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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 21, 2019

This week I’m hosting an investor retreat and so thought it fitting to release this conversation with Priya Parker on the art of gathering.

I’ve been interested in the topic of community and gathering for some time and along with the book The Art of Community, Priya’s book on the art of gathering is by far the best I’ve read. It is both conceptually interesting and extremely practical. In the book there is literally a table for how big a gathering space should be per person, sorted by the type of vibe you are after.

We had a time constraint but I could have talked to Priya for much longer. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did, and that it inspires you to do something new and different with friends, family, or colleagues.

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

1:23 - (First Question) – Overview on what she does as a conflict resolution facilitator

            1:38 – The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

4:45 – Lessons about structuring a gathering from her early very difficult work and the idea of sustained dialogue

7:43 – First event she facilitated

9:38 – Importance of a good opening for any gathering

12:30 – Identifying a good purpose for a gathering

15:06 – Why being specific on rules/code of conduct leads to more success

18:54 – Do rules help facilitate more creativity in groups

21:22 – Segregating a good from bad purpose

24:34 – Identity and good/bad gatherings

26:50 – Purpose and the guest list for a gathering

31:03 – Community building is line drawing

            32:27 – Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

34:29 – Importance of well crafted invitations

35:17 – Making the middle of gatherings interesting

39:21 – Exploring risk at gatherings

            41:28 – Patterns of Transformation

41:43 – The hero’s journey

46:54 – Making a meaningful transition out of these gatherings

52:39 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Priya

 

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 14, 2019

This week’s conversation is about artificial intelligence and interplanetary travel. Its about content creation, thinking from first principles, and death progress units. Its about brain machine interfaces and why it is crucial that you be a chef and not a cook. 

My guest is Tim Urban, along with his business partner Andrew Finn. Tim is the most entertaining writer I’ve come across in years, who explains complicated and interesting topics to his millions of dedicated readers on the website “Wait, But Why.” As an example, Tim’s last post on Elon Musk’s neurlink venture is 40,000 words long, roughly the length of a short book. It explains almost all of human progress and our potential future using drawings and cartoons. Its impossible to stop reading.

While this conversation is wildly entertaining, it is also chock full of metaphors and lessons that will be useful to anyone doing creative work or building a company. I hope this leaves you as energized as it left me. I called this episode Grand Theft Life because that is the name that Tim and Andrew give to their worldview, which I think will change the way you behave, too. Please enjoy my conversation with Tim Urban.

 

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/urban

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

 

Books Referenced

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

 

Links Referenced

The Cook and the Chef: Musk’s Secret Sauce

Wait But Why

Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future

Wait But Hi

YouTube Channel  Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

 

Show Notes

1:50 – (First question) –  Explaining his concept of planets 1, 2, 3 and 4 and understanding the human colossus

5:46 – Tim’s favorite idea of the human knowledge compounding

7:52 – Die Progress Units (DPU)

9:45 – Different stages of AI and the positives and negatives of each stage

14;04 – What happens when AI gains breadth and general intelligence

16:23 – The idea of a cook vs a chef and how Tim had the chance to interview Elon Musk

17:48 – Why you should reason from first principles instead of reasoning by analogies

25:19 – Why it’s possible to turn a cook into a chef

30:08 – Why being a chef is the safer route in a world with AI and what Tim has changed in himself as to why.

31:22 – Looking at the discovery process

            34:39 – Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies\

40:01 – Being the person who creates the metaphor vs being the people who simply using them

            43:41 – YouTube Channel  Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

44:54 – Most fun that Tim has had researching a topic

46:08 – Musk model for attaining your goals

53:43 – Why not caring what people think is one of the world’s best superpowers, grand theft life

56:50 – Neuralink – what is it and how did Tim come to research it

1:02:38 – Elon Musk’s concerns about AI

1:14:28 – What then if the Neuralink concept works out

1:18:02 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Tim

 

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 7, 2019

My guest this week is Stephanie Cohen, who is the chief strategy officer for Goldman Sachs and a member of their management committee. Prior to her current role, she spent the majority of her career in the investment banking and M&A divisions at Goldman. 

We discuss lessons learned from her career in M&A and the many initiatives she now leads at the firm. I really enjoyed her perspective on how a big, established firm like Goldman can balance innovation with improving existing businesses. 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

1:15 - (First Question) –  Motives on both sides for doing M&A

3:26 – Most difficult deal she worked on

4:50 – Biggest value add she brought from her seat on the Fiat deal

5:59 – Biggest changes since she started to today

8:31 – Smartest ways for companies who want to be acquired to be prepared

10:14 – Best M&A banker she’s seen

11:13 – What should businesses looking to make an acquisition be thinking about

15:16 – What does a strategy from her perspective mean

17:16 – Tension between innovation and change

19:46 – Difference between bottom-up and top-down components of strategy

22:15 – Exploration vs exploitation

26:28 – Submission process within accelerate

29:37 – Next step after you see a good idea

31:05 – Her take on FinTech and Industrials and their collision

35:15 – Lessons from elite early stage investors

37:21 – The origins of the LAUNCH program

40:06 – Important pieces beyond just the capital

42:42 – How they market to women starting business

44:56 – Lessons that she has learned about narrative and communications

47:07 – How she handles developing talent internally

49:28 – Managing her time

59:28 – Biggest concerns about OKR’s?

52:09 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Stephanie

53:07 – Kids in the area of competing

 

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 30, 2019

This week’s guest is Will Thorndike, an author and investor whose book The Outsiders is an all-time favorite of mine. Our conversation is in two parts. First, we dive deep into the lessons of his 8-year research project studying CEOs who were master capital allocators. These CEOs include Henry Singleton, John Malone, Tom Murphy, Katherine Graham, and Warren Buffett. We discuss how these CEOs tended to be contrarians on topics like dividends, buybacks, acquisitions, and the use of debt. As we go through each of the tools in the capital allocators toolkit, you’ll hear several useful lessons for running or evaluating a business.

In the second part, we cover Will’s career in private equity. Will founded and continues to run Housatonic Partners, investing in buyouts, recaps, and search funds. Will has been one of the most active search fund investors for decades, and given how much time I’ve spent in past episodes on the searchers or operators in the micro-cap, permanent equity space, it was great to get the perspective of an experienced LP. As always, we also take time to survey the dangers and opportunities in today’s private equity market.

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/thorndike

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 23, 2019

My guest this week is Josh Wolfe, co-founder and managing partner at Lux Capital. I had Josh on the podcast last year which was one of the most popular episodes in the shows history. This is a continuation of our ongoing conversation about investing in the frontiers of technology. My favorite thing about Josh and the way that he invests is the mosaic that he and his team at Lux are constantly building to understand the world and where new companies may fit in. We cover a crazy variety of topics from business model innovation, roles of a CEO, the military, the death of privacy, and arrows of human progress. Please enjoy round two with Josh Wolfe.

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

1:22 - (First Question) –Ability to tackle massive scale problems

4:05 – Key roles of leaders and his checklist for evaluating them

5:55 – Common traits among founders that make them incredible storytellers and leaders

10:22 – The concept of ill-liquidity

14:53 – Thoughts on the types of companies going public

16:41 – Most innovative business models

19:14 - Advice for LP’s

23:51 – Common devil

            24:01 – The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

25:09 – Big internal debates at his firm, starting with price discipline

28:45 – The value debate internally

33:34 – CRISPR from an investment standpoint

36:50 – Edge cases they are looking at

46:52 – How they target ideas in a single concept

            50:01 – The Coast of Utopia: Voyage, Shipwreck, Salvage

51:04 – New theses that they chase

56:31 – Recent adventure with special operations guys

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 16, 2019

My guest this week is Katherine Collins, who is the head of sustainable investing at Putnam Investments, a portfolio manager on two of Putnam’s sustainable investing funds, and the author of the book The Nature of Investing: Resilient Investment Strategies through Biomimicry.

Our conversation is on the ins and outs of ESG and impact investing, a young but increasingly common topic in the investing world. This is challenging ground for me as a quant, because the data available is so new and limited—so Katherine’s perspective was very helpful as we continue to learn. Given the importance of this topic, I’m also searching for more guests with both positive and negative views on the role of ESG in an investing framework, and welcome suggestions for future guests. Please enjoy my conversation with Katherine Collins.

 

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

1:29 - (First Question) –Mechanical vs human judgement processes

4:21 – ESG, and the non-utility portion of it.

7:11 – Data behind the objective function that is different from returns

12:34 – What are the most interesting data sets

16:04 – How does she determine what factors to target

19:31 – Why do we know that diversity of experience/opinion/background is good for a company

21:30 – The social vertical and how it plays into her investing system and better returns

            25:51 – Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality

27:00 – Environmental factors and the issues that jump to mind

29:48 – Importance of signing the UNPRI and is it just box checking

32:33 – Data for companies on the solution oriented companies

34:53 – Why doesn’t the market recognize the Alpha

36:17 – LP interest in ESG investing

38:25 – How other groups of investors approach ESG

40:03 – Best practices at business making an impact in ESG

44:01 – Unique or interesting tactics in environmental

46:33 – Who is the biggest opponent or position in opposition of ESG

47:37 – Most interesting edge

48:20 – Playbook for business managers thinking about social for the first time

49:59 – Measurements vs principles/values

51:21 – Advice to quants trying to use ESG in how they gather data

53:04 – Most memorable encounter with a company through the lens of ESG

53:53 – Where to learn more about ESG

54:50 – How much role regulation plays in the future of business sustainability

56:30 – Any more lessons from her research into natural systems

57:05 – Kindest thing anyone has done for her

 

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 9, 2019

My guest this week Geoffrey Batt and the topic of our conversation is how to earn transformational returns in very hard markets. In his case, that means Iraqi equities which we cover in detail. He now runs a large pool of capital in Iraqi stocks through his firm Euphrates, but the journey was arduous to say the least. This is one of my favorite boots on the ground contrarian investments stories thus far on the podcast. I hope you enjoy the story and the lessons that Geoff has to offer. 

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

1:15 - (First Question) – What does it take to earn transformational returns

4:43 – How he deals with LPs, especially given the volatility of the market he invests in

10:26 – Why LPs have to think about the other investors in a fund

1:17 – How Geoffrey got interested in the Iraqi market

16:15 – Factors he was considering when exploring Iraq

            16:53 – Harvey Sawikin Podcast Episode

19:20 – Visiting companies in Iraq

22:30 – Most memorable meeting with a company on his first trip

27:18 – Size and nature of Iraqi market when he first got interested

30:44 – A specific allocator in Iraq

34:37 – Does price reflect the work over there

37:51 - What does he perceive as his role in the changes to Iraq’s equity market

40:12 - How do Iraqi equities look today compared to when he started and is the opportunity still interesting

44:14 – How businesses perceive him now that the market has opened up more

47:28 – Scale of potential return and where it comes from

49:51 – Advice for younger aspiring investors exploring frontier markets

52:16 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Geoffrey

 

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 2, 2019

My guest this week is Brian Singerman, a partner at the venture capital firm Founders Fund. Founder’s Fund is widely considered one of the top VC firms and its partners are known to have diverse investment strategies.

Brian invests across industries and focuses on backing exceptional founders. You’ll hear right off the bat that he cares about moat, market, and strong execution. I love his point that the only way to become a good investor is to do a lot of investing. He describes himself an investor who uses his gut a lot, which took me a while to get used to in our conversation. But I have to say that at the end of this episode I felt refreshed and generally excited to keep putting in reps in my own way, both in the podcast and the quant research settings. I hope you 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

 

Show Notesd

1:28 - (First Question) – What Brian looks for when evaluating companies

2:38 – What a moat looks like in investing

3:11 – Most memorable initial moat

4:17 – How he evaluates a potential market

5:28 – Attributes they look for in founders

6:24 – Most significant technological changes and how they have impacted his investment strategy

8:57 – The sourcing of his deals

13:00 – Qualities he likes at various stages of deal sourcing

13:46 – How he evaluates the teams he may fund

15:17 – His take on the pricing landscape for deals

16:13 – How he allocates his time as a board member

17:16 – Thoughts on long term stock exchange

18:26 – How much research does he do on an industry in order to stay on top of his investments

20:10 – Outside information he follows

21:20 -  Other investors he’s learned a lot from

23:12 – What values does Peter Thiel instill in the partners

24:05 – Process of StemCentrics

26:03 – Other places holding his interest today

26:57 – His interest in e-sports

31:44 – Interactions with LP’s

32:51 – What they look for in recruiting new partners

34:32 – How geography impacts the opportunity for new ideas

36:24 – Opportunities in public companies and other investment types

37:57 – Aspects of overseeing a startup venture

39:26 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

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 26, 2019

My guest this week for the third time is Michael Mauboussin. If there is a major question about markets and investing, Michael has usually written one of the best pieces of research on that topic. Today’s conversation is a mix of several of his research pieces, but focuses on the sources of alpha.

The framing of the conversation is the brilliant question “who is on the other side” of a given trade. If you are buying, who is selling, and why? Knowing the answer to this question is one key to understanding where excess return comes from. As is usual with Michael, we also explore tons of other interesting ideas that will serve as food for thought. 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

 

Show Notes

1:23 - (First Question) – An outline of the syllabus for the course he teaches

4:02 – What are smart people missing when it comes to decision making

5:33 – Why Michael went down the path of defining major investing concepts

            7:41 – On the impossibility of informational inefficient markets

9:14 – Beware behavioral finance

12:03 – What are the behavioral errors that people can take advantage of in a trade

15:14 – Timing opportunities

            17:25 – Modest Proposal Podcast Episode

17:47 – Where the analytical edge comes from

21:16 – Is there an advantage to exhibit time arbitrage

23:53 – Technical arbitrage

29:34 – What impact do flows into ETFs play on the market

32:25 – Informational edge and how you source that edge

36:39 – Biggest changes that he has seen on the buy side

43:18 -  How would Michael apply this as a sports GM

48:35 – His views on stock buybacks

            51:02 – The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

52:55 – EBIT to EBITDA paper

            54:43 – What Does a PE Multiple Mean?

59:28 – The concept of benign myths

1:02:06 – What the future holds of Michael

            1:04:17 – The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition

 

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 19, 2019

My guest this week is with Annie Duke, and the topic of our discussion is how to improve decision making.

We break decisions down into their component parts: values, beliefs, decisions, randomness, and outcomes. After diving into each, we discuss how to make better decisions, how to work in group settings, and how to harness power of tribes and identity to improve our behavior.

Annie has thought about this as much as anyone, and her various tricks for getting us to think in probabilities and to stop evaluating decisions based on outcomes that have been tainted by randomness will be useful for anyone listening.

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

 

Show Notes

1:23 - (First Question) – Why people don’t take the best investing advice

2:11 – Investing tribes

            4:21 – Jay Van Bavel twitter

6:34 – Rule setting as a way of crafting an investment strategy

11:13 – How much control do we have in choosing our values  

15:52 – Anatomy of a decision

19:28 – Her concept of resulting

26:47 -  How beliefs impact your decision making

34:28 – Tact’s for making the best decision

42:40 – Ego and decision making

47:06 – People who are exceptional at changing their decision making

48:18 – How often do people who change their decision making, stick with the rules of the game

            50:07 – Finite and Infinite Games

50:28 – Psychology of making decision that involves other people

59:20 -  Never close doors on other people

1:01:57 – Best decision that Annie made

1:04:24 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Annie

 

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 12, 2019

My guest this week is unique and so requires a short story.

I met our guest Michael Mayer because of twitter. I followed and enjoyed one of several pseudonymous accounts that he maintains to experiment with ideas. His various accounts have wide followings.

I think many of the best accounts on twitter are anonymous or pseudonymous, and I’ve always made a point to get to know the ones I like best. As it turns out, Michael was also an entrepreneur. He’d been building a new company and was raising a small amount of outside capital.

I didn’t invest personally, in part because he raised it so quickly after I spoke with him. Ever since, I’ve gotten to know him better and followed his company, Bottomless, with interest. You know that I am always hyper transparent about any potential conflicts of interest, so it’s worth noting that while I am not an investor in this company, I expect to be at some point in the future.

The topic of our conversation is both his social media activity and his company. I am a coffee fanatic, and the problem he is solving is one I live. I order a weekly bag of coffee beans, but I often have too much coffee or run out. Bottomless solves this by shipping you a simple scale which you keep wherever you store your coffee, connect to your Wi-Fi, and set your bag of coffee on. It automatically orders new coffee for you at the right time. Thus the name: Bottomless. If you like the conversation, check out bottomless.com 

With this podcast, all I’m really trying to do is find, meet, and learn from interesting people. Michael certainly qualifies. I hope you enjoy this unique episode.

 

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

2:06 - (First Question) – Why he writes under a pseudonym online

2:58 – Positive impacts of writing this way

3:45 – His background

5:02 – Habits he improved upon

7:03 – Where did his exploration into technology and start-ups come from

            7:33 – Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

10:32 – Elements of business that interest him most

13:26 – Building social capital vs the current state of education

17:06 – What information does he like to consume

            18:17 – Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

            18:34 – Jerry Neumann blog Reaction Wheel | Podcast episode

            18:39 – Kevin Simler’s blog  Melting Asphalt| Podcast Episode

21:01 – Why the current education system is busted

22:54 – Formation of his business

24:04 – Importance of making things legible

25:54 – On demand delivery vs subscription business models

30:16 – Early day in developing the scale for his business

33:50 – What he learned about coffee roasters

35:29 – thoughts on supplier power

36:17 – The customer relationship

39:50 – Best objections to his business

41:58 – Biggest operational/emotional challenges

42:56 – Best moment

44:39 – Time at Y combinator

46:28 – His unique co-founder story

49:47 – Marketing strategies and acquisition costs

51:37 – The idea of a commercial loop

53:27 – Discarded ideas, such as spaced repetition social networks

57:38 – Having a long-term plan vs reformatting a business into success

1:00:35 – What works on twitter based on his experience

1:03:09 – Most controversial opinion

1:05:59 – Kindest thing anyone has done

 

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 5, 2019

Peter is a geopolitical strategist who combines expertise in demography, economics, energy, politics, technology, and security to assess an uncertain future. Before founding his own strategy firm, Peter helped develop the analytical models for Stratfor, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies.  

I came across Peter via his books the Accidental Superpower and the Absent Superpower. We discuss America’s changing place in the world and four additional countries poised to do well in the future. Spoiler alert: he believes the U.S. is particularly well positioned. 

While we don’t discuss equity markets per se, all of what we talk about will obviously impact companies across the world for the remainder of our careers. 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

1:32 - (First Question) – His model of the world

4:05 – What makes for a strategically advantaged country

5:35 – History of the Bretton Woods agreement and the order that it created

8:47 – The security apparatus that has made globalization of manufacturing possible

12:04 – The US’s pullback from being the naval police of global trade

            12:08 – The Absent Superpower: The Shale Revolution and a World Without America

14:57 – How energy has played into America’s disinterest abroad

21:52 – Moving towards global disorder

24:55 – Characterizing factors that will impact countries in any collapse

27:38 – How this manifest in physical conflict

32:44 – How the new world order will end the ease of innovation we are accustomed to today

34:13 – What gets the US to reengage before this new world order

38:08 – Demographics that make a country prepared for this, Japan as an example

40:57 – A look at China

43:59 – What the story is about Argentina

45:52 – How North America fares based on their geography and relationships

49:50 – The trader wars that are currently ongoing

52:17 – US political system

56:15 – Most important policy issues moving forward

58:27 – His view on American infrastructure

1:00:33 – Technologies that interest him the most

1:02:55 – What he is watching most closely in his research, starting with media

1:05:59 – What are and should be the countries of the future

1:06:55 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Peter

1:07:32 – Favorite places he’s been

 

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 26, 2019

My guest this week is Michael Kitces, who is one of our industries go-to experts on all things financial advise and financial planning.

We discuss the past, present, and future of financial advise, financial technology, and investing. If you are a financial advisor or use one, this conversation is full of great history and perspective. 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

 

Show Notes

1:08 - (First Question) – History of financial planning/advice model

5:26 – Fee changes in the 1970’s

10:01 – The start of the AUM model

10:44 – Value proposition for financial advisors beyond trading vs robo-advsiors

            11:49 – Why Robo-Advisors Will Be No Threat To Real Advisors

18:20 – Why are humans still dominating the space

23:58 – Future of advisor fees

32:50 – Viability of the human driven flat fee model

37:50 – The dominance of flat fee models

43:13 – What services are financial advisors offering to justify their fees

47:17 – Dimensions to divide potential customers

52:20 – Exciting updates on the investment side that will help differentiate managers

55:37 – Any investment function beyond the basics that is intriguing to him

58:45 – Most interesting problems to be solved on the investing and non-investing sides

1:04:52 – Advice for young advisors

1:09:24 – How does he invest his own money

1:11:31 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Michael

 

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 12, 2019

My guest this week is Alex Danco. Alex is a member of the Discover Team at Social Capital, has a background in biology, and has written about all things tech and business. While Alex is only 30, it seems like he has spent decades thinking about all the topics that we discuss, from changing business models, to railroads, to the shift from products to functions, and the rise and fall of asset bubbles. I hope you enjoy this wide ranging 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

1:15 - (First Question) – A look at his day job on the discover team

            2:20 – 40 problems doc

4:27 – How companies get on the list and the turnover

5:21 – Hardest problem they are looking at…housing

11:37 – The investment component that fixes housing

15:35 – Where we are in the technology cycle in the view of abundance vs scarcity

20:54 – Change in distribution and the business vs utility business idea.

28:40 – Bifurcation of small and larger businesses

32:48 – New forms of scarcity today

38:31 – The trend of massive company incumbency

41:07 – The utility of bubbles

49:08 – His favorite bubble

51:18 – Challenges and nuances of bubbles

            53:35 – Zero to One Notes on Start-Ups, or How to Build the Future

1:02:22 – Future for VC funding in Silicon Valley

1:04:07 – Advice for business builders

            1:08:23 – The Three True Outcomes

1:13:04 – His background in biology and innovation in that space that is coming

1:19:46 – Company examples that are of interest to him and that encapsulate his way of investing

1:24:56 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Alex

 

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 5, 2019

My guest this week is Keith Wasserman, co-founder of the real estate investment firm Gelt.

This was my first fully dedicated conversation on direct real estate investing, so we cover many different topics, including the pros and cons of different types of real estate, current valuations, risk vs. reward, tax protection, and the most interesting emergent areas.  

You can tell Keith is an entrepreneur at heart so I enjoyed his energy and all that he has learned. 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

 

Show Notes

1:15 - (First Question) – Their interest in apartments and mobile homes as investments

2:32 – The returns spectrum for different classes of real estate

4:03 – His early entrepreneurial ventures and the start of Gelt

7:45 – Don’t be afraid of negotiating

8:34 – Going through early deals in real estate

11:57 – How he determines when it’s time to sell a property

14:13 – How do they think about taxes in their investment offerings

16:57 – Depreciation strategies in real estate investing

18:27 – The evolution of the types of real estate properties they’ve invested in

21:41 – Most important factors when evaluating a building to invest in

23:50 – Barriers to entry

25:41 – Changes in his cost of capital

28:51 – Cost of debt and deciding how much to put into a building

30:33 – A look at the competition

34:51 – Effective marketing strategies

37:07 – How demographics impact their strategies

39:11 – The co-living space

40:34 – Cloud kitchens and how he would invest in these

46:11 – How autonomous vehicles will impact real estate

47:52 – Pros and cons of developing new properties vs buying existing ones

49:59 – Early stage investing interest

53:48 – Favorite business/entrepreneur story

55:10 – Advice for younger entrepreneurs

57:09 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Keith

 

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

Jan 29, 2019

My guest this week is Alex Mittal, co-founder of Funders Club. Following past guest Jeremiah Lowin, Alex is my second elementary school friend to appear on the podcast—a trend I hope continues.

Funders club is a unique venture firm, because it is build around a network of investors and entrepreneurs who submit deals for consideration and invest together. But as you’ll hear, Alex and his co-founder Boris aren’t just building an open platform for early stage investing: they also then take a very traditional venture approach, making investing decisions themselves when it comes to building a centralized portfolio.

Our conversation is about what Alex has learned investing in almost 300 early stage companies over the past 7 years.

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

 

Show Notes

1:30 - (First Question) – Inception of the Founder’s Club

            1:36 – Jeremiah Lowin Podcast Episode

3:59 – How the process of their platform works

5:40 – Role of the network in Founders Club setup and success

8:26 – What he has learned from all of the data he has access to

16:00 – Early stage investing and finding the sweet spot

22:17 – What makes a really intriguing bad idea

25:23 – Why he remains so excited about Ethereum

31:18 – More bad ideas

            31:55 – Apoorva Mehta on How I Built This Podcast

37:15 – Thoughts on retail and logistics and how they fit his Venn diagram of boring and crazy

43:13 – Chip and electronic design

45:47 – Companies that are not just increasing efficiencies but actually making foundational changes

            45:54 – Energy and Civilization: A History

52:34 – What does he look for in founders

            55:26 – Pivot or Fail

57:05 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Alex

 

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 22, 2019

My guest this week, Eugene Wei, has one of the most interesting backgrounds of anyone I’ve had on the podcast. He worked at Amazon early in its life, was the head of product at Hulu and Flipboard, and head of video and Oculus.

 

Our conversation is about the intersection of technology, media, culture. We discuss Eugene’s concept of invisible asymptotes: why growth slows down (for both companies and people) and how some can burst through. I’d list more of the topics, but we covered so much that you should just listen.

 

Finally, I’ll say that after spending a day with Eugene (including a wildly interesting dinner with Eugene, past podcast guest Sam Hinkie, and future podcast guest Kevin Kwok) that he is the type of uniquely interesting and kind person I am always searching for and one that I wish I could bet on somehow. If you know more people like this, reach out and suggest them for this podcast. Now, 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

1:38 - (First Question) – Idea of cuisine and empire

            1:52 – Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History

4:20 – Key takeaways from the Defiant Ones Documentary

8;25 – Being convinced to buy a sports coat

11:10 – The concept of invisible asymptote

17:43 – How the medium shapes the messaging and the impact of cameras everywhere on society

            17:48– Invisible asymptotes

            17:56 –  Selfies as a second language

22:57 – Proof of work in building a social network

32:51 – Magnification of inequalities in digital networks

            34:01 – The Lessons of History

36:47 – His thoughts on the media industry’s impact on society as a whole

39:42 – His time at Hulu

44:48 – Places where video could replace text

47:30 – The need for media for any business looking to grow

            49:35 – Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

53:08 – Personal asymptotes

57:19 -  Habit building and goal setting

1:00:29 – Travel recommendations

1:03:24 – Movie recommendations

1:08:16 – Product recommendations and what makes them indispensable

            1:10:44 – Creation: Life and How to Make It

1:13:23 – Thoughts on the art of conversation

            1:14:59 – The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive

1:18:30 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Eugene

 

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 15, 2019

My guest this week is Michael Duda, and the topic of our conversation is the role that brand plays in business and investing.  Michael has worked on and invested in a wide-range of brands including Birchbox, Casper, Harry's, Citibank, DirecTV, Google, TripAdvisor, Under Armour and vineyard vines. His background in advertising made this a unique and interesting conversation. 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

 

Show Notes

1:11 - (First Question) – Mission of Bullish

2:15 – Typical relationship they have with companies

3:01 – Defining brand

            4:35 – Ryan Caldbeck Podcast Episode

5:51 – A dive into how brands make people feel

7:54 – Does the emphasis on brand still matter to consumers and if so, where

10:01 – Process of building up a brand

14:53 – What has changed most in the planning of a brand strategy

18:35 – How does his thinking impact his investing strategy

21:48 – Where does he differ from the rest of the market

23:34 – Advice he would give to companies in general

26:18 – How advertising has changed in the current landscape

28:35 – The screening process for picking potential investments

35:16 – How they analyze valuation

37:31 – Unusual traits he likes in founders

40:12 – Categories most ripe for young companies to disrupt

44:03 – Most interesting marketing channel for direct to consumer businesses

46:45 – Marketing piece he is most proud of

49:23 – Companies that embody the best of what has been discussed

52:31 – His love for people in business

53:41 – Kindest thing done for Michael

 

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 8, 2019

Over the summer. I spent time with Abby Johnson, who is the chairman and CEO of Fidelity Investments and several other business leads at Fidelity to understand how a very large firm like theirs is navigating change in our industry. What follows is a condensed version of my various conversations with Abby and her team. We discuss the big buzzwords like blockchain and machine learning, but also thoughts on leadership, client centricity and measures of success.

I hope you enjoyed this exploration

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

1:16 - (First Question) – [Abby] A look at the early part of Abby’s career

2:45 – Analyzing the skill of capital allocators

3:27 – A look at the asset management world of today and what to focus on today

7:23 – A set of decision-making principles that guide Abby

12:55 – Their strategy around the digitization of the world

16:07 – Balance between robo-advisors and humans and the markers of a good relationship

18:24 – What is the future of the role of the human in these relationships

20:15 – Their interest in emerging technologies like Blockchain

24:50 – Will crypto be its own asset class in the future

25:58 – [TOM] State of the business and the most interesting points of change

28:14 – Who is winning the battle for the next generation of investors

29:24 – How much of the change in financial business is cyclical

30:17 – What are businesses doing right to bridge that generational gap

31:01 – What does the future of the asset management industry look like

32:13 – What technologies could impact the asset management business the most

33:44 – The difference between machine learning and AI in this format

35:26 – In what way will AI impact these processes and replace humans

36:41 – What has him most excited about the future

37:54 – Advice for people thinking about pursuing a career in financial services

39:20 – Markers of a business that would be attractive for the next generation to consider working for

40:33 – The importance of brand when thinking about their business and those they work with

41:57 – Ways of engendering trust from a branding prospective

43:20 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Tom

44:28 – [VIPIN] Building a team around AI

45:21 – Markers for a good data strategy

47:25 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Vipin

48:58 - [ABBY] – How Fidelity thinks about data as an investing initiative

50:24 – Differentiating attributes of good analysts and if they’ve changed

51:34 – Investor she has always enjoyed learning from

52:37 – Favorite Peter Lynch story

53:17 – Business lessons that people could take away from Abby

54:59 – The role of women in financial services and what can be done to improve the situation there

57:35 – Trends that Abby is most excited to explore

1:00:22 – Positives and negatives of being part of a family business

1:01:46 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Abby

 

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 18, 2018

My guest this week is Keith Rabois. Keith is currently an investment partner at Khosla Ventures, but has a storied and diverse background as an investor, entrepreneur, and executive. He has worked in senior positions at Paypal, LinkedIn, and Square; has led investments in companies like Stripe, YouTube, Palantir, and AirBnB; and started the company OpenDoor, which aims to transform the process of selling a home through technology.

One fun fact about Keith is that he may have the most impressive list of bosses I’ve ever seen, which we discuss during the episode.

We cover a lot, but one thing we kept returning to was business strategy. Keith’s frameworks for gaining and building strategic power helped me clarify my thinking on the topic, and his examples of contrarian thinking will hopefully make you question some commonly held beliefs.

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

1:35  (First Question) – A look at his investing philosophy

3:16  – Favorite examples of his own investment history

            4:40 – 7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy

5:07 – Understanding what is anomalous in a given investment

7:07 – How much a secret needs to be protected within a business

11:51 – Why accumulating advantage with data is of interest to Keith

15:12 – Digital health companies and ideas that he finds compelling

16:17 – Nuance around financial services that investors should be mindful of

17:56 – How do they evaluate managers ability to recruit talent

19:36 – How similar are the roles of entrepreneur, board member, investor, etc that Keith has had in his career

24:02 – Ways that Keith is a contrarian, including his feelings on “lean startup.”

27:04 – Is problem identification a specific skill set

28:29 – Objection with experimentation/iteration

30:02 – Bad ideas in venture

31:36 – What he likes about Apple

            31:51 – Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

32:26 - Interview questions for identifying great talent

35:41 – Elements of good design

37:14 – Impact of platforms on opening new opportunities

38:42 – His take on valuation in the early stage environment

40:33 – Advice he would give people early in their careers

43:58 – Do high growth companies get beat by established larger businesses

45:25 – Popular narratives that he thinks are just wrong

48:22 – His thoughts on how people should learn, balancing experience vs information gathering

50:00 – Other investors that are taking a unique approach to investing

51:57 – Reflecting on the entrepreneur as a client model of private equity

55:04 – Books that he recommends that is least known

            55:18 – The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It

56:30 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Keith

 

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 11, 2018

My guest today is Bryan Krug, who manages the Artisan Partners Credit Team and overseas more than $3B in high yield credit investments for the firm. This was my first conversation on high yield, so I took it as an opportunity to get an overview on the investment universe and home in on the tools used for analysis and security selection.

As an equity investor, I think one of the most fruitful areas of research is into ways that companies fail or go wrong, and credit investors focus almost entirely on this potential for impairment. My guess is that all equity investors will learn something useful from this conversation. 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

 

Show Notes

2:11 – Overview of the high yield debt markets

5:05 – Why should investors consider this investment class

7:11 – How analyzing a company’s debt is different from what equity analysts look for

8:42 – Primary factors when exploring a company’s ability to de-lever

9:43 – What is their alpha vs others in the space

12:02 – Deep dive into the quantitative factors for them to look into a deal

14:25 – Benchmarks he uses

16:08 – Portfolio construction

17:15 – Their preference for broadband providers over cable tv networks

20:01 – What piques his interest about spreads

21:50 – The ratings of debt

25:40 – A recent example of an opportunity and how the mispricing was identified

29:17 – Most valuable data sets in this world

31:51 – Favorite part of this process

32:26 – Most surprising new learning

33:01 Maintaining your advantage

34:49 – The biggest pools of error in this industry

48:00 – What industries interest Bryan

40:50 – Dedication to this market

41:45 – Evolution of his healthy skepticism

42:38 – Can things in the debt market help to project what will happen in the equity markets

44:56 – Current view of the world based on what is happening in the credit markets

45:51 – Categories of convenience that he cares about

49:15 – Anything that has him worried in high yield markets

50:38 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Bryan

 

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 4, 2018

My guest this week is Maureen Chiquet, the former longtime CEO of Chanel. Maureen also spent much of her career at the Gap, growing Old Navy from scratch, and serving as the president of Banana Republic.

The topic of discussion is her experience running large businesses and of finding one’s way in a career and as a leader of others.

I hope you enjoy this unique conversation and that it encourages you to, among other things, travel somewhere new and interesting in the coming year.

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

1:15 - (First Question) – The importance of being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes

            3:05 – Scott Norton Podcast Episode

4:36 – Most memorable sale from her early career

5:03 – The intersection of facts and emotions in sales

6:40 – Most important emotions in business

7:30 – The importance of identity as part of the selling/marketing of sales and products

9:10 – Difference in strategy for luxury brands vs others

            9:21 – The Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands

10:55 – Striking a balance between tradition and innovation

13:46 – Advice for new brand company related to rarity

14:59 – Importance of being organic with your brand purpose

            15:01 – Wild Company: The Untold Story of Banana Republic

16:26 – Maureen’s purpose over the years

18:44 – How to harness your purpose for your job

20:53 – Her process for writing and desire to do TV

24:01 – Her time with Micky Drexler

27:40 – As a leader, guiding people to succeed.

32:33 – Strategy for shifting culture at a company

37:54 – The importance of courageous conversations we should all be having

43:45 – Markers of courageous conversations

46:43 – How she thinks about introspection

50:12 – What draws here to certain locations

55:15 – Advice for younger people starting out their career

57:11 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Maureen

 

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 27, 2018

My guest this week is Hunter Walk, the co-founder of Homebrew, a unique venture capital firm. Hunter is a tool builder, having spent his career before venture at companies like Google and YouTube. The topic of our conversation is the intersection of creative expression, technology, human behavior, and problem solving. 

We discuss his time at the company behind the video game Second Life, building tools for creators at YouTube, and why a very hands-on style of early stage venture investing represents an interesting use of his skillset at this stage of his career. 

Please enjoy my conversation with Hunter Walk.

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

1:24 - (First Question) – Background on Second Life and what role Hunter had there

6:10 – The virtual currency system at use in Second Life

9:51 – Measuring how people behaved in this virtual world

12:21 – How closely is the Second Life world mimicking real life

15:13 – The market for platforms that lets people take on creative ventures

17:58 – Investments that interest Homebrew

20:21 – Lessons learned while working at YouTube

28:34 – The idea behind Homebrew

33:44 – How to best describe good problems to solve for

36:10 – The Shadow economy and investing in companies operating there

42:17 – Monetization of attention

47:22 – His interest in fintech companies

54:03 – Major trends of change he’s observed over his first three funds

1:04:13 – What is there take on the state of returns for VC’s

1:09:52 – What is the most common way that founders need help and what advice is more helpful

1:14:35 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Hunter

 

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 20, 2018

[REPLAY]

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy, which explores the platform business model (Uber, Airbnb, Github).  Alex is also the founder and CEO of Applico, a company that he started in his dorm room that is since grown into a huge enterprise that helps startups and Fortune 500 innovate with platforms.  Alex and I talk about history and future of businesses and different types of business models.  There’s a lot in here for investors, entrepreneurs, and historians.  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

Books Referenced

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

The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

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

 

Links Referenced

Failed Color App

Applico

 

Show Notes

2:39  – (first question) – Exploring the history of business models from linear to platform.

5:46 – A look at the share of overall business platform companies have taken over

            7:06 - Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy

7:48 – The potential for platform businesses over the next 20 years

9:18 – Detailing the difference between a linear and a platform business

12:08 – Exploring transaction costs and core transactions across different business models

19:49 – Is the platform business model good for investors and VC’s since so many can get crushed when there’s a sole victor, or is it just for the founders and entrepreneurs.

 24:35 – How the self-driving car is going to deliver more opportunity for consumer consumption

27:15 – Untapped supplies as the opportunity for new platforms and where we could see new openings

30:24 – How consolidated will things become across all platforms

33:16 – How do platform companies create a moat to keep others from replicating their business strategy

37:03 – Are there platform strategies that specifically don’t work

            37:40 - Failed Color App

38:45 – Why complex systems typically don’t scale up and you should think small and easy to get started

            38:47 – The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small

40:02 – How the origin of so many larger companies started out small and localized, and why it makes investors more comfortable

41:37 – How Alibaba had to tweak their business model to accommodate the Chinese market

44:07 – Why are the modern monopolies better for consumers

47:52 – Exploring platforms that are asset heavy

49:00 – What do you look for as a VC to determine

52:05 – Alex’s take on whether a platform based company like Uber should be more asset heavy

54:31 – Exploring some lesser known platform businesses that Alex finds interesting

56:18 – If there is a demand in the secondary markets for a product, why don’t the primary suppliers simply raise their prices

57:03 – What Alex’s portfolio of platform-based businesses would look like

58:48 – A couple of most influential books Alex has read

            59:12 – The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

            59:38 – Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future and other Peter Thiel books

59:53 – Looking at Applico, how it started and how it become so focused on the platform business model

1:03:56 - Most memorable day for Alex 

1:05:13 – Kindest person to Alex in his life

1:06:10 – What platform opportunities could exist in the financial 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

Nov 13, 2018

My guest this week is Cliff Asness, the managing and founding principal at AQR Capital Management. 20 years after its founding in 1998, AQR manages $226 Billion dollars across a number of quantitatively based investing strategies.

Cliff was an original quant researcher and he has long been one of the financial writers and thinkers that I look to for education and for inspiration.

I distinctly remember reading one paper in particular—value and momentum everywhere—somewhat early in my career and thinking: this is the kind of research I want to do forever.

You can always tell when talking to Cliff or hearing him speak that he just loves researching markets. There is a deep intellectual honesty in his work, and a respect for thinkers at different ends of the market spectrum, from Gene Fama and Ken French, to Jack Bogle, to Dick Thaler and Robert Shiller.

Our conversation is about all things quant—past, present, and future. Cliff touches on many of the big issues facing quant investing and tells some great strong along the way. I hope you enjoy our discussion. Let’s dive in.

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

1:47 - (First Question) – Favorite superhero

2:43 – Why ‘Ka nama kaa lajerama’ is part of his twitter profile.

3:38 – How portfolios have shifted the way they use factors in a portfolio

10:15 – What are good questions clients are asking right now

            13:24 – Contrarian Factor Timing Is Deceptively Difficult

15:40 – Does technology impact investing strategy

22:14 – When to share information vs keep it proprietary for clients sake

26:40 – How their research process is governed

31:14 – How they will incorporate machine learning into their process

34:21 – What they will do when red flags show up

37:01 – Wackiest question from a client

41:47 – The Three Sharpe Ratio Strategy

            41:53 – Liquid Alt Ragnarök

48:10 – Does his thinking change when it comes to asset allocation vs portfolio building

            50:17 – Parallels Between the Cross-Sectional Predictability of Stock and Country Returns

            53:01 – Sin a Little

57:14 – Trends in fees and pricing

1:02:43 – Thoughts on private equity markets

1:11:03 – Common attributes of really good researchers

1:13:21 – What is he most curious about right now

1:15:43 – What excites him outside of finance

1:17:00 – How much he discusses his work with his kids

            1:18:35 – The Devil in HML’s details

1:19:36 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

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