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'Black Swan' Fund Racks in $1B As Markets Plummet


Universa Investments—which is advised by The Black Swan author Nassim Taleb—jumped by 20% last Monday as the Dow Jones fell over 1,000 points, racking in $1B in gains. By leveraging market volatility, Universa's strategy focuses on finding cheap, shorter-dated options on the S&P that it expects to rise in value. “The markets are overvalued to the tune of 50%, and I’ve been saying that for some time,” founder Mark Spitznagel (pictured) says. Universa attracted attention during the 2008 downturn by racking in 100% profits for its clients as the economy tanked. Since the Dow dropped last Monday, other similar "black swan" funds reaped big rewards, earning double-digit percentage gains in the past week. Capstone Investment Advisors (up 52%/$100M as of Wednesday), 36 South Capital Advisors’ Black Eyrar (up double digits through last Friday) and Saba Capital Management (up 14% as of last Friday)—have also profited in the recent weeks as the global market has fallen. “We wait for times like these,” 36 South chief investment officer Jerry Haworth says. [WSJ]