Capital Allocators Monthly - October 2019

October 31, 2019 by Ted Seides

Announcements and Gratitudes

  1. Special thanks to new sponsors of the podcast, Colmore and Northern Trust Front Office Solutions.

Reading (Ordered by reading time: tweets first, books last, and blog posts and articles in between)

  1. My Most Liked Tweet Ever
  1. Where Are the Chinese Villains?  A clever insight and tweet storm from Josh Wolfe.
  2. Think Hedge Funds are Dead?  You Don’t Get It.   My tweet storm after attending a recent Goldman Sachs hedge fund conference.
  3. Think 60/40 is Better Than an Endowment Portfolio? You Don’t Get It. Christie Hamilton, Investment Director at Children’s Health in Dallas, writes great content under the Twitter handle ROI(C)hristie. This tweet storm walks through an insider’s “basics” of endowments, which is often poorly understood by those promoting a 60/40 mix.
  4. What Executive Leaders Have in Common. Executive coach Matt Spielman from Inflection Point Partners shares a set of common characteristics he’s found from 1,000+ coaching sessions. Bottom line: you’re not alone.
  5. Private Equity – Blessing or Curse?  Bloomberg’s Everything is Private Equity Now summarizes the explosion in private equity since the financial crisis, including the eye-opening statistic that we have 8,000+ private equity backed companies and only 4,000 publicly listed companies. Josh Lerner et al published research on the Economic Effects of Private Equity spanning from 1980-2013, including data on reduction in employees of bought out companies. This modest uptick in scrutiny hasn’t fazed allocators in the slightest, but if returns come down in the years to come, I’ll lay claim to issuing an early warning call in this piece from early last year.
  6. Competition is Broken. The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition. Jonathan Tepper’s latest treatise sheds light on the demise of competition across U.S. industries, discusses how it occurred, and suggests what can be done to reverse the damaging trend.


  1. Fred Rogers interview. A slice of nostalgia with this wonderful quote (in 1994):  “I’m very concerned that our society is much more interested in information, than wonder. And noise, rather than silence. In our business, yours and mine, how do we encourage reflection?”
  2. The Biggest Little Farm. Phenomenal documentary about a couple that left traditional jobs and created a sustainable farm. I watched it twice, and I almost never have a chance to do that.


Capital Allocators

  1. Jonathan Tepper – Variant Perception of Capitalism (Episode 110) From a unique upbringing through the creation of a macroeconomic research boutique, Jonathan tells his story and discusses his latest book, The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition.
  2. Jay Girotto – Farmland Opportunity (First Meeting, Episode 10). Investing in farmland, from a twice Harvard-educated former software engineer.
  3. Ana Marshall – Applied Direct Investing at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (EP.111). Ana discusses her career as a direct investor and her application of that experience to the “super buy side.”
  4. Ash Fontana – Investing in Artificial Intelligence at Zetta Ventures (First Meeting, EP.11). Ash explains the state of AI across data sets, models, applications to business, and venture investing in the space.

Best of the Rest

  1. How I Built This:  Headspace.  The sweet sound of Andy Puddicombe’s voice was my introduction to meditation a few years ago, and the story of Headspace is fantastic.

Have a good one,