Get Rid of The Fed

I know what you are thinking.  I am a crackpot.  I have joined the Ron Paul cadre that wants to end the Fed and go back to gold.  I deliberately put up a click-bait headline because the way we regulate institutions in our financial ecosystem is totally wrong.  I started blogging when Dodd-Frank was being debated.  It was an absolutely horrible bill and has turned out to be an absolutely horrible law for America.  But, Dodd-Frank has been good for gigantic institutions.

However, entrepreneurship and competition will find a way to circumnavigate bad public policy.  I am reminded of the guy in Venezuela who used the free subsidized electricity to mine bitcoin and buy food on Amazon Prime for his family so they don’t starve.

In America, the government policy has killed community and small banks.  The bureaucrats are hungry so they Continue reading "Get Rid of The Fed"

Hey, Want A Job Starting and Growing a Hedge Fund?

Recently, WLV closed on our second deal, CFX.  CFX is a two sided marketplace that trades illiquid assets. If there is anything that me, my partner Kenny and the majority of our LPs know is where to identify a trading opportunity.  We found one at CFX.

We are in the process of setting up a Chicago based hedge fund and hiring a COO.  It’s a startup.  We see a lot of edge trading in this market.  We think it’s a good opportunity for someone who is not a “trader type” to enter the hedge fund world and make some money for themselves.  You are going to have to be patient and take some time building it.  This is not like hedge funds that go into stock or futures markets.

If you successfully grow it, it can become quite large.

You may not live in Continue reading "Hey, Want A Job Starting and Growing a Hedge Fund?"

Female founders in Chicago still struggle to secure funding


The well-documented gap in venture capital funding also exists in Chicago.

In the last five full years, Chicago startups with at least one woman founder never received more than 20 percent of the venture capital funding or deal flow in the Chicagoland area, according to data provided to Chicago Inno by data firm Pitchbook. In that time, startups led only by women have never received more than 9 percent of venture funding or deal flow in the Chicagoland area.

Even as resources for women-founded ventures has grown in Chicago (and despite increased scrutiny of the gender gap in startup funding in recent years) it doesn’t appear that deal flow to women founders in the city is trending upward just yet. In 2016, just 15 percent of deals and just 10 percent of venture capital dollars went to Chicago-area companies founded by at least one woman (comparatively, 16.9

Continue reading "Female founders in Chicago still struggle to secure funding"

Schlep.it A Pretty Cool App

I have a lot of spinning plates in my life right now.  I am rehabbing a place 10 hours away.  I bought a small place in Lincoln Park and I am moving.  All at the same time.  Over the past several years, I have acquired a bunch of storage lockers.  The goal for this summer was to go down to 1. Yesterday was crazy.  My new Lincoln Park place had a cruddy stove in it. I found a beautiful used Dacor but it was up in Milwaukie.  I rented a trailer in Milwaukie and drove it down to Chicago.  While I was driving, I got an email telling me a person wanted to meet me in Winfield, IL to buy an antique shuffleboard I had been storing.  There is also a lot of outdoor furniture in that locker that is going up north. This shuffleboard had been in my wife’s Continue reading "Schlep.it A Pretty Cool App"

Career Risk

My friend Sean penned this piece for Medium. If you are interested in becoming a trader, you might want to read it.  Back in 1986, when I decided to quit my job at 3M and go to the trading floor, I checked out some books from the library that were sort of “anti-trading”.  I did it to get some perspective.  I don’t recall the names of the books. If you are a computer guy, and can code it’s different.  Those guys can find other gigs if they get sick of trading because they can code. We were automated out of jobs.  I hear a lot of people worrying about taxi cab medallions losing value.  No one is shedding any tears for traders who owned trading rights valued at $1M which fell as low as $300k.  Someone told me, “You still had $300k” but in the same breath said Uber shouldn’t Continue reading "Career Risk"

A Summit

Yesterday I went to a summit on early stage tech in the state of Illinois.  The first answer is that the tech ecosystem in Illinois is in pretty good shape.  The fervor around entrepreneurship is high. The consensus is some pretty great break out companies are being built here right now.  They aren’t “unicorns” like the valley but the potential for them to get there is there if they stay on the trajectory they are on. There are some other good signs as I peruse my notes.  Some exits, particularly Cleversafe’s, created 80 millionaires.  Many of those people are doing new things or reinvesting into the local ecosystem. It was late July and virtually all the VCs from Chicago were in one room.  We were working.  The downside is you can fit all the VCs from Chicago into one room. One panel featured limited partners.  These are people that help Continue reading "A Summit"

Downsizing

My wife and I have had an interesting trajectory in our lives. When we got married, we had a townhouse in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago. My wife bought it with an inheritance from one of her aunts. Our next house was a big rehab project in a great Elmhurst, IL neighborhood.  We did a lot of the rehab ourselves.  We were in our 20s and didn’t know better.  The house turned out great.  As far as I know, the house still has survived the teardown craze that went on in our old neighborhood. When I looked at the most recent listing, a lot of the stuff we put in it was still there. My wife and a neighbor took a trip to Geneva, IL.  We were considering an addition to our Elmhurst house.  She wanted a new house.  We built one. I really loved this place. When Continue reading "Downsizing"