Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients, Prospects
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: The Quintessential Testimonial
In the years since August of 1978, when I founded Polyconomics, I’ve had quite a few scurrilous things said about me and my work in analyzing the political economy and the financial markets. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember any of them. I’ve also had some nice things said about me. Naturally, I’ve kept a file of these, but will mention only the three I most appreciated. Topping the list is the decision of the editors of National Review to include my 1978 book, The Way the World Works, as one of the 100 most important non-fiction books of the 20th century. That’s for my book. For me personally, the shortest best compliment came from Richard Gilder of Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co., a client since 1979, who called me “uncompromising.” He meant it in a nice way, that I “calls them as I sees them.” In fact, I have lost several important clients over the years because they disagreed with my political assessments -- never mind they were doing well with the related financial calls.
The most interesting testimonial came recently from another longtime client, Stephen Shipman, the research director at Bjurman, Barry & Associates in Los Angeles, a firm that manages about $1.5 billion in financial assets. It comes closest to explaining how I’ve managed to survive in the Wall Street jungle for 25 years. It may be the “quintessential testimonial.” Thanks Steve. It will help me and Polyconomics keep going for another few years, I hope.
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I am not the most tenured client, nor the oldest, but I am pretty confident that I am the youngest, long-lived client on Jude’s list. Having followed him since my graduate school days in Washington, DC, I officially became a client in mid 1982, just in time for the beginning of the Reagan bull market.
Having been an entrepreneur at the incipience of my subscription service, I have been an institutional investor for the past seventeen years. During this time, I dubbed Jude the “Quintessential Discounter.” Why? Because only he has had the reliable perspicacity to forecast the direction of market prices in time for practitioners, like myself, to act. Why? Because only he has integrated and refined the necessary ingredients of classical and behavioral economics to predict outcomes with a reasonable margin of safety.
The outcomes of markets depend upon the success of entrepreneurs and executives and the insight of the managers who allocate capital to them. The fundamental premise of the Wanniski ‘model’ acts to identify the economic circumstances and political conditions that either encourage or hinder that process of matching these two agents of production. Over the past two decades, his model has been unique in isolating the inflection points of market activity and, most importantly, to explain, in advance, the explicit rationale for the occurrence of these events.
Stephen Ward Shipman, CFA
Portfolio Manager and Director of Research
Bjurman, Barry and Associates, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA