We have reached our 100th episode of Excess Returns. We have been privileged to speak to some of the smartest investors we know over the course of the 18 months we have been running the podcast and we wanted to use this article to highlight some of our favorite insights from those conversations. But before we do that, we first wanted to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to listen to the podcast and learn along with us. We had no idea what to expect when we launched Excess Returns and we really have enjoyed doing it and meeting all the great people we have along the way. We want to thank all our listeners for the support that got the podcast to where it is today.
Now on to our favorite lessons.
1 – Buffett’s Success
There is probably no topic we have covered more in the podcast than Warren Buffett and what we can learn from him. We have been lucky enough to have several Buffett experts on the podcast, and we asked them all the same question: What are the key characteristics that have led to Buffett’s success?
Here is Adam Mead, the author of the Complete Financial History of Warren Buffett.
And here is George Washington Professor Lawrence Cunningham, who is one of the world’s leading Buffett scholars answering the same question.
2 – Fiscal Stimulus and MMT
A big benefit of the podcast for us has been the ability to learn about topics outside of our circle of competence. Although we may think we are at times, neither Jack or I are economic experts. But we are living in changing times where understanding the economic implications of government policy is more essential than ever. One of the most important concepts to understand inside that realm is the idea of Modern Monetary Theory. We had our favorite economic expert, Cullen Roche of Orcam Financial, to help us with that.
3 – Investing Factors
One of the biggest things the podcast has allowed us to do is to better challenge our own beliefs and look at the other side of the argument, even if our beliefs our strongly held. Those who listen to the podcast often know that we are big believers in value investing. But that can sometimes lead us to not give proper thought to the other side of that argument. One of the best arguments for that other side came from Adam Butler of Resolve Asset Management. He explained why factors like value can eventually become victims of their own popularity.
4 – Intrinsic Value Investing
In addition to challenging our belief in value, another thing that many of us who are value investors have to recognize is that traditional approaches to value have missed some of the most successful companies and best performing stocks of the past decade.
In our episode with Rafael Resendes, Co-Founder of The Applied Finance Group, he explained the importance of looking at intrinsic value as opposed to more simple value metrics.
5 – Uncovering Great Investments
And Robert Hagstrom, CIO of Equity Compass and author of multiple books on Warren Buffett, helped us put this idea into practice by explaining how Bill Miller was able to see the value in Amazon long before most investors did.
6 – Market Bubbles
On the opposite end of the spectrum of value is the concept of bubbles. We all know that bubbles will occur at times in markets, but we also know that many experts tend to overuse the term. We talked to Research Affiliates founder Rob Arnott about his framework for identifying bubbles and what, if anything, investors can do about them.
7 – Investing Strategies
There is probably no better way to finish off our 100th episode than with our most popular episode we have done with the great Jim O’Shaughnessy, founder of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management and author of What Works on Wall Street. Jim is a legend in the factor investing space, but one of the biggest things that has struck us in following him over the years is his willingness to change and evolve over time. Despite the fact that all of us need guiding principles to achieve investing success, having flexibility to change our strategies within those principles is very important, but also very difficult. In this clip, Jim gives us his thoughts on how he evolves his investment strategy over time
Thank you again to everyone who took the time to watch and listen to us over the past 100 episodes. We look forward to the next 100.
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