Top Podcasts of the Week

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

Today we have great episodes on angel investing and bond investing, an episode on the psychology of money, and an episode on how to create a work environment where people can thrive.

  • The Knowledge Project: #81 Jason Calacanis — Intelligent Risk. Must listen if you are interested in angel investing. Calacanis is a very successful angel investor, host of the This Week in Startups podcast, and author of the book Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups. The episode begins with Calacanis, who loves playing poker, talking about the parallels of angel investing to poker and the payout structure of angel investing over time (one big winner pays for a lot of losers). He suggests people avoid investing based on what they think about the total addressable market (TAM), wait for the company to actually make a product and sell to a customer who you can talk to, and start with lots of very small bets so you can learn over time (25 separate $2,000 investments). He also touches on work/life balance (which he believes doesn’t exist if you are trying to make a company to change the world), the idea that in 2020 there’s no excuse to not have any skill with the amount of free information and college courses online, the shift of venture backed companies to focus on profitability over growth, and the no-code movement. [April 14, 2020–1 hour, 4 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Could you withstand losing 100 hands of poker in a row over 5 days, and then get to the 6th day and have one hand pay off 200–1? I don’t know that most people would want to play that game, and that’s why I play that game.

  • Invest Like The Best: Manny Stotz — Frontier Markets Investing. Stotz is the founder of Kingsway Capital, which focuses on investing in Frontier Markets and countries like Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan. He talks about what makes these markets attractive, including positive demographics and cheaper valuations. He says the biggest risk in these markets is country risk so he wants to only invest in the best of the best companies, which leads him to run a very concentrated portfolio with his top three positions equaling 60% of his book. He favors quality companies and meeting with managers (which in those markets is going the extra mile). He also discusses what he looks for in consumer brands, the fact that these countries are bad headlines but good bottom lines, and his goal to try and learn one business model per year. He finishes with his thoughts on whether or not companies should raise venture money. [April 21, 2020–1 houriTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Coke is the second most spoken word in human language.

  • Infinite Loops: Morgan Housel — The Psychology of Money. Housel, a Partner at the Collaborative Fund and a well-known writer. He joins the episode to discuss his upcoming book, The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness, which came after he wrote this article. The book talks about whether money is the last taboo, differences in how different societies think about money (U.S. & Europe), why he thinks people need to learn the purpose of money and use it to save time and make life easier, and he handles his own money within his marriage, his house, and his investing. [April 23, 2020–47 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker
  • The Meb Faber Show: #214 — Jake Gibson — We Think This Idea Of Embedded Fintech Is Going To Get Really Interesting In The Years To Come. Gibson is founding partner of Better Tomorrow Ventures, an early stage venture fund focused on building the future of fintech. Prior to Better Tomorrow Ventures, he co-founded NerdWallet after stepping down from his position as a prop trader at J.P. Morgan. He explains why he left J.P. Morgan, what it was like starting and helping build NerdWallet, and then why he eventually left and starting angel investing. Because of his background with NerdWallet, he has focused mostly on fintech start-ups and trends he sees in that space: banking as a service and serving Latin American markets. He also discusses specific companies and ideas he’s invested in and seen including AltoIRA (which Meb had the founder on this episode last week), lending against 401(k) matches when people can’t afford to claim the match due to personal financial constraints, and new credit unions. [April 22, 2020–45 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Long View: Dan Fuss: It’s Too Early to Relax. Fuss has 61 years of experience in the investment industry and has been with Loomis, Sayles & Company since 1976, where he manages the firm’s flagship Loomis Sayles Bond Fund. In this episode, he begins by explaining how the firm is handling working in a remote world and offers some general thoughts on the virus’ path and a possible second phase. Then he dives into the investing side: he explains why he shifted towards quality over the last year, compares the future outlooks for stocks and bonds, and gives his thoughts on the future economic recovery the possibility of inflation. [April 8, 2020–44 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Meb Faber Show: #213 — David Sanderson — The Average Household In The US Uses 5 Streaming Services. Sanderson is the founder and CEO of Reelgood, a complete, unified guide to the world of online streaming content with the ability to track & play all your content across 250+ streaming sources from a single interface. After being frustrated with using multiple streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc.), he decided he wanted to find a way to make one platform to watch all services. He talks about the process of building the platform, his company’s ability to study and sell data on viewers consumption habits better than others, and how their company has actually benefited from COVID-19. [April 20, 2020–38 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
The Rest
  • The Twenty Minute VC: Basecamp Founder David Heinemeier Hansson. Guest David Heinemeier Hansson is the founder and CTO at Basecamp and the best-selling co-author of Rework and Remote: Office Not Required. The episode is awesome — it is less of a “here’s how to work at home” and more of a graduate course on leading a company and creating a structure for employees to feel inspired to perform at their best. He talks about how they do remote work and the why behind it, how he still creates trust and ensures people are productive, and the different ways he creates connectivity among people within the company. [April 14, 2020–49 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

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

  1. The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America by John Gartner— The author advances the thesis that the very nature of the DNA of your average American is different that than Europeans. His reasoning is what other kind of people are willing to leave everything they know … to a new country where they don’t have everything. They have a gene for adventure and taking risk.

Bill Simmons (CEO, The Ringer):

  1. Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001–2011 by Lizzy Goodman — On the rise of alternative rock in New York.

Ryen Russillo (Sports Journalist, The Ringer):

  1. Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty — Argues the rate of wealth distribution is going to unhealthy levels and he provides proposals to deal with it.

Tim Harford (Columnist, The Undercover Economist):

The best pop economics books before Freakonomics:

  1. Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life by David Friedman
  2. The Armchair Economist: Economics & Everyday Life by Steven Landsburg

Matt Mullenweg (Founder, Automatic and WordPress):

  1. Search Inside Yourself : The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) by Chade-Meng Tan — Helped a lot of engineers with meditation. The author worked at Google and uses a lot of technical metaphors for meditation.

Good investing,
Meb Faber