A Review Of Javier Gonzalez’s “How to Make Money with Global Macro”

The following review is straight from Operator Kean, a member of the Macro Ops Hub. To contact Kean, visit his website here.

After reviewing Greg Gliner’s Global Macro Trading, I thought I’d work my way through another book — Javier Gonzalez’s How to Make Money with Global Macro. Since there isn’t much out there on global macro investing, this book naturally piqued my interest.

First off, the title can be a bit misleading. One would get the impression that the book provides a set of money-making investment techniques, but in reality it does nothing of the sort. Instead, the author aims to provide conceptual frameworks for the global macro practitioner.

The book is structured into 2 main portions: ‘Global Macro Introduction’ and ‘Topics on Global Macro’.

The author begins by breaking down the philosophy of global macro, dealing with epistemic issues surrounding its understanding and application. He points out that global macro practitioners have to rely on empirical observation and analysis (the art is highly reliant on inductive reasoning) rather than what has been handed down by traditional academia (riddled by ideological difficulties and unrealistic assumptions and models). I have to agree with the author on this as I personally find it difficult to reconcile what I know of the real world with the many premises taught in academia…

In the first part — ‘Global Macro Introduction’ — the author runs the reader through various decades (1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s) observing broader market themes and the performance of various asset classes/market segments (USD, equities, bonds, commodities, real estate). Charts are provided with various important events marked to display historical timelines.

The second part — ‘Topics on Global Macro’ — sees the author cover various broad topics that are of key interest to the macro practitioner. These include: wars arising from geopolitical conflict, commodity cycles, bear markets, the US Dollar, and gray swan events.

I found this section to be interesting as certain concepts like the Core-Periphery framework are explored, and the all-important implications of the US Dollar are discussed. Issues like inflation and interest rate cycles from the Fed are also reviewed. This section reminded me that alpha generation in macro investing requires a workable understanding of the intricate relationships between various market drivers and broad global developments (structural changes, economic trends, political events, cultural norms). The challenge also lies in turning this understanding into a viable mode of implementation and execution that can be replicated.

Gray swans like climate change effects and pandemics arising from biological diseases are covered in brief, but it got me thinking about how many institutions and professional investors are really considering such developments (and preparing for them). Potential alpha lies in distilling some of these gray swans, particularly if fewer people think about them…

How to Make Money with Global Macro is an easy book to work through as long as the reader knows a thing or two about the financial markets and has a rough understanding of theoretical economics. However, due to its empirical observations of various market developments over the past 4 decades, it probably would be helpful to have prior knowledge of such events to understand the context of the passages under study (but it is by no means necessary).

Additionally, it would have been enlightening if the author created a hypothetical portfolio of assets based on his book’s conclusions that could be simulated through different market conditions over the decades.

Overall, the book’s study of the various overarching and broad relationships of the world and markets intrigued me and served as an add-on framework for application in global macro investing.

Rating: 3.5/5
To find out more about the author and his work: http://macroecon.org/

 

 

How to Make Money with Global Macro

Related Posts

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Brandon Beylo

Value Investor

Brandon has been a professional investor focusing on value for over 13 years, spending his time in small to micro-cap companies, spin-offs, SPACs, and deep value liquidation situations. Over time, he’s developed a deeper understanding for what deep-value investing actually means, and refined his philosophy to include any business trading at a wild discount to what he thinks its worth in 3-5 years.

Brandon has a tenacious passion for investing, broad-based learning, and business. He previously worked for several leading investment firms before joining the team at Macro Ops. He lives by the famous Munger mantra of trying to get a little smarter each day.

AK

Investing & Personal Finance

AK is the founder of Macro Ops and the host of Fallible.

He started out in corporate economics for a Fortune 50 company before moving to a long/short equity investment firm.

With Macro Ops focused primarily on institutional clients, AK moved to servicing new investors just starting their journey. He takes the professional research and education produced at Macro Ops and breaks it down for beginners. The goal is to help clients find the best solution for their investing needs through effective education.

Tyler Kling

Volatility & Options Trader

Former trade desk manager at $100+ million family office where he oversaw multiple traders and helped develop cutting edge quantitative strategies in the derivatives market.

He worked as a consultant to the family office’s in-house fund of funds in the areas of portfolio manager evaluation and capital allocation.

Certified in Quantitative Finance from the Fitch Learning Center in London, England where he studied under famous quants such as Paul Wilmott.

Alex Barrow

Macro Trader

Founder and head macro trader at Macro Ops. Alex joined the US Marine Corps on his 18th birthday just one month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He subsequently spent a decade in the military. Serving in various capacities from scout sniper to interrogator and counterintelligence specialist. Following his military service, he worked as a contract intelligence professional for a number of US agencies (from the DIA to FBI) with a focus on counterintelligence and terrorist financing. He also spent time consulting for a tech company that specialized in building analytic software for finance and intelligence analysis.

After leaving the field of intelligence he went to work at a global macro hedge fund. He’s been professionally involved in markets since 2005, has consulted with a number of the leading names in the hedge fund space, and now manages his own family office while running Macro Ops. He’s published over 300 white papers on complex financial and macroeconomic topics, writes regularly about investment/market trends, and frequently speaks at conferences on trading and investing.

Macro Ops is a market research firm geared toward professional and experienced retail traders and investors. Macro Ops’ research has been featured in Forbes, Marketwatch, Business Insider, and Real Vision as well as a number of other leading publications.

You can find out more about Alex on his LinkedIn account here and also find him on Twitter where he frequently shares his market research.