Wisdom Tree Going Straight?

Jul.25.08 | About: WisdomTree Investments, (WETF)
An email late Thursday night announces that ETF provider Wisdom Tree (WSDT), long a non-reporting presence in the public markets,

...will host its first corporate earnings conference call for the second quarter, ending June 30, 2008. The company will announce its financial results in a news release after market closes on Thursday, July 31, 2008...

Not that the link to the “newly launched Investor Relations website: www.wisdomtree.com/ir” was working at pixel-time. And posing the question to Edgar results in a ‘No matching ticker symbol’ response, strongly suggesting that, despite the alleged new investor relations website with matching debut earnings conference call, it’s not going that straight. Yet.

Rumors that not-so-young-anymore Jono will announce a new magazine called ‘Individual Dividend Investor,’ furiously pumping stocks included in the Wisdom Tree portfolios, are totally made up. Been there. Done that. And, surprisingly enough, a subject not raised in an incisively thrusting slobber-job in the June issue of Trader Monthly.

Memo to Trader Monthly: The statement, in the article linked below, that Jonathan Steinberg had never run a money-management company before Wisdom Tree’s current iteration is flat-out wrong. While he probably didn’t mention it in the interview, his hedge funds, which also carried the Wisdom Tree name, were quietly asphyxiated about a decade ago, in the general time-frame of a Jun. 22 1998 Fortune article Why Hedge Funds And Magazines Don't Mix pointing out the unnatural correlation between the stocks in their portfolios and the content of Individual Investor magazine (mercifully R.I.P.).

So that bit about  “To say Steinberg wished to avoid the lure of beefy hedge-fund fee structures” is more unintentional comedy. The son of Saul Steinberg, widely credited with having invented greenmail, is one apple that landed very close to the tree. Let’s just hope his disclosures to the New York City Employees Retirement System [NYCERS] and the New York City Police Pension Fund were more, well, thorough.

Market Makers: The Wisdom Of Steinberg
by Michael Martin
Trader Monthly Jun. 2008
Wisdom Tree Wins Pension Mandates
Wisdom Tree press release
Jul. 21 2008