Your first two dates with Finance Josh went great. You know about the time he and his brother got box seats at the World Series because they were bored, and how his in-flight cocktail preference changes based on the presence of a tail wind. But now it’s date number three—and conversation is bound to shift from how he spends his money to how he MAKES his money, and you don’t want to be caught with nothing to say. We found five hedge funds for you to bring up and talk about so that he knows you’re interested and invested in his life and career—because he’s sure as hell not going to spend an hour talking about your career!
Bridgewater is an investment management firm that started 41 years ago in New York City. In 1981, it moved to Connecticut, just like your childhood best friend, Emily. If he doesn’t ask any follow up questions about Emily, keep showing off your knowledge of Bridgewater by asking which of their three fund options he prefers: Pure Alpha, All Weather, or Pure Alpha Major. All that Alpha talk might be a cool time to tell him that you were an Alpha Phi chapter president in college, but wait and see if he bites. Bridgewater also puts out a Market Analysis newsletter every week called “Daily Observations”, kind of like what you do as a journalist except Finance Josh would probably rather talk about the market analysis than, like, you and your life.
BlackRock is a firm with a primary emphasis on Risk Management. It’s kind of like when you worked as a substance abuse counselor in college, but probably don’t bring that up because Finance Josh thinks people should stop making excuses for their problems and just go after what they want. BlackRock used to be part of a larger group called Blackstone Financial Management but then split off due to internal disputes, kind of like how your mom took her maiden name back after the divorce and you didn’t know whether or not to switch with her. That’s a lot to put on a kid! Keep that one to yourself as well though—we’re talking about his interests right now, and they do not include your family life or things not related to finance. When it’s your turn to talk, simply say, “BlackRock,” and watch his face light up. You are nailing this!!!
Man Group was founded in 1783 in England. You love England, and your summer trip to London with Gretchen was one of the best times of your life, and you can’t wait to go back. But this is a date with Finance Josh, not an opportunity for you to talk about your dreams. Stay focused on the not at all off-putting name of this fund.
Och-Ziff Capital Management
Och-Ziff is the fifth largest hedge fund in the world and boasts over $40 billion in assets. That must feel pretty awesome, like the time you and your sister made 30 bucks from the lemonade stand you had in your cul-de-sac. It sounds silly, but that lemonade stand dulled the pain of your parents’ divorce for one brief, sunburnt moment. Don’t say any of that to Finance Josh, though. Say, “How ’bout that merger arbitrage?” and watch him fall in love with you.
Appaloosa Management is a hedge fund that specializes in distressed debt. An Appaloosa is also a type of horse. You love horses. You love horses so much. But Finance Josh loves distressed debt, and you might someday love Finance Josh. So you do not love horses anymore. You love distressed debt.
As long as you bring up a few of these hedge funds and nothing about yourself, there’s no way you and Finance Josh won’t have plenty of fodder for mutually interesting conversation. We hear wedding bells—and stock market bells!