Take note, George R.R. Martin!
As he puts it, "watching Jon Snow’s epic “Battle of the Bastards” scene in the penultimate episode of this season’s Game of Thrones gives investors a sense of how it has felt to manage money during some periods over the past year. Surging enemies forming a seemingly impossible perimeter, a crush of fellow soldiers on the field, arrows coming in overhead, and the need to avoid panic and deftly use sword and shield to fight your way out of a seemingly impossible situation is a good analogy for the emotional experience of managing assets since last summer." Nearly one year into this market cycle, a few truths of hedge fund investing are evident: 1) portfolio positioning matters as much as stock picking skill; 2) factor risk, not beta, has driven hedge fund underperformance in an up market; 3) crowded trades are a symptom of the prevalence of copycat investment frameworks practiced by hundreds of funds formed over the past decade to mimic the success of many of their investing legend mentors and therefore naturally share the same outlooks and biases; and 4) putting money to work in equities and credit today requires a thoughtful perspective on global events. Macro analysis is no longer just for macro traders.