Andrew Lahde: Now I'm out of the hedge fund business, I can finally enjoy myself

Andrew Lahde was the manager of a small US hedge fund that returned 866 per cent to investors in 2007. Last week, he closed down the fund. The following is an extract from his farewell letter...

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Recently, a hedge fund manager who was closing up a $300 million fund was quoted as saying, "What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it." I could not agree more with that statement.

I was in this game for the money. The low-hanging fruit, the idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale and then the Harvard MBA, who were there for the taking.

These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they had received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behaviour supporting the aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. I will let others try to amass nine, 10 or 11-figure net worths.

Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two-week vacation in January during which they will be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices.

What is the point? They will all be forgotten in 50 years anyway. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life. So this is it. With all due respect, I am dropping out. Please do not expect any type of reply to emails or voicemails within normal time frames or at all.

I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the sub-prime debacle.

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