Terrorist attacks, mass beheadings, and crashing airlines all spell one thing to me.
Of course, my first choice for a vacation destination this year was the civil war in Syria so I could find out on the ground what is really happening there. In addition, I could shop for a refugee camp in Jordan for one of my non-profits to help support.
Unfortunately, my family was not too hot on this idea, not wishing to buy me back from kidnappers at an inflated price, again (the last time was Cambodia in 1976).
The Joint Chiefs were not too thrilled either. At my advanced aged, I simply know too much to fall into the wrong hands.
So I compromised. This summer will find me trekking across the Sahara desert on a camel along the Moroccan/Algerian border, not far from Mauritania, where temperatures can reach 135 degrees Fahrenheit. I?m bringing my sunscreen.
My tux and white dinner jacket are packed, the five star hotels are booked, and the limo is waiting outside. The Cessna is fully fueled and the flight plan filed. I am taking off for my annual European and African Strategy Luncheon Tour.
I have worked the hardest in my life the past year, and it is time for a break. I have also put myself through the most grueling training regimen, hiking 2,000 miles and snowshoeing another 600, all with a 60-pound pack.
Every year it seems to get harder to keep the calendar at bay.
Along the way I will be meeting with other hedge fund managers, senior government officials, CEO?s at major banks and Fortune 500 companies, large institutional investors, and a Nobel Prize winner or two.
Getting out into the real world and soaking up new data and opinions is invaluable in shaping my own global view, and your performance benefits from it. Since I don?t stumble across these people in my living room, I have to travel the world to seek them out.
After pit stops in Dallas, DC and New York, I?ll board the Cunard Line?s Queen Mary II at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to take residence in the owner?s suite.
As we pass over the wreck of the Titanic on the second day out, we?ll throw a bouquet of flowers as a mark of respect.
In London I?ll catch William Shakespeare?s King John at the Globe Theater (click here).
I?ll spend an evening at the Royal Ballet (click here), and visit the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition.
At least one morning will find me catching an old-fashioned straight razor shave at the Jermyn Street Barbers, and topping up my supply of business shirts at Turnbull & Asser.
The cheese trolley at the Michelin restaurant is to die for. For accommodations I?ll be staying at the ever reliable, if not Spartan, British Navy Officers Club. You know, the place where Horatio Nelson used to drink with his junior officers?
I?ll then board the Orient Express for Venice, where the dinner is black tie only. Hopefully, there won?t be any murders this time. If a new Brioni suit and pair of Gucci shoes throw themselves upon me while I stroll through the Galleria in Milan I may be unable to resist.
In Geneva I?ll be consulting with the representatives of several Middle Eastern royal families while they vacation in the Alps.
One afternoon will be devoted to taking the paddle wheel steamer on Lake Geneva to the Chateau de Chillon in Montreux where Lord Byron used to live, sipping fine Swiss white wines along the way.
The grand finale will be my annual assault on the Matterhorn at Zermatt, which at 14,692 feet, is higher than anything we have in the continental US. After training all year for this, it?s now or never.
I spend my evenings there at public steam baths where, afterwards, I roll around in the snow and beat myself with birch branches. It is invigorating, to say the least.
I will be traveling with my laptop and keeping in touch with the markets. While 18th century Internet service is passable, the bandwidth can be snail like. So unless I see something extraordinary, I will cut back on new Trade Alerts.
After running up a 175% return in four and a half years, and beating 99% of the hedge funds in the industry, I deserve a break. I need to spend some time alone on a mountaintop, communing with the spirits, attempting to discover the new long-term market trends through the mist.
While on the road, I will continue writing my newsletter, giving you my daily dose of market insight. I will also be re-running some of my favorite research pieces from the past when my travel schedule does not allow Internet access.
This is to expose my thousands on new subscribers to the golden oldies, and to remind the legacy readers who have since forgotten them.
I will be back in San Francisco in early August, glued to my screens once again for another year of toil. In the meantime, please feel free to email me.
Mad Day Trader, Bill Davis, will be working straight through the summer. No rest for the wicked!
In the meantime, I shall be raising a glass to all of you at dinner, the loyal readers of The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader. Salute! Prost! And Cheers! Thanks for making this letter a huge success!
If you want to take the opportunity to meet me in person, please find my strategy luncheon schedule below. To purchase tickets for the luncheons, please go to my online store click on city of your choice.
Dallas, Texas - June 19
Washington DC - June 22
New York City - June 25
London, England - June 29
Lisbon, Portugal - July 2
Marrakesh, Morocco - July 13
Milan, Italy - July 22
Zermatt, Switzerland - July 31
Zurich, Switzerland - August 3