Top Podcasts of the Week

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

Today we have Chamath Palihapitiya on his career path and maturity as a man, Bill Miller on the state of the markets, a great episode with Research Affiliates on asset allocation, and Steven Kotler on how we can all structure our lives to experience ‘flow’ more frequently.

  • The Twenty Minute VC: Chamath Palihapitiya on Why IPOs and Direct Listings Are Broken, Turning Social Capital Into A Combination of Berkshire Hathaway, Koch Industries and The Red Cross, Why Forecasts Are Worthless, What Creates True Defensibility & Why You Have To Be Predisposed To Inaction When Investing Billions. The host does a great job interviewing Chamath and getting him to be open and honest about business and life. Chamath discussed his career path and the struggles that have led him to where he is today. He goes over his path from AOL to leading Facebook’s growth team and lessons he learned during that time. He gives some broad thoughts on the future of social media platforms and why he thinks they become more segmented based on political views. He talks about his maturity process since that time and structuring his business interests to align with his personal values. Then he explains what he’s learned from hiring mistakes and why he has chosen SPACs as a vehicle to utilize going forward for his business interests. He finishes by saying it’s important to view business and life as an infinite game. [July 15, 2020–52 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

There are very few panacea/silver bullet features in life and I think a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to find the ‘one thing’ without realizing that disciplined execution over large stretches of time that are really about thoughtful tactics really go a long way.

  • Masters in Business: Bill Miller on Classical Value Portfolio. This is a great interview with legendary investor Bill Miller. Miller explains why he said in March that it was one of the best buying opportunities of his lifetime and addresses the narrative that the market is wrong to be going up while the economy is doing poorly, but that isn’t based on data (see his quote below). He also says he thinks it’s a no brainer to be long the SPY and short the 10-year based on the SPY yielding multiples of the 10-year. He also touches on a lot of other topics: the active vs. passive debate, the impact of the Robinhood traders on the market, why he owns the FANGs besides Netflix, what his thoughts are on value’s underperformance, and why he thinks philosophy is important for everyone (so much so that he donated $75 million to Johns Hopkins Philosophy department). They talk a lot about bitcoin and why he thinks it’s a good bet it becomes digital gold. It’s incredible his average price is $200-$300 and the FT estimated he’s one of the top 100 holders in the world. [July 10, 2020–1 hour, 15 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Going from 1930 and 2019 and look at the correlation between the markets return and economic growth, the correlation coefficient is 0.09 (essentially nothing).

  • The Meb Faber Show: #236 — Stuart Landesberg, Grove Collaborative — I Believe Deeply That Having A Truly Mission Driven Business Is A Sustainable Competitive Advantage. This is a great episode about a mission-driven business that was valued over $1 billion last year. Landesberg is the Co-Founder & CEO of Grove Collaborative, the leading digital-first brand & ecommerce platform for natural home and personal care products. He founded Grove because he felt people wanted to use healthy products and he could offer a platform for companies to sell their sustainable home-essentials, as well as offer their own products. He structured the company as a B-Corp, which is really unique and helps the company remain focused on their mission. They have also publicly stated their goal to become plastic free by 2025 and for now offset all their plastic usage. He finishes with discussing the fundraising process, navigating COVID-19 and increased demand, and what the next 3–5 year plan is. [July 13, 2020–57 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
  • Flirting with Models: Jim Masturzo — Tactical Asset Allocation. Masturzo is the head of asset allocation for Research Affiliates, where he oversees the research and publication of the firm’s capital market assumptions as well as the implementation of those views into a suite of tactical portfolios. The episode focuses on this topic and how Research Affiliates thinks about asset allocation from a broad sense, taking a long-term approach and focusing on mean reversion. Masturzo explains this has made them bearish on the U.S. equity market for the last decade and the dispersion between their model forecasts and realized results. Then he covers how they apply their tactical views, make capital market assumptions, and develop portfolios that can express their different tactical views. Lastly, they touch on applying qualitative views to their qualitative models and how they blend the two. [July 8, 2020–54 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Our investment beliefs are centered around the idea that long-term mean reversion is the most persistent way to extract excess returns.

  • Village Global’s Venture Stories: Technology and Freedom with Michael Solana. Solana is a VP at the Founders Fund, a VC firm owned by Peter Thiel. The episode is a broad conversation about capitalism vs. socialism and why the intersection of capitalism and innovation is so important to help improve living standards globally. They also discuss some background of the Founders Fund and why they empower founders and refuse to ever fire one (hence the name), how the firm embraces people with different backgrounds and thought processes, and why he thinks the media is so harsh on the technology industry. [July 14, 2020–1 hour, 7 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

“We are the fund where you go when you believe something you aren’t supposed to believe that you know is important, you know is true, and you know it can work.”

  • The Meb Faber Show: #237 — Ryan McQuaid, PlushCare — If You Look At Virtual Visits Last Year, They’re Only 1–2% Of All Addressable Visits. McQuaid is co-founder and CEO of PlushCare, a startup offering personalized, high quality healthcare doctors via your smartphone (similar to Teledoc). He explains the rationale for creating a business where people can have access to great healthcare for a reasonable price (which many Americans currently don’t have) and the impact of COVID, which has ramped up their business and given them the need to increase physician capacity 4x. [July 15, 2020–41 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link
The Rest
  • Game Changers with Molly Fletcher: Steven Kotler on The Science of Peak Performance. Steven Kotler is the Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, one of the world’s leading experts on high performance, and the author of the best-selling book Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work. In this episode, he explains the mental aspect of peak performance and the science being the state of flow, which is the optimal state of consciousness where we feel and perform our best. He discusses how to structure your life to experience flow more often and says that sleep, hydration, and having social support are all incredibly important to experience flow as well. [July 9, 2020–48 minutesiTunes Podcast | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

If you have a job that produces flow, you’re totally set because you’re lovingly obsessed with your work, deeply passionate. In a sense, flow over time is a recipe for passion.

  • a16z Podcast: Alex Honnold on Human Performance (part 1) — Where’s the Limit? Honnold is the professional rock climber who was featured in documentary, Free Solo, and talks all about human performance and what it takes to be the absolute best at your craft. He talks about what the outer limits of human achievement are and ensuring the time you spend practicing is both intense and measured. He also touches on the idea of having a huge long-term goal with multiple short-term, small goals along the way while remaining process-focused. [July 11, 2020–23 minutesiTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Either you should be training with intensity or not training. That’s part of the reason I don’t go out and solo easy routes for fun because it’s junk mileage, it’s not making me a better climber. Sometimes you do it for fun but for the most part there’s no point, my time is better spent training in a more disciplined way.


Alex Mather (Founder & CEO, The Athletic):

  1. A Kingdom of God is in You by Leo Tolstoy

Chamath Palihapitiya (Investor, Owner of Golden State Warriors):

  1. The Great Mental Models Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish
  2. Liars Poker by Michael Lewis

Chip Wilson (Founder, Lululemon):

  1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
  2. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Bill Miller (Miller Value Partners):

  1. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
  2. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
  3. Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  4. Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers by Cheryl Misak
  5. Karamazov Brothers by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  7. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  8. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  9. Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
  10. A Treatise of Human Nature
  11. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
  12. Essays in Experimental Logic by John Dewey
  13. Schopenhauer: The World as Will and Representation: Volume 2 by Arthur Schopenhauer
  14. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre
  15. John Maynard Keynes: 1883–1946: Economist, Philosopher, Statesman by Robert Skidelsky


Good investing,

Meb Faber