…the hoodoo. There are certain people you meet in life who are like the locomotives that always used to blow up—people who, wherever they go, disaster always ensues. One of my main pieces of advice is: Stay away from hoodoos. Sometimes hoodoos are very affectionate and they like to hug you, and I always burn my shirt right after being touched by a hoodoo.

How do you know a hoodoo when you see one?

First of all, a lot of them frequent areas that are ephemeral. Many waterfront communities are peopled by hoodoos. And they generally have a string of failures behind them, they generally are in need of capital, they generally talk a better game than they play. And they often flatter you and pretend to be your amiable friend before they know you. Hoodoos are very good at what they do. A lot of times they command the center of attention and they try to dazzle you with the trappings of success—which when you look into it you will find is a will o’ the wisp.”

—Kathryn Shultz, “Hoodoos, Hedge Funds, and Alibis: Victor Niederhoffer on Being Wrong.” Slate. June 21, 2010.

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