Real Talk on Ray Dalio, James Simons, Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey

May 16 2017 | 4:20pm ET

Today, we discuss “Being a Critic,” Oprah’s Awful Advice, Selling Influence at Mar-a-Lago, and how Ray Dalio and James Simons are richer than you.

Hair of the Dog

Shot: President Trump (2012): “With almost 1.3 million followers and rising really fast, everyone is asking me to critique things (and people). Finally, I will be a critic.”

Chaser: NBC: President Trump to Liberty University graduates: Nothing "is more pathetic than being a critic." 

Peak Journalism

Trump gets two scoops of ice cream, everyone else gets one -- and other top lines from his Time interview

We can call it a day on the Pulitzer Prize contest…

Quotes of the Day

"You'd think everyone would want to win more money, right?"

File this story under reasons why it’s time to give up on humanity.

The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology completed a study that determined that people are so averse to opinions they disagree with that they would even shun the opportunity to win money to read such opinions.


Reason offers a dive into the study: “They could read an article about same-sex marriage that matched their own perspective, or they could read an article about same-sex marriage that contradicted their views on the subject. They were told that if they selected the article with which they disagreed, they would be entered in a drawing to win $10. But if they selected the more comforting, self-affirming article, they would only stand to win $7.”

Here’s where it might be time to pour yourself a drink before the big reveal.

Sixty-three percent of participants chose the article they agreed with… and took the $7.

Be sure to read why…

“It was Presidents’ Day at the president’s house and the president was in town. Then, by golly, he showed up.”

Someone explain how and why Donald Trump isn’t forced to stop selling tickets to his house.

Because if you thought the Washington D.C. insider scene was bad…

Welcome to Mar-a-Lago...

The Washington Post wrote a very pointed article about events happening at Mar-a-Lago that are better suited for a terrible television show about the Kardashian family than the sitting president in charge of the world’s largest economy.

This screams: “Everything is for sale. Everything has a price.”

Meanwhile, CNN is probably walking around counting how many lemonades Trump drank…

“Those of you who have a lot of shoes know having a closet full of shoes doesn't fill up your life. Living a life of substance can. Substance through your service.”

That’s Oprah Winfrey, a person with $3.1 billion and more money than 99.99999% of the world, telling college graduates that money doesn’t make you happy.

She should give all of her money away, then. Prove to us, Oprah, that you are right.

“Hedge funds overall, as gauged by the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index, returned just 5.5 percent compared to the S&P 500's total return of just below 12 percent.”

While hedge funds on average underperformed the broader market, many of the top managers raked in hundreds of millions of dollars (and in two cases, billions.)

And what do readers like more than anything in the history of the Internet? Lists.

So here is the top 10 list on the 2016 Rich List.

1.    James Simons

2.    Ray Dalio

3.    John Overdeck, Two Sigma, $750 million (tie)

4.    David Siegel, Two Sigma, $750 million (tie)

5.    David Tepper, Appaloosa Management, $700 million

6.    Kenneth Griffin, Citadel, $600 million

7.    Paul Singer, Elliott Management, $590 million

8.    Michael Hintze, CQS, $450 million

9.    David Shaw, D.E. Shaw Group, $415 million

10. Israel (Izzy) Englander, Millennium Management, $410 million

“Thank you again to all of the participants…”

Maybe next year, Ashton Kutcher.

Tuesday’s Reading List

The Economist: A new sort of hedge fund relies on crowd-sourcing

CNBC: Hedge fund billionaire Cooperman makes big bet on media; adds AMC, Netflix

Business Times: Snap rebound accelerates as big-name funds disclose stakes

Barron’s: Elliott Backs Down On Australia Listing, Says Support For Review Of [BHP] Petroleum Business

HedgeWeek: Hedge funds up 0.64 per cent in April, says Eurekahedge

Grab the Newsletter

Follow @FINalternatives 

Be sure to check out the award-winning Modern Trader and a very special offer for first-time readers and follow @moderntradermag. 

You can also pick up a copy of the June Hedge Fund issue at Barnes & Noble.

Garrett Baldwin is the voice of the The Daily Alpha, the features editor for Modern Trader magazine, and the author of The Man with The Big Red Balloon. 


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