Universa Investments LP gained roughly 20% on Monday, according to a person familiar with the matter, a day when the market collapsed more than 1,000 points in its largest ever intraday point decline. Universa’s profits—some realized and some on paper—amounted to more than $1 billion in the past week, largely on Monday, as its returns for the year climbed to roughly 20% through earlier this week. “This is just the beginning,” said Universa founder Mark Spitznagel, a longtime collaborator with Mr. Taleb,
Spitznagel’s book that “Mark champions the roundabout,” and “shows how a seemingly difficult immediate loss becomes an advantageous intermediate step for greater future gain, and thus why we must become ‘patient now and strategically impatient later.’” Spitznagel likens his process to “life’s roundabout road to success, as opposed to the direct. The direct way is easy but ultimately unrewarding. The roundabout, indirect way takes longer but leads to a better strategic advantage.” Spitznagel’s roundabout is basically about delaying gratification and taking small setbacks now to gain enormous positional advantage later—the art of taking a circuitous path to an endpoint.” His examples range from forest ecology, the military strategies of Sunzi and Clausewitz, and games such as baseball and weiqi.