Top Podcasts of the Week

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

Today we have Rob Arnott providing his thoughts on the value factor, a great conversation with the man who used to run the Illinois pension, how hedge funds can improve their process, and a great episode on the parallels between sports gambling and investing.

  • [i3] Podcast: i3 Podcast with Rob Arnott 2020. Arnott is the founder and Chairman of Research Affiliate and joins the episode to discuss his recent paper, Reports of Value’s Death May Be Greatly Exaggerated. He says the best way to explain this is that price-to-book is a poor measure of value, something Ben Graham wrote about in the 1930’s, and is even more prevalent today with intangibles representing a high portion of firms’ assets. He maintains he is sticking with the value factor going forward both because it’s the easiest to behaviorally explain compared to others and it’s so cheap, and says the other two areas he sees that are cheap are emerging markets and UK stocks. [June 30, 2020–26 minutesiTunes Podcast | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

You don’t buy what’s been hit hardest. You buy what’s been hit hardest relative to it’s own vulnerability to current events. 

  • The Pomp Podcast: 324: Former Public Pension Chairman Marc Levine On Investing During The Pension Crisis. Levine is the Former Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Investment and ran the state pension, which is known for being extremely underfunded. The episode is all about pensions — what the liabilities are for, how Illinois got into the bad position they’re in, and why so many municipalities are underfunded. He also explains his process for putting the pension in a better position when he took over by eliminating excess managers, lowering fees, and trying to automate their investments. He also talks about why he chose to overweight innovation and technology when he took over and if allocators should be investing in bitcoin to increase the variance of returns to try and help meet their liabilities. [June 29, 2020–1 hour, 34 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link


  • Flirting with Models: K.C. Hamann — Quantifying Conviction. Hamann is the founder of AQIS LLC, a quantitative investment management company focused on systematic long/short equity investing in the U.S. markets. Previously, he was a Buffett disciple and started on the buy side as an analyst for a discretionary, deep value/short equity hedge fund. He argues long/short hedge funds are plagued by behavioral biases, misaligned incentives, and suboptimal stock picking. All the above leads to poor position sizing, style biases, and seasonal effort. He explains that the hedge funds are structurally set up to focus on surviving, which causes a lot of these issues to persist over time. His takeaway is that he believes there will be a growing dispersion in the performance of equity long/short hedge funds going forward as there’s more turnover to younger managers who are more data-driven. [July 1, 2020–1 hour, 10 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

I think the most popular quote in every hedge fund letter is the Gretzky quote about “we’re skating to where the puck is going to be.” In reality, they’re skating to where the puck is going to be only if it’s in their part of the ice within their style factor.

  • Infinite Loops: Anthony Pompliano: Building a Brand, Moats, and Bitcoin. Pompliano is an entrepreneur, investor, writes a daily newsletterand hosts The Pomp Podcast. This is a must listen for those who are trying to build personal brands and grow their audience and reach. He discusses how he saw early on during his time at Facebook that people were able to leverage their following to grow other areas, how he gained a following on Twitter, and why he began his newsletter and podcast. It’s a great overview on the changing landscape of the media industry and why there’s a great opportunity to leverage your personal audience for business purposes. [July 2, 2020–1 hour, 16 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

  • Resolve’s Gestalt University: A hedge fund manager and a sports better walk into a bar . . . When Sports Better comes to Wall Street. If you’re interested in the cross of investing, sports, and using probabilistic thinking, this is a must-listen. They speak with Steve Merril of, who’s been a professional sports handicapper and betting analyst for over 24 years. They start with the history of sports betting and a banker making the first line and then talk about the parallels of sports gambling and investing — handling the emotional side and using a systematic approach, how to handle position sizing, the impact of insider trading moving both stock prices and the line, and how they differ with gambling on a game being a discrete event and investing in the market being a continuous event. [June 27, 2020–1 hour, 9 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Meb Faber Show: #232 — Luis Perez, Remoov — We’re Removing That Headache And We’re Giving You That Piece Of Mind And Your Space Back. Perez is founder of Remoov, a startup offering full service removal of your unwanted items so you can sell, donate, and recycle them. He graduated from Wharton and decided to start this company as he saw the need during the college move-in/move-out process. After he started it with college students and saw traction, he decided to expand and is trying to now take advantage of estate sales, divorces, and moves. He also talks about using technology to automate the process, using countless resell websites to sell inventory, and how COVID-19 has increased revenue 50% with companies needed to downsize offices on short notice. [June 29, 2020–52 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Most of the money we’ve made, or I’ve made as an investor, has been a niche thing that we thought was kind of big and turned out to be way bigger than we thought.

  • This Week in Start Ups: E1080: Arlan Hamilton on launching Backstage Crowd, disrupting VC with syndicates, how the tech industry can be. Timely episode with everything going on in the world — Hamilton is a gay female venture capitalist, founder of Backstage capital, author of It’s About Damn Time, and host of the Your First Million Podcast. She talks about her experience as a VC, using herself as a marketing tool for their firm through her book and podcast, what her thoughts are with the focus on racial inequality in the U.S., and why she sees focusing on investing in underrepresented founders a market inefficiency she can exploit. [June 26, 2020–1 hour, 9 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • The Meb Faber Show: #233 — Lisa Rich, Hemisphere Ventures, Xplore — Opening Up The Door For Access To Space. Rich has two jobs: she’s a managing partner of Hemisphere Ventures, an early stage VC firm focused on frontier tech, and is the founder and COO of Xplore, a space company dedicated to deep space exploration. She discusses her background as an entrepreneur and what led her to Hemisphere Ventures. She talks a lot about some of the interesting companies she’s invested in: Axiom Space, which is building the first commercial space station, and PlanetIQ, which is focusing on satellite-borne, state-of-the-art sensors to collect data to improve weather forecasting, space weather prediction, and climate analytics. Then they talk about Xplore, “space as a service,” and the development of their spacecraft. [July 1, 2020–1 hour, 2 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
The Rest

Learn to see yourself from an external perspective. Learn to be more mindful and in tune with what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling. That’s what will enable you able to spot the errors in your decision process.

  • Hidden Brain: The Founding Contradiction. This is a thought-provoking episode on the contradiction of Thomas Jefferson saying “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” over 240 years ago, while owning hundreds of slaves and fathering six children with an enslaved woman. Annette Gordon-Reed joins the episode to talk about this, which is covered in her book Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination. She discusses the fact that the American Revolution was the most important thing in his life, but he couldn’t see that after the Union was formed, the thing that would split it apart was the institution of slavery. She also addresses the idea of if/how we should superimpose our values on the past. [June 29, 2020–47 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

All of us are hypocritical when we have an intellectual belief about something but we don’t have the will to act upon those beliefs.

The average American adult spends somewhere between 4–5 hours looking at their phone everyday, which across the lifespan is something like 15–20 years.


Keith Rabois (Venture Capitalist): 

  1. The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It by Kelly McGonigal

Brad Gerstner (Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Altimeter Capital):

  1. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

K.C. Hamann (Founder, AQIS LLC):

  1. Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows — Says an important part of every system is to ensure its own perpetuation.
  2. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle — Says the most successful organizations have designed environments that are safe places so people are free to share ideas without losing their jobs.

Marc Levine (Former Chairman, Illinois State Board of Investment):

  1. Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein
  2. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Oren Zeev (Founding Partner, Zeev Ventures): 

  1. The Last Lion Box Set: Winston Spencer Churchill, 1874–1965 by Paul Reid — Biography about Churchill and shows while he was far from being flawless, he was the right person for the right time.

Good investing,
Meb Faber