In this episode of Strategic Investor Radio, host Charley Wright interviews Sean Wright – no relation – of Carden Capital. Sean is the founder and a Managing Partner of Carden, which is known for its unique investment strategies applied for institutions, mutual funds, private investors, and advisors.
Sean earned an MBA from Wharton and began his investment-industry career as an investment banker. He eventually “caught the entrepreneurial bug” and founded Carden. Soon thereafter, Gaven Duemke – a German who studied at Oxford and traded derivatives in London for many years – joined Sean as a fellow Managing Partner of the firm.
Carden is focused on systematic strategies. “Everything we do has some sort of algorithm,” says Sean. “By using models, we can take emotion out of investment decisions and thereby create better returns.” Sean says his firm aims to “achieve superior risk-adjusted returns over a cycle so clients can have a better experience.”
Carden’s flagship strategy is called “Vol Prowler.” It’s a long/short volatility trading system using two ETFs: VXX and XIV (which is the inverse of VXX). Sean says that the “Vol Prowler” strategy has a trade “on” 60% of the time, with the strategy in cash (and awaiting the next trading signal) the other 40% of the time. Most of the time when the strategy isn’t in cash, it’s “short” volatility by holding the XIV ETF.
Sean also discusses another one of Carden’s strategies called “Night Prowler,” which trades in the night session of the futures market.
When asked what keeps him up at night, Sean says “I don’t really know how to protect against nuclear war.” Further: “Real, massive human catastrophe is the kind of thing that just really scares me. It’s something you can only plan for so much.”