His coverage is second-to-none, a true must-read. We broke this interview up into two parts. Part 1 is below, with part 2 coming soon...enjoy! (And be sure to check out MarketFolly.com for more of Jay's great coverage and insights)CBM: Jay, can you give us a little background about your investment philosophy?
MF: My investment philosophy is really a hybrid of multiple styles but it really comes down to just long/short equity. Firstly, I like to focus on macro/secular themes. Then, I like to drilldown the fundamentals of whatever the sector/industry may be that I'm looking at for the 'why'.
Lastly, I like to use technical analysis to set buy points, sell points, and stops to determine the 'when' and the 'how.' I'm an equities guy and always have been, though I occassionally get into other asset classes when opportunities arise. So, I use the best of both worlds in my hybrid approach as I think you can never have too much information.
CBM: I’d love to hear a little about your evolution as an investor…what led you to develop this outlook on the investment world?
MF: I started investing and began tracking and learning from some of the big name hedge fund managers (Julian Robertson, Seth Klarman, David Einhorn, etc). Then I dabbled in trading in a separate account to try it out and had some success there too. So I started to see the benefits of both styles and tried to develop my own style to kind of combine both. So, I like to keep a core equity position and then trade around the other portion as certain signals dictate.
CBM: OK very cool. That’s a perfect lead-in to MarketFolly, your blog…what inspired you to start it?
MF: Yea I started MarketFolly.com since I noticed there was an empty niche in the financial blogosphere. No one was really tracking hedge fund movements in depth. So, since I was already tracking hedge funds for myself, I figured I could extend my familiarity on the subject to others interested.
I started to track numerous hedge funds on the blog and then added more commentary on numerous other topics as it went along. In the end, I thought I could provide a useful resource for others since I do it for myself anyways, so it worked out well.
CBM: When you started blogging, did you ever imagine you’d develop such a large following? Your readership is huge!
MF: No way. I started really cranking out content on a regular basis back in July of 2008 with 0 readers. Then, a year later, MarketFolly has over 4000 subscribers and receives over 6,500 hits on the site each day.
Needless to say it never ceases to amaze me how fast it has grown. I'd attribute it to the fact that I've just stepped right into a specific niche in the financial blogosphere.
CBM: That's amazing - good for you. So now tell us a little about how you gear MarketFolly towards your readers. Especially as it pertains to your personal research and investment philosophy.
MF: Well, MarketFolly's prime content is our hedge fund portfolio tracking series. Four times a year we siphon through tons of hedge fund 13F filings to determine what the big managers have been buying and selling. We're currently tracking 40+ funds and have plans to add even more, but we'll probably need some help to do so! We also cover the various 13D and 13G filings that funds make throughout the year too.
Additionally, we just started our hedge fund manager profile series over the past few months where we take a look at the background and investment styles of some of the best managers in the game. Then lastly, we focus on hedge fund news, macro trends, and market commentary. We'll post up some technical analysis, some secular themes we might be seeing, etc.
Basically, I just like to cover everything that I find interesting in my own research, with an obvious emphasis on hedge funds since that's what readers mainly come to the site for. We've got a nice blend of both institutional and retail investors/traders so there is a little bit of something for everyone on the site.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview, coming soon! In the meantime, be sure to visit MarketFolly.com for the latest low down from hedge fund land.
Ed note: MarketFolly turned the tables and interviewed me as well - you can read the piece here.