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.
I had an unlimited travel budget and doors opening up for me as never before, but on some gut level my whole regimen was less satisfying.This went beyond my losing money, which, let’s face it was humiliating and something I wasn’t used to. But I still gave the job my all, taking a 4:03 A.M. train to get in by 5:15 A.M., first one in the door. I tuned out the backlash I was getting over my negative posture on the markets.
If anyone in my office shared my beliefs, they weren’t vocal about it. I didn’t care.
I ignored the media hype surrounding the mere words “hedge fund manager” and didn’t worry about how much money I stood not to make that year if things continued. I certainly enjoyed making money as much as the next guy, but there had always been more intangible rewards that came with trading a book, the thrill of the hunt I suppose.
Or maybe it was proving others wrong.
What always motivated me most were people telling me I couldn’t do something. You can’t play for the Thunder Bay junior team, you’re not ready. You can’t follow mining stocks, you’re a consumer-retail guy. You can’t do macro, you’re not George Soros. You can’t time the market, you’re no smarter than the rest of the pack.
Now my peers were mocking me behind my back, some were openly mad at me. I felt I was putting my career at risk by speaking up in investment meetings against the hysteria in the markets, the bubble in our very industry, and what’s more, I don’t think I even cared.
I never cared what people thought about me. I’d always been a “chirper” on the ice, and if people didn’t appreciate it, that was their problem. I knew from studying the life of my grampa Alphonse that being able to ignore what everyone else thinks was the reason he ever started his many business ventures because all of his friends and family told him he couldn’t do it.
I had just read David Nasaw’s Andrew Carnegie. The great steel titan, I’d learned, used to leave the United States for long stretches, retreating to the rural hills of Scotland to relax in a giant castle and fish in the loch, but also to think about the world differently from his industrialist rivals.
Then he would kick their asses because he knew what was coming.