Top Podcasts of the Week

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

Today we have a great episode on value investing, advice on how to invest during this bear market, and a must-listen on leadership from John Maxwell.


  • ***Must Listen*** Capital Allocators: Ben Inker — Value Investing at GMO (First Meeting). Inker is the head of the Asset Allocation team at GMO, a $60 billion asset manager known for its value bias. The episode is all about value investing. Inker starts it by talking about the struggles value has had over the past decade and addresses some of the possible causes, including low interest rates and the impact of technology. Then he makes the case for why he thinks value will do well going forward, while giving possible reasons why it may not. One theme he consistently talks about during the entire episode is the importance of understanding the how and why of everything he comes across doing his research. At 1:06:30, he has a special segment with Inker on the recent market performance (the first 66 minutes were recorded prior to the market sell-off). [March 30, 2020 — 1 hour, 22 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • Invest Like The Best: Investing Through a Bear Market. Baker, the founder and CIO of Atreides Management, appears for the second time on this podcast to discuss the recent market movements. He begins with saying what has worked until now is the “obvious” — moving from airlines and cruises to stocks like Costco, Kroger, Netflix and Amazon. Now, he and the rest of the world are analyzing companies with something no one has done before: calculating days solvent with $0 of revenues. While the beginning of a bear market starts with a bias towards quality performing best, the latter part moves towards companies that are coming out of uglier situations (like Domino’s after 2009). He then finishes by discussing the stickiness of software expenses (see this paper he wrote on the topic) and why he’s bullish on the video gaming segment. [April 2, 2020–53 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Acquirers Podcast: Small Activist: Jeff Gramm on small and microcap activism, Columbia GSB, and distressed hedge funds. Gramm is Founder of Bandera Partners and author of Dear Chairman. In this episode, he talks about starting at a distressed hedge fund after getting his MBA at Columbia, starting his own fund that also began as distressed and later turned to focus on activism, his evolution as an activist, history with net-nets, and what led him to eventually write the book and a couple of stories from the activists’ letters. [March 9, 2020–48 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • a16z Podcast: The Hustler’s Guide to Suing the Man. This was an awesome episode with Joshua Browder, an entrepreneur and founder of DoNotPay, which can be described as the first robotic lawyer. The program helps people automatically fight to get their money back, from parking tickets to banking fees. It’s a fun listen and incredible how the business has evolved over time — it originally was only for parking tickets, but now even has special credit cards used just for trial periods for something like Netflix. It’s had a huge reach so far saving people over about $3 million and seems like something that will only continue to grow. [April 1, 2020–28 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Meb Faber Show: #208 — How Long Can You Handle Underperforming? This is another “Mebisode” — Meb reading one of his recent pieces, which help you remain sane during amid the market volatility. He provides some historical data on stock underperformance — stocks have underperformed bonds for 68 years before — and some data on Warren Buffett’s underperformance relative to the S&P 500 over the years. Meb says his expectations based on the last 120 years is 5% for stocks, 2% for bonds, and 1% for bills, and you have to realize you could underperform for 20 years and still be in a viable strategy. All the above makes you realize what we’re going through is actually the norm… [April 1, 2020–16 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

The Rest

  • ***Must Listen*** The Knowledge Project: #80 John Maxwell: Developing the Leader in You. Parrish is joined by author, speaker, and world-renowned leadership guru, John Maxwell. He provides countless leadership one-liners and actionable takeaways that are worth writing down. During the episode, he gives the five levels of leadership and why he thinks most people don’t move past the first tier, the importance of failing frequently, and the difference between a leader and a manager. [March 31, 2020–1 hour, 1 minuteiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

The Law of the Inner Circle: Those who are closest to you determine the level of your success.

If I believe that everything worthwhile is uphill, it gives me a mindset that I will always be climbing.

  • Making Sense with Sam Harris: #194 — The New Future of Work. Harris is joined by Matt Mullenweg who founded Automatic, the company behind (the open source software used by 36% of the web). The company is entirely distributed (remote) with over 1,100 total employees in 75 countries, which makes him especially relevant to talk about what’s going on with employees all over the world now working remotely. He talks about what stands in the way of companies doing that in a non-coronavirus world, security issues, why everyone going to and from an open office to do thoughtful work doesn’t make sense, what makes companies fragile (the opposite of what the famous Nassim Taleb talks about with anti-fragility), and advice he has for companies as they try to become more remote over time.[March 24, 2020–1 hour, 45 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Michael Mauboussin (Head of Consilient Research, Counterpoint Global):

  1. The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It by John Tierney — The book argues that people tend to put more emphasis on bad things than good things in life, which emanates from the concept of loss aversion.
  2. The MVP Machine: How Baseball’s Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik — About player development in Major League Baseball.

Gavin Baker (CIO of Atreides Management):

  1. It Was A Very Good Year by Martin Fridson — The author goes through the 10 most exceptional years of stock market returns in the 20th century, and they all come after a truly terrible period.

Kimberly Rios (Portfolio Manager, Catalyst Hedged Commodity Strategy Fund):

  1. The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind by John Coates — The author was a futures trader who went into neurology research. He has done a lot of studies on men and women on trading floors and how they differ.
  2. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Taleb
  3. The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone — About William Friedman’s wife, who was one of the most renowned codebreakers during WWII.

Polina Marinova (Founder, The Profile):

  1. A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout — About a Canadian journalist who went to Somalia and was kidnapped and held hostage for about a year. The things that happened in her life put everything into perspective and it’s the most amazing book she has ever read.

Good investing,
Meb Faber