Below is our “Top Podcast” episode with our curator, Colby Donovan!
Today we have a great episode on how to think about a wild week in the market, one of the original quants, a great episode with one of the first video bloggers (really, you have to listen!), and one of the greatest leadership stories ever told.
- ***Must Listen*** Lindzanity with Howard Lindzon: Lindzanity “Panic with friends (1)” — with Jim O’Shaughnessy. After a volatile week in the markets, this is a great episode to help maintain a calm mind. O’Shaughnessy frames how you should be thinking about the recent market volatility and emphasizes taking a long-term view. He talks about the first time he panicked and sold puts too early before the 1987 crash when he could have made a lot more money (he wrote about some of his mistakes here). He also explains what led him to write a paper titled A Generational Opportunity in 2009 urging people to be invested in the market. They finish the episode with some general thoughts on the future of the investment industry. Note — there are some audio issues in the middle of the episode, but stick with it. [March 11, 2020–1 hour, 7 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
In times like this, people want people who are saying very definitive things…they gravitate to those people who say it with the greatest amount of certainty. We know that level of certainty is kind of absurd. The honest answer is “well, I have no idea what is going to happen the rest of this year, maybe even the next three years, but if you look at the very long term data since the founding of the US stock exchange in the late 1700’s, it’s a good long-term bet.”
- ***Must Listen*** How I Built This with Guy Raz: Video Artist: Casey Neistat. This is an incredible story of someone who had a rough start to life but turned it around to have incredible success. Casey Neistat dropped out of high school and had a child at the age of 17 — the odds were stacked against him. But he found solace making short films with a camera and iMac, and soon enough the videos went viral (he was one of the first video bloggers, or “vloggers”). He eventually had one of his shows purchased by HBO for $2 million and then was hired by Nike to create a commercial, and later decided to pivot and create one of the most iconic commercials and videos on YouTube. He then worked at MIT and started a tech company that he sold to CNN for $20 million but ultimately was beat by Snapchat. He now has an audience on YouTube of over 12 million people. [March 2, 2020–1 hour, 34 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
I always say that I was born with a winning lotto ticket in my hand, all I had to do was cash it in. And that cashing it in is hard work … and I did my part, but I could have never done my part without first winning the lotto on life. I did not ask to be born in the United States of America, I did not ask to be as lucky as I am. But none of that is ever lost on me, everyday I remind myself on that. I have a debt, and that debt can only be paid via hard work.
- The Derivative: Asset Allocation, AI, and the Alpha Process with Resolve Asset Management. The episode is with Rodrigo Gordillo, Adam Butler, & Mike Philbrick, all from Resolve Asset Management and hosts of the Resolve’s Gestalt University podcast. They discuss how the firm began, their strategies which are 100% systematic and focus on generating alpha, the potential for strategies to be arbitraged away over time, the push and pull of sharing research vs. keeping it internally, and the evolving thoughts on the use of machine learning over time. [March 4, 2020–55 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
- The ETF Experience: Aaron Brown — True Quant. Brown is one of the original quants and former risk manager at AQR, one of the developers of the value at risk (VaR) metric, author of Red Blooded Risk: The Secret History of Wall Street, professional poker player, and a professor at NYU. He joins the episode to discuss the early days of being a quant when it wasn’t so popular, why he doesn’t think factors will get completely arbitraged out and why there is a lack of creativity in quant factors, why equal weighting is better than market cap weighting, why he invested early in bitcoin to the surprise of the host (his former student), and his paper on why hockey teams don’t pull their goalie when they’re down at the end of games, even though they should, which applies to life and business. Malcolm Gladwell had a podcast episode during his first season on Brown and Cliff Asness’ paper on pulling the goalie and why that requires disagreeableness, which you can listen to here. [March 9, 2020–41 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
- This Week in Startups: E1035: SoftBank Managing Partner Jeff Housenbold on deploying the $100B Vision Fund, getting recruited by Masayoshi Son. Fantastic episode with a Managing Partner of the Vision Fund, which has been front and center in the news over the last year due to some of their underperforming investments, mainly WeWork. Housenbold was previously the CEO of Shutterfly when the company flourished. He then retired, but after meeting with Masayoshi Son decided to work for SoftBank and help deploy capital from the VisionFund. He explains the process of joining SoftBank, their investment process and lessons learned from Son. Then they discuss Uber and how the company has handled criticism and what they expect going forward. The conversation moves to how he is mentoring and coaching CEO’s about how to prepare for potential recessions across the world and to go rapid fire on some of his investments. The episode wraps with discussing WeWork, which SoftBank owns 80% of now. [March 10, 2020–1 hour, 33 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
- The Meb Faber Show: #205 — Derren Geiger — E&P Companies Are Doing Whatever They Can To Achieve Cash Flow Neutrality. Geiger joined the Cornerstone Acquisition and Management team in 2005 as CEO and Portfolio Manager. During the episode, he discusses his process for investing in onshore US oil & gas mineral rights and royalty interests (which is more-so to generate passive income), how he sources, opportunities, and how their business is effected by the underlying price of oil. They finish the episode by walking through an actual example of one of their acquisitions. [March 11, 2020–42 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
- ***Must Listen*** HBR IdeaCast: Real Leaders: Ernest Shackleton Leads a Harrowing Expedition. Last year on a podcast, Scott Belsky recommended the book Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, and this is an episode that summarizes Shackleton’s story told in the book (which made me start reading it ASAP). Shackleton led 27 men on an exploration to Antarctica in the early 1900’s. The ship became stuck in ice for months, then sank, and the men had to live in tents on ice. Throughout the entire process, Shackleton made his men exercise, have a routine and promoted camaraderie to prevent doubt within the group. He was keen on empathizing with the men and understanding who was struggling on which days, he instilled belief in his men through constant communication and connection, and he believed that his most important resource was his men’s self-belief in the group’s ability to somehow get home safely. When he makes it home with all of his crew still alive, he later decides he wants to try to make the trip again and 12 of his former crew sign up to take the trip with him. [March 5, 2020–30 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
He learned early lessons from working for a bad leader: 1) Make your decision and stick with it and 2) not everyone is going to like the decisions you make as a leader. When he hired people, he hired for attitude and trained for skill.
- The Peter Attia Drive: #94 — Mark Hyman, M.D.: The impact of the food system on our health and the environment. This is different than the typical episodes posted on this newsletter, but nonetheless was very interesting. Hyman, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and the author of Food Fix. He covers issues in the food system, including the chronic disease/obesity epidemic (see his quote below), the rising costs of healthcare, and the big problems facing the environment. He also addresses issues with processed food, food contaminated with herbicides, and the over farming industry within the U.S. It is an eye opening episode on the issues around the food industry within the country. [February 24, 2020–1 hour, 50 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
Of our $22 trillion debt, 1/3 of all medicare expenses is on diabetes alone, and 1/3 of our federal overall budget is medicare. If it was a company, it would be the biggest company in the world at a trillion dollars annually.
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.
Josh Brown (CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management):
- The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg — Says it’s his Bible.
Raoul Pal (Real Vision, CEO):
- The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolf — Shows the humility we all have to have when we think we are geniuses or amazing. Humility in all things is actually what you should strive to achieve.
Ben Carlson (Director of Institutional Asset Management, Ritholtz Wealth Management):
- The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John Barry — Scared the everliving crap out of him. It’s about the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic but it traced back to a soldier in a small town in Kansas. The reason it got so crazy was because of the onslaught of people going to war in World War I.
Mark Hyman (Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine):
- Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken— Wonderful explanation of the top solutions that exist today that can drawdown carbon out of the environment. He unexpectedly found that the food solutions were the top solutions to fix climate change.