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Invest Like the Best

Exploring the ideas, methods, and stories of people that will help you better invest your time and money. Learn more and stay-up-to-date at InvestorFieldGuide.com
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May 22, 2018

I came across this week’s guest thanks to the overlap of three passions of mine: data informed investing, value creation, and basketball. 

Sam Hinkie worked for more than a decade in the NBA with the Houston Rockets, and then most recently as the President and GM of the Philadelphia 76ers. He helped launch basketball's analytics movement when he joined the Houston Rockets in 2005, and is known for unique trade structuring and a keen focus on acquiring undervalued players. Today, he is also an investor and advisor to a limited number of young companies in which he feels his experience can improve outcomes. 

At one point in our conversation, Sam mentions that he tracked success via future financial outcomes, so I did some research and found many interesting stats about the 76ers surrounding Sam’s tenure. When he took over the franchise, it was 24th in ESPN’s franchise rankings, and today it is 4th. This is the result of an impressive crop of young talent—players like All-Star Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons—which resulted in large part from unconventional decisions Sam and his team made. 

While I’m sure these estimates are imperfect, Forbes estimated the 76ers value at around $418M when Sam took over and $1.2B a few months ago. NBA teams in general have grown in value, so a lot of that appreciation is obviously “beta,” but given that the 76ers had the top percentage growth number more recently of any team, some of it is “alpha,” too. While we can’t parse the exact amount, it seems his unique approach to building a team clearly created some large amount of current franchise equity value. And it looks like the dividends from those decisions will compound for many years to come. 

While basketball was where Sam plied his talents in the past, his approach is more elemental. It is about finding great people, using data, and structuring decisions that create the possibility of huge returns, be they financial or otherwise. I don’t know what Sam will do next, be it investing in companies, running one, or taking over another team, but I know it will be fun to watch. 

Please enjoy this unique episode with Sam Hinkie. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Books Referenced

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think

 

Links Referenced

International Justice Mission

 

Show Notes

3:24 – (First Question) Advantages of having a long view and how to structurally harness one

6:08 – Using technology to foster an innovative culture

            6:18– Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

10:16 – Favorite example of applied innovation from Sam’s career

11:34 - Most fun aspect of doing data analytics early on the Houston Rockets

13:38 - Is there anything more important than courage in asymmetric outcomes

14:29 – How does Sam know when to let the art of decision making finish where the data started

16:29 - Pros and cons of a contrarian mindset

17:26 – Where he wanted to apply his knowledge in sports when first getting out of school and how his thinking is best applied in the current sports landscape

21:39 – How does he think about trying to find the equivalent of mispriced assets in the NBA

23:12 – Where tradition can be an impediment to innovation

25:07 – What did the team and workflow of the team look like in the front office

27:03 -  The measure of truth in a sports complex

29:10 – What were the early factors coming out of the data that helped to shape NBA teams

30:42 – Best tactics for hiring

33:59 – Process of recruiting spectacular people

35:39 – Thoughts on fostering a good marriage

37:57 – Picking your kids traits in your spouse

            38:02 – Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think

40:45 – What kind of markers does he look for when evaluating long term investment ideas

42:44 – His interest in machine learning

45:55 – What’s more exciting, the actual advances in machine learning or the applications that can be imagined as a result

            47:15– International Justice Mission

48:11 – How he got started teaching negotiations and some of the points he makes in that class

49:16 – Effective techniques for negotiating

50:03 – Is negotiating contentious, do you need empathy

50:41 – A Rorschach test of Sam based on his reading of Lessons of History (book)

53:01 – Biggest risk Sam took in his career

54:37 – Biggest risks Sam took while with the 76ers

58:09 – Do people undervalue asymmetric outcomes in the NBA
1:00:11 – The players Sam has enjoyed watching over the years

1:02:45 – Why Robert Caro is a favorite author of his

1:04:30 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Sam

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

May 15, 2018

My guest this week is a bundle of curiosity, and that is one of the nicest things I could say about someone. For several years, Tren Griffin has been writing a weekly blog post that highlights things he has learned from various investors, businesspeople, musicians, comedians, and more. Lately, he has also been tackling individual businesses, and broad topics like scaling, competitive forces, and product market fit.

Tren’s full time job is serving as a director at Microsoft. He’s also worked with or for several well know businesspeople and investors like Craig McCaw, and written several books including one on lessons for entrepreneurs, one on Charlie Munger, and another on negotiation.  

We discuss value creation vs. value capture, alpha in investing, sales, hip hop, and why he’d teach high school students about convexity through a drunk driving analogy. I could have talked to Tren for much longer than I did, but sadly, we both had flights to catch. 

If you take anything away from this, I hope its just how much fun it is to just be curious about business, and how you can learn a tremendous amount if you just keep reading about the things that interest you and talking to others. Please enjoy my conversation with Tren Griffin.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

2:26 – (First question) –  key levers of the universal business model

4:26 – How do you know when you’ve achieved real value creation

6:24 – Importance of value capture and how they enhance value creation 

            6:31 – Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

9:08 – Price power

10:28 – Are discussions of moats more useful to businesses than to investors

13:12 -  What Tren learned during his early years working with Craig McCaw

            16:28 – The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

16:36 – The skill of capital allocation

18:37 – How would Buffett and Munger bet on tech if they were starting out today and their philosophy of betting against change

21:57 – How Tren became so fascinated with Charlie and what he’s learned from him

            22:32 – The Alchemy of Finance

            23:17 – Damn Right: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger

            23:19 – Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

25:21 – Most memorable moment or lesson from Charlie

28:19 – There are more pockets of Alpha

19:20 – How he thinks about factor investing

31:25 – What are the scalability features that make a business attractive

31:28 – A Dozen Attributes of a Scalable Business

35:37 – Exploring some of the other important levers of businesses, such as subscriptions, customer acquisition cost, and more.

            36:20 – Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

37:11 – Wholesale transfer pricing

39:18 – Pros and cons of subscription business models

43:14 – Magic of getting products distributed

44:58 – Best sale Tren’s ever made

46:46 – Most important lesson for young people

49:01 – Any businesses that are piquing Tren’s interest right now

50:16 – Tren’s interest in hip-hop and how it helps him reach more people

53:49 – A look at some interesting quotes from Jim Barksdale

58:22 – Learning by doing

            1:00:48 – Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

1:01:06 – Period of his career that he felt most alive

1:03:03 – Advice for young people thinking about business and entrepreneurship

1:04:56 – Why are so few people passionate about what they do for a living

1:10:44 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Tren

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

May 8, 2018

I believe that any investment strategy that will deliver strong returns in the future must evolve. Any strategy should rest on rock solid foundational principles, which change rarely if ever—things like price discipline, or business growth. But the features of the strategy must keep getting better, because the marketplace is incredibly competitive.

That evolution is the topic of today’s conversation with Jason Karp. Jason is the founder and CIO of Tourbillon Capital Partners, a multi-billion dollar asset manager based in New York City.

We cover a ton of interesting ground. We start with what has happened in public and private markets, discussing the role of quants, passive indexes, and value vs. deep value investing. We compare the relative merits of investing in private equities, and where and how opportunities arise.

We then focus in on two interesting private investing trends: the health and wellness sector and the cannabis industry. First, we discuss Hu kitchen and Hu Products, the food business that Jason started with his family several years ago in response to personal health challenges. Second, we discuss his evolved views on Cannabis as an investment space and why it may also represent a massive growth opportunity.

You all know I value transparency, so it is important to note that since I recorded the conversation, my family became an investor in Hu Products. It has been a fascinating means to learn about the food, health, and wellness industry which has grown rapidly in recent years. We were customers of Hu in New York City long before I even knew Jason, which made that part of the conversation especially interesting for me.

This episode re-enforced my believe in pushing one’s investing strategy to adapt to change market conditions and competitive pressures. If we have any hope of beating Vanguard, we can’t ever rest on our laurels.

This was an especially eclectic and fun conversation, I hope you enjoy my chat with Jason Karp.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

3:06 – (First question) –  Jason’s view on private markets vs public markets and how his view has evolved

6:02 – Phase of the private markets where companies can achieve huge size and scale without going public

10:31 – Framework of Jason’s value-based investing strategy

13:47 – Reverse discounted cash flow

16:27 – Are there areas of the market that are easier to predict using Jason’s models

20:29 – Tech dominance the longer they are around

            21:01 – Jerry Neumann Podcast Episode

22:08 – How markets have changed over Jason’s career

25:58 – Types of edge that you can have in the market

30:00 – Broad examples of sectors that are high-quality, but momentum is hurting them

31:32 – Backstory of Hu Kitchen

38:33 – Investment research into health and wellness

42:56 – State of acquisitions, particularly in consumer product goods

47:13 – Jason’s research into Cannabis

50:43 – The misperceptions of Cannabis

56:30 – Why cannabis is a more important sector to consider than crypto

57:51 – What are the most important levers to growing a business

1:02:24 – Biggest lessons learned in hiring good people

1:06:10 – Investing lessons

1:09:27 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jason

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

 

May 1, 2018

My guest this week is Chris Douvos, a managing partner at Venture Investment Associates, which allocates 1.6B in behalf of investors. 

Chris is the first professional allocator I’ve spoken with who focuses specifically on venture capital funds, so I had a ton of questions for him on how to build a portfolio in an asset class known for uncertain, but often enormous, outcomes.

We discuss the major recent changes in the asset class and where things might be going.

I sought Chris out because while this is an investment style that is full of creativity and hope, I’ve always felt it could use a healthy dose of skepticism and a value investor’s mindset. He delivers in spades as we try to separate the real from the ideal. 

We didn’t record it, but Chris’s tour of Palo Alto was one of the most interesting and entertaining hours I’ve spent. He is a student of history and markets, and I look forward to learning more from him in the future. 

Please enjoy our conversation

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Books Referenced

Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment

 

Links Referenced

Domino Rally Business Models

All About the Benjamins

Speak Like the Locals

David Salem podcast episode

Curveball

 

Show Notes

2:18 – (First question) – Four factors that Chris thinks are important for future success of venture firms; portfolio concentration; repeatability; being early; size discipline

7:40 – What the venture landscape looks like today from Chris’s viewpoint

            8:32 – Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment

14:07 – Is there a glut of startups making it difficult for investors

17:33 – How does Chris think about the investments that are a bit different from what everyone else is investing in in Silicon Valley

19:17 – Why he focuses on college campuses for innovation

20:54 – The role that geography plays in venture

25:06 – The Four M’s; money, momentum, mentorship, entrepreneurial management

27:13 – Chris’s perspective on crypto currency as a threat to venture capital

31:44 – The idea of venture capitalists as service providers to the companies they are investing in

35:15 -  Views on investing in hyper focused VC’s vs those that are generalists and just go after the best opportunities in any sector

39:00 – What hot button areas are of most interest to Chris and why, from an investment standpoint

            39:38 – Domino Rally Business Models

42:22 -  What can a public market investor learn from a value venture investor who mostly has to rely on qualitative metrics

            43:08 – All About the Benjamins

44:38 – Portfolio construction in the world of venture

            46:40 – Speak Like the Locals

48:00 -  What are the characteristics that Chris looks for in managers, as an allocator

53:52 – What type of investors should and should not be in venture

59:15 – What type of allocator would Chris give all of his money to

            59:47 – David Salem podcast episode

            1:01:06 – Curveball

1:01:40 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Chris

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 24, 2018

My guest today is Arianna Simpson, who has spent her career in an around the world of technology working at startups, Facebook, and now in venture capital as an investor focused on the world of cryptocurrencies.

I met Arianna when I hosted a panel at a big investing conference in New York City and she was one of the panelists. On the panel, I found her style to be very straightforward and compelling. It is clear that she loves to learn and that the best manifestation of her style of learning is investing in technology.

In our conversation we discuss broad trends in crypto that we haven’t spent much time on before: decentralized versus centralized exchanges, privacy coins, and evaluating a found or early team. We build a framework for learning about this new asset class, discuss the importance of travel, and the value of pushing oneself outside of comfort zones.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

Please enjoy our conversation

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

2:12 – (First question) – How to teach someone else to build an investing philosophy around crypto

4:00 – The major risk factors to investing in crypto

6:28 – best practices for mitigating risk

7:39 – What factors to think about when it comes to whether a token will lose all value or not

8:39 -  Taking a pulse of the investment community on crypto

11:36 – How she heard about and became interested in crypto currencies

12:34 – Are people really using crypto currency as a hedge against rampant inflation

13:52 – Investing thesis in the space

14:07 – Arianna’s systems for learning about cryptocurrencies and staying up to date on them

15:19 – Arianna’s take on the issue of increasing transactional through put

16:49 – Layer 1 solutions and making it all scalable on a blockchain

17:56 – her take on the fat protocol thesis

20:32 – Defining utility vs security tokens

21:54 – evaluating different coins

21:02 – Why cross currency swaps are important and how they work

26:17 – What are the chances of a scenario where there’s just one token and everything is built off of that one

28:02 -  Comparing centralized and decentralized exchanges

29:47 – How the traditional investing world is going to regulate transaction involving cryptocurrencies and view security around those transactions

31:54– Impact this will have on capital formation

33:44 – Evaluating teams behind crypto companies

35:48 – The importance of gut when evaluating people

38:47 – How Arianna’s global upbringing impacts her thinking on the technology

39:51 – What countries or regions have had the largest impact on Arianna’s investing philosophy

42:41 – Doing things you’re not qualified for

43:59 – Gender imbalance in crypto and what can be done to shift that

45:28 – Most recent thing that has gotten Arianna excited in the crypto space

46:15 – Explaining Zero X

47:33 – How her views on reading have evolved

48:54 - Kindest thing anyone has done for Arianna

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 17, 2018

We’ve always found that even in public equities, you learn more once you have a live portfolio. One of the best ways to learn is to put some capital at risk.

To learn about the venture capital world, for example, I made an investment in a startup called Ladder, a platform business which connects coaches (fitness trainers to begin with) with consumers who need or want a coach to help them improve their fitness and their health. The idea is by making the entire coaching system more efficient, Ladder can provide consumers with a real person as a coach, but at a fraction of the cost, and provide coaches with both new customers and a much better way of managing their existing businesses.  If you are interested in the businesses backstory, you can listen to episode #60 of the podcast to hear founder Brett Maloley’s story and his vision for Ladder.

We are now six months into the launch of the business, with thousands of users and coaches on the platform and run rate revenue past a million dollars. What I was most curious about at this stage, aside from building something useful, was the relationship between a startup and institutional venture capitalists, who are allocating capital from their funds into startups at various stages.

For this episode, I asked two VCs to sit down with me and Brett and treat the conversation as they would a normal pitch meeting, so that we, the audience, can get a peek into their world and the types of questions they ask. 

The venture capitalists in question are Thatcher Bell, of CoVenture, and Taylor Greene, of Collaborative Fund. Both have experience evaluating new companies, but also have specifically spent time on companies like ladder, which follow the platform or marketplace model. 

While we do cover a little bit of background on the company, I’ve edited most of that part out so we can talk about the business model itself. While I don’t spend much time talking in this episode, you will hear me asking Thatcher and Taylor some questions to better understand why they care or don’t care about certain aspects of a business.

Lastly, I love the data aspect of all this. The interaction between coaches and customers produces a wealth of data of different types, all of which is analyzed and used to improve each aspect of the process. To help gather more data—about onboarding, working with a coach, and tracking results—Brett and the Ladder team set up a little promo code for listeners, which can be accessed by going to joinladder.com and using the promo code ILTB2 as in Invest Like the Best 2.

The first voice that you’ll hear is Thatcher, and the next person asking questions is Taylor. I began by asking Thatcher to give us a bit of background on how he approaches young companies before diving in with questions of his own.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

3:12 – (First Question) –  getting a flywheel business going

4:49 – Brett’s background and how that led to the formation of Ladder

7:58 – Breakdown of the product

9:29 – The sign-up process

10:29 – Key problem for each party of the ladder transaction

12:34 – Diving deeper into the problem of being a health coach

14:29 – How does Ladder differentiate itself from other apps that help people locate a trainer

17:01 – A deeper dive into the consumer using this product

20:28 – The accountability factor being the moat for Ladder

24:12 -  How successful is the product right now in terms of recruiting new customers and trainers

28:38 – Their pre-launch interview and research process

31:49 – Going from hypothesis to product development

35:25 – What should founders think about when doing customer discovery, even after they have a product in the market

39:22 – Optimizing in the early stage of a business

43:24 – The defensive moat of a startup

46:20 – Their take on their ability to corner the coaches in this market

49:57 – Is there a side of the producer/consumer side of the equation that is more important.

55:42 – Getting and giving value to your supply, in this case the coaches

58:22 – How to view different phases of a business

1:00:43 – Growing the supply and demand so that neither side gets aggravated

1:02:28 – Market opportunity for Ladder

1:10:55 – Top 2 or 3 goals that Ladder has over the next 12-18 months

1:13:00 –  Looking at Ladder, what are the strengths and weaknesses as a potential investment

1:20:40 – Pros and cons of a startup seeking institutional VC money

1:25:11 – Reviewing the pitch

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Apr 10, 2018

My guest this week helps me complete the first trilogy of guests on the podcast. His name is Nikhil Kalghatgi. Along with past guests Ali Hamed and Savneet Singh, Nikhil is a partner at the asset management firm CoVenture. If you liked those two conversations, you will love this one—it is somehow even more wide-ranging than the first two.

Nikhil is the CEO of CoVenture Crypto, but he ended up there because of an overarching investing style that he calls moonshot investing, which we explore right from the start and in great detail.

He is obsessed with productivity and happiness, and we spend a long time on those topics. One of the most interesting experiments I’ve heard about on the podcast is his Happiness project, for which he interviewed more than 100 of the wealthiest people in the world. The lessons he gleaned from those conversations are very helpful, and I won’t soon forget the lesson related to sacrifice.

We also discuss asteroid mining, networking, shared experience, and philosophy. Oh and crypto currencies. Nikhil’s take on crypto has always been refreshing to me. In fact the first time I met him he was throwing cold water on a room full of enthusiastic crypto investors. Within crypto we discuss business opportunities, mining, and how new retail and institutional capital will affect the asset class. 

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments.

Please enjoy this sparkling conversation with Nikhil Kalghatgi.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

2:42 – (First Question) –  What moonshot investing is

4:41 – Creating sustainable differential investment advantage

9:30 – Assessing the market for moonshots

12:15 – Types of people suited for moonshots 

13:42 – The Happiness Project

17:45 – Commonalities among successful people

25:15 – The importance of humor in life

17:16 – Recipe for a good joke

28:00 – The night Patrick and Nikhil met

29:17 – His perspective on the world of venture capital

33:26 – What did Nikhil learn from his time at SoftBank

34:52 – Craziest thing Nikhil has done

40:27 – What he took away from his time in military intelligence

46:10 – The idea of manufactured serendipity

47:13 – Nikhil’s approach to investing in cryptocurrency and what he finds interesting about it

53:23 – How Nikhil reconciles the excitement of crypto with the lack of tangible asset

58:10– The timeline of retail and institutional investors becoming more involved in crypto

1:02:43– Exploring their liquidity strategy

1:04:10 – What happens if regulators shut down the cryptomarkets

1:09:48– The role of miners in crypto and how that might change moving forward

1:10:43 – What is the frontier of crypto mining

1:12:31 – What’s the most compelling rabbit hole in crypto

1:16:23 – How would the original creators of crypto currency feel about the current state of the market

1:20:01 – What Nikhil sees as the value proposition for the whole ecosystem.

1:21:00 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Nikhil

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Mar 27, 2018

This week’s episode was the first one that I’ve recorded live. It was the second dinner in what I expect to be a long series where I bring together 30 people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss an interesting and emerging topic, whether that be cryptocurrencies, health, cannabis investing, or some other compelling, emergent thing. 

My guest, for the second time on the podcast, is Peter Attia, who has lead one of the more interesting careers I’ve ever come across and who is focused on understanding longevity, health span, and quality of life. We dive into many dimensions of health, scientific research, what we can and cannot learn from evolution and our ancestors, and the 7 primary modalities we should focus on when it comes to our health and well-being. 

Excuse the lack of clear audio quality on some of the audience questions—the ones that are a little difficult to hear are fairly short and I felt it was better to include them for some context. 

As have all of my conversations with Peter, this one has sparked countless subsequent conversations with my wife, my friends, and my colleagues on what is important and how we can change out behavior to improve our quality of life. My partner and sponsor at these events is Peter Tiboris of Strongpoint Wealth Advisors, who with me loves exploring these topics and understanding how they might affect our lives and out portfolios. Thanks to Peter for helping me realize this series in New York City. Now, please enjoy my live conversation with Peter Attia. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

Marvin HAGLER vs Tommy HEARNS: FULL FIGHT

longevity chart

Senescence

Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life 

 

Show Notes

2:07 – (First Question) –  Peter’s career journey that led him to where he is today 

            2:31 – Marvin HAGLER vs Tommy HEARNS: FULL FIGHT 

3:46 – How he thinks about longevity 

4:37 – Peter’s longevity chart 

6:31 – Four things most likely to kill you 

7:47 – The quality of your life in the later part of your life 

9:03 – Four ways he defines health span; cognition, physical dimension, sense of purpose and social support, capacity to cope with distress or distress tolerance. 

10:56 – The problem with clinical studies in analyzing longevity and his mission to get from medicine 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0

12:15 – Medicine 1.0 and major leaps in longevity

13:01 – Medicine 2.0 and clinical trials

14:52 – Medicine 3.0 and personalized medicine 

16:22 – The playbook for living longer 

19:26 - Senescence, the cells that are programmed to do bad things 

22:17 – Understanding our evolutionary needs to learn what as individuals do to increase lifespan and quality of life as it pertains to food, sleep, and movement. 

30:32 – Where evolution doesn’t offer insight into living a better life; mindfulness 

33:27 – What are the changes that Peter has made that he’s been doing the longest and most recently

            33:35 – Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life 

37:54 – Peter’s philosophy on mastery 

40:13 – Audience Question: How does something who seemingly doesn’t take care of themselves seem to be in such good health?

38:38 - Audience Question: Peter’s favorite car to race and how it effects his health 

51:19 – Audience Question: Is the key to life a minimalist lifestyle 

53:54 – Audience Question: the role of the microbiome 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 20, 2018

[After talking to the brilliant string of guests the past several weeks, Patrick’s brain needed a rest—oh and a concussion didn’t help matters. To hold you over until next week, here is one of the most interesting but less well known conversations from the invest like the best archives.]

This week’s episode is the most unique to date. My guest is Boyd Varty, who grew up in the South African Bush, living among and tracking wild leopards. The main theme of our conversation is tracking, and how the same strategy for pursuing animals in the wild can be applied to all aspects of our lives. Boyd’s family has been tracking animals for four generations, and he is bringing what they have learned to a larger audience around the world.

The episode includes the best answer I’ve ever heard (which comes when I ask Boyd to describe his most memorable experience). We also discuss the dangers of an achievement or goal oriented mindset, and what he learned from spending time with Nelson Mandela as a boy.

This episode is one I hope you share with those you love, because I think Boyd’s ideas will have a profound impact on many who are thinking about what to do with their lives—whether they are young or old.

Please enjoy.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

0:00 – Exploring Boyd’s childhood through a story about a black mamba

3:13 – Looking at the early history of Boyd’s family and their foundation in the bush of South Africa

7:00 – The launch of their safari business

8:06 – How they connected with an ecologist that encouraged them to “partner” with the land and how that led to the leopards of Londolozi 

14:25 – Expanding their model to other areas and creating an economy of wildlife. 

15:12 – How Boyd discovered what he wanted to do with his life in healing 

15:20 – Cathedral of the Wild: An African Journey Home by Boyd Varty   

20:49 – The concept of Ubuntu, the African value “I am, because of you.”

25:18 – How Patrick got to meet Boyd

26:15 – Exploring the idea of building your villages and some of the forces that combat that in our daily lives. 

31:23 – The difficulty in following your inner compass  

32:06 – Mr. Money Mustache

36:55 – Looking at Boyd’s early experiences in tracking and how he applies those principles in his current life. 

42:23 – Exploring the two different types of confidence and why there’s a benefit to throwing yourself into difficult situations, especially as a tracker. 

47:13 – Identifying the places where you can be relentless in life 

49:56 – The single most memorable tracking experience for Boyd, which is an incredible tale of tracking lions.   (Also one of the best answers to a question yet) 

1:01:49 – What can people do to get the holistic experience of the African bush  

1:02:20 – The PResencing Institute

1:04:15 – Ways that people can learn more about Boyd.  

1:04:31 – Ted Talk 

1:04:43 – The book 

1:04:48 – Workshops/Tracking Retreats 

1:05:05 – Seminar in Deer Valley  

1:05:13 – Martha Beck’s work 

1:05:15 – Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want  

1:05:36 – Website 

1:06:56 – When Nelson Mandela stayed with his family after getting out of prison

1:13:34 – Kindest thing anyone has ever done for Boyd

1:15:15 – A story of how his friend Sully saved his life from a crocodile  

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 13, 2018

My guest this week is Albert Wenger, a managing partner at Union Square Ventures and the author of the book World After Capital.

Albert studied economics at Harvard and earned a PhD in information from technology, but if you’d asked me to guess before looking those up, I’d have guessed that he studied philosophy because of how widely he has thought about the world and the impact of technology.

Our conversation is about how technology is changing the world from an Industrial Age to a knowledge age. We explore how cryptocurrencies, low cost computing, and regulation will impact our future and why the transition may require delicate care.

I loved this conversation because of my obsession with the concept of scarcity. We explore what has been scarce through time and what may be scarce in the future. Albert is one of the most interesting thinkers I’ve come across and was a pleasure to speak with. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

World After Capital

Show Notes

2:16 – (First Question) –  Defining what it means to be human

            2:58 – World After Capital

3:56 – Trans-humans vs neo-humans

4:37 – The concept of Qualia

5:25 – Albert’s investment philosophy=

8:27 – How Albert began his exploration into cryptocurrencies

12:59 – Most exciting things blockchains could enable

14:27 – How does Albert view blockchain technology from the view of an venture capital investor

17:00 -  Why Albert thinks that the dominate cryptocurrency of our time may not exist just yet and what he is looking for in protocols that will become the leader in the space

20:16 – What are the central functions that will be important in cryptocurrencies

21:22 -   The state of regulation in the cryptocurrency space

27:37 – What has Albert most excited for the future of blockchain

29:10 – The idea of universal basic income

32:26 – How do you solve the problem of giving money value in a world of universal basic income

35:00 – How scarcity has changed over time

39:01 – Role of financial capital in the last 200 years of civilization

42:39 – Are we as a society only capable of solving problems once they become an immediate threat

44:15 – Explaining the idea of attention as a scarce resource

47:56 – The two key drivers of change; zero marginal cost distribution and universality of computational power

53:13 -  What should we as investors and inventors be focusing on as the new objective function

57:24 – Scariest aspect of this transition into the knowledge age

59:45 – Three basic freedoms we all seek; informational, economic, psychological

1:02:13 – Fermi’s paradox and the scarcity of attention

1:02:56 – How Albert thinks about his own day and wellbeing given all of this information

1:05:01 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Albert

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Mar 6, 2018

My guest this week is another in a recent series of people that makes me want to work harder, learn more, and do more for others. His name is Savneet Singh, and he has already accomplished a remarkable amount in the worlds of business and investing. He’s preferred to keep a bit of a low profile, but I’m hoping, for everyone’s sake, to change that a little bit.

Savneet has invested in unique things like Spanish real estate, famous startups like Uber, cryptocurrencies before they were cool, and even websites. He founded and built a fintech company. And now, he both a partner at the wide-ranging investment firm CoVenture, with my previous guest Ali Hamed, and the co-founder of Tera Holdings, which is trying to become the Berkshire Hathaway of software companies.

To say this conversation is wide-ranging is an understatement. What’s neat is that my favorite parts aren’t even on investing, but are instead on principles for living.                                                                                                    

Savneet is one of the best people I’ve met in this journey. I’ve had several other conversations with him with shockingly low overlap with the one you are about to hear—a testament to his active and curious mind. I hope you enjoy learning from him as much as I have.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

Ali Hamed podcast episolde

The VERY simple bear case for bitcoin

Owl Mountain

Books Referenced

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

The Gorilla Game: Picking Winners in High Technology

 

Show Notes

2:30 – (First Question) – How Savneet started thinking about Spanish real estate.

4:29 – Why Airbnb could be the most impactful and interesting of the companies like this

5:25 – Savneet’s early entrepreneurial ventures

 

6:42 – His big investing influences    

        7:02 – Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist 

7:40 – What did Savneet learn in his two years on the sell-side of Wall Street 

8:50 – How the financial crisis impacted Savneet 

10:11 – The entrepreneurial journey and GBI 

11:40 – Savneet’s observations on the FinTech space and investing in it 

14:59 – How we can use FinTech to get into an actual new business 

16:22 – His thoughts on venture capital style investing 

18:36 – Transition out of GBI into his partnership with Ali Hamed 

20:46 – What Savneet took from his tennis career 

22:13 – The impactful things that his parents did for him 

23:23 – How Savneet thinks about justice in his life 

24:39 – Most memorable trip Savneet took 

25:50 -  Why you have to take action 

26:19 – Why value investing struck a chord with Savneet  

27:22 – How culture plays an important role in the compounding companies he would invest in 

28:14 – Defining the proper long-term mindset when starting a company 

29:44 – Back to culture of successful compounding companies 

31:21 – Knowing what he knows now, what does he think about Berkshire today 

33:22 – The strategy behind Terra and how it came together

35:00 – His checklist for deciding to invest in a firm

37:31 – How do they think about the defensibility of the companies they invest in

39:58 – The importance of cyclicality in the customer base of companies they invest in

41:38 – Why does Savneet think this is the space he wants to remain in for the long-term

44:39 – How they are thinking about pricing a company they invest in

47:03 – Lessons learned in sales and marketing that he can and will bring to the software world

52:05 – What Savneet has learned from Constellation

54:39 – What does Savneet’s funnel for bringing in new companies look like

56:31 – What helps to drive a lot of conversion for them

59:08 – What lessons has Savneet learned about taxes in their company structure

1:00:32 – How does Terra think about diversification

1:02:13 – How they think about capital sourcing

1:05:08 – His balanced view on crypto as an asset class

            1:05:18 – The VERY simple bear case for bitcoin

1:09:45 – Savneet shares the Sikh philosophy with Patrick

1:11:43 – What Sikh traditions does Savneet take part in and what are their significance to him

1:13:21 – A look at Owl Mountain

            1:15:59 – The Gorilla Game: Picking Winners in High Technology

1:16:42 – Any other areas that people are underestimating

1:17:22 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Savneet

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Feb 27, 2018

It has been a while since we discussed private equity on the show, so I was excited for this week’s conversation. My guest is Dan Rasmussen, the founder of Verdad advisers. Dan worked in private equity and has spent years studying the entire field.

Dan identified several key drivers of private equity’s outsized returns: size, value, and leverage. His firm uses these factors as a starting point to build a portfolio of public equities that behave like their private brethren.

We cover a ton of ground, discussing the prospective returns for equities, forecasting, and tons of investing strategies.

Please enjoy this conversation with Dan Rasmussen.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

Subscribe to Dan

The Gospel According to Michael Porter

Tobias Carlisle

Steven Pinker

E.O. Wilson

 

Books Referenced

What Works on Wall Street, Fourth Edition: The Classic Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time

Quantitative Value, + Web Site: A Practitioner's Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors

Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

 

Show Notes

2:03 – (First Question) – The current state of private equity investing       

4:09 – The three myths of private equity 

6:51 – Taking a deeper dive into the myth of growth through operational improvements

            9:29 – What Works on Wall Street, Fourth Edition: The Classic Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time 

11:25 – Valuations for private market investment and where they’re going 

14:03 – Private equity companies that have a higher chance of delivering results that exceed expectation 

16:39 – Other observations on the private equity space that would be interesting to investors considering the asset class 

19:33 – Importance of being very purposeful in picking your reference classes

            19:42 – Subscribe to Dan 

22:03 – How do the lessons Dan has learned in private equity translate to his investment strategies 

25:21 – How do you apply purely technical, systematic thinking into public market investing 

29:23 – Analyzing leveraged stocks and the value they could create 

30:06 – How Dan thinks about the direction of debt vs just the level 

33:11 – Predicting a firms ability to deleverage 

35:20 – How Dan’s company whittle down a company and are able to see value beyond their quantitative screens 

41:29 – How does Dan think about the global vs US opportunity set 

44:22 – What originally drew Dan to the Japan market 

47:03 – How do rising rates impact Dan’s strategy in investing in highly leveraged companies

51:19 – Importance of having investor money locked up for a longer period of time both for the fund and investor

55:03 – Porter’s five forces

            55:25 - The Gospel According to Michael Porter

1:00:51 – How Dan thinks about competitive advantage

1:04:41 – Exploring Dan’s personal process in pursuit of his ideal strategy

            1:05:19 – Quantitative Value, + Web Site: A Practitioner's Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors

            1:05:20 – Tobias Carlisle

            1:06:27 – Steven Pinker

            1:06:28 – E.O. Wilson

1:07:11 – What other markets pique Dan’s interest

1:09:39 – Why there is such a focus on small for Dan

1:11:11 – Source or person that Dan has learned the most from that might surprise people

            1:11:24 – Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?

            1:11:28– Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

1:12:54– What was it like writing the book

1:17:19 – If Dan was going to write another book today, what would it be about

1:19:08– Kindest thing anyone has done for Dan

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Feb 20, 2018

My guest this week, back for a second conversation, is Pat Dorsey. Pat ran equity research at Morningstar before leaving to start his own asset management company: Dorsey Asset Management. His areas of deep interest are competitive advantage and capital allocation. He believes that capital allocation should be in service of competitive advantage and invests in a concentrated portfolio that he and his team feel embody these ideas. 

If you have not already, I strongly recommend listening to our first conversation, which is a sort of crash course on moats. In this conversation, we cover different ground. We spend much more time on individual stocks like Facebook, Google, and Chegg, using them as examples to explore Pat’s investment philosophy and strategy. 

Across a few conversations with Pat, I can tell he is in love with this stuff, and I always enjoy talking to investors like him who so passionately pursue and edge. Please enjoy round two with Pat Dorsey.  

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

Pat Dorsey's first appearance on the podcast

HQ - Live Trivia Game Show

 

Books Referenced

World After Capital

Principles: Life and Work

 

Show Notes

2:15 – (First Question) – Pat’s methods for valuing a business 

4:17 – Is this process done after they would first identify potential targets for investment 

5:11 – Pat’s take on how the market classifies stocks as growth vs value 

6:40 – Qualitative insights and why the market can’t price them very accurately 

9:57 – The business model behind zero marginal cost distribution business model 

12:00 – Network effects and the potential downside to them down the road 

13:54 – Valuing Facebook as a business heavily reliant on network effects

16:45 – What would have to change for Pat’s position on Facebook to radically change 

18:58 – Most important lessons that a smaller/private business could learn from Facebook or Google’s business models 

19:48 – Where is Amazon in Pat’s portfolio 

20:27 – Primary research and the value that is derived from it 

22:06 – An example of where primary research led to a big surprise about a company 

24:05 – The value of travel in this business, starting with recent travel to India 

26:05 – Why are they targeting India and Japan 

27:24 – How does he think about the risk of investing in foreign markets 

29:52 – His thinking on relative vs absolute market share 

31:26 – Exploring the SaaS business model 

34:35 – The application of moats and pricing power with SaaS businesses

            34:36 – Pat Dorsey's first appearance on the podcast 

36:17 – Understanding how to evaluate a SaaS or subscription-based business (Lifetime Value of the Customer vs Acquisition Cost) 

40:07 – Other models that Pat explores and how to screen for them 

41:37 – How does he parse the difference between attention and demand 

43:19 – How would Pat monetize something like HQ - Live Trivia Game Show that has aggregated massive amount of attention 

45:19 – How does Pat react to the idea that attention is scarce and human capital is so crucial

            45:14 – World After Capital 

47:04 – How does Pat evaluate human capital in a business 

48:09 – Experience in starting an asset management business 

50:20 – What are the levers that are biggest value drivers in the asset management business 

53:57 – Pat’s view on the strength of the relationship between risk and return        

57:06 – The most risk Pat has taken in the face of uncertainty 

59:23 – Favorite recent learning resource

            59:43 – Principles: Life and Work

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Feb 13, 2018

Long-time listeners will have heard me joke before that this podcast should really be called “this is who are you up against.” I’ve been waiting for the right episode to deploy the joke as a title, and this week we have it. 

The joke is meant to convey how incredibly impressive these people are who we get to hear from every week. My guest this week is Josh Wolfe, a founding and managing partner at Lux Capital in New York City. Lux is a venture capital firm, but a highly unique one. They’ve spent more time in hard sciences and interesting nooks and crannies of the market than the typical VC firm.

Some of investing is zero sum: my outperformance is someone else’s underperformance. Sometimes, though, investing is positive sum. The combination of capital, ideas, people, drive, and raw energy leads to amazing new things. 

I think the best investing and best investors of the future will be more collaborative than competitive. After finishing with Josh, I couldn’t stop thinking “god, do I want to be involved with whatever he’s doing, if only just to learn.” 

This conversation made me rethink my joke “this is who are you up against.” Now I won’t think of it as a zero-sum joke, but instead as a reminder: this is the kind of person who is out there. You better find your niche, and still be the absolute best you can within that niche.  

Please enjoy this killer conversation with Josh Wolfe. We cover just about everything. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

Investing in Biofuels or Biofools?

Ali Hamed podcast

Alex Moazed podcast

Andy Rachleff podcast

Popplet

@wolfejosh

 

Books Referenced

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy

 

World After Capital

 

Show Notes

2:35 – (First Question) – Lux Capital and the kind of investments they have made over the years 

5:42 – The formation of the investment philosophy for Lux 

8:17 – Why randomness and optionality are important cornerstones to the philosophy 

9:52 – Investment philosophy 100-0-100 (ambition, arrogance, intellectual humility) 

10:40 – How Josh manages his time and attention

            12:53 – Investing in Biofuels or Biofools? 

13:29 – Obsession with nuclear 

15:15 – Investment in metamaterials 

18:28 – Focus on autonomous vehicles 

21:02 – How all of these gambles are viewed by Josh’s investors 

22:56 – Tattoo technology

            24:20 – Ali Hamed podcast 

24:36 – How Josh evaluates people when considering early stage investments

            24:45 – Alex Moazed podcast

            24:49 – Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy 

28:10 – Why the minority opinion tends to lead to the best outcomes 

29:50 – Memorable experience investing in a founder 

30:44 – The idea of thesis driven approach to private investment    

            30:56 – Andy Rachleff podcast   

32:38 – Crazy thesis – understanding the emotional needs of our pets 

34:59 – Crazy thesis – Turning genetic abnormalities into treatments and cures for common conditions

38:03 – Josh’s learning process through these theses

            38:34 – Popplet

39:56 – Understanding rebel scientists when it’s impossible to predict what is going to happen

44:35 – Can the charge forward mindset be cultivated, or does it have to come naturally

45:49 – Investors that Josh has learned the most from

47:37 – Josh’s comfort investing outside of his usual asset class

            49:03 – @wolfejosh

50:56 – What is the thinking with the short strategy at Lux

52:31 – SpaceX vs Tesla, good business vs bad business

53:42 – How Josh approaches the quality of a business

            54:15 – World After Capital

55:16 – How does Josh evaluate competitive advantage

56:45 – Where are we in the venture capital landscape

1:01:42 – How does his outlook on venture capital affect the way Lux is run

1:02:48 – thoughts on cryptocurrency

1:05:28 – An overview of Santa Fe Institute

1:07:22 – What is the most memorable conversation Josh has ever had

1:09:34 – What is Josh’s objective function in life

1:12:43 – Are there people that Josh disagrees with but deeply respects

1:13:32 – Kindest thing anyone has ever done for Josh  

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Feb 6, 2018

My guest this week is Harvey Sawikin, a co-founder and lead portfolio manager at Firebird Management, which manages funds dedicated to investing in emerging market equities. Emerging markets are often a blind spot for investors of all types: most of us have never traveled to the far east or eastern Europe, where many of the thousands of emerging market public equities operate.

I’ve been very lucky to travel quite a bit in Asia and the Middle East, but never to eastern Europe, which where Firebird focuses its investments. Harvey and I discuss his 24 years of experience evaluating emerging and frontier market countries, industries, and individual stocks. We discuss his experience buying privatization vouchers in Russia, banks in the Baltics, and how today’s emerging market opportunity set compares to the past. 

Like so many of these conversations with investors who have earned significant excess returns, its clear investing opportunities in emerging markets are often disguised. Finding them requires risk, hard work, discipline, and a dose of luck and timing. Please enjoy my conversation with Harvey on Emerging Market Opportunities. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

Via

Books Referenced

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel

Education of Rick Green, Esquire

 

Show Notes

2:26 – (First Question) – Most memorable travel experience since the beginning of Firebird

5:41 - How Harvey got interested in emerging markets investing, specifically, Eastern Europe and Russia

10:00 – How does the landscape for emerging markets today compare to when he first started

12:30 – What are the factors of an emerging market to look at and why do some not pan out

15:04 – Do countries have to meet minimum criteria before Harvey and his team will even start to do work on an emerging market

17:33 – How does Harvey distinguish between frontier and emerging markets

18:37 – Thoughts on the access points that regular investors have into emerging markets, such as ETF’s and Mutual Funds

23:48 – How does Harvey think about risk exposure when constructing a portfolio

25:56 – Looking at the bottom up part of the equation, what factors within a company or sector are considered as part of the investing decision

31:05 – Dividends in emerging markets

33:09 – How do US equities stack up as an investment against fixed income

         34:53 - The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel

36:52 - How do US equities stack up as an investment against emerging markets

39:38 – What type of investor allocate funds to emerging markets

42:37 – The value of travel in understanding emerging markets

50:19 – Biggest mistakes that emerging market investors make

54:49 – What in today’s markets has the smell of opportunity

55:53 – Harvey’s interest in Via

56:58 – Interest in buying gold coins

1:00:05 – If Harvey could only choose one country to visit, business or pleasure, where would he go

1:01:09 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Harvey

            1:01:38 – Education of Rick Green, Esquire

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 30, 2018

My guest this week is Anthony Pompliano. Pomp began his career in the military, and has since been a successful entrepreneur, worked as a head of growth at Facebook, and started Full Tilt Capital, an early stage investing firm in North Carolina.

This conversation has three memorable sections. Early on, we discuss the four traits Pomp looks for in founders, which we cover in detail. These double as traits that are important when hiring anyone. Next, we discuss his unique take on cryptocurrencies, where he is excited about the prospects for tokenized securities. Finally, we explore a unique media company, Bar Stool Sports, and what makes it such a powerful brand.

Please enjoy our somewhat abbreviated discussion and know we will continue the conversation soon.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

Dave Portnoy and Barstool Sports’ Secret Billion Dollar Plan

Books Referenced

Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter

 

Show Notes

2:06 - (First Question) – Recap of Anthony’s military career

4:07 – Most memorable experience while deployed

5:27 – Transition out of the military and how it shaped his investing philosophy

11:19 – investing philosophy of Full Tilt, starting with deal economics

10:00 – Attributes of an ideal founder

13:50 -  Where you actual learn the attributes that make you a good founder

14:40 – Time that Anthony has taken the biggest risk in life

16:45 – What is the viewpoint that Full Tilt has today that gives it Alpha in the market

18:47 – Why tokenized securities could be advantageous for investors in a company

19:51 – Anthony’s explanation of a tokenized security and what needs to happen for this idea to be fully realized in the market

22:22 – What could be the impact on the markets of making liquidity in venture so readily available

24:39 – What are tokenized securities actually invested in in the real world

27:42 – What does Anthony think about the commodity risk

29:04 – Describing Standard American Mining, a company they incubated

29:58 – Exploring the shift from a CPU world to a GPU world

31:49 – Getting involved in places where we haven’t caught up with the rest of the world

33:05 – Anthony’s interest in Barstool Sports

            33:11 – Dave Portnoy and Barstool Sports’ Secret Billion Dollar Plan

            37:09 – Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter

39:02 – What lessons from Full Tilt world would Anthony share with others in the more traditional business world

40:35 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Anthony

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 23, 2018

My guest this week is Dr. Ben Hunt, the chief investment strategist at Salient and the author of the extremely popular epsilon theory.

I’ve always enjoyed Ben’s writing style, particularly his use of farm and animal based analogies to describe market phenomenon.

In this conversation, we discuss his recent post the three body problem, why growth has been beating value, and why a strategy that he calls profound agnosticism—a take on risk parity—may be the most appropriate investing strategy in what he views as a very uncertain world. We also discuss some of his favorite lessons from the farm. 

Please enjoy our conversation!

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

The Three-Body Problem

 

Show Notes

1:54 - (First Question) – Applying the three-body problem to investing 

7:24 – Fundamental view of investing, Profound Agnosticism 

8:24 – Why has value done so poorly relative to growth in this framework 

11:01 -  Ben’s thoughts on why value has been underperforming for so long 

13:52 – Investors should be able to adapt 

17:49 – Thoughts on the risk parity approach 

23:23 – Ben’s strategy for working with several teams 

26:48 – What’s the best way to gain an edge, top down factors vs company/bond individual analysis 

28:29 – How do you measure risk amid the large amount of uncertainty that exists in markets 

32:40 – How does Ben personally think about investing 

34:41 – Ben’s farm and the investing lessons learned by some of the animals 

39:55 – How bees can plan out their entire work structure by the angle of the sun 

42:58 – Defining basis risk 

44:59 – Personal risk vs portfolio risk 

49:30 – The concept of fingernail clean and our perception of what eggs are 

53:57 – How ETFs are like mass produced eggs 

54:56 – Exploring the idea of quality vs scaling 

58:39 – What is the current challenge/puzzle that Ben is focused on right now 

1:01:59 – What is Ben looking for when looking into game theory and applying it to the words that are published and spoken about investing 

1:03:57 – Most memorable day on Ben’s farm 

1:05:04 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ben

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 16, 2018

My guest this week is Preston Byrne. Preston is vocal critic of crazy prices and projects in the world cryptocurrencies. His background is in the legal world and also as a founder and former COO of Monax, which made the first open-source permissioned blockchain client.

As Preston says, he is a “blockchain without bitcoin” guy, who believes that this crypto mania will end in some sort of apocalypse for token holders and ICO issuers .

We tackle several issues, from his broad skepticism of crypto assets, to the potential regulatory reaction from major governments, to types of coins like stable coins, which Preston views as analogous to perpetual motion machines. 

Please enjoy our conversation and for any crypto investors out there, let me know if this conversation affects your opinion of the investing prospects for cryptocurrencies. 

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

Bitcoin white paper

The Bear Case for Crypto

Hash Power series

Zero Hedge

Preston tweet on Reverse network effect

 

Show Notes

2:12 - (First Question) –Ponzi scheme vs pyramid scheme vs Nakimoto scheme 

5:29 – Why there are regulatory challenges to cryptocurrency

            5:33 – The Bear Case for Crypto 

9:59 – Who are the most influential people supporting this and how are they swaying the regulatory minefield on this issue

            10:28 – Hash Power series 

13:23 – Looking into the idea of a digital asset and the difference between blockchain and the token itself 

16:09 – What about the idea that cryptocurrency’s only feature is that it’s censorship resistant 

18:39 – Why cryptocurrencies become less usable the more successful they are

            18:59 – Zero Hedge 

21:04 – Why can’t we rely on offchain solutions to solve the scaling issue 

22:29 – The idea of bubbles and what happens next in this one           

25:41 – What are the incentives to build technology to support cryptocurrencies 

29:23 – Explaining Ripple 

31:21 – What would precipitate a massive reversal in the inflated valuations of cryptocurrencies 

34:52 – Understanding reverse network effects

            34:36 – Preston tweet on Reverse network effect

37:45 – The principles behind Stablecoin

42:20 – What has been the greatest lesson that Preston has learned about blockchain he wish he knew when he first got started

44:05 – How embedded will blockchain be by 2024/2025

45:12 – ICO’s, why Preston is not a fan and if there are any positives to them

50:20 – What are the conditions under which these things will be viewed legally.

54:00 – Preston’s history owning cryptocurrencies

55:35 – What has Preston most excited in the space

59:02 – Utility settlement coin

1:00:36 – Why the fascination with marmots

1:02:10 – What to reference before getting started with cryptocurrencies

1:04:03 – Understanding supply chains in block chain

1:07:14 – Some smart people on block chain to follow

1:08:24 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Preston

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Jan 9, 2018

I have a special request this week: share this episode with every curious person in your life. 

The conversation, with a 26-year old investor named Ali Hamed, serves as an example of what’s possible when you think creatively. 

Ali views the world with a fresh set of eyes, and has already become an expert at identifying new investment opportunities where others have not. As the second prodigy 26 year old in as many weeks on the podcast, these young guns are making me feel like an ancient 32 year old. 

We talk a lot about “alpha” in our world, earning returns better than the market. But the key word in that last sentence isn’t alpha, it’s earning. Hopefully you, like me, will use this conversation as a reminder of what it takes to earn differentiated returns. It’s not just the hard work, but also the mindset. We explore many examples of how to create new investment opportunities, from rolling up Instagram accounts, to financing perishable fruit like watermelons, to heavy machinery software. 

Please enjoy this special conversation with Ali Hamed. Follow him and his partners. And then go figure out how to earn success yourself in whatever it is you do by helping other people solve problems with empathy. 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Books Referenced

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

 

Links Referenced

Sheel Tyle Podcast

Seed Investing is a B2C Business, While Growth Stage investing is a B2B Business

Ira Judelson podcast

Free Content and Digital Media Are Increasing Socio-Economic Disparity 

 

Show Notes

2:24 - (First Question) Ali’s investment philosophy 

3:33 – History of Coventure and its unique structure 

6:30 – The story of how Coventure was seeded 

12:29 – What makes cost of capital such an interesting topic for Ali 

14:13 – Exploring fee structures and the expectations for return in the current environment 

17:02 – The current state of the VC world 

21:42 – Ali’s investment process on the VC side 

25:32 – What other requirements are there for Ali to make a VC investment 

28:00 – Understanding the difference between judgement and empathy in founders

            28:20 – The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

29:47 – Dealing with LP’s

            32:47 – Sheel Tyle Podcast

33:39 – At one point did Ali feel the most personally at risk in his career

37:55 – Why did they get involved in cryptocurrency 

43:30 – What excites Ali most about crypto

46:09 – Lending as an alternative way to invest in businesses

48:09 – An overview of their lending business

50:21 – How does deal flow and sourcing work in these arrangements

52:54 – How much encroachment will Ali face from competitors

54:28 – Exploring the idea of valuing and buying digital accounts

59:36 – How Ali thinks about marketing for his own firm and the ones he invests in

1:00:06 – Seed Investing is a B2C Business, While Growth Stage investing is a B2B Business

1:03:59 – Longer term aspirations for Ali and industries that he would avoid

            1:04:25 – Ira Judelson podcast

1:08:05 – Ali’s view on the potential negative impact of free content

            1:08:19 - Free Content and Digital Media Are Increasing Socio-Economic Disparity

1:12:48 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ali

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Jan 2, 2018

My guest this week is Sheel Tyle, who at just 26 years old has already had a successful career in venture capital. His most recent stint was as the co-head of the seed investing business at NEA, the largest venture capital firm in the world, where Sheel was also a partner. Now, Sheel has set off on his own, setting up his own firm called Amplo and having recently raised a $100M venture fund where he is the sole general partner. He aims to invest with young, mission driven entrepreneurs with a global focus. As you can tell from this resume, which also includes a degree from Stanford and a law degree from Harvard, this is one ambitious guy. 

There are several aspects of this conversation that will really stick with me, specifically his points on networking and the smartest decision that he’s seen entrepreneurs make. I also loved our discussion of some of the same trends we explored last week with Chris Dixon—topics like drones, automated cars, and blockchain, where Sheel often has a different take than the consensus. 

Please enjoy my conversation on Africa, entrepreneurship, venture capital trends, technology, and more with Sheel Tyle.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Books Referenced

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

 

Links Referenced

Andela

OneConcern

Andy Rachleff Podcast Episode

Mark43

TechCrunch

VentureBeat

Bill Draper (author)

 

Show Notes

2:20 - (First Question) Sheel’s upbringing and how it shaped his interest in Africa

4:43 – The outlook for Africa

6:10 – Primary differences in valuations and momentum in Africa vs opportunities in other places which Sheel conveys through the story of Andela

10:45 – The perspective returns of venture capital investments

15:16 – Does the hyperfroth in ICO’s serve as a threat to traditional venture capital

17:53 – Where Sheel falls on the importance of networking in terms of his venture capital interests

20:38 – The stronger impact of a smaller, more tight-knit network

22:46 – Sheel’s feelings on driverless cars and the timeline for this sector

27:17 – What are the positive side effects of driverless cars taking over

29:01 – What is the best way to invest in driverless cars from a venture capital standpoint

31:30 – Sheel’s overrated/underrated take on different technology spaces

            31:30 – VR/AR

            32:21 – Blockchain

            32:54 – Machine learning/AI

33:41 – Drones

34:53 – Other categories that we should be thinking about

            36:54 – OneConcern

38:21 – Should entrepreneurs be raising more money over future liquidity concerns of the venture capital markets

39:40 – What are the places that Sheel can help a founder in the early stage formation of the company

            40:02 – Andy Rachleff Podcast Episode

42:53 – What does the breakdown of domestic vs international investments potentially look like in fund 1 for Sheel

44:53 – Sheel’s most memorable travel experience

47:34 – what is the best decision Sheel saw a founder make

            48:10 – Mark43

50:31 – Resources for people interested in venture capital

            51:06 – TechCrunch

            51:07 – VentureBeat

            51:17 – Bill Draper (author)

            51:25 – Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

 

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 26, 2017

My guest this week is Chris Dixon, who has written some of my favorite essays on technology and venture investing. Chris is a prolific investor and thinker, having been an entrepreneur, angel investor, and now partner at the well-known venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Our conversation focuses on major trends in technology, including cryptocurrencies and the future of autonomous vehicles and drones.

Chris has a rule of thumb for technology trends: find out what smart people are working on during the weekend, and you’ll know what other will be doing years in the future. After surveying his old essays, it’s clear you use Chris’s writings as a similar litmus test.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

Please enjoy this great conversation with Chris Dixon on the future of tech.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Books Referenced

Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages

Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World

 

Links Referenced

Douglas Hofstadter

Daniel Dennett

How Aristotle Created the Computer

New Yorker Cover on automation

The World of Numbers website

Jerry Neumann podcast episode

David Tisch podcast

ERC-20 Token Standard

Eleven Reasons To Be Excited About The Future of Technology

 

Show Notes

2:04 (First Question) – Why did Chris choose to study philosophy

            2:23 – Douglas Hofstadter

            2:24 – Daniel Dennett

            3:20 – How Aristotle Created the Computer 

3:35 – Where has his thinking and viewpoints changed the most having been in the real world 

4:42 – What is the real driving force behind all of the technology that we are creating and will automation kill all of the jobs

            6:16 – New Yorker Cover on automation

            6:57 – The World of Numbers website

8:36 – A look at his history in networks and network design

            11:03 – Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages

            11:07 – Jerry Neumann podcast episode

            12:32 – Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World

13:06 – What are the market and technological forces that make it difficult to regulate software hardware companies

14:39 – The best features of proprietary centralized networks and open networks

16:40 – What things are better centralized vs decentralized

            22:30 – David Tisch podcast

23:03 – When it comes to cryptocurrencies, what are the concerns that the protocols themselves hold value and could this lead to centralization of the system problems

            24:02 – Block size debate (topic)

            26:40 – ERC-20 Token Standard

27:23 – Is the blockchain the answer to the stagnation of the big tech players 

32:47 – Does Chris find investment in individual crypto tokens analogous to seed funding in companies 

34:39 -  How does Chris think about the dichotomy of investing in people vs technologies

            34:59 – Eleven Reasons To Be Excited About The Future of Technology 

37:45 – What organizational structures of companies are most compelling 

41:50 – Any major trends in technology a cause for concern for Chris 

42:34 – Any interesting trends by people looking to disrupt the centralization of internet power to a small few 

44:09 – What major trends is Chris passionately pursuing 

51:15 – If everyone agrees on a future trend of technology, can you still make money investing in them 

52:20 – How do you encourage younger people to approach the world and a career differently in this ever-changing world 

57:39 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Chris

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 19, 2017

So far I’ve spent no time in the podcast discussing real estate, so I was excited to get the chance to talk to the team at Sorin Capital, a billion dollar hedge fund which specializes in commercial real estate, REITs, and commercial mortgage backed securities.  Sorin is lead by Jim Higgins, who founded the firm, and Tom Digan, who coincidentally was a college classmate of mine at Notre Dame.

The conversation has two unique angles. The first, which starts about 20 minutes into the conversation after we introduce the sector and opportunity set, is a deep dive into a specific trade: a fairly contrarian take on the retail industry, specifically comparing different types of retail real estate. As you’ll hear, the dispersion of mispricings in the sector may be huge, creating opportunities for specialists to earn real alpha by doing bottom up work.

The second angle we explore is what I believe to be a strong model for the future of asset management businesses, that is tailoring products, strategies, and even specific trades to the needs and risk-return profiles that clients want and need, instead of just selling a one-size-fits-all comingled fund. 

You’ve probably heard me joke that this podcast should be called “This is who you are up against,” and this episode is a good example. I always enjoy exploring a niche part of the market, and this conversation on real estate is a perfect example of the type of work that firms do on behalf of their clients.  Please enjoy my conversation with the team from Sorin Capital.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Books Referenced

Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions

Liars Poker

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

 

Show Notes

2:43 - (First Question) –Outline the Real Estate Investment Trust world and what the assets and total value look like

6:10 – What does the profile of investors in the space look like compared to investors in the broader debt markets

9:43 – What are the characteristics of a liquid real estate portfolio that make them so attractive to investors

10:54 – Looking at the history of Sorin Capital and how the business has evolved to where it is today

12:35 – Understanding the idea of securitization of commercial mortgages

17:01 – What really led to the formation of Sorin after working for Bear Stearns

20:19 – Looking at the retail sector in real estate in the scope of actual trades that are being made

25:08 – From an investing standpoint, how do you craft a portfolio that takes advantage of the real estate space as retail appears to be suffering on the surface

30:09 – The different type of real estate investments in the retail sectors and what piece of the pie do they make up

32:43 – How does the business model of the mall work and why is it so connected to the department stores

34:08 – What is the future of malls itself with the big changes happening to the legacy stores that helped them proliferate

37:44 – Why won’t the same thing that has happened to apparel stretched to all sectors of the retail industry

39:09 – How do they search for inefficiencies in the market

41:20 – One of the craziest things they saw on the road that outlined real world craziness in real estate investment

42:23 – What is the duration involved in these types of investments

44:41 – How the portfolio is positioned across these different real estate types

47:49 – Why haven’t others come in and taken advantage of the investments that Sorin is able to

49:03 – Reaction to the idea that the growth of passive ETF’s and investing styles has lengthened the time over which certain inefficiencies would be corrected and are distorting things

51:27 – How much does momentum play into their thinking

54:19 – How evenly distributed are the vintages of these ten year cycles

57:15 – Explaining the idea of deep value bottom up work in the real estate investment world that they have done a deep dive on

59:31 – Best stories from boots on the ground visits

1:04:04 – The origin story for the original Sorin partnership

            1:04:42 – Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions

            1:04:43 - Liars Poker

            1:04:44 – Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

1:07:51 – What was it like for Tom getting started and the lessons he learned after an incredible hard time for the market

1:09:24 – What was it like for Jim coming through the crisis

1:11:18 – What is the trend for funds to craft investments specific to investors vs having them buying products that they produce

1:18:29 = Are other hedge fund firms moving to a client demand or solutions-based model? Or are we still very early in the transition

1:22:50 – What would the generalists miss in this space vs someone like Sorin that is a specialist

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 12, 2017

My guest this week is Franklin Foer, the author the recently published book “World Without Mind.” The topic of our conversation is one that I’ve been thinking through often this past year: the impact that large technology companies have on our minds and behavior. This conversation is only indirectly related to markets, but given that the companies we discuss are now several of the largest by market cap in the global stock market, what happens to them likely impacts all of our portfolios whether we own them or not. Given that these companies compete for our attention and dollars, they also affect our businesses.

As an example, My friend Brent Beshore and his team at Adventures wrote a long and incredibly thoughtful piece on how they think about Amazon as a force in the market, and how they plan on navigating around such a fierce competitor.

Franklin’s book, especially the early history, is very thought-provoking, so it was no surprise that our conversation was too. Please enjoy our talk on the tech giants.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Links Referenced

Free PDF of The Whole Earth Catalog

Amazon Must Be Stopped (New Republic)

Hannah Arendt Philosophy

Time Well Spent

 

Books Referenced

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech

The Whole Earth Catalog

The Lessons of History

 

Show Notes

1:40 - (First Question) – As part of Jonathan’s new book, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech, exploring the idea of the whole earth catalogue.

            4:09 – The Whole Earth Catalog

            4:36 – Free PDF of The Whole Earth Catalog

4:49 – What happened next for Brand and how he laid the early groundwork for today’s modern Silicon Valley

7:43 – Franklin’s personal journey into writing this book

            10:00 – Amazon Must Be Stopped (New Republic)

11:48 – Thoughts on the advancement of technology in our world

15:52 -  Filling the gap into Brand’s influence on Silicon Valley from the early 80’s to today

18:57 – How does the current state of the free internet without gatekeepers hold up for the next generation

20:53 – Is there a chance that technology’s unlimited mining of our attention is not the horrible thing we often make it out to be

24:47 – What are the ways we can have a free internet and other technologies, but not let them get perverted

28:09 – How will people respond to our tech monopolies

31:54 – The Lessons of History and the rise and fall of centrist powers

33:02 -  A look at Franklin’s work and how its impacted by the reliant on a few large tech companies

35:28 – The dangers that tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, etc, have created for us

40:45 – Is there a technology, company, or trend that Franklin is really excited for

42:19 – Will there be movements that emphasis detachment from technology

44:05 – Why most innovations have happened to people thinking in a very separated or contemplative mode

45:58 – What’s the most exciting thing that Franklin is thinking about now

49:30 – What was the most memorable content in researching this book that Franklin would suggest other check out

            49:59 – Hannah Arendt Philosophy

52:37 – Are there specific things that Franklin does to be more contemplative

            53:26 – Time Well Spent

54:47 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Franklin

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Dec 5, 2017

My guest this week is Adam Ludwin, the founder and CEO of Chain, a blockchain technology company targeted at large enterprises. Before shifting his career to focus solely on crypto, Adam was a venture capitalist focused on FinTech, which is how he came across the Bitcoin whitepaper earlier than most. I called this episode “a Sober View on Crypto” because Adam’s take is so balanced. He is certainly long crypto, both in his portfolio and career, but he is very skeptical of much of what is happening in the ecosystem today. For example, he offers the best reason I’ve heard for not launching an ICO or investing in them. 

If you haven’t read Adam’s widely shared open letter to Jamie Dimon, it has become a must-read piece for crypto-enthusiasts. Read it as soon as you can.

I edited out an earlier chunk of our conversation as it was largely introductory. If you need a broader introduction to cryptocurrencies, I suggest starting with episode one of Hash Power and working your way forward. One key insight from Adam in our offline discussion what how cryptocurrencies function very much like equities or bonds. Just as equity financing enables the activity of joint stock corporations, cryptocurrencies enable activity in decentralized applications. We pick up our discussion with Adam discussing whether anyone really uses these decentralized apps today.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

2:35 - (First Question) – Will anyone use cryptocurrency in the real world at a large scale

3:43 – The idea of censorship resistance

12:29 – Will society be accepting of this technology

14:39 – Why decentralized apps can’t be acquired

18:24 – The idea of exponential vs linear improvements on a trend and if there are limits to the growth of decentralized technologies

23:26 – The struggle with early adaption of blockchain

25:41 – Best application for bitcoin, storing value

29:52 – Adam’s introduction to cryptoassets and how his thinking has evolved in the space

36:44 – In this hyper frothy market, is there a situation that makes an ICO exciting to Adam

43:51 – Even though it appears to be easy money, Adam explains why you shouldn’t just create an ICO

50:59 – A look at what Chain is doing and what Adam is excited about

53:23 – How does what Adam is working on help to improve the ledger of his clients

1:02:00 – Why you can easily be an early investor in crypto currency

1:04:27 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Adam

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

Nov 28, 2017

My guest today is Joanne Wilson, a New York City based angel investor, writer, podcaster, trend spotter, and self-described “woman around town.” Joanne has had a multifaceted and winding career, and began angel investing a decade ago when she put money into NYC-based media company Curbed media which we discuss in detail. Since then, she’s invested in more than 90 companies and been pitched by countless more. She is an instantly likeable person, you can literally tell in 10 seconds you are going to have a great conversation, so it’s no surprise that part of what makes her unique among angels is a very close relationship with many of the founders she backs.

We cover a lot of ground. We talk about the personality traits of entrepreneurs, Joanne’s evolving investment style, her focus on female founders, fashion, business models, restaurants and a lot more. Please my conversation with the Gotham Gal, Joanne Wilson.

 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

To get involved with Project Frontier, head to InvestorFieldGuide.com/frontier.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

2:12 - (First Question) – How does Joanne orient herself towards what’s new, in the context of food in New York city

4:10 – Can that mindset of forward thinking be cultivated

5:18 – Latest thing that got Joanne excited before everyone else

6:57 – Why the new frontier is going niche and local

10:23 – Joanne’s first investment

11:48 – Why do VC’s typically stay away from media

12:55 – How Joanne got into her first investment as a customer

14:11 – What is the skillset of making money that Joanne as

14:45 – Can you sense if a founder has that innate ability to just make money

17:04 – Are there common traits in founders

18:07 – Joanne’s progression into angel investing after her first investment

19:58 – Red flags when looking at investments

20:40 – Impression on growth without goals

23:30 – Trends among Joanne’s investments

25:56 – How much knowledge is transferrable between different industries that Joanne invests in

27:06 – The dichotomy and unique challenges between raising capital with female founders vs male founders

29:07 – How does Joanne balance her time and stay engaged with all of her investments

30:50 – Time when Joanne has helped a founder side step a pothole

31:35 – Most memorable first impression Joanne experienced

35:05 – How often does someone not have the right idea but is still worth investing in

37:19 – Why Joanne won’t start a fund

38:22 – Data on female founders returns and time

40:38 – Criteria for identifying emerging trends, especially in the more creative/artistic fields 

43:29 – The changing costs of launching a brand, in the contest of fashion

47:11 – What has Joanne most excited right now

      48:11 – Interesting facts about the fashion business 

52:01 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Joanne

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

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