Top Podcasts of the Week

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

Today we have episodes on the rise of D2C companies, the future of media (streaming, audio, podcasts and newsletters), and Disney CEO Bob Iger on his career and the future of streaming.


  • Recode Decode: Larry Ingrassia: How Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club and other disruptors became billion-dollar companies. Ingrassia joins the episode to discuss his new book, Billion Dollar Brand Club: How Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, and Other Disruptors Are Remaking What We Buy, and the ideas couldn’t be more relevant with Casper going public in early February. He was led to write the book because he knows the founder of Dollar Shave Club, and originally thought the idea was horrible until he heard he sold to Unilever for $1 billion years later. He talks about all the trends in the space, including the use of social media & viral marketing to target customers and remove friction (free returns, cheaper prices). He mentions Casper and the idea that venture capitalists (and companies themselves) need to realize whether or not they should raise money or be bootstrapped. He finishes the episode by explaining what the incumbents are doing to fight the startups and protect their market share. [February 12, 2020–54 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Bill Simmons Podcast: The 2020 Streaming Wars with Ben Thompson. If you are interested in all forms of media and where they are going, this is a great listen. Thompson is the author of the blog Stratechery which covers both business and technology and is widely followed. He spends the first hour and 21 minutes with Simmons talking about all types of media. He talks about the future of streaming and the various strategies of Disney, Netflix, and other companies like NBC, why he is very bullish on e-mail newsletters and companies like Substack, why he thinks the market for audio and podcasting is still very young and has room to run, and touches on Spotify’s model with both music and their recent bet on podcasting with acquisitions like Gimlet and The Ringer. He also talks about whether or not outlets can actually overpay for broadcast rights and if we all will end up with “subscription” overload. [February 14, 2020–2 hours, 8 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link
  • Modern Wisdom: #142 — Morgan Housel — How To Create & Manage Your Personal Wealth. This is a great episode about personal finance and how to think about money properly. Housel is one of the best investing writers and has a book about money coming out this summer called The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness. In this episode, he discusses how to take advantage of money to make yourself happy (yes, more money can make you happy), the difference between rich and wealth, the importance of not trying to keep up with the status quo, and living below your means so you don’t lose your money. [February 13, 2020–55 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link

Income among brothers is more correlated than height or weight.

  • Off The Chain: Michael Venuto, Co-Founder of Toroso Investments: Inside the World of ETFs. Venuto has worked in the ETF industry for years in a variety of roles, including both design and implementation. He gives some background on the basics of ETF’s: $4.4T industry, 19bps expense ratio, the industry has grown at 19.6% over the last 26 years (annualized) and has massive tax advantages over mutual funds. He emphasizes the importance of paid marketing for ETF in the industry to gather assets, talks about his blockchain ETF ($BLOK) at 32:30 and why he decided to have it be active for flexibility purposes, and says his favorite holding is Silvergate Bank. He then compares his blockchain ETF to the eventual bitcoin ETF and explains why he thinks it’s actually a hedge instead of a competitor. He finishes with thoughts on the industry in general and why he is incredibly bullish on bitcoin and crypto at the moment. [February 14, 2020–1 hour, 13 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link

On average, ETF’s own ~7.5% of every U.S. stock (up from 2.67% eight years ago).

  • MacroVoices: #206 Chris Cole: Optimizing portfolio construction for changing times. The first 21 minutes of the episode is a market update, and then the interview with Chris Cole is from 21:50–1:18:20 (I would not listen past that). Cole is as smart as anyone on the long volatility trade and joins the episode to discuss his recent paper, The Allegory of the Hawk and Serpent, which examines the optimal portfolio to hold over a 100 year period. He explains the tailwinds investors have had over the last 30 years are about to turn into headwinds and if investors don’t change with the times, they will suffer. The portfolio he found that performs best over the long term and over every market cycle is roughly 1/5 in equities, FIC, gold, commodity trend and long volatility. He also covers a lot of general topics, such as issues with pensions having to deal with lower future expected returns while already being underfunded and why buy the dip will not work over the long-term and results in a permanent loss of capital. [February 13–1 hour, 37 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Meb Faber Show: #201 — The Case For Global Investing. This is as good of a way to get great Wall Street research summarized in 45 minutes as there is. Meb also did a tweet-storm on these topics you can view here. He covers his favorite six institutional research pieces from 2019 and summarizes them for you, all of which are related to the importance of investing globally. They include diversification via company revenue exposure, international stock dividend yields, and valuations. [February 12, 2020–45 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link

The Rest

  • The Bill Simmons Podcast: Disney CEO Robert Iger on the Streaming Wars, ESPN’s Reset, Jimmy Kimmel’s First Year, and 15 Years of Leadership Lessons. Simmons is joined by Disney CEO Bob Iger, who is on a promo tour for his new book, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. The irony of their interview is that Simmons was fired by ESPN (a Disney company) a few years ago while Iger was at the helm. Iger talks about the streaming wars — when he figured out he needed to invest a lot for the future, how he decided to communicate that with both the board and the street, how he tried to manage the Fox assets after they were acquired, how he has handled the declining subscription for ESPN, where he see sports rights going forward, and lots of leadership lessons and stories from over the years. Iger is a great listen and I highly recommend. [February 10, 2020–1 hour, 12 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link



Barry Ritholtz (CIO, Ritholtz Wealth Management):

  1. Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac — About Uber, reminds him of Bad Blood about Theranos, although there is no fraud (there is criminality), it is really fascinating how this idea turned into a world changing thing despite the toxic-bro mentality.

Tiago Forte (Founder, Forte Labs):

  1. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk — The book completely blew his mind.

David Perell (Founder, Write of Passage, North Star Media):

  1. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan — His ideas transformed how he sees the world. It gave him a framework for understanding shifts in technology that he’s been able to apply.

Ben Carlson (Director of Institutional Asset Management, Ritholtz Wealth Management):

  1. Fewer, Richer, Greener: Prospects for Humanity in an Age of Abundance by Laurence Siegel — If you’ve read other books like Factfulness or something by Steven Pinker, it is similar.

“Until 1846, all surgery had been performed without the use of anesthesia.”

Hannah Elliott (Staff Writer & Car Critic, Bloomberg Business):

  1. Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life by Katherine Ormerod — Great book about how social media affects everything — your perception, your awareness of the world, and your interaction with reality.

Sam Pharr (CEO, The Hustle):

  1. Call Me Ted by Ted Turner — Biography of Ted Turner, who inherited his father’s billboard business and turned it into TBS, built CNN (the first 24/7 news channel), and bought both the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves.

Good investing,
Meb Faber