Top Podcasts of the Week

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

Today we have an episode on how a value investor is handling the bear market, an episode with a forensic accountant, and an episode on the importance of sleep.

  • Value Investing with Legends: C.T. Fitzpatrick: Value Investing in Times of Deep Distress. Fitzpatrick is the founder, CEO and CIO at Vulcan Value Partners. Since he founded the firm in 2007, all five strategies have peer rankings in the top 1% of value managers in their respective categories. He gives his thoughts on how he is handling his portfolio right now and why he thinks the landscape is changing to favor value going forward. He says he is rigorously testing companies to be sure they can withstand this time period and is focusing on quality right now. He has actually increased his portfolio concentration (he had 29 names at the end of 2019 and is down to 22 now). He says he thinks this time period will accelerate the decline of certain industries that have poor business models (retailers) and will help some companies longer term (Google, Visa, MasterCard, Nvidia and Facebook). [April 3, 2020–45 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Compound Show: The Only Black Swans with William Bernstein. If you don’t know, Bernstein is an investor, author, neuroscientist, and market historian. He puts the current market crash (and recent rally) into perspective. He talks about if this time for the U.S. could be the same as Japan in the 1990’s, the idea of sequence risk for investors, and why diversification fails us just when we need it the most. He also addresses if this time could actually be different, provides thoughts around asset allocation (including T-Bills), and most importantly, stresses that we will get through this, regardless of how bad it gets. [April 6, 2020–31 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

The bottom line is, for young people stocks aren’t that risky, for old people they are extremely risky.

  • The Meb Faber Show: #210 — Jonathan Treussard — Be Aware Of The Cracks Under Your Feet. Treussard is the Head of Product Development at Research Affiliates and joins to discuss the current market environment and how things are changing. He talks a lot about future return expectations, overall valuations, and why he is bullish on emerging markets. He also touches on the underperformance of value, if that is to be expected going forward, and why it’s difficult for investors to handle the underperformance and stay the course. [April 8, 2020–56 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Acquirer’s Podcast: CSI: Financials: Stephen Clapham on forensic accounting. Clapham is the founder of Behind The Balance Sheet, which provides research, forensic accounting training courses, and consultancy for professional analysts and private investors. He talks a lot about what he sees with companies around fraud and earnings manipulation. He says the number one thing he has found in every case was margins were higher than their peers since it’s easier to fabricate profits than revenues. He also thinks companies will reset revenues right now and blame the virus. He also hits on a lot of other topics: what he looks at when analyzing inventory build ups, accounting policies, and restructuring costs. [April 6, 2020–54 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

There’s two people that know what a company really makes: one is the finance director and the other is the tax man.

In a study done by two academics at Notre Dame, the reported financials are only opened 28.4x (on average) on the day of filing or the following day.

  • Venture Stories: Building The Berkshire Hathaway of The Internet with Andrew Wilkinson. This was a really interesting episode on the career path of Andrew Wilkinson (the co-founder of Tiny) and how he ended up as the head of a family of 25 different companies with over 400 employees. After he owned a few businesses, he became overwhelmed but then learned about Buffett and Berkshire. He then decided he wanted to follow Buffett’s path and acquire profitable and proven businesses where he can leave the operator in place. He talks about some of his portfolio companies and some of the industries he’s interested in right now — podcasts with subscriptions (which he wrote a post about here) and job boards. [April 7, 2020–56 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Meb Faber Show: #209 — Andrew Schulz — A Lot Of Our Competitive Advantage Is How We Quantify Sound. Schulz is the co-founder and CEO of NoiseAware, which has a product that is one of those “I should have thought about that” products. It has a smart sensor and noise-monitoring technology and great to use if you are doing AirBnb rentals or concerned about the noise at your property. Schulz talks about what led to the idea for the product, building the company out of Dallas, and what the domestic and international growth prospects are going forward. [April 6, 2020–31 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
The Rest
  • The TED Interview: How to sleep during a pandemic with Matt Walker. Ignoring the idea that we need to sleep during a pandemic, this is a great episode on the importance of sleep to our health. Walker is the author of Why We Sleep (which I highly recommend) and a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He explains all the ways sleep is important for us: it helps us both be better prepared to learn and also maintain the information, enhances our creativity (like when we say we will sleep on a problem), and helps us regulate our appetite and avoid sugary carbohydrates. He then gives advice on how to get better sleep (which he says should be between 7–9 hours), including when to eat at night, when to go to bed, when napping is acceptable, how much melatonin to take and most importantly, avoiding your phone both before and after you sleep. If you enjoy this episode, he did a fantastic three part series on sleep on The Peter Attia Drive. [April 2, 2020–58 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

If you aren’t getting sufficient sleep in the week before you get your flu shot, you produce less than 50% of the normal antibody response.


Jim O’Shaughnessy (CIO, O’Shaughnessy Asset Management):

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie — Written a long time ago and he originally refused to read it because it had a cheesy title. He gave in after he always saw it on the best books to read he read it. The author outlines the philosophy that people forget: for many people the sweetest sound to them is their own name. If you want to become an exceptional conversationalists, you need to be aware of these skills.

David Enrich (Business Investigations Editor, NY Times):

  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  2. Midnight in Chernobyl by Alexander Borovol and Gary Dunbar
  3. Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Keefe

Tom Bilyeu (Co-Founder, Quest Nutrition):

  1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck — The most foundational book in his life.

Bob Iger (Former CEO, Disney):

  1. Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy by Jane Leavy — One of the best sports biographies he’s ever read. One thing he took from that is that Koufax got off the mound at the top of his game. He gave the book to senior management at ESPN when he was still with Disney.

Fergus Connoly (Human Performance Coach):

  1. Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  2. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard — Very short read that gives you a valuable lesson.

Good investing,
Meb Faber