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The Allocator: Stinkers

August 8, 2021
BAD IDEA OLYMPIAD
Subscribe to Leanna Orr's The Allocator here
Give me your worst.

Literally, what is the worst investment idea you can conjure up for the next 12 months? As nonprofit investors gawp at fiscal year returns so ostentatious they look like typos, making money is, well, incidental. My bartender is a day trader. But even Gary can’t lose right now. 

So who could? Dear Allocator readers, you are about to find out. I officially declare open the first-annual Bad Idea Olympiad. The world’s best investors, doing their worst investing. 

You’ll recognize many of the contestants. These cool-headed and long-termist institutional leaders gamely agreed to set aside their good practices & put forth their biggest stinkers. Their picks range as widely as their mandates, from public pension CIOs and woeful long bonds to niche crypto turds. (“Hex coin,” said family office chief Al Hemmingsen. “Because while there are many shady crypto projects, only one has direct mailed their propaganda to my house.”) It’s a year-long race straight to the bottom.

Here are the rules...

Objective: The lowest one-year absolute return.

Time Frame: August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022

Universe: Anything — single security, levered private fund, commodity, crypto, or a boring old asset class — with at least quarterly valuations or an acceptable benchmark. Ted Seides would like to note for the record that his benchmark is a shoddy facsimile bloated $1B+ private companies, but nothing better exists. 

Game Plan: The Allocator is honored to bring you updated performance rankings each quarter. On the one-year anniversary of the newsletter’s launch, I will announce the winner. 

Prize Purse: A full-ride scholarship to Ted Seides’ brand-new Capital Allocators University (street value of $2.5k now; $5k as it nears hard-close). The program features industry luminaries — Scott Malpass, Annie Duke, & more — teaching the non-investing elements of being a wicked-good capital allocator.

But Ted’s generous donation has a catch. To claim the prize, you have to beat him, too.

Hardware: In addition to the scholarship, the winner will be awarded a trophy roughly the size of the Stanley Cup. 

My thanks to each of the esteemed and important allocators for taking part in this jaunty caper. If you enjoy watching competent people attempt dumpster fires, please send me your feedback & start thinking of your best bad idea for 2022. 

Competitors, I wish each of you the very worst of luck.
THE OLYMPIANS

















 
 
NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Liz Tulach
Deputy CIO
Boeing
Cash
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Donna Snider
CIO
Hackensack Meridian Health
US Fixed Income (Bloomberg Barclays Agg)
 

NAME
Title
Organization

Asset (Benchmark)
Molly Murphy
CIO
Orange County Employees Retirement System
30-Year US Treasury
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Robert Thompson
Senior Portfolio Manager, Credit
UPS Group Trust
30-Year US Treasury
 

NAME
Title
Organization

Asset (Benchmark)
Peter Madsen
CIO
Utah School & Institutional Trust Funds
Long-Duration US Treasuries (S&P US Treasury Principal STRIPS 20-30 Yr Bond Index)
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Susan Ridlen
CIO
Lilly
10-Year US Treasury
 

NAME
Title
Organization

Asset (Benchmark)
Anne Shelton
CIO
American Trading and Production Corporation
10-Year US Treasury
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Novisi Nirschl
Director of Investments
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
US High Yield (Barclays US High Yield Index)
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Valbona Schwab
Senior Partner (incoming)
Grinnell College
Performing Credit (50% Merrill HY Master II / 50% Credit Suisse Leveraged Loan Index)
 

NAME
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
@InstAllocator
Anon Twitter Influencer
*Mystery Institution*
Small-Cap Growth Stocks (iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF)
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Geoffrey Love
Head of Venture Capital 
Wellcome Trust
GameStop
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Sam Gallo
CIO
University of Maryland
Steel Futures (US Midwest Domestic Hot-Rolled Coil Steel Index Futures)
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Randy Kim
CIO
Rainwater Foundation
Silver (iShares Silver trust ETF)
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
John Greaves
Head of Investment Strategy & Research
RMPI
Small-Cap Gold Miners (Direxion Daily Jr. Gold Miners Index Bull 2X Shares)
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Ted Seides
Founder
Capital Allocators Podcast; ex-Yalie
Venture-Backed Unicorns (Cambridge Associates US VC Late & Expansion Stage Index)
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Craig Dandurand
Head of Debt
Future Fund
Bitcoin
 

NAME
Title
Organization
Asset (Benchmark)
Al Hemmingsen
CIO
Parkland Management (Single-Family Office)
HEX crypto token
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