“A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.”
There are many great metaphors in life and business. However, tomorrow we have the opportunity to witness a world-class achievement - the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing - when California Chrome runs in the 146th Belmont Stakes. If successful, California Chrome will become only the 12th winner of the Triple Crown.
The Triple Crown is a test of speed, strength, and stamina. Winning the Triple Crown takes a special combination of horse, trainer, jockey, owner and veterinarian. It is incredibly difficult to win the Triple Crown – win the Kentucky Derby at 1 ¼ miles, followed by winning the Preakness Stakes at 1 3/16 mile a mere two weeks later and then a massive 1 ½ miles (a distance not often run in horse racing) three weeks later at the Belmont. The Belmont Stake will feature a field of 11 thoroughbreds with 10 challengers seeking to unseat the contender California Chrome.
If you were jockey Victor Espinosa what would be your game plan – break away early and lead from the front, play it slow and keep something in the tank for the grueling one and one-half mile race, or simply let the race unfold as it happens, be flexible and nimble, taking advantage of number 2 post position near the rail, while keeping an open mind to anything that can and will happen – knowing all the while the other 10 jockeys are looking to run you down and spoil the party?
I am old enough to vaguely remember Secretariat win the Triple Crown in 1973. However, I more clearly remember Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew in 1977 and Affirmed in 1978. My paternal grandmother loved to bet the ponies and she love to gamble as well. Maybe that’s why I became an analyst covering the gaming industry. My first horseracing experience occurred in the mid-1970s when I joined my parents and my grandmother for a day at the races on the Club Level Terrace at Arlington Park, now called Arlington International Racecourse. Ever since then, I love to watch horseracing!
Back to the Global Macro Grind...
A similar metaphor and strategy can be applied to managing money, and trust me I know, I’ve held the title “Portfolio Manager.” The one thing I learned as an equity analyst and I’ve carried through to my career as a PM is how to filter out the noise while also reading as much topical, salient and actionable literature, data, and related content. More important than reading, I also spent as much time thinking about what I read – as such I remained flexible and adaptable to new information, new data and changed my outlook, strategy and holdings accordingly. I did this while running as hard and fast as possible… Similar to Keith McCullough, Hedgeye’s CEO, and most of us on the Hedgeye team, I also hate to lose!
So here we are almost half-way through the race, mid-year 2014, Mr. PM what do you do? Read more? Think more? Are you open to new insights and a new strategy?
The Hedgeye Macro and Industrials team will host a thought leader call today with foreign policy expert, Charles Hill. Charles Hill is a diplomat in residence and lecturer in International Studies at Yale University. He is a career minister in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving in a variety of roles such as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff for the Middle East at the State Department, and executive aid to former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
I am sure Victor Espinoza has a strategy in mind for running California Chrome in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. However, I am also sure he remains open to changing and adapting his strategy as the race unfolds. Likewise, most PMs are suffering under the heavy hand of Mr. Market this year with the S&P 500 +5%, the NASDAQ +2.9% and the Dow Jones Industrials +1.6% – by comparison nearly any asset class with above average yield are outperforming, namely: REITs (IYR or VNQ) +15.6% (during my PM years I ran a REIT and Real Estate Fund), Utilities (XLU) +13.8% and Energy (XLE) +8.5%.
Did you know California Chrome’s dam is Love the Chase – a fitting name for our business! Personally, I remain bullish on REITs and I also like California Chrome to win the Belmont Stakes and thus become the 12th Triple Crown Winner because the colt has already outrun six ponies he faces on Saturday and others appear to simply be spoilers.
Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:
UST 10yr yield 2.41-2.61%
Have a great weekend!
Director - Gaming, Lodging & Leisure