the fun. Larry and a vending Machine, good joke. Dan Loeb and Mr. Pink, yee haw.
    But it cracks me up when people talk trash about the fund performance of PMs like Larry. Most of you probably have PAs which blow, if you’re even allowed to trade more than ETFs at whatever crappy firms you work at). In the words of Tepper, these guys could buy your firm and fire you if they wanted….and if you actually mattered. Good luck with the crappy jobs and the crappy PAs.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL at the defensiveness and at you presuming–wrongly– to know anything about anyone who comments on here.

      • 2020 says:

        it’s true i’m hating blindly because my own crappy job and good (but crappily small) PA. Great blue star next to your name. How did you get it???

        j/k

        Thanks as always for being the best source of manager information on wall street.

        • AIG Quant says:

          Larry,

          Good news, I have my CDL. Where should I submit my resume? Do not worry, I will attach a copy of my CDL along with my MD degree from Barbados. I can create great models of roads, cars, and stuff with construction paper. I am hoping that I beat those from DE Shaw, JPM, Knight, and soon every other IB/HF in contacting you.

          Yours truely,

          Unemployed Ex Skateboard Trader.4

  55. 2020 says:

    did you log in and “like” your own post 3 times? Sad.

  56. SAC says:

    “these guys could buy your firm and fire you if they wanted….and if you actually mattered. ”

    O RLY?

    “…a must-read not only for $250,000-a-year-bonus investment bank drones wondering which boss’s head is about to roll, but also among the corner-office types themselves. Financial powerhouses like JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, as well as hedge fund managers like Steve Cohen, Dan Loeb, and Ken Griffin, have been known to visit the site.”

  57. 2020 says:

    No, not RLY.
    BRB
    SAC
    LOL

  58. Pleasant! There’s often somethig new to learn!

  59. Cathy says:

    Thanks for this article. I’d personally also like to state that it can often be hard if you find yourself in school and simply starting out to establish a long credit score. There are many students who are merely trying to make it and have a good or beneficial credit history can sometimes be a difficult thing to have.

  60. Jasper Keitt says:

    At this time it appears like WordPress is the best blogging platform available right now. (from what I've read) Is that what you are using on your blog?