A wonderful yet often ignored path. Photo credit: Emily Hishta Cohen (my talented wife), @heirloomconservatory

Please visit MIT’s new webpage written specifically for emerging managers, a key demographic we want to reach, help, and invest with www.mitimco.org/emerging-managers

Please also visit https://emergingmanagers.org/, a new webpage we created to post additional content relating to starting a stockpicking firm.

Note: this essay is written with public market stockpickers in mind and might not make sense to those who do something different

We had a conversation with one of our managers a few years ago about what we could do to be more broadly helpful to emerging managers.

His response caught our attention: One of the most valuable things…

The Alchemist statue ponders MIT’s beautiful campus. To apply to work with us, click here

We’re hiring!

To this day, I am rather surprised that MIT’s Investment Management Company (MITIMCo) took a chance on me as a 22 year old who knew very little about investing. How wonderful that they did, because it has been an incredible ten years at MITIMCo. Even better, there is no end in sight. I recently took a short personal sabbatical to go trail running in the mountains in New Zealand and now I am back for another ten years until I’m due for my next short break. I expect I will spend my entire career at MITIMCo.

As I…

By Joel Cohen, September 2021

What I learned from one successful investor about how he initially broke into the investment industry without traditional credentials or connections

Not long ago, I was speaking with a very interesting person who had been highly successful at a larger investment shop, ultimately managing his own portfolio there. We met for lunch, hit it off, and kept in touch. I later asked him about how he broke into the investment industry in the first place, right out of college and without the help of pre-existing connections or qualifications. …

July, 2021

This interview was uploaded to https://emergingmanagers.org/josh-tarasoff-interview

Joel Cohen, Global Investor, MIT Investment Management Company: Welcome to my interview with Josh Tarasoff, founder of Greenlea Lane Capital based in Connecticut. I wanted to do this interview because I think Josh exemplifies an alternative approach to building a great stockpicking firm. This approach does not rely on large launch AUM, a long or traditional background in investing, or any of the bells and whistles that many people think investment firms require.

Josh launched with $2.3 million in assets under management, no employees, and no office, in 2006, and has done…

When reaching out to potential limited partners

“We look to buy companies trading at material premiums to intrinsic value based on borrowed conviction from things we read on Fintwit in the last 24 hours”

The above is an excerpt from…no manager pitchbook, ever!

So why do people feel it is useful to write out obvious, generic value-investing soundbites? Ok, maybe it is worthwhile to state the obvious a little bit if you are trying to start from first principles and build up, but you need to do a lot more than that to get anyone interested in your fund.

Here I am in high school, slide-tackling a larger, more technical, faster opponent (fortunately you can’t see my embarrassingly long hair in this pic!)

In high school, my senior year I managed to secure a starting position on our incredible varsity soccer team that won the state championship. I was the worst starter, but proud to be part of such a high achieving team, and I managed to pull my weight (no shame to be the worst player on an incredible team, as long as contributing to the team’s success).

The reason I think this is interesting is that I had no special skills that should have merited a place on such a good team. I was quick enough, but not especially quick. I…

MIT in the springtime. Photo by Christopher Harting

MITIMCo is the division of MIT that invests the Institute’s long-term financial assets. As of June 30, 2020, we managed roughly $25 billion of endowment, pension, and working capital assets. Gains from our activities help support MIT’s research into cancer, alternative energy, robotics, and countless other fields of study.

One of the unusual things about MITIMCo is that our global investment team is organized into a flat, generalist structure. All investment team members have the same job description, the same title, report directly to our CIO, and work across the entire range of investment types and geographies. Investment decisions are…

Working for MIT gives our team a very strong sense of purpose

In the below guest essay, MIT Investment Management Company President Seth Alexander writes about how a career at MITIMCo fits the framework of Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose for human motivation put forward by Daniel Pink in the book Drive. We’re hiring! https://mitimco.org/global-investor/

Turnover on MIT’s small, tight-knit Global Investment Staff has been very low. Most of the investment team has worked together for at least ten years, and in the last six years only one colleague has left. …

MIT’s Alchemist sculpture ponders a gorgeous (pre-pandemic) early fall day on campus

MITIMCo (the group that manages MIT’s endowment) will soon be launching a new webpage for emerging managers. It will describe our approach to partnering with emerging managers, including why we do not ask for GP economics when we anchor emerging managers, and why we commit capital to emerging managers for ten years. Subscribe to this medium page and/or follow me on twitter @joelmcohen to see it when it goes live!

Conventional rules of thumb typically conflict with thoughtful investing. A classic example is the price to earnings ratio. P/E is a very imperfect proxy for discount to intrinsic value, yet…

This essay is written with emerging manager public markets stockpickers in mind — the advice and the offer below will be less applicable to those who do something else.

Update: I have received upwards of 100 responses, which fills out my allotted time to this project and then some. I am no longer able to respond to every comer, but feel free to send me materials on your firm if you think there might be a good fit, and I will take a look. If there is a good likelihood of fit, I’d be delighted to have a conversation.


Joel Cohen

10+ years on the Global Investment Staff at MITIMCo, helping invest MIT’s endowment in exceptional investment firms around the world. Joel_Cohen@mitimco.mit.edu

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store