HYBRID VIGOR: VOL 3 ISSUE 22 "State of Mind"

No less a sage than Billy Joel tells us that “life is a series of hellos and goodbyes, I’m afraid it’s time for goodbye again.” Sounds like something from Ecclesiastes, right? Anyway, yes, it is time for goodbye, but also for hello, here at Hillside Advisors.

We say goodbye to our friend and erstwhile colleague George Lynch, who is starting a new chapter in Austin, Texas this week at the Employee Retirement System for the State of Texas.   You won’t meet a better guy to have around the office than George, and his departure leaves us with good-sized shoes to fill in technology sector coverage. We’re in discussions with a couple of people but we welcome interest from any experienced tech analysts interested in joining us or simply contributing quality original research.

There’s a time for sowing and a time for planting. We plant a big part of our future as we welcome my former classmate and colleague Kathy Hay Stine as a new Senior Advisor. Kathy will be focused on building our revenue streams and making them more reliable so that we can continue to be the voice of the convertible and equity-linked markets for many years to come.  If you’ve never met Kathy, you are in for a treat. She is, as my wife puts it, a “dynamo.”   I’ve never seen anyone get so many heartfelt hugs at a reunion as Kathy did in Philadelphia a few weeks ago.  Kathy’s background is in fixed-income sales and fundraising: when you speak with her you cannot help but come away knowing more and feeling energized.  The only problem we have with Kathy is that, as a small firm, we now have two Kathy’s. We have taken to calling our credit-research guru Kathy Schick “The Edge” and Kathy Hay Stine “Slash.” Oddly, neither has ever played guitar in the office.

It wouldn’t be a Hillside cover letter without a few comments about the final leg of the Triple Crown, coming this Saturday at Belmont Park. Exaggerator, off a strong second in the Derby and a big win in the Preakness, will be the deserving heavy favorite. Early forecasts suggest he may get the muddy track he loves.  If jockey Kent Desormeaux keeps him in contact with the leaders early, I think Exaggerator could win by one of the largest margins (other than Secretariat’s 31 lengths) in the history of the race.  Poor Kent has been struggling with his demons of late, though, and while he says he will be ready to ride, you can’t help wondering just a little if the horse might be better off with a less talented but more even-keeled rider. When you have the best horse in the race, you don’t need or want volatility.

(This is the cover letter for the subscription-based weekly Hillside's Hybrid Vigor newsletter. For a complete copy, please contact John Anderson at + 1 (646) 712-9289 x 107).