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A Most Super Bowl

by M.G. Siegler


What Does Nevada’s $35 Billion Fund Manager Do All Day? Nothing.

Speaking of people you gotta love, Nevada’s employee pension fund manager Steve Edmundson...

“Doing nothing is harder than it looks,” says Ken Lambert, Mr. Edmundson’s predecessor and only outside investment-strategy consultant. Harder, he says, because of the restraint needed to practice inaction.

Your moment of Zen.

He traces his philosophy to what he learned working for a Bozeman, Mont., wine distributor. He marketed the best-selling wines without highlighting the grapes’ origins or tasting notes.
“The wine industry tends to be portrayed as something complicated and difficult with fancy terminology,” he says. “On the investment side, it’s really similar. You can focus on the small details rather than the big picture.”

Love this mentality. 

The typical call lasts about five minutes. He lets callers down gently, deflecting advances by concluding the offering isn’t a good fit and thanking them for the information.
“I’ve become very good at saying no,” he says. “I don’t try to lead them on, so they don’t get false hope.”

Of all the things easier said than done, this may be the most "easier said than done."

One recent day, he started a PowerPoint presentation on interest-rate risk and discussed investment targets with Nevada pension officials before breaking for leftover bucatini pasta with bacon atop a salad.

Nice little Tuesday.


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