By Jack M. Forehand —
I have to admit, I am not an avid book reader.
That statement alone may doom me to a life of below average returns since almost all historically successful investors read an enormous amount (Warren Buffett advocates reading 500 pages a day). I do read occasional books, including the books of the gurus we emulate and also read many white papers, blog posts, investing articles etc., but I certainly don’t read as many books as the investors I look up to.
For me, it’s easier to process information when it is presented in audio or video form. For a long time, however, the quality of in-depth investment content in those mediums just couldn’t competewith what was in book form.
That has really begun to change with the advent of investing podcasts. Podcasts are essentially the opposite of what has typically been found on most business TV and radio. Those traditional mediums are filled with market predictions and forecasts for individual stocks that can be very entertaining, but they often aren’t effective at delving deeply into investing topics and explaining the concepts behind them.
Podcasts, on the other hand, are the exact opposite of that. The best ones can spend a full hour or more delving into the detail behind how people have been successful, whether it be in investing, in business, or in life in general. In traditional articles or on TV, I rarely come across things that teach me something I didn’t know or that make me look at things in a totally different way. But with podcasts, that happens all the time.
Given the busy lives we all lead, podcasts also offer convenience and accessibility. You can listen to a podcast while you drive to work, while working out, and other times when reading isn’t possible.
Our goal with the Guru Investor blog has always been to cut through the noise and to highlight the insights of investors who have been historically successful. The in depth discussions that podcasts feature will allow us to share more of those insights.
One of the downsides of podcasts is that there are many of them, so it can be a challenge to filter through them all. Since I have listened to hundreds, I thought this blog would present a great opportunity to share some of what I have learned.
I will start out by highlighting my 2 favorite podcasts and all-time favorite episodes.
My Favorite Podcasts
1) Invest Like the Best – Patrick O’Shaughnessy
There are so many great investing podcasts out there, but to me one of them stands above all the rest. Patrick O’Shaughnessy is a complete natural interviewing people and getting at what has made them successful. Any time I think I know a lot about investing, I just need to spend some time listening to him to understand how much I still have to learn. While Invest Like the Best is an investing focused podcast, O’Shaughnessy does branch off into many other subjects, which are often fascinating.
- Leigh Drogen – Everyone knows that big data has changed Wall Street. This podcast does a better job than anything else I have heard explaining how, and what all of us who try to beat the market are up against.
- Wes Gray – No one does a better job of explaining the reality of focused quantitative investing than Wes Gray. Sometimes those explanations include things people don’t necessarily want to hear, like the fact that focused factor-based strategies can underperform for periods of years, but Wes has a talent for explaining it in a way anyone can understand.
- Michael Mabboussin – Michael Mabboussin (along with Warren Buffett, Howard Marks and a few others) is one of the must reads in investing. His research papers tackle many of the most interesting and thought provoking topics. This podcast talks about several of his papers as well as his views on the widely discussed active vs. passive debate.
- Best Non Investing Episode: Peter Attia – So much of what we have been taught about nutrition and longevity is just completely wrong. This podcast takes a look at the real keys to leading a long and healthy life.
2) Masters in Business – Barry Ritholtz
Barry Ritholtz has a great natural interviewing style that always gets the best out of his guests. His guest list is also unparalleled and includes a who’s who of business and investing.
- Howard Marks – As I mentioned earlier, Howard Marks is on the very small list of must reads for all investors. This episode takes an in depth look at his investing philosophy and what has made him successful.
- Cliff Asness – This is an older episode, but it provides a great framework for what works in factor investing and what doesn’t. It also includes some great information on how to apply factor-based strategies in the real world.
- Marc Andreessen – With the number of public companies falling and fast growing companies staying private much longer, the private market has become much more important. This episode is a great look at Venture Capital and the decision making process that goes into selecting investments.
These episodes represent only a small fraction of the great content available on both of these shows, and the episodes list is probably biased by the fact that I am such a big believer in factor-based and quantitative investing. But all of the episodes cover so much more than that. If you don’t listen to these podcasts already, you should give them a try.
There are also many other great investing podcasts out there. Going forward, I will highlight podcast episodes that I find interesting and that might be helpful to investors. One of life’s universal truths is that no matter how much you think you know, there is always a lot left to learn, and podcasts have been a great way for me to expand my knowledge – not just in investing, but also in many other areas of life.
We hope you enjoy this series and find it helpful in your investing. If you would like a notification when new posts are released, you can follow me on twitter at @practicalquant.
Photo: Copyright: bryljaev / 123RF Stock Photo
Jack Forehand is Co-Founder and President at Validea Capital. He is also a partner at Validea.com and co-authored “The Guru Investor: How to Beat the Market Using History’s Best Investment Strategies”. Jack holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute. Follow him on Twitter at @practicalquant.