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Mark Spitznagel (/ˈspɪtsnɡəl/; born March 5, 1971) is an American hedge fund manager, stocks and commodities trader, and author. Spitznagel is known for his pioneering “tail-hedging” (or “safe haven investing”), his hugely profitable billion dollar derivatives bet on the stock market crash of 2008,[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] and for allegedly moving global markets with his trading.[13]

Mark Spitznagel
Hedge Fund Manager Mark Spitznagel.jpg
Mark William Spitz-Nagel[1]

(1971-03-05) March 5, 1971 (age 47)
Ann Arbor, Michigan[2]
OccupationHedge Fund Manager
(Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Universa Investments L.P.)
Known forDerivatives trading, tail-hedging
Political partyLibertarian Republican
Spouse(s)Amy Spitznagel
Academic career
School or
Austrian School of Economics
Alma materNew York University,[2] Georgetown University,[3] Kalamazoo College[4]
InfluencesFriedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Nietzsche
ContributionsTail-hedging/Safe Haven Investing, The Dao of Capital (Wiley 2013)

Spitznagel “gained credibility in the investment world by predicting two market routs in the past decade, first in 2000 and then in 2008,”[14] as well as predicting the “2000s commodities boom.”[5] Despite his reputation as a “financial guru”[15] and “one of Wall Street’s most bearish”[16] as well as “biggest and boldest investors”[17] (whom P. J. O'Rourke called “the ‘Ursa Major’ among bears” who has “fenced the bull” by protecting his investors[18]), Spitznagel has remained a very secretive hedge fund manager, writing or speaking only very vaguely about his investing and always deflecting questions about the particulars of his positions and funds.[19][20][21][22]

Spitznagel is the founder, owner, and Chief Investment Officer of the multibillion-dollar hedge fund management company Universa Investments, L.P., based in Miami, Florida.[4][5][7][8][10][23][24][25][26][27] Prior to becoming a hedge fund manager, Spitznagel had been an independent pit-trader at the Chicago Board of Trade[4][5][7][8][10][24] and a proprietary trader at Morgan Stanley in New York.[4][8] Spitznagel has a graduate degree in Mathematics from New York University (the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences) and undergraduate from Kalamazoo College.[2][4]

Spitznagel built a large farm in Michigan, Idyll Farms, that pastures dairy goats and produces award-winning artisanal chèvre. (As Bloomberg put it, “A hedge fund pioneer Is making some of the best goat cheese in America.”[15]) He is the author of the 2013 book The Dao of Capital, called by Forbes magazine “one of the most important books of the year, or any year for that matter.”[28]

Spitznagel has been a significant supporter of the Republican Presidential campaigns of U.S. Congressman Ron Paul and U.S. Senator Rand Paul—including as Senior Economic Advisor.[29][30]



According to Malcolm Gladwell (in a New Yorker article and in his book What the Dog Saw), “Spitznagel is blond and from the Midwest and does yoga. He exudes a certain laconic levelheadedness.”[31][32] Nassim Taleb likened Spitznagel to Herbert von Karajan in his “no chitchatting” and “technical superiority” (both in quantitative finance and on alpine slopes),[31][32] and said Spitznagel invests “like a German engineer, fearless and with an iron discipline.”[1] (Spitznagel’s paternal ancestry is Swiss-German,[33] and his surname means “sharp nail” in German.[34]) Spitznagel calls himself a “Nietzschean, above all else.”[1][33]

Forbes described the “unruffled,” loafered Spitznagel as looking “better prepared for a yacht race than for doomsday.”[35] (“Spitznagel doesn’t have the look of a radical. His placid face belies a man with a strong spine and deep convictions to an investment philosophy that largely shuns the weak consensus.”[36])

P.J. O’Rourke has call Spitznagel “one of my favorite investors, an intellectual investor,” adding “but what I like about Mark is that he’s fun to talk to” and “an unrepentant Heartlander.”[18]

As Richard Bradley wrote (in a Worth magazine profile): “You wouldn’t call Spitznagel warm and fuzzy; he’s not the kind of guy who’ll greet you with a bear hug and a slap on the back. But he’s funny in a dry, understated way, thoughtful and candid. Asked a question, he’s more interested in delivering a genuine answer than one intended to reflect well upon him.[1]

“Spitznagel is unusual not just because of how he invests, but how he lives—far from the typical hedge fund milieu of Wall Street and Greenwich.”[1] “Spitznagel splits his time between Miami, where his 20th-floor office overlooks the Atlantic, and Michigan, where his family lives”[37] (on a sprawling estate containing livestock ranches, hunting forests, a Lake Michigan summer compound, and a historic country house “Woodland[1]). In 2014, Spitznagel moved his hedge fund Universa from Los Angeles to Miami (and accordingly sold his notable Bel Air mansion that he acquired in 2009 from Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony[38][39]), citing Florida’s “more hospitable business and tax environment” than California’s.[27] Spitznagel was among the first in a growing list of prominent hedge fund managers moving their operations to Florida.[40]

Bloomberg has said “Spitznagel does almost everything with zeal and intensity,” and described him honing his investing discipline by snowboarding in the Swiss Alps, dodging oncoming taxicabs during skateboard commutes through New York City’s Central Park (once resulting in a separated shoulder), and piloting engineless sailplanes over California’s Sierra Nevada.[7] (Spitznagel is also an instrument-rated pilot.[9]) It reported in 2011 that Spitznagel seeded his family office (Idyll Holdings) with $100 million.[7]

In 2014, Spitznagel’s older brother Eric wrote a humorous article in The New York Times Magazine (The Moat, the Millions and the $50 Timex Watch) about Mark and the death of their father[41] (Lynn Edward Spitz-Nagel, a UCC minister who died in 1999[1]).

When once asked how to become a great investor, Spitznagel responded:

The most valuable things you’ll need to learn to be good at investing are patience, resilience, and self-discipline. You aren’t just going to learn these in school. My best financial advice: practice yoga.[42]

Universa InvestmentsEdit

In 2007, Spitznagel founded the hedge fund Universa Investments, where he is the Chief Investment Officer, and which specializes in profiting from (and thus providing a type of insurance against) extreme market risk.[43] Universa “made one of the biggest profits on Wall Street during the 2008 financial crisis” (according to CNBC),[44] scoring returns of over 100% as the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost over a third of its value,[5][7][8][10][25][26][45][46] and making Spitznagel “a fortune” according to The Wall Street Journal.[5]

The Wall Street Journal showed how “a strategy consisting of just a 3.3% position in Universa with the rest invested passively in the S&P 500 had a compound annual return of 12.3% in the 10 years through February (2018), far better than the S&P 500 itself. It also was superior to portfolios three-quarters invested in stocks with a one-quarter weighting in more-traditional hedges such as Treasurys, gold or a basket of hedge funds.”[47]


Spitznagel is a pioneer in so-called “tail-hedging,”[48][49] or “black swan” investing, an investment strategy intended to provide “insurance-like protection” against stock market crashes, generally by owning far out-of-the-money put options on stocks.

Spitznagel has said that “Universa is a safe haven, a particularly explosive, insurance-like safe haven. And it’s there specifically so that the more explosive it is the more systematic risk my clients are able to take.”[50]

He considers his tail-hedge strategy “a less conventional and somewhat more exotic” (as well as superior) form of safe haven investment. (Spitznagel says that he “has spent his life trying to create the best safe haven investment out there.”) While he has called his strategy “in many ways functionally equivalent” to gold as a safe haven, he has also claimed (in a 2016 Barron’s article What’s the Best Safe Haven for Investors?) that the “explosive protection and nonlinearity” of his strategy make it “the one safe haven that is as good as—and even better than—gold.” (According to Spitznagel, conventional safe havens such as U.S. treasuries, Swiss franc, high dividend-paying stocks, hedge funds, fine art, and U.S. farmland have crash returns that are very low and even negative, so “they simply do not provide any insurance protection.” He also called VIX futures “a real stinker of a trade.”)[51]

As a specialist in portfolio protection, Spitznagel has said “I spend all my time thinking about looming disaster.”[47] He calls himself “a hedge fund manager that actually hedges for his clients. This is something of an old fashioned idea in this day of just gambling on the next Fed bailout.” He describes his “highly nonlinear, insurance-like” strategy which “explodes in value” in a crash[51] as an investment that “is there presumably so you can do something risky that you wouldn’t otherwise do.”[19] The New York Times has related Universa’s investors’ ability to profit even in a bull market, and how Spitznagel’s strategy allows his investors to hold long stock positions that they often otherwise wouldn’t.[16] Spitznagel has said “what I do is not just about playing good defense,” but “also about playing good offense,”[52] and that his strategy specifically allows his investors to be “responsibly long” the stock market.[21] In a 2015 video (Spitznagel on the Paradox of Higher Returns with Lower Risk), Spitznagel explains how the “asymmetry” of his payoff allows his investors to do well “in both up and down markets,” with lower risk. As Nassim Taleb has said:

When it comes to investing in this environment, my colleague Mark Spitznagel articulated it well: investors are left with a simple choice between chasing stocks that have an increasing chance of a crash or missing out on continued policy effects in the short term. Incorporating a tail hedge minimizes the risk in the tail, allowing investors to remain invested over time without risking ruin.[53]

Spitznagel has described what he does as lowering what he calls the “volatility tax” paid by investors[54]—"the hidden tax on an investment portfolio caused by the negative compounding of large investment losses.”[55] He detailed in an investor letter how “mathematically, it is the rare big loss, not the frequent small losses, that matters most to long-run compounding,” and called the Swiss mathematician and physicist Daniel Bernoulli “Universa’s Patron Saint.”[56]

Some have called Spitznagel’s tail-hedging strategy “doomsday” investing,[57] for which, according to Forbes, he has many “copycat” followers.[58] Spitznagel is presumed to employ positions such as out-of-the-money puts on overvalued equities[5][7][9][10] (for example, Lehman Brothers,[59] about which he has responded “It’s a regrettable aspect of our trade that we tend to do very well on others’ misfortune”[60]), which he regards as primarily a value-driven bullish play on cheapened markets, providing dry powder specifically when asset prices are depressed[9] (making him “the inverse Warren Buffett[61][62]).

“Spitznagel’s strategy stems from his skepticism toward government efforts to revive the economy.” In his reticence to discuss his funds, he has been “content with descriptions that his fund had small losses each year as he wagered against the market.”[16] He has said that he specifically targets very “lumpy returns” in his trading (what Forbes has called “a string of mediocre results interrupted occasionally by spectacular years”[63]) which he says “ultimately keep away competitors.”[8] He has compared the patience and discipline required in betting on rare events to “Hemingway’s Santiago waiting for what seems like an eternity to catch the big fish.”[52]

As Spitznagel describes the “extreme asymmetric payoffs”[19] of his approach:

We tend to lose or draw—most of the time—these small battles or skirmishes. But, ultimately, we win the wars.[20]

For profiting off market crashes, “I’m always in this position where I look like the jerk,” Spitznagel has said. “The jerks should be Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan,” because of Federal Reserve actions that create asset bubbles, or for the ways in which the Fed intervenes to stave off the inevitable consequences of those bubbles.[1] Spitznagel says that he has basically been investing against the Federal Reserve and its monetary policies his entire career,[64] and he has called central banks “the root of all evil in the market.”[37]

The Wall Street Journal alleged that a large purchase of put options by Spitznagel in the minutes leading up to the 2010 Flash Crash (when the Dow lost over 9% of its value during the day) was among its primary triggers[13][65] (and for which Spitznagel was subpoenaed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission[8]). He wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed in his defense.[66]

In 1999, Spitznagel and author and financial mathematician Nassim Nicholas Taleb (who was Spitznagel’s professor at NYU) together created the first ever tail-hedging fund, Empirica Capital,[9][31][32] and “became close partners, Spitznagel the disciplined trader, Taleb the more abstract theorist.”[1] Taleb went on to popularize the “black swan” concept in his books, whereas Spitznagel went on to found Universa and thus modify and implement the strategy, which became a major hedge fund investment asset class.[9][57] Taleb joined Spitznagel’s Universa as Distinguished Scientific Advisor, “but in a strictly hands-off, passive capacity”[3]:27 (contrary to occasional press crediting him with Universa’s investing[67]). Taleb has said “One thing Mark taught me was that when someone isn't afraid of losing small amounts, they’re almost invincible.”[5] “Mark’s portfolio is robust.”[9]

Ironically,[68] Spitznagel is largely indifferent to the concept of “black swan events.” In a 2015 New York Times op-ed titled The Myth of Black Swan Market Events, he connected every similar high point in the Tobin's Q-ratio since 1900 (specifically in 1905, 1929, 1936, 1968, 2000, and 2007) with past monetary interventionism and subsequent stock market losses (of -19%, -85%, -36%, -29%, -44%, and -50%, respectively), which he called “perfectly predictable, by economic logic alone”—and thus implied that another crash is coming.[69] Spitznagel has said that a crash ”is not a black swan. But the reason I’m going to still call it a black swan is because the markets still price it as a black swan.”[19] As he wrote in The Dao of Capital:

Truly, the real black swan problem of stock market busts is not about a remote event that is considered unforeseeable; rather it is about a foreseeable event that is considered remote. The vast majority of market participants fail to expect what should be, in reality, perfectly expected events.[3]:244

Stock market timing callsEdit

In his keynote address at the 2017 Bloomberg Invest New York Summit, Spitznagel said:

Today’s historic central bank manipulation of markets will eventually have to end one way or another, though central bankers will fight it by hook or by crook. And that end will inevitably include a similarly historic market crash across many assets, and the longer we wait, the worse it will be. That’s my Cassandra speech, and anyway maybe asking me if the markets are going to crash is like asking a barber if you need a haircut. But this market’s come a long way with no haircut.[48]

However, Spitznagel often claims that he “has no view on timing”[47] and has rarely made specific market timing forecasts[70] (and has called attempts at timing a crash “impossible”[22] and “a fool’s errand”[71]). He has even said that “such efforts are largely irrelevant”[71] with his strategy:

I’ve been doing this for twenty years and it’s never been my job to predict the start of a crash, pick the top of the market, pick the bottom of the market. My job has always been risk mitigation. If you require a forecast in your investment thesis in order for it to do well, I think you’re just doing it wrong.[22]

In 2013 he said, regarding the next crash:

I think it’s probably naive to even think we can pinpoint such a thing. If history is any guide, we should expect it sooner than later. But, history need not be a good guide because we’re in this monetary experiment the likes of which we really haven’t seen before.[44]

Spitznagel has nonetheless publicly made several stock market calls—both bearish and bullish:

  • In June 2011, CNBC reported on a research piece by Spitznagel which predicted an imminent 20% correction in the S&P 500 stock index,[72] and the S&P 500 subsequently fell by 20% within four months.
  • In his 2013 book, Spitznagel vaguely presented the long-only, value-based equity strategy that he employs in his family office.[3]:245
  • In a May 2015 Bloomberg TV interview (“Meet the World’s Most Bearish Investment Manager”), Spitznagel called himself “the most bearish investment manager that you will find today. There may be someone hiding in their basement who’s more bearish.” He also called the stock market the second greatest stock market bubble in the last one-hundred years. But Spitznagel also said that any attempts to short the market would be a reckless “blow-up trade”[21] and, a month later, specifically advocated “a much greater stock allocation” paired with his tail hedging strategy in order to also profit from a rising market. Two months later, Spitznagel’s strategy reportedly made $1 billion in the August 2015 stock market decline.[73]
  • In June 2016, just before the market recovered from its Brexit-plunge to make new all-time highs, Spitznagel dismissed Brexit as “a lot of fear mongering,” saying “the decentralisation of power away from hubristic central planners is exactly what the world needs more of.”[74]

Commodities tradingEdit

From the age of 16, Spitznagel was apprenticed by 50-year veteran corn and soybean trader Everett Klipp (a.k.a. the “Babe Ruth of the Chicago Board of Trade”[75]), who stood with him in the commodity futures pits and groomed him to be a risk averse, disciplined trader.[2][5][7][76] Klipp specifically “pretty much brainwashed him by the age of 16” to “limit losses by having him immediately exit trades as soon as they moved against him.” He likened it to “quickly folding a hand” in poker,[5] and his mantra was “you’ve got to love to lose money, hate to make money.”[8] By 22, Spitznagel was an exchange member and independent pit trader at the Chicago Board of Trade.[5][7]

As Spitznagel recalled the end of a trading day in the pit:

Even if I’d lost money, I would be happy going home knowing that I’d traded the way I wanted to trade.[1]

Since leaving the Chicago trading pits, Spitznagel has continued to actively speculate in commodities. In July 2009, Spitznagel launched a new strategy betting specifically on “a big leap in prices of commodities such as corn, crude oil,” and precious metals—a notably “huge wager,” according to The Wall Street Journal, where Spitznagel “bet his reputation.”[5] Over the next two years, the prices of corn, crude oil, gold, and silver gained approximately 100%, 50%, 100%, and 200%, respectively, in what has come to be known as the “2000s commodities boom.”

Spitznagel has strong Austrian views on precious metals and against fiat money, saying, “as dollars are clearly a decaying asset, there’s sound economic logic behind gold’s long-term appreciation.” However, regarding the run up in gold prices and his gold trading, Spitznagel has said, “How many people acquire gold only after it goes up, and dump it when it doesn’t? I’d recommend the opposite strategy.”[77] He has written that “gold’s millennia of safe haven attributes remain very much intact,” and considers gold and his tail-hedging the only “two safe havens truly worthy of the name.”[51] In 2017, Spitznagel also expressed strong skepticism about cryptocurrencies, saying, “caveat emptor—thinking that we are magically creating new stores-of-value and thus a new safe haven is a profound mistake.”[78]

Libertarianism, Austrian economicsEdit

Spitznagel is an avowed libertarian, and says that “his investing philosophy is really an extension of his deeply held libertarian beliefs about government intervention in the marketplace” and the distortions therefrom.[1] He often references specifically Ludwig von Mises (“The Man Who Predicted the Depression”) and Friedrich von Hayek as influential to his thinking.

Spitznagel wrote a book in 2013 titled The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World about the Austrian School of economics and its application to investing, or about what Bloomberg called “the finer points of patience, economics, and human nature.”[15] Austrian economist and Mises Institute Fellow Peter Klein said Spitznagel’s book did “a remarkable job summarizing, synthesizing, and extending the great Austrian tradition, and weaving it into a wonderful set of practical lessons.”[3] In his book Spitznagel coins his investing approach as “roundabout investing” or “Umweg”, named after the Austrian concept of Produktionsumweg. Paul Tudor Jones has said of Spitznagel’s book that “Mark champions the roundabout,” and “shows how a seemingly difficult immediate loss becomes an advantageous intermediate step for greater future gain, and thus why we must become ‘patient now and strategically impatient later.’”[3] Spitznagel likens his process to “life’s roundabout road to success”[79]—“the art of taking a circuitous path to an endpoint,”[14] delaying gratification and taking small setbacks now to gain enormous positional advantage later.[80] Spitznagel has expressed the challenge in the words of Bob Dylan:

We do what feels the best in the short run. “Let me forget about today until tomorrow,” that kind of thing.[81]

Spitznagel has also blamed the Fed in a Wall Street Journal piece for increasing wealth disparity, drawing on the works of Mises, Rothbard, and Hayek,[82] and his Austrian positions have made him a target of notable Nobel and Keynesian economist Paul Krugman.[64][83]

Spitznagel has been an active libertarian Republican through his involvement in multiple U.S. presidential campaigns. Along with entrepreneur Peter Thiel, he has been the principal supporter of the Republican Party presidential primary campaign of (Texas Congressman) Ron Paul, a friend and fellow Austrian economics advocate who “shares his contempt for the Federal Reserve”[62] and his desire for a non-interventionist foreign policy.[84] In 2012, Spitznagel hosted multiple fundraisers for the congressman[11][12][61][62] (including a party at Spitznagel’s Bel Air home[85]). Spitznagel has been called “arguably Paul’s main economic theorist/popularizer outside an academic context”[61] who “could be Treasury Secretary to a future president Paul, Ron or Rand.”[62] Spitznagel was Senior Economic Advisor to the 2016 Republican Presidential campaign of (Ron’s son) Rand Paul.[30] The New York Times said “the two share a similar outlook on the government’s role in the financial markets: that it should not have one.”[29] Paul has said “As one of the leading voices in the country on economic policy, Mark has been a key friend and ally, and I’m thankful for his always-ready advice.”[43]

In a 2015 Fox Business interview, Spitznagel said:

Great myths die hard. And I think what we’re witnessing today is the slow death of one of the great myths in human history: this idea that centrally planned command economies work, that they’re even feasible, and that they can be successful. It’s one of these enigmatic mythologies of the last hundred years in particular that we've been grappling with. Let’s remember that in the last hundred years a lot of blood has been shed over this mythology. And here we are today, how did we get here again?[20]

Idyll FarmsEdit

Idyll Farms complex in Northport, Michigan

Spitznagel and his wife built, own, and operate Idyll Farms, a pasture-based goat farm and creamery that produces award-winning artisanal farmstead chèvre.

Bloomberg wrote that “at the 2017 American Cheese Society Conference—the dairy world’s version of the Oscars—Idyll Farms walked away with seven awards, the most for any goat cheese producer in North America. Among their awards: three first place prizes, three seconds, and one third—out of some 2,000 entries. All this for a cheese maker that has been in business for only five years.”[15] Idyll Farms cheeses also received three awards at the World Championship Cheese Contest (including Best of Class) in 2016, as well as previous multiple and repeat awards at American Cheese Society North American Competitions in 2013, 2014 (the farm’s first two years of production),[86] and 2016.[87] Its cheeses were also named a “Best Artisanal Cheese” in Food & Wine magazine in 2016[88] and one of “The 49 Best American Cheeses” in Men’s Journal magazine.[89]

In starting their farm in 2010, Spitznagel has said he wanted to “capture the terroir” of his native region,[90] as well as “feel engaged with something real, something tangible, and he wanted his kids to have that connection too”[1]—“terra firma”.[15]

Nassim Taleb has quipped that Spitznagel built Idyll Farms in order to satisfy his desire to be “a Victorian country gentleman,”[1] and Bloomberg called him “a guy who gives new meaning to the term ‘gentleman farmer.’”[15]

Spitznagel imported and consulted expert cheesemakers and goat herders from France and Switzerland to help establish and refine his operations.[15][34] (Though Spitznagel has been called “The Goat Whisperer” due to his habit of speaking to his goats in French,[1] he says when he goes to the farm he tries “not to get in the way” of his staff.[34])

The 200-acre ranch is located at the site of a 150-year-old dairy farm in what he calls “Hemingway's boyhood northern woods”[3]:288 in his hometown of Northport. The farm is “a beautiful piece of land, with patches of forest, lots of open pasture and rolling hills from which you can see for miles”[1] and that “evoke the mountains of Europe.”[15] There, “in the bucolic hills of Michigan,” according to Der Spiegel, “he produces cheese according to environmentally sustainable methods, because he views modern agriculture, with its large-scale pesticide use and automated factory farms, as degenerate.”[91] “Unlike conventionally managed dairy animals raised primarily on grain diets for the production of most commercially available cheeses, Idyll Farms’ goats are pasture-fed using rotational grazing practices which mimic and harness nature's complex, productive processes.”[86]

To Spitznagel, government interventions in agricultural systems (the subsidization of grain and GMO monoculture production, and the excessive use of petrochemicals), like its monetary interventionism, distort and impede otherwise productive, healthy, and sustainable natural processes in exchange for short term gains.[92] Spitznagel has a strong anti-GMO opinion, laid out in a New York Times piece co-authored with Taleb, where they wrote “The GMO experiment, carried out in real time and with our entire food and ecological system as its laboratory, is perhaps the greatest case of human hubris ever.”[93]

While Spitznagel has said that his motive in farming “is to change the way that we approach agriculture in this country, not just profit,” regarding his belief in farming as a good investment he has also said:

I’m a firm believer that agriculture is going to be a great investment and entrepreneurial opportunity for the next generation. Farming is headed for a sea-change: farmers are getting old, we’re depleting the fertility of our topsoil, creating highly susceptible GMO monocultures, and we don’t fully appreciate the implications of water—just to name a few.[42]

When (the Swiss-German magazine) BILANZ asked him what he would do if the Federal Reserve system finally collapsed and he no longer had any more stock market crashes from which to profit, Spitznagel quipped:

Dann werde ich mich auf das Leben als Farmer und meine Ziegen konzentrieren. [Then I would focus on my life as a farmer and my goats.][94]

Spitznagel has been an active supporter of the revitalization of Detroit, Michigan, and The New York Times has claimed that “Spitznagel has a vested interest in seeing Detroit make a comeback” due to large personal commercial real estate holdings there.[95] In particular, Spitznagel has been a leader in Detroit’s urban farming movement. The Sierra Club lauded Spitznagel’s vision of a “holistic system of urban agriculture” (where food production is moved closer to consumers in urban communities).[96] In 2013, Spitznagel established a farm called Idyll Farms Detroit for pasturing goats in Detroit’s heavily blighted Brightmoor neighborhood, in a philanthropic effort to improve the struggling community,[97][98] but the mayor quickly ordered the goats removed because of a city ordinance.[95][99][100] (The New York Times commented that “If this all sounds a little unusual, Mr. Spitznagel has never been one to bend to convention.”[95])

Select publicationsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Richard Bradley, The Goat Whisperer Archived December 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., Worth, December, 2014
  2. ^ a b c d The Secret to Mark Spitznagel’s Success? Not Following the Crowd Archived April 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., CIMS Newsletter, Fall/Winter, 2009
  3. ^ a b c d e f g The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World. New York: John Wiley & Sons. September, 2013
  4. ^ a b c d e Universa Investments L.P., firm website
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Spitznagel Bets Reputation on Inflation, The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2009
  6. ^ Hedging against disaster even as markets grow calm, Reuters, January 27, 2012
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i When Black Swans Fly, Bloomberg Markets, November, 2011
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Profiting from Disaster, Risk magazine, January, 2011
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Spreading his wings, Absolute Return + Alpha, November, 2011
  10. ^ a b c d e "October Pain Was 'Black Swan' Gain", The Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2008
  11. ^ a b Ron Paul Sets Los Angeles Fundraiser, The Wrap, March 4, 2012
  12. ^ a b Ron Paul sets Los Angeles fund-raiser, Reuters, March 4, 2012
  13. ^ a b Did a Big Bet Help Trigger 'Black Swan' Stock Swoon?, The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2010
  14. ^ a b A Hedge Fund Manager Who Doesn’t Mind a Losing Bet, The New York Times, June 29, 2011
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h A Hedge Fund Pioneer Is Making Some of the Best Goat Cheese in America, Bloomberg Pursuits, November 7, 2017
  16. ^ a b c A Bearish Hedge Fund Bets Against the Bulls and Still Profits, The New York Times, November 24, 2014
  17. ^ 5 hedge-fund managers to watch in 2012: How to gain market insight from Wall Street’s biggest, boldest investors, MarketWatch Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2011
  18. ^ a b O’Rourke, The Heartland Will Return With Goat Farms?, American Consequences, June, 2018
  19. ^ a b c d Black Swan investor warns of central bank bubble,, September 13, 2016
  20. ^ a b c Will rising rates be bad for the markets?, Fox Business Network, September 17, 2015
  21. ^ a b c Meet the World’s Most Bearish Investment Manager, Bloomberg TV, May 13, 2015
  22. ^ a b c Picking Market Crashes is Impossible, Spitznagel Says, Bloomberg TV, February 7, 2018
  23. ^ Mr. Volatility and the Swan, The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2007
  24. ^ a b Flight of the Black Swan, Bloomberg Markets, May, 2008
  25. ^ a b Taleb’s ‘Black Swan’ Investors Post Gains as Markets Take Dive, Bloomberg, October 14, 2008
  26. ^ a b Preparing for the Next 'Black Swan', The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2010
  27. ^ a b Spitznagel’s Universa Moves To Miami, FINalternatives, Feb 19, 2014
  28. ^ Black Swans Are A Myth, Government Intervention Is The Only Black Swan, Forbes, August 21, 2013
  29. ^ a b Rand Paul Names Hedge Fund Chief Mark Spitznagel as Economic Advisor, The New York Times, June 19, 2015
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  38. ^ J-Lo and Marc Anthony Sell In Los Angeles to Financier, The Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2010
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