Top Podcasts of the Week

Below is our “Top Podcast” episode with our new curator, Colby Donovan! Holler with any feedback!

Today we have an episode explaining merger arbitrage, a fantastic episode on personal finance, what the next step is for companies like Betterment, and thoughts on venture capital from the LP perspective.

  • The Curious Investor: Why Merger Arb Works. Great episode on the ins and outs of merger arbitrage featuring Mark Mitchell of AQR affiliate CNH Partners. The ideas are from his original 2001 paper “Characteristics of Risk and Return in Risk Arbitrage.” He explains how he spent four years gathering data on mergers to analyze the risk and return of the strategy. The episode explains when it works best, how it works in different market environments and with different types of mergers, and when it can earn excess return. [July 24, 2019–20 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link


  • Invest Like The Best: Eric Sorenson — How Quant Evolves. Sorensen is the CEO of Panagora asset management, which is a quant firm that manages more than $46B for clients across a variety of strategies. He begins by covering his background at the Air Force and how that led him to get his PhD and become a quant. He explains how he’s witnessed quant strategies change over time, how he has evolved as a manager himself, applying newer ideas to his investment process like natural language processing, thoughts on risk premia strategies, what he’s interested in going forward and that he thinks fundamental managers can outperform in the future by having highly concentrated portfolios. [June 23, 2019–57 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link


  • The Long View: Maria Bruno and Joel Dickson: ‘Building a Better Retirement.’ This is a great episode all about personal finance. Bruno is the head of U.S. wealth planning research at Vanguard and Dickson is Vanguard’s global head of advice methodology, he oversees all investment methodology development for Vanguard’s advice programs whose end consumers are individual investors. The first 21 minutes of the episode is all about individuals in the accumulation phase of life: using your 401(k) and supplementing it with other tax advantaged accounts like an HSA, Roth IRA and even a college 529 plan. Then the conversation turns to the de-accumulation phase: what are rules of thumb for annual spending, being able to stomach staying invested during a downturn while retired, and handling longer expected lifespans. [July 24, 2019–58 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link


  • Rebank: In Pursuit of Comprehensive Financial Wellbeing with Betterment. This episode features Jon Stein, the Founder and CEO of Betterment. It’s a great look into what the next step may be for all of the automated services. Betterment decided to make a huge push for deposits, and in order to do so, they created the highest yielding savings account available at 2.69% and no-fee checking accounts. [July 23, 2019–32 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link


  • Venture Stories: The LP Perspective: Beezer Clarkson and Chris Douvos. Both guests are LP’s and join to discuss the state of the venture industry. They cover the abundance of capital in venture capital and its impact, the ways a venture fund can differentiate itself, the difference between building a firm and simply deploying capital, why Chris wants to look at companies outside of SF and NYC, and how they think about the investment process, both with individual companies and at the portfolio level. [July 2, 2019–1 hour, 1 minuteiTunes Podcast | SpotifyOvercast | Breaker | Website Link

Here’s ours:

Episode #166: Radio Show: Greece and Russia Are Having Monster Years…Geographic Diversification…and Meb’s 401(k)

Episode #167: The Cannabis Opportunity

Good investing,
Meb Faber