In the past couple of months I visited a bunch of fundamentally driven Long/Short Equity hedge funds.
It’s not a very profound observation, but one of the things that struck me was what a good time their analysts seem to have, and how enthusiastic they are about what they do. I think it’s partly because they can talk about what they do to anyone; they all have a story to tell that comes out of their research into individual companies, and telling stories is fun, and the story they tell is usually something anyone can understand.
I’m not saying what they do is easy, but they seem to enjoy what they do more than most in this arena.
And, as one of them pointed out to me, they know exactly what assumptions they’re making about the companies and products they bet on, and know pretty well what can go wrong. It’s much harder to predict what can go wrong in a more mathematical model.