We Have Liftoff!
Today is the official release day for The Allocator's Edge! A part of me never thought this day would come. It has been a long and winding road to get to this point, beginning with a fateful email from my (now) editor at Harriman House, Craig Pearce, on October 26th, 2017.
Craig stumbled across one of my blog posts and some of my Twitter activity and saw enough to gauge my interest in writing a book. To say I was flattered is an understatement.
Over four years have now passed since this first became a germ of an idea in my brain to now having the finished product arriving on people's doorsteps this week (hopefully today if you pre-ordered on Amazon)!
The scope of this project intimidated me at first. Heck, if I'm being honest it intimidated me just about the whole way through. That said, I knew it was an opportunity I had to seize. A dream of mine that had to be fulfilled.
I'm feeling a lot of feelings today. Joy. Relief. Pride. Exhaustion. A sense of accomplishment. A pinch of anxiety.
In an odd way, today being the official release date is a bit anticlimactic in the sense that it feels like it's already been "out there" for several weeks now. Early copies are already out in the wild, having made their way to various friends, colleagues, and media outlets. The promotional tour has been in full swing. I've been podcasting up a storm.
The week before Thanksgiving was a whirlwind. I recorded four different shows in as many days.
I had a blast talking with my buddy Meb Faber about all things alts. Meb is as cool as the other side of the pillow and is one of my favorite people in the industry. I can't wait for this one to drop (Monday, 12/6).
I finished off the week with a late Friday afternoon jam session with Adam Butler, Rodrigo Gordillo, and Mike Philbrick from ReSolve Asset Management on their show ReSolve's Riffs. In addition to releasing it as an audio podcast, they also livestreamed it on YouTube as we recorded which allowed for taking Q&A from the audience on the fly. My only complaint was that I didn't get the memo about happy hour starting early in the Cayman Islands where they're based. Next time (if they'll have me back) I'll be prepared with cocktail in hand!
That Wednesday, I had the distinct pleasure of joining Christine Benz and Jeff Ptak on Morningstar's excellent podcast, The Long View. Christine and Jeff are consummate professionals and asked some incredibly thoughtful questions in this multi-faceted conversation. We joked that it was the episode so nice we recorded it twice:
Fortunately, both Christine and Jeff are both a pleasure to talk to so it didn't feel like a chore starting over. Plus it gave me a mulligan on a few questions I wanted to fine tune my responses to :)
And last but not least there was my brief, yet amazing trip to NYC to record The Compound and Friends podcast with Josh Brown, Michael Batnick, and my co-guest, the legendary Jim O'Shaughnessy. It was my first time in NYC in over two years and I had forgotten how much I love visiting there. I'm also happy to report that LaGuardia is no longer a dump.
Where do I even begin? Jim's classic book, What Works on Wall Street, was incredibly influential to me in my formative years and should be required reading for all professional investors. Josh's blog, The Reformed Broker, was the primary inspiration for starting my own blog. And without this blog, there would have never been a book. Also, Michael was there*.
To be sitting around the table with this group, telling stories and making wisecracks, was surreal and an experience I will not soon forget. There were so many fun moments on the show, chief among them Batnick going full Funkhouser. I decided to gift each of them a wrestling action figure** from my personal collection, curated to their personalities. They probably all think I'm a psychopath.
Michael drew the short straw in having to entertain me for the evening. He took me to one of the best pizza places I've ever been to (John's of Bleecker) and a comedy show at the Village Underground. I haven't belly laughed like that in a while. Netflix specials are great and all, but nothing can replace live standup.
The longform conversations will continue this week, as I hit record with Eric Jorgenson, Dr. Daniel Crosby, and WisdomTree's Jeremy Schwartz on their respective podcasts. I'll look forward to sharing those episodes here on the blog once they're live.
They say never meet your heroes, as they are only likely to disappoint you. Well, I met one of mine, and it turns out he's even cooler than I already thought he was.
I'm talking, of course, about Cliff Asness, an investment industry luminary who literally needs no introduction. Cliff graciously provided the foreword to my book, and dare I say, he knocked the cover off the ball.
I might have one of the longer Acknowledgements sections of any book you'll ever read. Namely because as the whole thing came together, I was overcome with appreciation for all the people who not only helped shape this book, but those who helped shape my life and career as well.
I won't copy and paste the whole section here - that's what the book is for. But I do want to acknowledge a handful of people who were kind enough to read early drafts, share honest feedback, and/or provide endorsements for the book. The final form of The Allocator's Edge is better because of you.
In addition to Cliff, I'd like to thank Brian Portnoy, Corey Hoffstein, Michael Batnick, Ted Seides, Shannon Saccocia, Meb Faber, Ross Stevens, Peter Lazaroff, Chris Schelling, Matt Kadnar, Bill Kelly, Eamon Verdone, and Ali Hamed. You all rock so hard.
When the subject of the book comes up in conversation, I'm often asked to describe what it's about.
I hope to have written what will become the definitive resource guide for financial advisors and asset allocators seeking the confidence and courage needed to effectively understand, implement, and translate alternatives for their clients.
It's the book I wish would have existed ten years ago as I was beginning to go down the rabbit hole of this important, yet often misunderstood, topic.
I know this book will never mean as much to anyone else as it does to me, but I do hope that readers come away from it with a handful of "Aha!" moments, much in the same way many of the underlying concepts and source materials within provided me with "Aha!" moments throughout the course of my own educational journey.
I feel guilty asking for anything else given how generous many people have been with their time, feedback, and support. But I do have one more ask. If you have ordered a copy on Amazon (or plan on doing so) and you find value in it, please be so kind as to leave a review. Verified reviews can go a long way in determining a book's early success and it would mean the world to me if you could take a few minutes to do so. I sincerely thank you in advance!
*I kid. Between his wildly popular podcasts, blog, and book, Michael is one of the most prolific content creators I know. His raw and honest writing style, paired with his endless curiosity, make for as refreshing and entertaining a cocktail you'll find in our business. I'm happy to count him as a friend and was honored that he was willing to contribute an endorsement for the book.
**For those curious, Josh got John Cena, Jim got Dusty Rhodes, and Michael got Goldberg.
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