The Road Ahead

I get e-mails from those that want to invest with me, and those that want to work for me.  My, but I am humbled.  I never thought that this blog might produce a business; I only started it to give back to the general public.

But as I get more of a response, I begin to think, “Okay, what if I succeed? What would I do?”

Here is my short outline: At AUM of $10 million, I am viable.

At AUM of $20 million, I would do the following:

  • Hire an assistant
  • Get a Bloomberg terminal.
  • Hire a permanent legal counsel.
  • Plan on starting a bond fund.
  • Engage those that invest in emerging managers.
  • Pay to get a failed mutual fund to hand the fund management contract over to me.  After that, my investors could have tax benefits for a time, and I would reduce fees to reasonable levels.

At AUM of $50 million, I would do the following:

  • Hire someone who could replace me if I died.  There are a number of people offering this to me now, and they aren’t low-quality.  But I am not there yet; I look forward to getting there.
  • Get office space near where I live.
  • Consider inviting “dirty money” to invest with me from the wirehouses.
  • Submit my performance to databases.

Beyond that, I am not sure… if I get that far, there may be other opportunities that I have no concept of now.  I know that I will outsource more the larger that I get.  That said, I think that I may have the acumen to take advantage of the situation.

5 Comments

  • cold.as.ice says:

    A quote comes to mind – “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over”.

    What is “Engage those that invest in emerging managers”?

    Delighetd to get in at start up.

    • ljoneill says:

      There is a huge amount of institutional $$ that is specifically designated for “emerging managers” – in other words, asset managers that are still very small in terms of AUM. In the institutional asset management community, a manager qualifies as emerging if the AUM is less than $2B. Pension funds typically (certainly not always) use a “manager of managers” to invest in these small managers. That allows them to put a more significant dollar amount to work but have it automatically diversified among a group of 5-10+ managers. Most pension funds don’t want to represent more than, say, 20% of a manager’s AUM, and it makes little sense for a $10B pension fund to give $10M to Aleph Investments, and so they use these one-stop shops that will diversify the assets for them.

  • microcap says:

    David, I had a very hard and fast rule that I offer you: I never ever would have anyone between me and the client. No brokers, intermediaries, nothing. Assume success—if you are calling it “dirty money” now, I promise it doesn’t get any cleaner later on.

    • “Dirty money” is what Ken Fisher called it. The money is only dirty because wirehouse brokers use a manager until he makes one mistake, and then abandon him.

      The money is dirty, because it is directed by fools who don’t understand the markets, but do understand how to manipulate client assets. For me, the fun of the game would be to deliver good asset management to them until my next major drawdown, which happens about once every five years, and then manage the withdrawal.

      Also, the fun would be establishing an independent connection with the beneficial accountholder, and trying to wean him off the loser who is his broker. Tough battle, but could be fun.

  • microcap says:

    David, as I am sure you are aware, your most precious commodity in the new venture will be TIME. Every second you spend arguing/discussing/explaining anything with a less than bright intermediary is counterproductive to your clients and your investment results.

    Keep it simple works not just for investing, but also the management of your investment business.