I have been on the road now for the better part of three weeks and am excited to get home.
If you are a client of mine or partner of mine and actually ‘CARE’ what I am up to, you know where to find me. I call it transparency. I don’t force it upon anyone with e-mail, I put it out there in different formats so my wife, kids, partners and clients can see what I am thinking about and working on. Some want light (twitter), some want heavy (WordPress blog).
Fred and I were out for dinner last week and he was asking me what I thought about the future of the hedge fund industry. Tough question.
The word ‘transparency’ has been quite the buzz word in the hedge fund industry since 2001. Before 2001, the buzzword was ‘SECRECY’. If you invest in hedge funds for a living you know the liberties certain individuals have taken with the words.
I think transparency is about to evolve for the BETTER. Post 2008, we are evolving into transparency of LIFESTYLE. I think the lifestyle that your money managers, business partners etc…lead is extremely important. I am not talking about the managers and partners of the super rich…screw them and let them keep bullshitting each other. You can’t/won’t change them. They will always seem above the law and invincible.
But, for the average investor, the new transparency is already available, if not totally catching on. Companies like Covestor and services like ‘Stock Twits ‘ are better efforts at transparency for the masses when it comes to investing.
REPUTATION, not just RETURNS matter. I am not talking about reputation in the ‘I am on CNBC’ so I must be ‘credible’ kind of way. I am talking about real accountability for your words when it comes to the ideas you sprout.
It’s rather interesting, but many nerds (Arrington etc) have quickly used the tools of the web 2.0 to whore themselves out to their sponsors and conflicts in record time, but it’s the nerds that don’t trust the very same tools used by companies to try and fix things themselves. That’s fine with me because the haters of the new financial web can stick to Reuters headlines and Yahoo message Boards.
Those investors that are lazy, have fewer and fewer excuses to be fooled by ”Transparency’.
As per Fred’s question on hedge funds, I continue to believe they will thrive in the years to come. The good managers and funds will adopt to the new world of communcations.