We filter through dozens of episodes each week to identify the best investing podcasts. Below are our favorites.
Podcasts are reviewed by Validea co-founder Jack Forehand. If you want updates when we add new podcasts, follow us on twitter at @practicalquant.
Trillions - Zach Mider and Rachel Evans
Many investors know that tax efficiency is a major advantage of ETFs. But most investors don't understand the behind the scenes process that makes that possible. A recent Bloomberg article caused some controversy in the ETF industry by challenging that process and questioning whether it provides unfair benefits for large institutions. This podcast offers a balanced take on both sides of that issue. They discuss how the ETF creation and redemption process benefits individual investors, but also how the deferred tax revenue may benefit investors at the expense of other taxpayers. If you want to better understand how ETFs work and the tradeoffs that come with that, you will enjoy this podcast.
ETF Prime - Wes Gray
Investors love factor investing in theory, but they don't love it nearly as much in practice. The strong long-term returns that factors produce can be very alluring. Unfortunately, those returns typically come with multi-year periods of underperformance that can be too much for most investors to take. The end result of all of this is that many factor portfolios end up becoming watered down to try to avoid the extended bad periods and don't look all that different from the major market indexes they are trying to beat. This discussion with Wes Gray of Alpha architect tackles this topic. They cover what it takes to truly follow focused factor portfolios and why closet indexing has become so prevalent. If you want to understand what it takes to truly follow factors, you will learn a lot from this discussion.
Standard Deviations - Christine Benz
In investing, the things that work are typically the things that do the most to promote good behavior. Even if something doesn't change our investment approach, if it changes the way we view the approach, it can make us more likely to stick with it. Bucketing is a great example of this. If you mix your stocks, bonds and cash together all in one place, you are likely to look at them as one thing. But if you segment things into short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term buckets, it can better associate each with its specific purpose and make it easier to adhere to your investment strategy. In this interview with Christine Benz of Morningstar, they discuss this topic and the many intricacies of implementing it in a portfolio. They also talk about the behavioral reasons it works. If you find it hard to adhere to your retirement strategy or are prone to making changes that don't always work out the way you planned, the bucketing approach is one that is worth considering. This podcast will give you the details on how it works.
Invest Like the Best - Geoffrey Batt
To be honest, I didn't even know that Iraq had a stock market. But if you want to illustrate the concept that massive returns typically come with massive risk there probably is no better place to look. This episode looks at what transformational risk really means with Geoffrey Batt, who manages a fund that invests directly in Iraqi equities. When those of us who invest in US markets buy a high-flying tech stock or invest in a troubled company in hopes of a turnaround, we consider that risk. But when you invest in companies on a stock exchange that opens for a few hours a day, two days a week and where all the trading is done on paper, you get a different understanding of what the term means. This podcast talks about Geoffrey's journey from someone who was interesting in the Iraqi market to building a fund to actually invest in it. They discuss the many challenges he has faced along the way and the outlook for the Iraqi market going forward. If you think you understand risk, this podcast may make you rethink that definition.
i3 Institute Podcast - Rich Pzena
With value investing becoming more and more quantitative as time goes by, it is important for all of us to keep in mind that these types of systems aren't foolproof. Although they certainly have big benefits in terms of removing emotion from investing and enforcing discipline, there are still advantages to human analysis. This podcast was a good reminder of that. It features Rich Pzena, who has a very strong reputation within value investing circles and uses an approach that is the opposite of quantitative in many ways. They discuss the downsides of quantitative investing and how human intervention can enhance screens. They also talk about the importance of normalized earnings, how values can be found in the wake of Amazon's moves into certain industries, and why value and excess financial leverage are a dangerous mix. If you are a believer in quantitative value investing and want to combat your confirmation bias, you will find this podcast very informative.
Capital Allocators - Dan Ariely
It sometimes seems like every interesting investing factor that can be discovered already has been. Whether it be value or momentum or quality, there are more factors out there than I can count. So it is rare to listen to an interview that offers something truly new and unique. This interview met that criterion, though. It is with Dan Ariely who is a professor at Duke and an expert in Behavioral Economics. Dan's research has shown that you can build a portfolio that beats the market based solely on how companies treat their people. This interview talks about the factors he uses to measure that in detail as well as many other interesting topics, including his study of pain and how to develop employee compensation schemes that work. If you like outside the box thinking, you will really enjoy this episode.
Invest Like the Best - Michael Mauboussin
Repeat interviews can often offer little new information. But Michael Mauboussin's interviews on Invest Like the Best are certainly an exception to this rule. Every new interview seems to offer more useful information than the previous one. In this discussion, they talk about the major sources of alpha and the challenges of capitalizing on each of them in the real world. They also discuss why individual irrational actors don't make markets as a whole irrational, the implications of benign myths, and the limitations of valuation metrics. If you want to learn how to make better investing decisions, there is no one better to follow than Michael Mauboussin. This interview will show you why.
The Investing City Podcast - Dan Rasmussen
Investors love to chase the hot thing. But that rarely ends well. Two of the hottest things out there today are private equity and so-called "glamour stocks". Both have done well over the past decade. The evidence suggests that their outlook going forward may not be so bright. This interview with Dan Rasmussen of Verdad Capital explains why. Dan's research has shown that the returns of private equity can be replicated using a factor-based approach by investing in small, cheap stocks that responsibly use debt. In the interview, they talk about why private equity may be selling investors a false bill of goods. They also discuss factor investing in general and its strengths and weaknesses. It may be tempting to believe that private equity loses less in bear markets or that companies with high profit margins and ivy league educated CEOs are the best investments, but when you look at the evidence, none of that is true. This interview uses evidence to help dispel those and many other common myths.
The Acquirer's Podcast - Corey Hoffstein
There are so many decisions that need to be made in investing. Some of those decisions are pretty clear cut. But in many cases that is not the case. Detailed decisions like which value investing metric to follow or which trend following indicator to use can bog down many investors. In these cases, however, often the best decision is to not make a decision at all and to limit risk by using all the available options. That is just one of the many great insights in this interview with Corey Hoffstein of Newfound Research. Corey's focus on risk is unique in a world where everyone is chasing returns. But that focus also allows him to better understand all the aspects of risk than other people do. In addition to the many aspects of risk, they also discuss topics like combining value with trend, the mechanics of building a value strategy, and the difficulty of determining when a factor no longer works. We all could benefit from thinking a little less about return and a little more about risk. This podcast will help you do that.
Invest Like the Best - Annie Duke
If you had to come up with one skill that leads to successful outcomes in investing, it would likely be good decision making. But with all the information that is thrown at us these days and all the biases that work against us, the ability to tune out the noise and make good decisions is getting more difficult. Annie Duke doesn't come from the world of investing, but the principles of good decision making she teaches couldn't be more applicable. In this interview, they talk about a variety of methods we can use to make better decisions. They discuss the benefits of using rules to limit decisions, why making fewer mistakes is a better standard than perfection, and how you can look at being wrong as winning the game. If you can control your emotions and make good decisions in investing, you will greatly increase your chances of success. This podcast offers a framework to do that.
Masters in Business - Matthew Granade
Steve Cohen's hedge fund Point72 is a very secretive operation. It is rare to see someone from the firm do a public interview, much less an hour long in-depth podcast. This really interesting discussion with Matthew Garande, the Chief Market Intelligence Officer at Point72, offers many excellent insights into the firm, how it is run, and how they approach markets. Point72 has been a leader in the integration of big data and artificial intelligence and they discuss how each of those has impacted their investment process. They also discuss the dangers of overfitting models, the importance of blending people with machines, and why alpha is getting harder and harder to come by. If you are interested in learning how data and quantitative models have and will continue to change investing, you will really enjoy this discussion.
Standard Deviations - Corey Hoffstein
We all want to have it all. We want to achieve our investing goals, and we want the road to get there to be a smooth one. And that is also true of our factor investing strategies. We want them to beat the market, and we want to do it consistently. But that isn't reality. This podcast with Corey Hoffstein is one of the best factor investing podcasts I have heard because it does an excellent job of presenting the balance between return and risk. Or as Corey puts it, if you want the premium, you need to be willing to endure the pain. In addition to that, they also talk about the role of luck in investing, the pros and cons of the various methods of combining factors. and how to determine if a factor no longer works. If you want a master class in factor investing, this podcast will provide it.
MacroVoices - Barry Ritholtz
Barry Ritholtz doesn't do podcasts too often (other than his own), but it is always great when he does because he offers one of the most balanced and evidence-based views on the markets that you will find. In this interview, Barry makes the long-term case for equities and why he thinks we are in a secular bull market. He also offers his opinion on some of the risks to the market going forward including potential rising interest rates, China's rising debt, and the issues surrounding low quality debt. Although Barry's market commentary is spot on as usual, it isn't the best part of this interview. There is nothing like a good podcast rant, and Barry delivers one of the best I have seen in his destruction of Crony Capitalism and how it has unfairly turned many against capitalism in general. So come to this interview for the great perspective on the market, but stay for one of the best podcast rants you will ever hear. Both make this podcast an excellent listen.
The Knowledge Project - Howard Marks
At its core, investing is about decision making and the regulation of emotions. There is probably no one better at explaining those two concepts and how they intersect than Howard Marks. This is one of my favorite interviews with Marks because it doesn't just cover investing and instead extends to the application of his thought process to other areas of business and life. They talk about the importance of distinguishing good decisions from good outcomes, second level thinking, and the importance of being willing to look stupid. They also get into some topics that Marks hasn't discussed a lot such as the impact of tariffs, income inequality, and parenting. Marks has done a lot of podcasts, but this is one of the best. Even if you have listened to his other interviews, you will learn a lot from it.
Capital Allocators - Thomas Russo
Everyone admires the results that Berkshire Hathaway has produced over time. But very few have been lucky enough to have a front row seat to its inner workings. This podcast offers an excellent conversation with someone who has. Tom Russo has held Berkshire for a longer period than many investors have been in the market (38 years) and has had an inside view of its investment approach, and how the firm has achieved the exceptional results it has over time. In this interview, they discuss Berkshires's investment process and how Buffett's unique skill set has contributed to it. They also talk about how the process has evolved as Berkshire has built its team and given more and more responsibility to those who will run it after him. If you want to learn more about Berkshire and how it works, you will really enjoy this episode. It offers a detailed look at the firm that is unlike any other one I have seen.
Invest Like the Best - Michael Kitces
The business of providing financial advice is currently in a period of significant change. But that change is best understood when it is put into the context of the evolution of the business over the past several decades. This podcast does that with Michael Kitces, whose expertise in this area is unparalleled. They talk about how the industry got to where it is today and where it might be headed in the future. They cover how the future of financial advice may be more about advisers adding more value-added services rather than cutting fees, how new types of fee arrangements may attract clients who have not typically used advisers, and why Robo Advisors may not pose the threat to traditional advisors that many think they will. If you want to better to understand the future of financial advice, you need to first understand its past and present. This podcast will help you do that.
The Acquirer's Podcast - Chris Cole
We have lived in a world of low volatility for a long time now. Even 2018, which saw increased volatility, was fairly tame when looked at in a long-term context. We all have a tendency to expect the recent past to continue into the future, but that can often be a trap, so it is important to consider what might happen in a world where volatility returns. In the first episode of this excellent new podcast, Tobias Carlisle discusses exactly that with Chris Cole of Artemis Capital. They explain why most of the investments that exist can be looked at as either a long or short bet on volatility and look at Chris's strategy to generate crisis alpha should volatility return. They also have an excellent discussion about the rise of passive investing and how it may both increase volatility and make active investing more difficult, both of which are the opposite of what many investors expect. One of the most important things you can do in investing in challenge your own beliefs. This podcast offers an interesting contrarian take that will help you do that.
Valuewalk - Dan Rasmussen, Nick Schmitz, and Brian Chingono
One of the major challenges of quantitative investing is finding a way to blend academic theory with its practical application. This podcast offers one of the best in depth discussions I have heard on how to strike that balance. It features Dan Rasmussen, Brian Chingono and Nick Schmitz of Verdad Asset Management. They cover how to determine whether a factor that has worked historically will continue to work in the future, why expectations and realized results often deviate at extremes, and why investing tools work best when they embrace uncertainty. They also explain why forecasters should not be trusted and base rates offer a superior method for predicting future outcomes. If you like quant investing and you want to better understand why it works, you will learn a lot from this interview.
Odd Lots - Jamie Catherwood
We all tend to focus on the present and the recent past. In investing, this recency bias can lead us to weight recent events more heavily and lose the context that looking at a longer period would provide. But even the best people who can overcome that bias might look back something like 100 years for an analogue to current events. Jamie Catherwood is different in that respect. He is known as the Finance History Guy on Twitter and his articles take a look at market history going back much further than that. In this interview they look at how many of the things that occur in modern markets have actually been occurring for hundreds of years. And the poor decision making by human beings that goers along with them isn't new either. We all could benefit from knowing more about market history, but we often don't search very far back for those lessons. This podcast will help you understand that there is much more to market history than you think.
Invest Like the Best - Alex Danco
This is a difficult podcast to classify because they cover so much ground. But the best compliment I can give a podcast is when it makes me rethink my current beliefs. And this certainly fits that bill when it comes to the role of technology. They cover why the future of technology will focus on bringing things to people vs. bringing people to things, scarcity and abundance and the role technology plays in turning one into the other, and why technology is shifting rents from the demand to the supply side. They also take a fascinating look at bubbles and how they can do both good and bad. Technology has changed business in so many ways, but the affects can be very hard to grasp. This podcast provides a framework to see things more clearly.
Young Money - Brian Portnoy
Many of us in the investing business tend to focus on the wrong things. We want to talk to clients about asset allocation. We want to talk to them about the active vs. passive debate. Those things can certainly be important, but most investors really care about their hopes and dreams. They want to know that they are going to be ok. This is an excellent interview with Brian Portnoy, the author of "The Geometry of Wealth" where they get at the heart of that issue and discuss the true meaning of wealth. They cover many interesting topics, including whether money can buy happiness (in some cases it can) and the constant battle we all fight between having enough and wanting more. We can all benefit from thinking more about what money means to us and how it can be used to live our best life. This podcast will help you do that.
i3 Institute Podcast - Mike Cantara
ESG investing hasn't taken off like many thought it would. Part of the reason for that is that many investors feel that there is a tradeoff between following an ESG approach and investment returns, and they would rather pick the latter. But it doesn't have to be that way. This podcast does the best job of any I have heard of explaining how ESG can actually be a value add to an investment process. It features Mike Cantara of MFS. They talk about how ESG can be incorporated as part of an investment process as opposed to just being a method to exclude securities. They also use examples like Tesla to discuss the balance between ESG issues and security analysis. ESG works best when it becomes an integral part of an investment process and a potential source of Alpha. This podcast offers some great examples of how that can be done.
Bogleheads on Investing - Dan Egan
Technology offers as lot of promise when it comes to improving investor behavior. Its ability to track things such as when investors log into their accounts and what types of messages they respond best to has the potential to prevent bad decisions before they are made. This episode takes a look at this issue with Dan Egan, the Director of Behavioral Investing at Betterment. They talk about what Betterment has learned so far in their study of investor behavior and also cover some other interesting topics, like why removing goals from a list works better than adding them from scratch, and how to better align advisor compensation with their value added. Investor behavior is a challenging problem to fix, but technology offers some promising solutions. This podcast offers a glimpse into its potential.
The Meb Faber Show - Ralph Acampora
Technical analysis has changed a lot over the years. But in many ways, it has also stayed the same. There is perhaps no one who is better equipped to look at both sides of that coin than Ralph Acampora, who is one of the pioneers in the space. In this interview, they talk about how technical analysis has changed over the years, the best way to integrate technicals into a fundamental process, and Ralph's view on the current market including why the setup in emerging markets may be a positive one. If you want to learn about technical analysis from one of the best, you will enjoy this podcast.
The Investors Podcast - Jesse Felder
It is market outlook season again. The time of year when all the Wall Street pundits tell you what will happen in the next year and even give you price targets for where the market will end the year. The problem, of course, is that they will all inevitably be wrong. This market outlook episode is a great antidote to all of that. It features Jesse Felder of the Felder Report. Instead of making short-term predictions or offering year end price targets, they instead offer some excellent context to help understand where the stock market is and how that relates to history. They also discuss bonds, gold and the dollar and what might work in the low return environment we likely have ahead of us. If you want to cut through the noise of year end price targets and forecasts and focus on the facts, you will enjoy this interview.