Editor's Note: Ever wonder about the inception of Hedgeye? How it all started? Our Founder & CEO Keith McCullough's memoir Diary Of A Hedge Fund Manager written in 2009 chronicles the life and insights McCullough learned on his way "from the top, to the bottom, and back again." Below is a free excerpt.
Having closed on October 9, 2007, at a record high of 1565.15, the S&P 500 reached 1576.09, intra-day, on October 11, before entering the initial stage of what would be a monumental decline.
Convinced the worst was yet to come, I began sharing my market views with anyone who cared to read them. I published a blog, MCM Macro, my token attempt to bring some semblance of transparency to the investing world, starting by publishing every call I was making and articulating the reasons why. Every call is still up there on that site.
I made short-term, and longer-term forecasts, always owning up to miscues, always an open book insofar as my rationale was concerned. Never that strong a writer, I was finding I enjoyed it, looked forward to it, and tried to improve.
I wrote constantly. I wrote from a position of truth. I had no agenda other than to chronicle my process and thoughts.
No such "open book" existed in the hedge fund world, or for that matter at the large banks and investment brokerage houses that sell research. In a market growing more perilous by the day, I was now giving former colleges, family members, and friends full access to my portfolio management process. They saw every call in real time.
In an industry that creatively need to destruct before it could truly change, I felt like I would do my small part by being accountable in the meantime, even if I was merely a virtual Portfolio Manager.
On Tuesday, April 1, 2008, I posted a three month performance report for my MCM Macro model portfolio: +2.2 percent, compared to -10 percent for the S&P 500 and -14 percent for the Nasdaq.
Along with a few partners, I officially opened the doors of Research Edge my new firm that month in New Haven, Connecticut, in a restored mansion once owned by hefty ex-U.S. President William Howard Taft, just a short walk from the Yale University campus.
As it turns out, my idea for a fresh approach to investment research had some heft of its own. I've since hired some 30 full-time employees, many of them former hedge fund analysts, including a few ex-Blue Wavers, at a time when the Street was laying off thousands.
The roster of buyside firms that have regularly come to rely on our research has swelled from just a few to more than 100.