Top Ten Hedge Fund Letters For Generating New Equity Ideas

Why Use Hedge Fund Letters?

Hedge fund letters are a key part of our idea-generation process at Macro Ops.

I’m often asked how I come up with trading ideas. My usual response is that I do a lot of reading, talking to other traders, and thinking.
I don’t have a single funnel for sourcing trades. This is partly because we’re interested in all types of trades (ie, value, classic macro, special situation, etc…) and don’t limit ourselves to a particular approach. What we are concerned with, is asymmetry… the greater the convexity the better.

Since I can’t give you my network of traders and HF managers I talk shop with, I thought I’d do the next best thing and share with you my go-to reading list of quarterly fund letters, sites, and blogs that I read regularly for idea generation. There’s a lot of fund managers out there, and most aren’t worth their salt. The selection below includes the few I believe have the most talent.

You’ll notice this list is skewed heavily toward small-cap value managers. The reason is that these are the ideas that I’m most interested in from others. I don’t read a lot of other macro work because that’s the world I live in. And many of these value fund managers can devote a lot more time to investigating a single company than I ever could. We always do our own due diligence, of course. But when you have a stable of great value fund managers doing the initial filtering for you, it’s a big help.

Like Picasso said, “Good investors borrow, great investors steal”… or something like that.

Must Read Hedge Fund Letter Resources For Investment Idea Generation

Below are my top ten quarterly hedge fund letter must-reads. Consider these the few reports that I never miss and from which I have stolen many great ideas.

Also, reading these letters is like receiving a master’s in value investing. Some great nuggets in all of them (links to report sections included on all names).

Greenhaven Road Capital

Scott Miller runs Greenhaven Road Capital. The fund focuses on overlooked, off-the-beaten-path corners of the market. Miller routinely hunts in small-to-micro cap stocks, SPACs, spin-offs, and beaten-down companies.

Miller keeps a low profile. Getting him on our podcast is harder than reaching the pope. Instead, he keeps his head down and turns over more rocks than most investors.

You can read some of his latest ideas featured in our Value Investing Letter Recap here.

GreenWood Investors

Steven Wood runs GreenWood Investors, which is a collaborative investment fund dedicated to investing in builders and transformers globally. GreenWood’s global mandate allows it to invest in nearly any business that meets its “Builders” and “Transformers” criteria.

I enjoy Steven’s letters because not only is he a sharp thinker/investor, but he brings a unique approach to investing by focusing on the long term. Where most investors pay lip service to long-term time horizons, GreenWood walks the walk.

Alluvial Capital

Dave Waters runs Alluvial Capital, which might be the most esoteric hedge fund you’ve ever seen. The fund focuses exclusively on micro-cap and highly illiquid stocks. I’m talking about stocks that trade 1-2 shares every quarter.

Alluvial has a knack for identifying companies that everyone else either can’t find or believe are long dead.

Some of these businesses require you to own shares before sharing the latest Annual Report.

I always find new and exciting ideas when reading Dave’s letters and I know you will too.

Rowan Street Capital

Alex Kopel and Joe Maas run Rowan Street Capital, a highly concentrated growth-oriented investment firm. Rowan Street balances my natural value bias in what I read.

You can read their Guiding Principles here. Also make sure to read their Investor Letters here.

Alta Fox Capital

Connor Haley runs Alta Fox Capital, a long-biased value-oriented hedge fund with an itch of activism. I’m a huge fan of Haley’s investment framework and fundamental research rigor. He’s building a great firm and has an impressive historical track record.

Like most investors on this list, Connor invests globally and he often uncovers names I wouldn’t have found otherwise found.

You can read more about Connor’s framework and investor letters here.

Maran Capital

Dan Roller manages Maran Capital, a small investment fund that invests in overlooked small and micro-cap stocks. Along with small and micro caps, Roller spends most of his time identifying special situation ideas that generate uncorrelated returns for the fund.

I’ve found a handful of interesting ideas from Dan’s letter. I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet him personally. He’s an awesome guy and a sharp investor.

Check out his investor letters here.

Praetorian Capital

Praetorian Capital is a classic high-volatility hedge fund investing in a concentrated basket of high-conviction ideas. Harris Kupperman runs Praetorian and is the founder of KEDM.com.

1 Main Capital

1 Main Capital is a long-biased investment partnership that invests primarily in high-quality, attractively valued, growing businesses. Yaron Naymark runs the fund. You can check out our podcast with Yaron here.

I enjoy reading Yaron’s letters because there’s always one business he mentions that’s high quality, has a long runway for organic growth and margin expansion, and trades for a decent (or cheap) price.

Laughing Water Capital

Laughing Water Capital is a boutique investment partnership that invests in a concentrated number of businesses dealing with some short-term issue that management can reasonably fix.

Matt Sweeney runs Laughing Water Capital. Like Dan Roller, I’ve had the opportunity to personally meet Matt. He’s a great guy.

You can listen to our podcast with Matt here.

I love reading Sweeney’s letters because traditional stock screeners never find the stocks he buys, which is by design. Screens can’t determine whether it’s a good co. / bad co. dynamic or another short-term issue that distorts long-term core earnings power.

Bonsai Partners

Andrew Rosenblum runs Bonsai Partners, a boutique investment partnership that holds a concentrated number of high-quality businesses trading at attractive valuations. Andrew and I fish in very similar waters, so I always find 1-2 new ideas to add to the watchlist after reading his letters.

You can learn more about Andrew and his process by listening to his podcast with Good Investing Talks (here).

Important Hedge Fund Letters Recap

So these are the quarterly letters that I make sure to at least skim through each quarter if not read in their entirety. However, there’s no doubt I’ve missed a few great letters in this post.

For idea generation, I also find sites like Value Investors Club, MOI Global, and SumZero useful. VIC and SZ are free as long as you submit an approved idea.

Twitter is also a great resource for idea generation. If you know how to use it well (which is a topic for a future blog post), you can create a highly differentiated network of idea generation.

Shoot me a message at brandon@macro-ops.com if you’ve got a letter/resource you use that I didn’t mention here.

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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.