Comparing The Alternative Investment Industry To Today’s Tattoo Phenomenon

When I grew up (and I am 39) if someone had a tattoo they were defined as a 'rebel', and more often than not the title fit the bill. Most of these people did walk outside the lines and a good portion of them probably spent a lot of time in unscrupulous places that catered to those who had motorbikes.

Today, approximately 40% (a stat I pulled from wandering around Google) of people between the ages of 18 and 25 have a tattoo. And by my own account I would argue that this number is on the rise.

You can still defend the old days and argue that these people are “irresponsible;” however, it is getting pretty tough, there is a decent chance that you are currently relying quite heavily on the professional attributes of someone that has one.

People have been forced to simply say, "Oh well, who cares." (Which I believe the world should do on a number of issues.) Now what does this have to do with the alternatives community?

We are in rooms everyday talking to interesting people about the marketing process. I have made one keen observation. This world is so caught up in “what an investor might think’ that it dilutes the intensity of a manager’s message, and often times prevents a manager from saying the one thing that an investor might actually find interesting. (Performance, and all that – white noise.)

My advice for the industry, start showing your tattoos. Be who you are. If an investor is going to criticize you for being authentic, go find another investor. Such as any thing, this industry is maturing and the rhetoric is starting to wear thin. Most people that manage money really have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow. Even more of you do crazy stuff when your garage door shuts that actually makes you interesting.

If you are an investor, stop worrying about whether a manager has a “tattoo.” Celebrate the fact that you might actually be talking to someone that isn’t a financial zombie. Wouldn’t you rather know the “real” manager? Because behind the suits, addresses, education, and such, this is who is really managing your money.

With so many managers in the game, it really is quite arbitrary as to who gets money and who doesn’t. I am not saying that you don’t need to be respectful, smart and professional to get money; however, there is the very real chance that your opinions on topics outside of the day-to-day may get you further than you think.

There is probably an investor out there with a tattoo very similar to yours.

By Kyle Dunn