Top Podcasts of the Week

Below is our “Top Podcast” episode with our curator, Colby Donovan!

Today we have an episode on why stock buybacks are a positive, why we should be optimistic about the future, and what we can do to help build good habits and break bad ones.

  • What Works on Wall Street: 10. The Factor Archives: Shareholder Yield. Stock buybacks have received a lot of negative publicity from politicians over the last year, but as the hosts of this podcast demonstrate, they have been around for centuries and the data shows they benefit investors. What’s ironic is while politicians are now saying buybacks are bad, historically governments have not only encouraged buybacks, but have even mandated them. The bottom line is that that companies that both distribute capital to investors through both dividends and buybacks outperform their peers. If you want to read their article on shareholder yield, you can do so here. [December 18, 2019–24 minutesiTunes Podcast | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link
  • a16z Podcast: Why We Should Be Optimistic About the Future. Kevin Kelly (founder of Wired Magazine) interviews Marc Andreessen (founder of VC firm a16z) to discuss the evolution of technology and why they are incredibly optimistic about the future. They remind us the internet has only been around for 25 years and we are finally starting to reap all of it’s benefits. They then discuss some of the key technology trends that are impacting the world: artificial intelligence (will be a product and not just a feature for companies), biology (Eroom’s Law and why engineered biology is expected to be massive going forward), what can keep Moore’s Law going, 5G and why it’s become such a big geopolitical issue, and the sharing economy (why the “Uber for x” model has been slower to adapt to other industries and why he still thinks that will happen). Andreessen finishes by saying he is a huge believer in the importance of positive sum economic growth, and once economic growth goes negative, people focus on more zero-sum thinking and we focus on wanting more anti-trade laws and decreased immigration. He also emphasizes that we all have to realize we are growing the economy while using fewer resources than before. He has talked more about the zero-sum growth in this podcast episode and the idea of growth with fewer resources in this podcast episode (both are great episodes I have recommended before). [January 2, 2020–44 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link
The Rest
  • HBR IdeaCast: 716: The Right Way to Form New Habits. There’s no better episode or person to listen to on how to create better habits and apply that to your new year’s resolution. The episode is with James Clear, who is the author of the bestselling book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. In this episode he covers a lot of ideas from his book and gives a ton of great quotes to think about. He says we need to scale our big goals down to something more manageable (instead of saying you’ll go to the gym for an hour 4x/week, just show up to the gym for 5 minutes 4x/week and build from there — a habit must be established before it can be improved upon). He also says to find ways to use commitment devices to make habits more attractive and easy to follow through on (schedule a run with a friend instead of going by yourself so it’s harder to cancel). Lastly, you should focus on your identity rather than the outcome, and realize every action you take is a vote for the type of person you want to become. [December 31, 2019–26 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link

“The cost of your good habits is in the present, and the cost of your bad habits is in the future.”

  • The Tim Ferriss Show: #401: Gary Keller — How to Focus on the One Important Thing. Keller is the CEO of Keller Williams, the world’s largest real estate franchise by agent count, and the bestselling author of The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, The episode is a great listen for anyone building a business or interested in the franchise model. He explains he learned a lot from Ray Croc (the McDonald’s founder) on how he used the franchise model to build McDonald’s. He also talks about the difficulties of being an entrepreneur and the hardships you face along the way, the importance of succession planning both for yourself and for your business, and discusses some of the ideas from his book, including how to improve your focus, willpower and time-management skills. [December 12, 2019–2 hoursiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link

Below are books that podcasts guests suggested on episodes I listened to last week. The descriptions are summaries of what the guest said, not my own opinion.

Joe Rickets (Founder & Former CEO, TD Ameritrade, Owner of Chicago Cubs):

Barry Ritholtz (CIO, Ritholtz Wealth Management):

Brian Kelly (Founder & CEO, The Points Guy):

Here’s ours:

The Best Investment Writing Volume 3: Selected Writing from Prominent Investors and Authors

  • Last year when we published The Best Investment Writing Volume 2, we offered authors the opportunity to record an audio version of their chapter to be released as a segment of the podcast, and listeners loved it. This year, we’re bringing you the entire volume of The Best Investment Writing Volume 3 in podcast format. You’ll hear from some of the most respected money managers and investment researchers all over the world: Jack Vogel, Paul Novell, Mike Philbrick, Rob Arnott, Aswath Damodaran, Corey Hoffstein, Bob Seawright, Wes Gray, Justin J. Carbonneau, Gary Antonacci, Larry Swedroe, Scott Bell, Jack Forehand, Ray Micaletti, Todd Tresidder, Ben Johnson, and Frazer Rice.

Episode #195: Top Podcasts 2019 – Replay: Bill Smead, Cam Harvey, Raoul Pal

  • Episode 195 is a replay of The Meb Faber Show’s top podcasts of 2019. Guests include Bill Smead, Cam Harvey, and Raoul Pal. Hear Bill Smead discuss his firm’s value investing process, his view of the investing landscape, and his thoughts about millennials being in position to drive the economy in the future. Next, dig into Cam Harvey’s 1986 dissertation, his research on inverted yield curves and what that means for economic growth and various asset classes, and some thoughts on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Finally, listen to Raoul Pal and his take on global growth, where he thinks investment opportunity lies, his discussion of “The Doom Loop,” and risks to the global economy.

Good investing,
Meb Faber