🍋 Wall Street Legend Passes Away

Inside Jim Simons' academic-turned-investor career, and why some call him the greatest Wall Street investor of all time.

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“We have three criteria: If it's publicly traded, liquid and amenable to modeling, we trade it." — Jim Simons

Good Morning! Last week’s iPad ad was so bad that Apple company issued a public apology. And speaking of public relations campaigns gone wrong - Bud Light says sales are still falling over a year after its controversy. McDonald’s is launching a $5 meal deal to try and lure back customers. Thanks to hybrid work, the 7-to-7 is becoming a new 9-to-5. Plus Sam Altman’s nuclear energy company flopped during its IPO, and how Acquired became the business world’s favorite podcast.

SQUEEZ OF THE DAY

RIP To a Wall Street Legend

Jim Simons, the mathematician who ditched his academic career for Wall Street, died at 86 on Friday.

Simons was born in Boston and became a popular math professor at Harvard and MIT, and despite his unorthodox teaching methods, became a fan-favorite. 

During his 40s, he applied his genius in quantum field theory and physics to finance. Simons, known for his studies on pattern recognition, revolutionized finance by bringing that nerdiness to Wall Street.

At the time, Simons didn't know much about finance, but at age 40, he started one of the most successful Wall Street careers ever. He launched Renaissance Technologies from a Long Island strip mall.

And he was one of the first to focus on just hiring really smart people. He didn't want MBAs and polished investment bankers - he just hired the smartest scientists and mathematicians he could find.

This became his competitive advantage - Renaissance was one of the first to use advanced computers and mathematical models. So Simons was really doing quant investing at a time when nobody else was.

“I have no opinion on any stocks. The computer has its opinions and we slavishly follow them,” said Simons in an interview in 2016.

His flagship Medallion fund enjoyed annual returns of 66% (39% net of fees) between 1988 to 2018 and more than $100 billion in trading profits, according to Gregory Zuckerman’s book “The Man Who Solved the Market.”

Takeaway: While Simons was the first to pioneer quant investing - the method came to take over Wall Street, with over 1/3 of all trades in 2020 being quant investing trades. Simons was a relatively low-key guy, but some call him the greatest Wall Street investor of all time, as well as the best hedge fund manager ever. He passed away with over a $31B net worth. He also leaves behind a strong legacy of philanthropy, with all the great work he did with his Simons Foundation, one of the largest private funders of scientific research in the US, with an endowment of over $5 billion.

PRESENTED BY MASTERWORKS

Picasso’s $139 million Sale Reveals Unexpected Investment Opportunity

Last November, an iconic Picasso painting shattered expectations when it sold for a whopping $139 million at auction. Impressive, considering it was purchased for around $1 million in the late 1960’s.

But there’s a surprising group of investors also celebrating this sale: 61,000 everyday users of one investment platform.

Why? Because that platform, called Masterworks, enables anyone to invest in blue-chip paintings by artists like Picasso and Banksy for just a fraction of the cost. When Masterworks sells a painting, investors can get a return.

This way, not only the billionaires of the world can benefit from the art market.

HEADLINES

Top Reads

  • Apple apologies for dystopian iPad commercial (CNBC)

  • Bud Light sales still falling as Modelo, Coors fight to keep their gains (YF)

  • McDonald’s to launch $5 meal deal to lure back diners (Fox)

  • Goodbye 9-to-5, hello 7-to-7 (Fortune)

  • Sam Altman’s nuclear energy company Oklo plunges 54% in NYSE debut (CNBC)

  • How Acquired become the business world's favorite podcast? (WSJ)

  • Rivian, Lucid, other EV startups attempt to shore up cash, reassure Wall Street (CNBC)

  • Americans are feeling worse about the US economy amid inflation concerns (YF)

  • Oak Hill leads $1 billion private debt for Vista Model N buyout (YF)

  • ‘Big Short’ trader Danny Moses is still betting against Tesla (CNBC)

CAPITAL PULSE

Markets Rundown

Stocks closed slightly higher as more companies report earnings.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) Novavax ($NVAX) +99% after the biotech company reached a deal with Sanofi to commercialize its Covid vaccine.

  • (+) Sweetgreen ($SG) +34% after the salad chain beat revenue expectations.

  • (–) Unity Software ($U) -10% after the video game company missed on EPS.

Private Dealmaking

  • Fincantieri acquired the submarine business of Leonardo for $448 milion

  • Bain Capital invested $250 million for a minority stake in Sikich

  • Bluejay Therapeutics, a biotech focused on hepatitis D, raised $182 million

  • Hysata, a green hydrogen electrolyzers developer, raised $111 million

  • DeepX, an on-device AI chips maker, raised $80 million

  • Voyage Foods, a cocoa-free chocolate maker, raised $52 million

For more PE, VC & M&A deals, subscribe to our Buysiders newsletter.

BOOK OF THE DAY

Protect Your Peace

Your perspective on life can be your power or your prison. It can serve your anxiety, your stress, and your depression, or it can support your peace, your courage, and your growth.

Trent Shelton, one of the most groundbreaking and dynamic teachers of our time, wants to help you chart your path to a new perspective. Protect Your Peace offers tools to reshape your mindset and redefine the meaning you find in your life—tools that he knows can work for you, because he has used them himself to transform his own life.

You'll learn simple strategies for setting clear boundaries, disconnecting from negativity, honing your vision and your focus, and bringing your life into alignment with your true power and purpose—with Trent as your straight-talking, profoundly inspiring guide who's with you every step of the way.

Trent lets you know in no uncertain terms that there is a war on—a war for your worth. The toughest battle in it is the one you’re fighting within yourself. And Protect Your Peace gives you a road map to victory.

“Hard-won wisdom, practical strategies, personal stories, and deep inspiration to help you reframe your life as a force for good.”

DAILY VISUAL

Middle-Market Firms Hit Harder by Fed Hikes

41% of companies in Russell 2000 have negative earnings

Source: Apollo

DAILY ACUMEN

Resilience

Embracing discomfort and building resilience through running can lead to profound happiness and personal growth. Resilience goes beyond mere bouncing back from challenges; it's about thriving despite adversity.

Running, with its physical and mental hurdles, provides an ideal arena for cultivating resilience. Each step taken teaches us to confront discomfort head-on, fostering a mindset of growth and possibility.

Perseverance is a key lesson from running, showing us that pushing through struggles reveals inner strength and expands our perceived limits. Running offers moments for introspection and self-discovery, while the supportive running community provides camaraderie and encouragement.

By embracing discomfort and challenges, runners not only excel in their sport but also in life, paving the way for fulfillment and success. So, next time you hit the pavement, embrace the transformative journey running offers towards resilience, happiness, and realizing your fullest potential.

ENLIGHTENMENT

Short Squeez Picks

  • Benefits of working from home, according to science

  • Self-made millionaire who retired at 35 shares biggest money regret

  • The benefit young men get from being single

  • Where all the time went

  • Stop worrying about productivity and do this instead

MEME-A-PALOOZA

Memes of the Day

 

 

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Past performance is not indicative of future returns, investing involves risk. See disclosures masterworks.com/cd

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