Remembering Jim Simons: Revisiting One Of The Legendary Investor's Best Lectures

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Jim Simons, RIP

When news of Jim Simons' passing broke on Friday, may noted the extraordinary returns of his firm's flagship fund. 

IF YOU INVESTED JUST $1,000 IN JIM SIMONS MEDALLION FUND IN 1988 YOU WOULD HAVE OVER $42 MILLION DOLLARS TODAY FOR COMPARISON IF YOU BOUGHT THE S&P 500 YOU WOULD HAVE $40,000 INVESTING IN WARREN BUFFET’S BERKSHIRE WOULD HAVE GIVEN YOU $152,000 TRULY THE GREATEST TO EVER DO IT https://t.co/joZB2xcGs4

— GURGAVIN (@gurgavin) May 10, 2024

Of course, you couldn't have invested in the Medallion Fund unless you worked at Simons' Renaissance Technologies. But there was more to Jim Simons than being one of history's best investors. He lived an amazing life, as he detailed in the lecture below. 

A couple of things that jumped out at us from this lecture:

  • The importance of luck. When he was young, Simons borrowed money from his father to invest in a friend's business in Colombia. A few years later, after his friend sold his Colombian business, Jim gave his and his father's proceeds to Jim's trader friend to manage. Jim made a deal with his friend that his friend would get 25% of the proceeds from his trading. After ten months, Jim's friend had grown Jim and his father's money by 1,000%, net of the trader's 25% cut. 
  • Jim's lasting love of math and science. Of course, Simons started out as an academic mathematician, but late in life, after the death of his son, he returned to pure math as a way to deal with his grief--and in the process, he ended up making a discovery that advanced a branch of the field. Simons' foundation has also funded research into medicine as well as pure math and science, including investigations into the origins of life. 

The last twenty minutes or so are questions and answers, but most of you will probably enjoy the part where Simons speaks. 

In Case You Missed It

On Thursday Night we posted our Top Ten Names from this week. 

Click the image above to go to the post. 

In the free preview part of that post, we also showed the 6-month performance of our top ten names from November 9th of last year: on average they were up 52.3%, versus 20.39% for the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF SPY, led by gains in Super Micro Computer, Inc. SMCI, Celestica CLS, and Nvidia NVDA.

We now have 6-month returns for 46 weekly top ten names cohorts since we started our Substack in December of 2022. Our top ten names have returned 22.96% over the average of these 46 6-month periods, versus SPY's average of 12.37%.

 

If you want to stay in touch.

You can scan for optimal hedges for individual securities, find our current top ten names, and create hedged portfolios on our website. You can also follow Portfolio Armor on X here, or become a free subscriber to our trading Substack using the link below (we're using that for our occasional emails now).

This article is from an unpaid external contributor. It does not represent Benzinga's reporting and has not been edited for content or accuracy.

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