You know how sometimes one of your friends goes through a real rough patch and then you don't see them for awhile, and then when they reappear they make it sound like everything in their life is super great even though there's no evidence of that, and in fact it really feels like they might be unemployed and lonely, living in their mom's basement kept alive only by this fantasy life that they've constructed in their own shattered mind?
If you said yes, you have a sense of what the Pershing Square Capital investor call felt like today:
Hedge fund Pershing Square has an unnamed investment position that is up big so far this year, founder Bill Ackman said on an investor call Wednesday.
"Our undisclosed position [is] up slightly more than double digits," he said on the firm's quarterly call.
Oh? That's great, Bill. And you're feeling well?
But Ackman said year-to-date performance for Pershing ranged from 1.9 percent to 3.6 percent, depending on the specific fund. The S&P 500 is up more than 7 percent this year at record highs. Pershing managed more than $10.9 billion at the end of 2016.
Ok, so that's been tough huh? Do you want to talk about that, or?
Ackman told investors in January he had put 10 percent of the fund's capital in two new positions, but declined to reveal what they were.
"We made two investments over the past 4 months. One we continue to retain," said Ackman on Wednesday's call. "We believe it's an attractive investment and if were priced at a lower price we would buy more."
The hedge fund manager said the name he still holds is up roughly 30 percent.
Well that position sounds really great and we'd love to meet it. Frankly we're relieved to hear that you've invested in someone since when we saw you Monday it seemed like you were regressing a bit with all that talk about Howard Hughes Corp. Don't get us wrong, it was nice to see you and everything but you and HHC have been on and off for awhile and it just felt like you were...not to be mean, but stuck in a rut. But hey, this new position sounds wonderful and like we said, we can't wait to hear more about it...
And here's the kicker. It sounds like he's not planning on letting it get out what this position is until Pershing has already sold.
"We still like it at the current share price, [but] not enough to add," Ackman said. "Once we exit, you can expect an update on that investment."
Yeah? Umm, Bill? It's fine if you're just working on yourself these days, we don't always need new positions to make us feel like we're worthy of investment. It's just the two of us, Bill, you can level with us...
Wait, is this about Uncle Carl? You can't keep all of your positions hidden away from him, Bill. That's no way to live. You need to learn that he can only hurt you if you let him.
Let's hug this out.