If I wasn’t on the road for six weeks I would have tried to make the iCIO conference in Carolina.
Below is Yusko’s presentation, as well as his quarterly update.
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“I have an Investment Rule that if I hear something once, I remember it, if I hear it twice, I write it down and if I hear it three times I do something about it. Coming into the quarter, while we had begun to talk about playing defense and were thinking critically about all the warning signs we highlighted in the 10 Things Sonnet, there were not that many managers (or other investors for that matter) that we talked to who were meaningfully changing their portfolios. That all changed in the past month. A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who manages a big portion of the Soros portfolio and he mentioned that he had moved to a slight net short position in the previous couple of weeks. Hear it once. Then I was talking to my good friend, John Burbank from Passport Capital, last week and he mentioned that he had dramatically reduced his net long position in the previous couple of weeks by adding more shorts to take advantage of some really crazy valuations in certain sectors. Hear it twice. Finally, I was talking to Julian last week just to catch up on markets and congratulate him on his new class of Robertson Scholars and we got talking about our portfolios and he mentioned that he was “just about neutral” which he further explained was not a comfortable place for him to be as he felt much more comfortable with 30% to 40% net exposure. Hear it thrice. Maybe they do ring a bell at the top. Maybe these guys are “early” (Julian, like Buffet, began de-risking in 2007 and many questioned both of them then), but I am going with my Rule and we will begin to lower our exposure.”