What if I told you that this evening you’d get an audience with some of the greatest founders, money managers, authors, researchers and Nobel prizewinners of all time in our industry? People like Robert Shiller, Rob Arnott, Michael Mauboissin, Ben Inker, Rajiv Jain, Cliff Asness, Ray Dalio and even Jack Bogle? You’d be pretty happy right?!
Well thanks to today’s world of podcasts this is exactly what you can do, every day of the year. I’m not the first to say this, but In today’s media world we are so fortunate to have access to a range of content that far outstrips the value of what you’d get in an MBA or masters course. I’ve previously talked about some of my favourite podcast shows here.
Here I’m picking out the ten finance and investing related episodes this year that you just have to listen to.
Daniel Kahneman needs no introduction, and every podcast I’ve heard him on just bursts with insight and ideas that jump out and resonate. This was no exception. Danny talks about that one piece of advice he used to give as a consultant that no-one ever listend to, and the one thing you can do to improve your decision making. Entertaining and uplifting,
Most people recognise that stories are powerful in driving behavior and putting forward ideas, but economists don’t (or haven’t historically). Some narratives can go viral and last decades, and shape how we see things (why?). Particular examples include property to gold to depressions. How does the causation work from the economy to stories or both ways? And can they be like a feedback mechanism into the economic system.
Ben Inker is head of Asset Allocation at legendary fund house GMO, who manage over $100bn in assets, with billions in asset allocation strategies. GMO are known for their track record in asset allocation, standing out from the crowd and taking contrarian bets so it is fascinating to listen to Ben talk about how he sees the current investment marketplace, where he sees opportunities.
One of the original factor investing practitioners, Arnott is one of those rare people who is able to straddle both the academic/theoretical side of investing as well as the practical challenges. He covers questions such as: is value cheap, thoughtful critiques of indexing, the fear-premium (and negative fear premium) and the pain of buying diversifiers after a long bull market
This is the one podcast that’s a must listen for me every week, but the current-issues nature of it means it doesn’t lend itself that well to this sort of list however this episode, recorded close to the bottom of the 2018 “bear” market stands out as having aged well – not because of any market calls, but it’s a great discussion of the sort of psychology that goes on in investors minds after a 20% fall, and sound advice for long term investors that this is a good time to buy a little, that this is a good lesson in what you should expect in the markets, and that you want to have a financial plan before this sort of episode plays out. I’m cheating slightly to get this one on the list obviously as it came right at the end of 2018, but I think it’s a worthy inclusion.
Morgan Housel is one of the most insightful and clearest writers/thinkers out there in investment (his blog is a must read). This episode is a great discssion including
-Why education improves outcomes in other disciplines but not always in finance
-The just-world fallacy as it pertains to wealth
-The inescapability of our personal histories
-The appropriate balance between optimism and pessimism
Obviously ESG has been a massive topic this year with an awful lot written and said about it. This podcast did add value though I thought in stepping up a context level and framing the conversation well, as well as shedding light on some practical challenges. I thought the comments around getting the industry beyond a narrow “utility” model of investing, and the details of ESG approaches with the imitations and opportunities for better data were particularly interesting.
Author Michael Mauboisson (The Success Equation) has forged a reputation around dicerphering luck and skill and a lot of his insights are well worth listening to with obvious applications to active management. He asks the question “where are today’s .400 hitters” (a baseball reference, usually explained by the improvements of both pichers and hitter meaning that there are less hitters these days with very exceptional track records than there used to be) as applied to investing. I also found the discussion on team size particularly interesting.
The opportunity to hear the late Jack Bogle in lively conversation with AQR founder Cliff Asness on active vs passive among other topics is not one to miss.
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal are the hosts on this in-depth podcast that goes seriously deep and detailed into the big acquistion and IPO stories of the year. Other great episodes have featured the Spotify and Uber IPOs, but this one stands out for me as they bring their forensic historical analysis to bear to paint a fascinating picture of the rise and fall of one of this year’s most notorious companies. This episode is long as are most on this show!