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06-Oct-2006
How to Act Smart in Front of Your Friends, by Russell Sears and Victor Niederhoffer

  1. Study the dumbest guy you know who has everyone believing he is  an investor -- Russ
  2. Always state your predictions in a manner that cannot be refuted: "1320 is the number" or "October 15th is a critical day" -- Vic
  3. Study cubist paintings. It matters not that you really offer any advice, but show all sides. Do this for many things, in a confusing arrangement. But make your presentation have style. And imply your choice of random objects and presentation have meaning. Clearly any smart person would understand their implications -- Russ
  4. Remember to transfer the greatness of others to yourself at all times: "The Harvard conference is only for the elite but I can say that they stopped their laughter when I pointed out that the freighters were empty", or "They met me with five Rolls Royces, quite against my wishes"-- Vic
  5. Always act off of someone's else's recommendation. That way any successes can be credited to you, and failures blamed on the analyst -- Russ
  6. When you have a profit, imply that it is so wound up in illiquid instruments sure to double, that it would be impossible to treat your partner to anything expensive right at this moment, although in the future it is certain -- Vic
  7. Invest more time and money in golf, than in math and studying books. Talk of Tiger Woods like a friend you admire. Build your political clout on and off the links through golf. Never do a solitary sport like running or cycling -- Russ
  8. Use big words from fields that you know nothing about, like Paretian, exponential, fractal, leptokurtic, hysteretic, Engel Curve and Bertrand's Postulate -- Vic
  9. Avoid people who actually know what they are doing. Especially, try not to talk to them in front of your friend. And use all of your political clout to undercut them, behind their backs -- Russ
  10. Take any earnings announcements that came out after the close, and smile with a quiet satisfaction about how your buying or selling near the close was not wholly unconnected with its underlying implications. Do the same for any economic announcements, because your own surveys are so much more accurate than the governments and you always adjust them with the same seasonal adjustment programs that they use -- Vic
  11. Always imply that you are connected. Read the latest news on investments. Always file that latest analyst recommendation, ready to e-mail off at first hint someone's interested. And imply you are in tight with these guys. But never develop an opinion on the issue. Always offer a rave review on your source, no matter how untrustworthy they have been in the past. Also stress how timely their question is because you just got this piece. People love serendipity -- Russ
  12. Above all, be sure to memorialize that you saw Soros within the last 12 hours at one of his homes or a private conference at the CFR. and that he looked surprisingly fit, or if you are me, that his backhand is really improving -- Vic