Top Podcasts of the Week

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

Today we have a great episode on the economy, a fascinating episode about how a subreddit forum is moving the market, an interview with Patrick O’Shaughnessy as the guest instead of the host, a great interview with the founder of Lululemon on disruption, and an episode on Netflix’s culture.


  • ***Must Listen*** Jelly Donut Podcast: #18 — Jim Bianco. Bianco is President and Macro Strategist at Bianco Research and joins the episode for a timely discuss around inflation (or lack thereof), interest rates, and the impact of both the coronavirus and the election. He begins with both inflationary and deflationary trends with both goods and services, why he thinks rates will stay low in the U.S. and around the globe, and why the Fed injecting money into the market is quantitative easing. Then he explains why he thinks the coronavirus may lead to de-globalization and companies are forced to produce goods in the U.S. due to supply chain disruptions in China. He finishes the episode with how investors should think about the election, especially with Bernie Sanders possibly having the biggest impact if he wins. Bianco thinks if he does win, AOC will be speaker of the house and Sanders will have the ability to install policies he has been running on (free college, free medical care, etc.). [February 28, 2020–1 hour, 13 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link
  • ***Must Listen*** Odd Lots: How A Profane Subreddit Moved The Market. This is a fascinating mid-week special podcast from Odd Lots about a recent Bloomberg article on how on a reddit forum called r/wallstreetbets is shaping the options market and sparking rallies, including the recent rally seen in Tesla. The forum is described as an unpretentious and honest conversation between retail traders who are open about their bets, whether they win or lose big. It brings back memories of retail trades discussing stocks during the 2000 internet bubble. The episode features the author of the article, Luke Kawa, and the page’s founder, Jaime Rogozinski. [March 5, 2020–59 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Investors First Podcast: Patrick O’Shaughnessy and Steve Curley — Trail Magic. Full disclaimer: I’m biased because I am hosting this podcast, and this is the inaugural episode with both Patrick O’Shaughnessy, CEO of OSAM, and Steve Curley, CIO at WaterOak Advisors. O’Shaughnessy tells his story of “Trail Magic” and why investors should avoid being what he calls yellow-blazers. or taking short-cuts. He also discusses general mistakes he sees in the investment industry, why human nature causes us to be lazy so we have to focus on taking the extra step when analyzing investments and avoid getting caught up in the narratives of investments, and gives advice for new CFA charterholders (find your niche that’s related to your own curiosity). Curley mentions the idea of alpha becoming beta in relation to how young professionals today need both CFA and MBA to maintain status quo. O’Shaughnessy finished the episode with what he suggests investors do while the coronavirus is in the news causing a spike in volatility. [March 5, 2020–30 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Website Link
  • The Derivative: Staging a Market Mutiny with Jason Buck and Taylor Pearson of Black Pearl. This is a really interesting episode on a firm who created an “on demand” stock market sell off protection. Buck and Pearson are the founders of Mutiny Investment, whose program invests in half a dozen VIX and volatility trading programs in a multi-manager, multi-strategy approach. Their goal is to balance betas, not achieve alpha. They have a wide-ranging conversation on why the world is short volatility, what they look for in managers, and the idea of ergodicity and how that applies to life.[February 27, 2020–1 hour, 29 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • Capital Allocators: Mike Mauze — Escape Velocity for CPG Brands at VMG Partners. Mike Mauzé is the General Partner at VMG Partners, a $2 billion closed capacity private equity firms focused solely on building consumer brands and has delivered a 45% IRR to its LPs since inception. He explains how he transitioned from banking to private equity, how he has a heavy focus on the entrepreneur and what they see as trends in the market, how he sources deals over a longer time-horizon, and how the two biggest trends he sees in the market now are low sugar food and beverage and beauty products that focus on ingredients. At 26:25, he covers dealing with competition from other PE firms which has caused the need to move faster on deals and what has led to the globalization of brands and work in China, and finishes at 43:20 on the change in consumer patterns to more travel and a heavier focus on fitness, which are two trends he hopes to ride going forward. [March 2, 2020–50 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker Website Link


  • ***Must Listen*** FYI — For Your Innovation: How Lululemon Broke the Mold with Chip Wilson. This is a really interesting episode about the story of a brilliant and successful entrepreneur. Wilson is the founder of Lululemon and pioneer of the vertical retail store in North America. He explains how Lululemon’s business model of only selling in their own stores allows them to have software-esque gross margins, why he saw the wave of women staying in the workforce longer and how that helped him feel confident in starting the company, how he was pushed out and then decided to bet big on Amer and Anta (huge Chinese apparel companies), and why he is incredibly bullish on China and thinks their way of way of business is better than the U.S.[February 26, 2020–41 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Moment with Brian Koppelman: Missy Robbins & Sean Feeney. This was a great episode on two top performers searching for happiness in life while on an entrepreneurial journey. Robbins was one of the best chefs in NYC when she realized she wasn’t fulfilled and stepped away to take a break with no plans. Feeney was a bond trader and just so happened to be a big foodie and fan of Robbins, and lived down the hall from her. Over time, they developed a relationship and Feeney became determined to open a restaurant with her, and after they developed a friendship and months of pestering, she agreed. [February 4, 2020–1 hour, 6 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker
  • The Meb Faber Show: #204 — Doug Hapeman and Matt Milford — We Have This Vision Of Recreating Mental Healthcare With Technology. Doug Hapeman and Matt Milford are co-founders of Foresight Mental Health, a startup that is revolutionizing mental healthcare through the use of modern technology. They cover the early days of the company, raising $500,000, and building out their first clinic, all while focusing on delivering highly personalized, data-backed treatment plans to each patient while helping psychiatrists prescribe medication more safely and effectively. They have now grown to 12 clinics with plans for more. They cover roadblocks they faced early on which led them to pivot after focusing on one business model for two years. It’s a great episode on an entrepreneurial journey. [March 4, 2020–34 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

The Rest

  • Masters of Scale: Netflix’s Reed Hastings: Why culture matters. Netflix is famous for their description of what goes into their culture (you can read it here) and this episode takes a deeper dive into it. The insights on their culture throughout the episode are really interesting and provide some great takeaways. It is not a big family, but rather a group of individuals who are striving to get a job done as teammates. CEO Reed Hastings talks about hiring for first principles instead of for people who can simply follow processes, which doesn’t allow your company to progress and stay nimble. He also says you want a company that will reject A-Players who are not a culture fit, and where your employees will make that decision when you are not in the room. [February 6, 2020–43 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Garett Jones (Economics Professor, George Mason University):

  1. Managerial Dilemmas: The Political Economy of Hierarchy by Gary Miller — He has said it is one of the books that has influenced him most. It applies classic public choice to the questions regarding organization of the firm.

Chip Wilson (Founder, Lululemon):

  1. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber — About how to set up a company to be franchised so it’s able to grow exponentially. Helped him plan how to train his employees from their first day at the company.

Christopher Davis (Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Davis Advisors):

  1. Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism by Bhu Srinivasan — It is a history of American capitalism and each chapter is the history a specific industry, the people who started it, the ideas around it, how it caught traction, and who financed it (Ritholtz has since tweeted it’s the most interesting book he’s read in a long time).
  2. Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder — About the corruption going on with Putin in Russia.
  3. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
  4. Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Bradley Hope & Tom Wright

Danielle DiMartino Booth (Former Federal Reserve of Dallas Employee, Founder, Quill Intelligence):

  1. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed — This book had the greatest impact on her career.
  2. The Destroyers: A Novel by Christopher Bollen
  3. The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt — One of the best written books she’s read and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Brian Deese (Global Head of Sustainable Investing, Blackrock):

  1. The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Power
  2. Uncommon Carriers by John McPhee — It is a series of vignettes of him traveling across the country with people who transport things, from barges that go up and down the Mississippi river to chemical tank trucks.

Sam Parr (Founder, The Hustle):

Two of his favorite biographies:

  1. The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw
  2. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

Isaiah Jackson (Author of Bitcoin & Black America):

  1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley by Malcolm X — His story is the American dream — he changed his life for the better and helped his immediate community and family as much as possible, which should be the goal for every American.
  2. Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

Niko Canner (Founder, Incandescent):

  1. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money…It’s About Being the Best You Can Be! by Gary Keller — One of the best business books he’s ever encountered, and the exact kind of business book title people would expect him not to read. It begins with some very conceptual strategic insights about what drives value in that particular business, and then breaks down the path from starting, to creating an agency that’s so successful it’s throwing off $1m/year in passive income to the owner. There are a set of eras you go through — in era 1 you need to be relentlessly focused on lead generation and the seller. Then as you solve those problems, you move to a next set of problems.

Good investing,
Meb Faber