While there are many people who work on Wall Street for reasons that have nothing to do with money (trading gives them a thrill, they enjoy analyzing companies, they love the hours, it’s what they believe they were put on this earth to do, etc), there exists at least a handful of individuals who got into this whole thing for one reason and one reason only: the cash. To those people and more, investor Jim Rogers has some advice: become a farmer. Perhaps you’re a first, second or third year investment banking analyst whose timing (re: when you graduated college but also dating back to when you were conceived) could not have been worse, for whom the year 2006 and the associated bonuses are but a dream. Perhaps you’re a seasoned veteran making great money who’s wanted to try something new but couldn’t think of an industry that could beat your current pay. Perhaps you’re employed by a hedge fund whose performance YTD is not inspiring confidence in this year’s bonus. Perhaps you’re a banker who wants to be compensated in cash and not company stock paid out over 14 years. Doesn’t matter if you’ve never done manual labor in your life, if you don’t know the first thing about milking anything, if you’re emotionally scarred from the one time you rode a tractor. If you wanna make some real money, start working your contacts on the farm. Read more »
Bloomberg Brief: Speaking of participants, a lot of commodity hedge funds got hit pretty hard by the sell-off earlier this month. Any theories what that might be about?
Jennifer Fan, Arrowhawk Capital Partners: A lot of funds’ decisions to focus on directional trading, particularly in light of the late move, is at least in part based on their capacity. Many of these funds are large, due to the fee incentive to grow as big as possible as fast as possible, and for that you need to run mostly directional bets that provide the units of volatility for the size of the markets. For us, if we’re doing things like Skype-ing farmers and trading ocean freight to get an informational edge the best way to generate alpha is through some of the examples I mentioned earlier. for this type of investing there are constraints, so we tend to be very conservative about capacity.
BB: Hang on. Skype-ing farmers?
JF: I Skype with farmers. Farmers love Skype.
RIP Hongjuo Seo. Read more »
Leveraged buyout and venture capital firms are steaming over a new carve-out provision for family farms inserted at the last minute into the carried interest tax hike that passed the House at the end of last month.
The provision appears to exempt farmers who have organized their business as investment partnerships from paying ordinary income tax on the money they take from the partnership. The new bill, of course, will treat most carried interest as income for tax purposes instead of capital gains. Private equity and VC firms say the exemption is unfair and Congress is merely cherry picking certain industries to raise taxes on. Read more »