Grant travels to rural Connecticut to spend a day with Dr. Ben Hunt, author of Epsilon Theory. In a wide-ranging discussion, Ben shares his journey from tenured academic to software entrepreneur and on to his role as Chief Risk Officer at Salient Partners and the birth of Epsilon Theory. The two discuss the importance and power of narratives in financial markets, the ways in which spending time surrounded by nature can help improve investment returns and the reason “why” is the most important question to ask.
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Breaking Spirits (w/ Ben Hunt) | Grant Williams | Real Vision™
Transcript: Over the course of the series, I've been struck by how many of my guests talk about investing as a game because it's exactly how I've always thought of it. That mental challenge is what attracts a lot of people to finance in the first place. But that game, with its ever-shifting rules, constantly seems to be actively trying to keep us from winning. To do that, it has to break us, yet another dynamic Ben was able to understand through the inhabitants of Little River Farm. So most people think that breaking a horse is-- well, we're all familiar with a bucking bronco. The westerns. The westerns, right, where Rowdy Gaines gets on there. And you break the spirit of the horse. That's what it means. That's not it at all. That's not how you break a Mustang. And I didn't know either, the process until we adopted this Mustang and until my teenage daughters told me what this is called. But it's called "negging." And it's negative attention. So here's how it works. The trainer-- in this case, our 14-year-old daughter-- she sits in the paddock with this wild horse. This horse has never been touched, never inside, never had a bridle. I mean, you've got to kind of prod it along to get it onto the train, and onto the trailer, and the light. But it's never been ridden, for sure. And she just sits there in the middle of the paddock, reading a book, with her back turned-- To the horse- To the horse. And the horse comes up and looks around. You turn your back to the horse. And she was very familiar with this because apparently, this is how-- High school. Is this? Tweenage, right, right-- where, an example would be, some boy comes up to a girl and says, oh, you'd look pretty if you cut your hair. If this negative attention. It's an insult. But it's paying you attention by insulting you or ignoring you-- studiously ignoring you. Well, these animals, these horses, are so intelligent. They're like humans in this regard. They're very social. The wild horse can't stand to be ignored, can't stand to be left alone. And so they will come up, and they'll get closer and closer. And they will initiate the first contact. They will break themselves. Interesting. And it's so much like humans are. When I think about social media and how we are, in a sense, brought in to these stories, or political parties, or the like-- we can't help ourselves. I've often wondered why people write these ferocious you know tweets about the latest thing that Trump said, or the latest thing that Nancy Pelosi said. And they get the red-state guy who-- not guys who make Twitter their life, but just kind of random guy who just-- Couldn’t help themselves- Who just can't help themselves, but just write on this stuff. Well, that's like these wild horses. We break ourselves. And once you start-- this is true for so many of the things, I think, we endure in our lives, as social animals-- once you start looking for this sort of stuff, you see it everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere, right? So this process of negging, of negative attention, of just turning your back, and you say, no, no, no. No, I've got something I want to say.