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November 2017
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Syndication

Featuring on this episode is former software entrepreneur turned hedge fund manager, Erik Townsend. I’m sure some will already be quite familiar with Erik—in particular the macro investing crowd, as Erik also hosts the Macro Voices podcast.

After selling his company in 1998, Erik made a few lifestyle and investing decisions which he soon began to question, but took ownership of his situation and the discovery of global macro set him sailing in a new direction…

Major talking points we cross off, include; how Erik uses the concept of The Fourth Turning and major cycles to guide his macro outlook. And one possible scenario for the future of cryptocurrencies—I'm sure some of you won't like what you hear, but I think it's well worth listening to!


My guest on this episode is Jimmy Soni—who, with his co-author Rob Goodman, recently wrote the biography of Claude Shannon, titled; A Mind at Play.

Shannon was born in 1916 and became one of the foremost intellects of the twentieth century, before passing away in 2001. He was a mathematician, a scientist, an inventor and also, a stock market investor…

Although he’s widely unknown by the general public, Shannon is responsible for Information Theory—a revolutionary method of measuring information which stands behind much of the technology we use all day everyday.

Shannon’s other achievements, discoveries and inventions range from artificial intelligence to cryptography and fire breathing trumpets to chess playing machines and the world’s first wearable computer, and that’s not all!


Bobby Cho is a cryptocurrency trader at Cumberland Mining—which is a company of DRW Trading. Ever since getting involved in financial markets, during 2008, he has gravitated towards mostly illiquid/difficult-to-trade products…

So, in some ways, it was inevitable that Bobby would begin to explore Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This was around 2013, while Vice President at SecondMarket.

In 2014, Bobby became Director at Bitcoin exchange, itBit, and then in 2016, joined Cumberland Mining—one of the largest institutional liquidity providers in cryptocurrency markets (predominately Bitcoin and Ethereum).

During the episode, Bobby and I got speaking about some pretty interesting topics, which ranged from; the infrastructure of crypto markets to the curiosity and entrepreneurial mindset which powers DRW, and the challenges of exchange arbitrage to the real world value of Blockchain technology.


During the 90’s, Kevin Muir was a proprietary derivatives trader for RBC Dominion Securities. In 2000, Kevin branched out to begin trading independently, and since 2014, he’s been writing a daily blog, The Macro Tourist.

Kevin’s unique in the sense that he fits the bill of two largely different trading types; an intraday trader and a global macro trader. He also doesn’t specialize in one particular thing, or certainly not to the extent that many traders do…

Kevin can be quoted as saying, “I never know where I’m going to make money next year.” And that’s because he’s someone who’s continually seeking out the next great trade. In the past, Kevin’s great trades have come in the form of; risk arbitrage, mining Bitcoin, convertible bonds and day trading futures—amongst many other things!


Dr. William Ziemba’s an academic, a practitioner, gambler, trader and an author. He’s worked with and consulted to many well-respected names in the field, such as; Edward Thorp, Blair Hull and the very successful horse bettor, Bill Benter.

In the beginning, horse betting was William’s field of expertise (he even published a book titled, Beat The Racetrack!) And in many ways, for William, horse betting worked as a gateway to trading financial markets—which he’s been doing since 1983.

Now in current times, William manages a fund; Alpha Z Advisors—which started trading in July 2013 and as of May 2017, has returned 527%.

Much of William's trading revolves around calendar anomalies, arbitrage strategies and behavioral biases. We spend a good amount of time discussing these few things, plus William shares one anomaly he's been trading for many years.

In the later part of this episode, we also talk about position sizing, the Kelly Criterion and finally, horse racing.


I first interviewed Mike at CWTNYC, in May 2017. The 100-listeners (give or take) who attended, will already be very familiar with Mike and there may be a few moments of déjà vu throughout this episode. But for everyone else…

Mike came into trading around 20-years ago, beginning at Chicago prop firm, TransMarket Group, where he ultimately spent 12-years of his career. Over the course of his time there, Mike became one of their largest 30-year Treasury basis traders, both in terms of volume and performance.

Now days, Mike is trading a relative value strategy through his own book, and building out a track record with the aim to launch a hedge fund in the coming years…

But you’ll hear more about all of this, the things which have helped Mike get to where he is now, and how he trades bonds using a relative value strategy during this episode.


Sheelah Kolhatkar is a writer at the The New Yorker, who was previously a journalist at Bloomberg Businessweek, and prior to that, a hedge fund analyst.

She’s also the author of New York Times bestseller, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street.

Of course, the most wanted man being referred to, is the ultra-wealthy hedge fund legend, Steven Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors—someone who Sheelah has become very familiar with, through much of her own tireless and strenuous research…

During our conversation, Sheelah gives color to; where Steven started out in life and how he became an ultra-wealthy multi-billionaire—with, might I add, an elaborate art collection, how S.A.C. became the target of one of histories greatest insider trading investigations, and ultimately, how it all played out...


On this episode, I have a returning guest—who first appeared on episode 53. His name is a mystery, but he goes by the handle: @BTCVIX

Episode 53 was the first time I covered Bitcoin on this podcast, and that was at the very end of 2015. As you’re probably aware, the cryptocurrency markets have evolved a lot since then, so BTCVIX is here to fill us in on what’s been happening and, potentially, what lies ahead…

We also cover how to acquire various cryptocurrencies, best practises for protecting your coins, is Bitcoin in a bubble, the frenzy surrounding ICO's, and much much more.


Up until recently, James King was the Performance Director at a commodity trading firm in London, Mandara Capital. And it was here that he implemented scientific methods to stack probability in the favour of success—by using techniques he learned from his education in Applied Sports Science and Performance Psychology.

Now, James is setting out on a new venture, Project Thor, which aims to support talented retail traders with extra capital and other beneficial resources—which we discuss briefly towards the end of the episode.

But for the most part, we discuss; principals for success, testing for resilience, ensuring you’re motivated and focusing on the right things, how ‘stretch goals’ can be used to massively multiply results, routines and heaps more.


Mark Gardner began working in the field at 17-years old, straight out of high school. Initially he began with back office duties, before broking on the floor of the Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE). Then later he was picked up by a large Bank Bills trader to exclusively execute trades, and who he learned a great deal from.

Around 2005, Mark started trading his own book. Over the 10-years that followed, Mark had only two losing months—and to date, he’s never encountered a losing year. Though in 2015 he did suffer a substantial blow, losing months and months worth of gains in the space of just a few short hours.

Today, Mark is also a partner and the chairman of Genesis Trading (one of the larger prop firms in Australia). He’s also leading a new venture, 42Trading, as a foray into quantitative trading. And to top it off, Mark is the president of the Australian Securities Traders Association too.

Throughout this episode we speak about Mark's insane work ethic (and no, that's not exaggeration!) We also get into lessons from his past, why he sees a future in quantitative trading and more...