Munder NetNet Fund Chicago Illinois Review


The Munder NetNet fund, managed and created by Paul Cook, destroyed all of my family’s savings and, because I hear he might be doing it again, I felt like I had to tell everyone. Here’s what I know: My da thought, like most of his friends, that Paul Cook was in on something special. That the Munder NetNet Fund was a sure bet. It was an internet fund, founded by Paul Cook when he was designing a new website for the firm he worked for, that focused on mutual funds related to internet stocks. At first, it was widely successful, and Paul Cook became a celebrity. He made the rounds of finance newspapers and television shows, and started getting approached in public. But that wasn’t why my da invested. Da held out for a time, but then he heard that this widely successful fund was closing its doors to new investors in a month. He decided that he had to get in before the fund closed, and put in almost all of his liquid assets. Little did he know that it was a calculated closing. See, I’ve asked around. Most funds give a two to three day warning when closing, or set a limit on how many people can invest and close when they reach that limit. The Munder NetNet Fund gave a month’s notice, starting a rush to invest as people like my da panicked and tried to get in before it was too late. But all of those investors, like my da, lost everything. The reason? The closing of the fund was coicendently perfectly timed to match the peak of internet stocks sucessess. They closed the fund almost at the precise moment that the bubble burst. Suddenly the fund lost money. The closing happened in March of 2000, by the end of the year the newly invested money my da had put in dropped 50%. It dropped another 48% the next year before he got out, with only a portion of what he put in. Money that had been our savings, our college funds, whatever he could get his hands on. Now, I know that some of this is da’s fault. But the fact that the fund closed at just the right moment to get the most money out of people seems stupidly cocindental. Not to mention this little gem, one of the largest holdings of the fund was InfoSpace. This was a Washington-based company that gamed its own IPO by having people do shady investments- showing revenue when there really wasn’t. Bad enough that the Munder NetNet Fund got carried along for the ride, however, when Paul Cook left the fund (which it should be remembered he founded and managed) guess where he went to work? That’s right. InfoSpace. Hell, he’s still with the company- it’s just now called Intelius and TalentWise. And you know what burns? Paul Cook and all of the people who ran InfoSpace are billionares. They have tons of money and the failing of the fund didn’t hurt any of them. It just hurt the people who got carried along for the ride, like my da. In case you don’t believe me, here are some places you can go to read up about it:

Paul Cook, 500 108th Ave NE Bellevue, Washington USA


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