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"It's too hard to be a good investor if you confine yourself to just one thing. There may not be opportunities in that one thing, [and] that's why I take a generalist approach. If you don't cast a wide net, you're not going to catch the best fish."

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Patrick Quinn (Quinn Opportunity Partners)

Upside Volatility

A book recommendation during undergrad was all it took for Patrick Quinn to uncover his aptitude for investing. As a biochemistry major, Patrick had to then take an unconventional road into the investing world—it was a road that would introduce Patrick to key mentors who were invaluable in helping him on his path as an investor, ultimately starting his own fund.

Patrick Quinn is the founder and CIO of Quinn Opportunity Partners LLC, an investment advisor with approximately $650 million AUM. Patrick started Quinn Opportunity Partners in 2011 after he discovered an enormous investment opportunity while working as an analyst at Perry Capital. He used this idea to raise capital from his first investors, and his fund was born.

In this episode, Patrick tells the story of how shorting Tesla became a pivotal mistake that led him to his current contrarian investment strategy. Central to this approach is the ability to not be biased towards investment ideas due to external pressure, but to instead let price volatility in the market work to his advantage.

“I realized how having these conversations with prospective investors was actually biasing me toward looking for an idea,” Patrick explains about his Tesla short, “instead of just letting the idea hit me over the head and letting the price volatility of the market be our advantage. It was me turning over stones and trying to say, 'that's the one, right now I've found something that everyone was missing.’”

Lately we've observed an environment where investors "want it all," and managers often overspecialize to the point that they lose their edge trying to deliver something unique. Given these pressures, watered-down results should not be surprising.

On the other hand, Patrick is an unapologetic generalist. He deliberately keeps himself open to every good opportunity, which has resulted in 29% net annualized return since his fund's 2011 inception.

Prior to launching Quinn Opportunity Partners, Patrick was an analyst in the risk arbitrage group of Perry Capital, with approximately $1 billion allocated to the strategy. Patrick graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry.

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