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December 10, 2019
My guest this week is Jeff Ma. Jeff was on the famous MIT Blackjack team from the book Bringing Down the House but has spent his career in an around fields of analytics and data science. He’s studied sports betting and analytics, built companies for analyzing human capital, and ran the data science and analytics group at Twitter. Here are links to his book, blog, and podcast. Our discussion is about a number of fascinating ways data is being used to make decisions in the worlds of sports and business. 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 1:20 - (First Question) – How quantitative analytics have evolved in sports and how they’re being used 4:26 – Best role of humans in the analysis process 8:38 – Sports that are most interesting to observe through analytics 10:26 – How does luck play into sports analysis 11:54 – Team analytics vs better analytics 12:38 – Concentration of success among sports betters and their moats 14:58 – Favorite lessons learned from professional gamblers 16:45 – How analytics got introduced into gambling 19:21 – Understanding one’s own biases 24:04 – How he became VP of analytics at Twitter 28:37 – Primary lessons from the work evaluating human capital and talent with analytics             28:59 – Niel Roberson Podcast Episode 31:40 – How to model people for success when hiring 33:29 – How to hire the right data scientists’ team 37:54 – Most interesting problems they tackled at twitter 42:31 – Responsibility of social platforms to police itself 45:34 – Areas that would interest him in the future as an investor 49:24 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jeff 51:50 – Values instilled in him by his parents.   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
December 3, 2019
My guest today is Vaughn Tan, who studies quality, innovation, and organizational behavior. His resume is bonkers. He’s a PhD from Harvard, Was an infantry signals logistician in the Republic of Singapore Army, then worked at Google on advertising, Earth, Maps, spaceflight, and Fusion Tables. He’s also been a wood sculptor. But the topic of our conversation is how to foster quality and innovation in ourselves and inside of companies—lessons he learned in part by studying inside some of the world’s best restaurants. If you enjoy this conversation, I recommend you also check out his new book, The Uncertainty Mindset Innovation Insights from the Frontiers of Food. Please enjoy my conversation with Vaughn Tan.   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 1:33 - (First Question) – Interesting ways to identify high quality 5:06 – The current problem with the way we think about the world 8:56 – How people think about their careers and college 11:21 – Uncertainty vs risk, and productive discomfort 19:08 – Cultivation of discomfort for an individual 24:05 – Successful innovation cultures 32:25 – Analyzing quality and restaurant bread 37:43 – The Slug idea 40:43 – His research project where he observed restaurants 45:44 – How do people mandate their own structure in the face of uncertainty 53:46 – How employees should approach this rent-to-buy hiring structure 57:17 – Example of someone who took advantage of uncertainty time 1:00:05 – Playful adults             1:00:07 – Jerry Neumann Podcast Episode 1:03:10 – Other changes companies can make to their culture to be more innovative 1:08:19 – The difference between simplicity and complexity 1:11:12 – How he applies his thinking into several different ideas, like Cannabis 1:16:17 – Asking the right question             1:19:05 – Andy Rachleff Podcast Episode 1:20:19 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Vaughn   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
November 26, 2019
My guest this week is Gavin Baker, the founder, and manager of Atreides Management. I met Gavin in the same way I meet many of the most interesting people, on twitter. His focus is on consumer and technology growth investing, which is the topic of our conversation. We discuss many of the largest trends in these sectors, several fascinating investment cases, and also explore the videogame industry in detail—which I found especially interesting. Please enjoy my conversation with Gavin Baker. 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) – His unique view on the markets 4:00 – Distilling Apple as a growth investment 6:44 – What is the most important lever for Apple looking forward 9:01 – His view on Intel 11:03 – Most important technological changes that may dictate his investing strategy 16:20 – How do you look at a big idea, like AR, and then apply to an individual business             18:21 – Fortnite isn't a game, it's a place             18:26– Fortnite Is the Future, but Probably Not for the Reasons You Think 18:56 – His insight into video games and their ability to control attention 28:36 – How do you invest in the gaming sector 40:06 – Favorite video games 32:07 – Why gaming and customer sector allows him to find Alpha richness 34:17 – Being in the top 1% of knowledge before investing in a company 36:24 – His view on value investing today and, in the future, 41:15 – Increase of regulatory capture  42:01 – Headwinds to the tech companies today 43:50 – Thoughts on the Chinese internet market and how it impacts US markets 45:36 – How often companies look at China for ideas 46:21 – Role of alternative data in his process 49:36 – Big trends today we should be paying attention to 54:20 – the most interesting company he does not own 58:48 – Advice for new investors 1:00:17 – Non-obvious tech resources - TechMeme 1:00:50 – Favorite sci-fi character 1:01:19 – 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   All opinions expressed by Patrick and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of O'shaughnessy asset management. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. Clients of O'shaughnessy asset management may maintain positions in the securities discussed in this podcast. Clients of the podcast guest’s firm may also maintain positions in the securities discussed in this podcast.
November 19, 2019
My guests this week are Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of Instagram. I met Kevin and Mike a few months ago over a shared interest in business and investing. I have found them both to be extremely good people who have a rare talent for finding and solving interesting problems. Indeed, problem-solving and jobs-to-be-done is a big part of our conversation. I realized walking into the podcast that Kevin and Mike have a rare set of experiences: having both built and sold an extremely successful product from scratch, but then also operated and scaled inside one of the largest businesses in the world. This means they have unique knowledge to offer just about anyone interested in business and products. We dig into all those lessons here. I am working on hosting more founders and CEOs on the podcast, and can’t think of a better pair to show you why I want to do so. Please enjoy my conversation with Kevin and Mike.  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) – Projects they’ve been working on since leaving Instagram 5:22 – How they can apply what they are learning in machine learning 7:18 – Most interesting experience diving back into data and machine learning 8:42 – How startups compare today to when they founded Instagram 13:23 – Judging founders and whether they know how to use their data effectively 14:26 – The jobs-to-be-done framework 19:14 – Laying out a vision vs solving problems that pop up 25:20 – Developing and sharing the principles of the company with the team 30:48 – Creating a community when it includes almost the entire world 39:03 – The most popular ways people used the platform 41:24 – What was the jobs-to-be-done rational behind the stories feature 44:15 – Interesting things that they saw as Instagram entered the developing world 46:40 – Their thoughts on how Instagram shaped culture and if they focused on those 52:58 – The new waves that they are observing right now 55:11 – How their thinking on leadership and teams changed during their time at Instagram and Facebook 1:03:23 – The pillars of a good business, including humility and confidence 1:06:06 – Focus on growth and distribution in a startup 1:10:01 – How early were they thinking about monetization on this free platform 1:13:43 – How do they think about how they invest their money and allocate resources 1:17:36 – Mentors for Kevin and Mike 1:20:30 – Their passion for learning to fly and the someday/maybe list 1:23:01 – Their interest in coffee 1:26:24 – Advice for everyone else 1:30:00 – Kindest thing anyone has done for them   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
November 12, 2019
My guest this week is Daniel Ek, the founder and CEO of Spotify. In my conversations with Daniel, I’ve found him to be one of the most interesting and thoughtful business leaders in the world. You’ll see what I mean as you listen to our conversation. We talk about Spotify plenty, but what I so enjoy about Daniel is his way of thinking in systems and frameworks. He is committed to evolution, innovation, and growth for both himself and for Spotify and is on my shortlist of CEOs to emulate. This was one of my favorite conversations on the podcast, I hope you enjoy it.   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 1:21 – (first question) – Management lessons from a Dubai chocolate maker 4:54 – Trends shaping the business landscape today: globalization, automation, and digitation 7:51 – How he thinks about the vertical integration of his business and scale 10:37 – Are companies doing a good job adjusting to the changes in the global business landscape 14:44 – How does Spotify view scale moving forward 17:59 – What trends has he seen among creators as a result of the Spotify platform 20:32 – The community benefit that has been created by the platform 23:47 – Intimacy of audio 25:31 – Creating an environment that continues to spur innovation 29:12 – Star vs constellation business strategy 32:21 – Measuring network health 35:12 – Spotify Originals and what his competition in the video market is doing 39:36 – How podcasts play into the growth strategy 43:04 – How did he solve the problem of competing with free 47:21 – Is their strategy repeatable, going after fractured suppliers 49:02 – Role of the CEO in a startup 51:22 – Others who have taught him great business lessons 53:18 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Daniel   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
November 5, 2019
My guest this week is George Rzepecki, the found and managing partner Raba, an Africa focused investment firm. George is making investments across Africa in early-stage companies. Africa represents a fascinating opportunity: a huge and diverse population and enormous room for per capita GDP growth. We cover all aspects of investing in the continent, including unique potential rewards and risks. 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 1:18 – (first question) – Interest in emerging markets and the tech landscape in Africa 4:57 – Similarities across all of the different metro markets across Africa 8:05 – Why has the continent lagged behind the rest of the world 10:49 – What is the history and landscape of capital in the African continent 13:32 – The market opportunity given the demographics 15:44 – US investment/involvement in Africa 18:06 – Kinds of companies that he likes to invest in 23:26 – Initiatives and investments that could help lift the population out of poverty: finance 29:33 – The public marketplace landscape in Africa 31:49 – Capacity on the private side 34:24 – How the valuation of deals compares to other markets 36:13 – Unique risks in the investments they are making 38:28 – Most exciting trends or changes he is seeing 40:22 – The professional investor environment 43:25 – How to learn more and get involved             43:49 – China Africa Research Initiative             44:17 – China Africa Project             44:38 – Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think   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
October 29, 2019
My guest today is Chad Cascarilla, the CEO and co-founder of Paxos, which describes itself as a financial technology company “mobilizing assets at the speed of the internet.“ Thanks to more than 20 years of investing and financial services experience, Chad has a unique perspective on integrating blockchain technology with traditional systems. He also has one of my favorite bitcoin origin stories, which we explore. Before Paxos, Charles co-founded institutional asset management complex Cedar Hill Capital Partners in 2005 and its blockchain-focused venture capital subsidiary, Liberty City Ventures (LCV). Our conversation is less about cryptocurrencies and more about the history, current state, and potential future states of our financial system. 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 1:32 - (First Question) – His work in the finance world before crypto’s 5:12 – Experience navigating the subprime mortgage trend and what it taught him about blockchain 9:59 – The levers that matter in the financial services industry today vs when he first started 14:07 – Open vs closed money in financial services 19:16 – How slowdowns are different in the modern era 23:06 – What would lead to a major winding down of global debt 27:09 – What would be his focus as a traditional investor 29:21 – How he first got involved with bitcoin             29:47 – Elliott Wave Newsletter 31:53 – His measured view of Bitcoin and living through the volatility of it             32:03 – Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System 35:57 – Allocation of a portfolio which includes crypto 36:54 – His involvement and feelings on gold 37:56 – The formation of Paxos and the problem it exists to solve 41:34 – How Paxos is impacting the space 44:12 – Advantages of a private blockchain 43:59 – What is Pax Gold and how does it work 48:53 – Bad ways and situations to own gold 52:12 – Using a stable coin 56:00 – Biggest problem they are working on now 57:23 – What should people be paying attention to in the crypto currency space             59:23 – Coindesk Research Archive 59:39 – Has the influx of interest in crypto helped in other spaces 1:02:11 – Other lessons people should learn from his career 1:04:53 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Chad   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
September 24, 2019
My guest this week is Bill Gurley, general partner at Benchmark Capital. Our conversation is about one specific issue that has popped up as a topic of interest in the investing community in recent months: the comparison between bringing a company public through a traditional IPO vs. what’s known as a direct listing. As a third party observer with no real dog in the hunt (as we don’t buy IPOs at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management), I thought this was a small and nuanced issue. I’ve therefore been surprised by the strength of opinions on both sides of this issue as I’ve explored it behind the scenes this past week. It feels almost like I’ve encountered a political third rail, where one side throws a lot of vitriol towards the other.  To be clear, this episode is very much in favor of direct listings instead of traditional IPOs. For those that want a good discussion of the IPO process and its upsides, check out episode 173 of the Exponent podcast with Ben Thompson.  Now please enjoy my very interesting conversation with Bill Gurley   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) – His view on the IPO process 5:42 – Will now be the turning point for IPO’s 6:40 – The engagement between a new company going public and their counterparty and the IPO process 13:38 – The math of capital costs 18:18 – Banks that underprice the IPO’s 20:45 – The psychology of IPO’s 23:14 – The pop in the IPO and the media 24:54 – The value that shareholders give vs VC’s 25:37 – The Green Shoots 28:17 – The lock-up 31:40 – Direct listings vs IPO’s             36:07 – Spotify’s CEO Reveals Why He’s Not Doing a Traditional IPO 38:23 – The capital raised in an IPO and diluting the company 40:18 – Privilege access and buy-side firms 43:33 – What will actually lead to changes in the IPO space 44:48 – Why he became so interested in the IPO space   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
September 17, 2019
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
September 11, 2019
My guest this week are Matt Smith and Ian singer of Deep Basin Capital, a hedge fund specializing in the energy sector. I first met Matt almost 10 years and, in that time, I’ve grown to respect him as much as any investor that I’ve ever met. Now having spent time with Ian, who specializes in oil and gas field exploration companies and the rest of the Deep Basin team, I have similar respect and admiration for all of them. Deep Basin does almost the exact opposite of what us quants do. In fact, their entire goal is to build a portfolio of mostly idiosyncratic or stock specific risk, the very thing us quants mostly remove from portfolios. Deep Basin positions the portfolio to make a series of carefully constructed bets, long and short, without taking market risk, style-factor risk, or even commodity risk. They use a hybrid fundamental and quantitative process which we explore in detail.  This is definitely another good example of who we are all up against in public markets. What makes this story unique is that we are investors in Deep Basin’s management company and so have a clear interest in their ongoing success. Listeners know that I want to be as transparent as possible on this podcast so we event spend a little time telling the story about how it all came together a few years ago. I have learned a ton about investing from my countless hours with this team and hope that this conversation gives you a glimpse into what is happening at the cutting edge of investing in the world of hedge funds. Please enjoy my conversation with Deep Basin 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 Expectations Investing: Reading Stock Prices for Better Returns   Show Notes 2:47 – (First Question) –  Looking at the universe of the energy space that they are focusing on 7:48 – Breaking down the important components and their labels in this space 10:27 – What makes energy companies distinct from the broader market. 12:52 – How the isolate unique value creation 14:58 – Ian’s take on the upstream part of the business where he has spent a lot of time 18:35 – How does Deep Basin use data and what edge do they derive from it. 21:31 – What insight are they looking for from updated well data 23:59 – How do they use combine the business value that they measure with the market price that is being forecasted             24:40 – Expectations Investing: Reading Stock Prices for Better Returns 29:34 – How do they build an actual portfolio 31:51 – Their systematic approach to energy investing 37:53 – What are their thoughts about using leverage when making investments in the energy space 40:53 – A look at the changes to the hedge fund industry over the entirety of their careers 45:46 – Defining the culture of Deep Basin 49:15 – The story of how OSAM and the O’Shaughnessy’s came to be investors in the Deep Basin 54:13 – Kindest thing anyone has done for each of them   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
August 27, 2019
My guest this week is Pat Dorsey, who was the longtime director of equity research at Morningstar, where he specialized in economic moats: sources of sustained competitive advantage that allow a few companies to deliver huge returns over time. Several years ago he left Morningstar to form his own asset management firm, Dorsey asset management, and build a portfolio of companies with wide moats like those he studied at Morningstar. And while moats are critical, equally important is how companies allocate the capital generated--or made possible--by the existence of the moat.   A special thank you to Brian Bares who introduced me to Pat, and to Will Thorndike--an earlier guest on the show. In the vast majority of conversations you hear on this show, I'm meeting the guest for the first time. I mention this to encourage you to connect me with anyone whose story or way of looking at the world might resonate. Always feel free to contact me with ideas.   Pat and I begin our discussion with the key differences between the sell side and the buy side, and then discuss all aspects of moats and capital allocation.    For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/dorsey 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 2:23 – (First question) – Transition from the sell side to the buy side and the biggest surprise  3:40 – What is a moat  5:16 – What part of the stock market universe has a moat  6:57 – Pat’s framework for identifying moat, starting with intangibles  8:32 – The power of brands  9:44 – what chance does an upstart have to come in and usurp a well-established brand    12:24 – Switching costs as part of the framework for identifying a moat  14:55 – The third component of identifying a moat, network effects, and what businesses should do to effectively build one  17:29 – Last component, cost advantages/economies of scale  19:29 – How do you analyze these four components into an investing framework that can be built into an actual strategy  21:13 – How does Pat think about this from a mis-pricing standpoint  23:37  – How does Pat incorporate current price of a company in consideration for future returns when pricing a moat  25:39 – How should a company with a moat operate to protect that characteristic, especially when it comes to their capital allocation  26:51 – Which characteristic of a moat does Pat find most intriguing  30:35 – What makes for good and smart capital allocation  35:58 – What is Pat’s process for identifying the best investment opportunities  38:38 – What are good economics when looking at a company  41:03 – If Pat could take any business, but have to swap leadership, what would he choose.  44:13 – Back to his process of finding investment opportunities  46:05 – Kindest thing anyone has ever done for Pat   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 Read more at https://investlikethebest.libsyn.com/pat-dorsey-buying-companies-with-economic-moats-invest-like-the-best-ep51#oBGdOp1br4EMtORd.99
August 20, 2019
My guest this week is Joe McLean, the founder of Intersect Capital, which provides financial advisory services to a variety of clients, including a number of NBA players and other professional athletes.  What I loved about this conversation was the weaving of sport, coaching, and finance into a cohesive whole. There’s so much to take from this discussion—from the importance of service and low self-orientation to the impact of strict standards for who you work with, to common mistakes we all tend to make with money. Please enjoy my conversation with Joe McLean.   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 1:18 - (First Question) – His backstory and the combination of athleticism and finance 2:43 – His time in Ireland 3:29 – Moving away from basketball and into finance 6:08 – What the Intersect business is today and his early lessons 7:55 – Most important coach/mentor 8:59 – Where the name Intersect came from 10:22 – Setting high standards early on 12:35 – Biggest mistakes he saw in his early clients 14:04 – Developing his value proposition to clients 14:24 – Michael Kitces Podcast Episode 16:57 – Process when he’s working with a client signing a new athletic contract 19:53 – The concept of a Pro’s Pro and Top 50 Reasons Professional Athletes Remain Wealthy 22:40 – Managing clients’ interest in creating businesses off their brand 24:20 – The role media plays in athletes’ long-term strategies 25:40 – Getting early clients into compliance with his strategy 28:24 – Daily maintenance role he plays with clients 32:24 – What has impressed him most from his young clients 33:36 – What makes for a great coach 34:50 – The meaning of “all in” to Joe 35:54 – His assessment of the financial services industry today 37:32 – Where his value in service came from 39:05 – Longer term vision for his business 40:33 – Unique ways he finds himself helping his clients 43:49 – Watching his client’s mentor the next generation 45:10 – Historical players and teams he personally admires 46:22 – Athletes and venture capital investing 47:38 – Who makes up his trust network 49:09 – What he’s most excited about for the future of the business 49:46 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Joe 50:24 – Biggest impact a coach had on his life   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
August 13, 2019
This week’s guest is, Zack Kanter, the founder and CEO of the Stedi.  Zack and I decided not to talk much about his business on this podcast and opted instead to explore more generally, so a bit of an introduction to what they do may be helpful here for some extra context. Stedi is a platform for exchanging and automating 300+ types of business-to-business transactions - transactions like purchase orders, invoices, etc. It’s a modern take on an archaic protocol called EDI - electronic data interchange, something I’d never even heard of until several months ago. Learning about EDI is a bit like finding out about the Matrix - every physical object you come across, from the food you ate for breakfast to the clothes you’re wearing and consumer electronics you use - anything with a barcode on it - was likely touched by EDI, often dozens of times before making it into your hands. Stedi is the first update to this messaging later in decades. Our conversation in this podcast is about business in general, starting with Zack’s fascination with Walmart and Amazon. I should also not that my family is a recent investor in Stedi, and I’m thankful to have learned a great deal from him over the past few months. 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 1:52 - (First Question) – Interest in Walmart and Amazon             4:02 – Sam Walton: Made In America 4:49 – What from their success can be applied elsewhere 11:07– The idea of tempo with a business 17:17 – Ability for a business to expand laterally 24:33 - Magic of Amazon as a constitution 26:24 – The concept of the OODA loop             26:40 – Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War 31:51 – Orientation within software businesses             32:24 – The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small 38:03 – Lessons in building software             38:37– Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business 41:51 – Setting a common vision for a company 44:14 – Changing the dynamic of teams and how different size teams can accomplish different things 48:00 – How leaders should think about build vs buy 51:07 – The different types of value propositions 53:07 – Utility for companies 57:31 – Concept of network health and the best question from VCs 1:04:04 – Massive projects are less frequent in a world where we can do a lot quickly             1:04:08 – Wait but Why 1:09:37 – Just in time vs just in case learning framework 1:11:55 – His favorite question 1:13:39 – Why is most commonly heard advice wrong 1:18:06 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Zack   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
August 6, 2019
My guest this week is Chris Bloomstran, the president and chief investment officer of Semper Augustus Investments Group. He became famous in investing circles a few years back for his incredibly detailed investigations of Berkshire Hathaway. While we do cover Berkshire towards the end of the conversation, we spend most of our time talking about what makes for a quality business. I loved some of his angles on the current landscape, including our discussion of companies like Richemont and Disney which are actively taking distribution back in house. 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 1:18 - (First Question) – Largest investing error 4:52 – Defining quality investor and their investment strategy 11:48 – Incremental return on capital and other themes that they focus on with investments 15:33 – Importance of unique business models 22:58 – Ownership of the customer relationship 28:06 – Bringing distribution back in house 29:55 – Doing something unique with owned distribution 32:40 – His thoughts on growth and value             32:42 – Chuck Akre podcast episode 37:12 – History of his interest in Berkshire Hathaway and he characterizes the business 53:29 – How is Berkshire protected into the future 59:17 – Most important trends in adjustments 1:08:00 – Which sectors or industries would he focus on 1:10:02 – Most intriguing business he’s unlikely to own 1:11:44 – 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
July 30, 2019
My guest this week is Brian Christian, the author of two of my favorite recent books: Algorithms to Live By and The Most Human Human. Our conversation covers the present and future of how humans interact with and use computers. Brian’s thoughts on the nature of intelligence and what it means to be human continue to make me think about what works, and life, will be like in the future. I hope you 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 1:11 - (First Question) – Summarizing his collection of interests that led to his three books 2:59 – Biggest questions in AI 3:43 – Defining AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) and its history             5:18 – Computing Machinery and Intelligence 7:54 – The idea of the most human human 9:59 – Tactics that have changed the most in learning to be the most human human 16:10 –Tests for measuring AGI and updates made to them 20:12 – Concerns for once we have AGI 26:06 – Self-awareness as a threshold for AGI 31:58 – Skeptics’ take on AGI 37:14 – Advice for people building careers and how AGI will impact work 38:16 – Explore/Exploit trade-off 44:57 – How to explore/exploit applies to business concepts 49:16 – Impacts of AGI on the economy 52:40 – Highlights from his second book 57:39 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Brian   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
July 23, 2019
My guest this week is Eric Sorensen, the CEO of Panagora asset management, which manages more than $46B for clients across a variety of strategies. Eric began his career serving in the Air Force as both a pilot and instructor in high-performance jet aircraft. He then accumulated 40 years of quantitative research and investment experience, with a Ph.D. along the way. Please enjoy our conversation on the changing landscape of quantitative investment strategies. 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) – His background in the Air Force             1:23 – Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War 3:18 – Training people on high-performance machines 4:47 – Traits that made for better pilots 5:51 – The evolution of quantitative equity research and its stages 7:56 – How his research led to becoming a practitioner 9:10 - The early feature sets in his research 10:44 – Tradeoffs in the spectrum of interpretability 12:08 – Early days of his practitioner career 13:24 – Risk Premia and the 5 C’s 14:28 – Quantitative Equity Portfolio Management: Modern Techniques and Applications 17:13 – Applying the 5 C’s to value investing 18:38 – Knowing when a strategy/signal is broken 21:24 – What does this strategy plan mean for his firm today 24:56 – Mixing expert systems and portfolio construction 30:07 – Natural language processing 32:00 – The cultivating the power and creativity to ask good questions 35:13 – The concept of a research graveyard 37:45 – State of risk premia today 40:04 – Active equity process 46:37 – Frontiers of research that he’s excited about 48:53 – Safe havens for non-quantitative investors 52:16– Advice for young quants 54:36 – Quants on the buy-side that he admires 55:41 – 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
July 16, 2019
Jane McGonigal, PhD is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games — or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems. She is the Author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and is the inventor and co-founder of SuperBetter, a game that has helped nearly a million players tackle real-life health challenges such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and traumatic brain injury. Our conversation is about how to design useful games, how games effect us and our kids, and what the future might hold. 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 1:22 - (First Question) – Her take on the history of gaming and studying the players themselves 3:44 – Where her passion for gaming really started 4:55 – Her take on flow states 7:47 – Kids and gaming 10:32 – Advice for parents when it comes to the role of games             11:06 – SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games 13:53 – Types of games that develop the right skills for kids 16:20 – Four things all games share in common             16:23 – Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World    20:50 – Her take on Carse’s theory about infinite gaming             21:04 – Finite and Infinite Games 26:28 – How to understand gaming culture if you’ve never played a game before 28:28 – Amazon and gaming 31:18 – How fun makes anything more enjoyable 34:55 – How game designers calibrate feedback loops 39:14 – The good and bad of gamifying life 45:01 – What is the superbetter app 52:43 - Why powerups and bad guys are so important in games 57:03 – Secret identity 59:04 – Playing with boundaries 1:00:36 – Most worried about in the gaming world, and most exited about 1:07:32 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jane   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
July 2, 2019
My guest this week is Bill Gurley, a general partner at Benchmark Capital and one my favorite investment thinkers. As you’ll hear, despite enormous success through his career, Bill is clearly still in love with business and investing. Where many might discuss past glories, I’ve been incredibly impressed with how both Bill and his partners emphasize the current portfolio and market landscape. I’m thankful to have had the chance to speak with him in this format. I hope you 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 1:13 - (First Question) – The idea of increasing returns             1:21 – Competiting Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-in By Historical Events             2:07 – Complex Systems Theory – Santa Fe Institute 4:35 – Markers that could be a sign of network effect in a company 6:27 – The opportunities for companies to capture network effect 8:46 – Are there certain teams/leaders that are more conducive to leading a network effect company 11:55 – Liquidity quality 13:35 – How important is the revenue model at the beginning 15:59 – Fascination with Nextdoor             17:56 – Paradox of Choice 18:39 – Finding opportunities 20:17 – Potential marketplaces and assets that could be commoditized             20:20 – All Markets Are Not Created Equal: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces 21:39 – Usage yield on the world’s assets 23:50 – Has technology changed the world of value investing 26:28 – Hyper niche marketplaces 27:52 – Challenges of labor marketplaces 30:12 – User generated content businesses 32:44 – People who are capable of building UGC businesses 33:16 – His interest in Discord 34:31 – Factors of a healthy marketplace 37:57 – Fools’ gold in marketplace businesses 39:04 – How influx of cash is impacting the marketplace business landscape             40:43 – All Revenue is Not Created Equal: The Keys to the 10X Revenue Club 43:20 – How does the influx of money into the space impact him 46:44 – Spending money to attack top brands 50:32 – Regulatory capture 53:36 – His thoughts on the IPO market 57:49 – How did he realize this was his passion 1:00:42 – Qualifying his passion 1:01:52 – Favorite thing about working with entrepreneurs 102:48 – Honing your craft 1:04:33 – Making yourself a good mentor 1:05:56 – 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  
June 25, 2019
This week I have a very special guest years in the making. Like another favorite episode, with anonymous guest Modest Proposal, this conversation is with one of the stars of the financial twitter universe who writes anonymously and goes by the pseudonym Jesse Livermore. I met Jesse 6 years ago after reading his unbelievably unique investing research, which tackled all the big and interesting issues in markets. He now also works with me as a research partner at OSAM, where’s he’s used our data to continue to his search for truth in markets. Despite being one of the brightest minds I’ve encountered he is also as humble and unassuming as they come. I’m at least a slightly better person because of trying to emulate how he conducts himself. I get to have many conversations with him that go from 0-100 fast, and I’m thrilled to be able to share one of those with you. 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 1:33 - (First Question) – Jesse’s origin story for investing 4:37 – Exploring his ways of problem solving starting with intuitive             7:53 – David Epstein Podcast Episode 11:46 – Looking at the analytical way of problem solving 15:42 – Statistical inference 24:45 – Should we opt for simplicity in the investment process 25:26 – Does his own investing include all three, intuition, analysis, and statistics 26:09 – The evolution of his research, process, and thinking on various investment factors. 31:38 – Thoughts on inflation and its impact on market valuation 40:05 – The Earnings Mirage 46:25 – Free Cash flow and valuations 50:51 – What should investors take away from this research 53:01 – Thoughts on trend as an interesting market signal 59:00 – The problems with trend 1:00:34 – Post on “The Single Greatest Predictor of Future Stock Market Returns” 1:11:15 – His work into understanding factors 1:15:36 – Looking at momentum 1:18:16 – His curiosity into the current market cycle 1:20:04 – Lessons learned from his time in the military, an effective way to create an environment where people can safely disagree with their co-workers 1:30:10 – The concept of progress in meaningful work 1:33:08 – 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
June 18, 2019
My guest today is Chuck Akre, a now widely famous investor who founded Akre Capital Management in 1989, which now manages approximately $10B dollars. We discuss his investing style and his “three-legged stool” for evaluating companies. Please enjoy this great 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 1:06 - (First Question) – Advantage of being in Middleburg, Virginia 2:11 – What a day looks like for Chuck 3:06 – Why imagination is more important than knowledge 3:38 – Difference between curiosity and imagination 4:38 – The origins of the Nirvana Three-Legged Stool concept 10:14 – First leg of the stool, Extraordinary business and ROE’s with a focus on Bandag. 14:36 – How his evaluations of value has changed over the last 10-15 years 16:10 – A look at recent businesses that he’s bought and why they are interesting 19:56 – Why they keep things simple 21:35 – Second leg of the stool, the people involved and characteristics of managers he has invested in 23:20 – Role of capital allocation in the people he focuses on 28:03 – Favorite biographies             28:22 – 100 to 1 in the Stock Market: A Distinguished Security Analyst Tells How to Make More of Your Investment Opportunities 29:34 – Third leg of the stool, reinvestment 21:09 – How does he think about diversifying across an investment area 33:32 – Great businesses wrapped in a bad balance sheet 37:35 – What would cause him to sell 38:52 – What does he look for in people 43:27 – How curiosity has impacted his interest in land conservation 43:51 – Advice for investors, especially younger ones 46:14 – 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
June 11, 2019
My guest this week is Jerry Neumann. Jerry is one of the most thoughtful early stage investors that I’ve encountered, and his writings at reactionwheel.net are my favorite on this topic. He applies an incredibly structured way of thinking to a notoriously mysterious investment category. This is our second conversation, in which we cover why investing with one’s gut is a bad idea and why some of the popular edges in startups, like network effects, may be picked over. 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 1:17 - (First Question) – His take on the venture landscape and the type of investments new VC’s are making vs what they should be making 3:44 – Most important implications of excess VC firms 5:32 – Misalignment of incentives in the VC space 8:19 – What he does differently from angel investors or VC’s 10:11 – The notion of risk and the types of risk the people he invests in takes 14:33 – Protections that he thinks about when it comes to the ideas he invests in 19:37 – Is there an area of expertise that provides an edge for startups 20:11 – Network effects are picked over 21:35 – IP protection 23:08 – One of the two most interesting things for VC’s to go after, brands 25:13 – The other most important thing, the value chain 27:42 – A current example of a disruptive value chain 29:14 – Innovation as the source of profit             29:16 – Schumpeter on Strategy 31:50 – Efficiency innovation vs value innovation             31:52 – Energy and Civilization: A History 35:50 – Efficiency investments he’s made 37:13 – Investment in Unsupervised and the machine learning landscape 41:25 – Investment in Sila 43:14 – Investment in Edmit 44:44 – investing on gut 50:32 – Black boxes and their value in investments 53:23 – Metrics about the predictive level of whether people are going to succeed 54:45 – What defines good people worth backing 57:50 – Advice for LP investors in this space and how they should evaluate VC’s in this space   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
June 4, 2019
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 28, 2019
My guest this week is David Epstein. David is a writer and researcher extraordinaire and the author of two great books. His second, Range, is out today and I highly recommend it. We discuss the pros and cons of both the generalist and specialist mindsets in detail and go down many interesting trails along the way. 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 1:12 - (First Question) – What he uncovered in “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance” that led him to his latest book             2:38 – Debate with Malcolm Gladwell (YouTube) 4:12 – What did the public pay most attention to and what did they gloss over 7:56 – How his views on nature vs nurture shifted during the process of writing The Sports Gene 10:05 – Blending practice with your nature 13:04 – His process of reading 10 journal articles a day as part of his research 19:06 – Exploring his new book “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World”, and his idea of Martian tennis 23:03 – Idea of the cult of the head start and how we set up our own feedback loops 28:58 – What does his research say about the nations education system 30:42 – The Flynn Effect chapter 33:54 – Hacks for learning 37:52 – The concept of struggle and harnessing the power of it 46:31 – Personality changes and how to drive those changes in a positive way 52:00 – Using the outside perspective in businesses for more productive outcomes and how it applied to Nintendo             52:59 – Josh Wolfe Podcast Episode 1:04:45 – Other examples of using withered technologies, 3M 1:09:00 – The arc of his work and how it has evolved 1:13:54 – Taking a different view on problems             1:17:52 – Ending Medical Reversal: Improving Outcomes, Saving Lives 1:18:04– Anyway to change these bad trends with new strategies   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 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
April 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
April 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
April 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
April 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
April 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
March 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
March 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
March 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
March 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
February 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
February 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
February 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
January 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
January 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
January 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
January 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
December 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
December 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
December 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
November 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
November 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
November 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.  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
November 6, 2018
[REPLAY] My guest this week is Peter Attia, M.D., whose mission is to understand and improve human lifespan and healthspan (or quality of life).  Reading Peter’s research, you find that there are many similarities between health and investing—ideas like compounding—which we explore in detail. We spend a lot of time on mind, body, spirit and performance as it relates to living a better life. Of particular interest is the strategic problem that we face when studying longevity. As Peter puts it in our conversation: we are the species of interest, but we can’t conduct the kinds of experiments on humans—randomized trials, with control groups—that we apply to solve other big problems. So we have to back our way into a better understanding of longevity and quality of life. To that end, we discuss what we can learn from studying centenarians, the problem of progress in science, a drug called Rapamycin (which Peter believes could be revolutionary), eating, the importance of muscle mass, and the idea of distressed tolerance.  We emerge with a framework for thinking about health and well-being which can hopefully help us all live longer, better lives. Please enjoy! For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/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 Posts From Peter Attia That You Should Read Do Calories Matter How You Move Defines How You Live 2016 Update Long List of Questions Answered: Part 1 and Part 2 Links Referenced The Scientific Method-Richard Feynman Knowing Versus Understanding-Feynman again Books Referenced Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco Diffusion of Innovations Good Calories, Bad Calories Show Notes 2:31  – (first question) – Getting Peter to define the concept of wealth and how it might have changed in his life 5:01 – How do you increase the number of really good people in your life. 6:50 – Looking at the relationship between healthspan and lifespan and a chart that Peter created on this specific topic. 11:11 – Drilling down into the different dimensions and aspects of this chart that could be most important for people, especially how compounding plays into our health. 16:57 – The difference between strategies and tactics that will help you extend lifespan 17:54 – The Scientific Method-Richard Feynman 21:41 – Different types of intermittent fasting 28:59 – What role does repair play in health 34:17 – Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco 36:01 – Looking back, what health trends today will look absurd 36:19 – Diffusion of Innovations 39:24 – What are the primary benefits of weight lifting 40:21 – The importance of glucose disposal 45:07 – Good Calories, Bad Calories 46:31 – What is the state of progress in the scientific community 52:14 – Peter is asked about how he guards against getting too attached to old beliefs 1:01:51 – A look at how performance relates to healthspan 1:03:34 –Peter’s first great auto-racing experience 1:09:17 – Looking into Peter’s medical practice and understanding his thinking that goes into helping people 1:18:11 – The most memorable day in Peter’s career 1:22:31 – The kindest thing anyone has done for Peter 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  
October 30, 2018
My guest this week is Ryan Caldbeck, a private equity investor who wants to bring quantitative rigor to the private markets. Ryan is the CEO of Circle Up, which uses a system it calls Helio to identify attractive investments in early stage consumer brands.  While I am of course a fan of quantitative investing, I also know from experience how much harder private markets are than public markets when it comes to the transactions themselves. We discuss this and many other potential roadblocks to bringing models to private markets. Using many individual companies as examples, Ryan explains some of the major predictive factors they’ve uncovered in their research. We also discuss which parts of the private markets might be infiltrated by quant processes first, and which may never be.  I expect many more to go on a journey similar to Ryan’s in the years to come. They serve as an interesting example for ambitious investors out there. 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 1:39 - (First Question) – Formation of Helio 6:57 – How they handle the relationship building needed to make investments in private markets 10:26 – Why consumer and retail are interesting spaces to apply their quantitative approach in private markets 12:54 – Searching for new relevant data 16:14 – How do they stay ahead of the commoditization of uniqueness             16:21 – Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning             17:24 – Sam Hinkie Podcast Episode 18:00 – Dominant predictive factors in this world 21:05 – Which is more important, relative value or rate of change 21:48 – What does the data say about online sales vs offline (being in a store) 23:30 – Variable that consumer investors think matters but it doesn’t 24:53 – Valuing companies and accounting for mispricing’s             25:36 – Michael Recce Podcast Episode 26:41 – Goes through the process using Liquid Ivy as an example 28:46 – Most interesting sub-categories 29:33 – Future for this model             32:10 – Albert Wenger Podcast Episode 35:19 – Other categories outside consumer and retail interest Ryan 36:28 – Biggest challenges for CircleUp as a business 38:46 – Handicapping their earnings expectations 41:36 – Take on the VC/PE landscape 43:03 – The types of models that are most interesting to the team 45:05 – Quantitative elements of brand that are most interesting 47:30 – Most unique brand and distribution strategy he’s come across 53:27 – Who has influenced Ryan the most 54:37 – His personal values 55:51 – More people who had an influence on Ryan             56:05 – The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business 57:07 – Thoughts on goal setting at the company 59:29 – Unchangeable factors that shape their long-term vision 1:02:01 – Most interesting individual conversation as part of this journey 1:04:02 – If he could only keep one dataset, what would he keep 1:05:09 – kindest thing anyone has done for Ryan   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
October 23, 2018
My guest this week aspires to be the Larry David of investing, and we discuss why. Howard Lindzon is hard to categorize. He’s primarily an early stage investor right now, but he’s participated in all types of investing. He describes himself as a trend follower and always has a unique take on popular topics.  In this conversation, we cover his investing history and his take on the fintech investing landscape. What I’ll remember most is the idea that we should focus on what is happening versus what we think will happen or might happen. There is a Peter Lynch like quality to some of Howard’s thinking, and a willingness to embrace the weird that I find very appealing. The few times I’ve met Howard, I’ve smiled or laughed most of the time, which is about as nice a thing as I could say about someone. He’s a good example of why I like this podcast format. His investing style bears literally no resemblance to my own, but it got me thinking about a lot of new things. I hope you enjoy our chat. 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 1:42 - (First Question) – Why he wants to be the Larry David of investing 2:00 – Why his investing style is best described as trend following 4:05 – The biggest inspirations/influencers on Howard’s investing 6:39 – What made his second mentor, Fred Wilson such a great investor 9:52 – Formation of Wall Strip 12:33 – Why weird is so important in his investment philosophy 14:56 – Understanding his investment philosophy through his investment in Rally Road. 21:02 – His assessment of the fintech space 28:54 – Why fintech pushes away from human nature 30:50 – Major trends in fintech that have his attention 35:02 – What stands out about the teams at these companies he invests in 36:37 – Thoughts on fractionalization plays             36:44 – Capital Allocators podcast episode             36:54 – Venture Stories Podcast 40:03 – Any major trends that are changing and worth attention             42:06 – The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference 43:26 – His take on the media landscape 45:10 – 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
October 16, 2018
My guests this week are Ali Hamed, Brian Harwitt and Marc Porzecanski who work together at CoVenture Credit. When I first had Ali on as a podcast guest, we discussed the many aspects of what his firm does, ranging from venture, to crypto, to credit. We glossed over the lending side of the business, but having since learned a lot from them on the topic, I was excited to get the chance to talk with members of their credit team for today’s longer exploration of esoteric high yield lending. I am always proselytizing the value of investor education, s this week we have a podcast first. The CoVenture team has prepared a long series of posts that correspond to our conversation and go even deeper into the topic of credit investing. You can find them in the shownotes at investorfieldguide.com/credit This is entirely differently from any conversation I’ve shared before, so I hope you learn as much as I did. Please enjoy my discussion with team CoVenture Credit. 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 1:42 - (First Question) – The formation of their unique credit business 7:09 – Their advantage in seeing both the equity and credit side of their investments 10:23 – Looking at the Returnly deal as an example 14:07 – How they view these deals and are able to sustain them as long-term investments 18:09 – Their interest in payroll deduction lending 20:08 – Finding unique types of default risk 21:31 – What stands out in a platform that makes CoVenture want to take a deeper look 26:43 – Most interesting types of problem they have come across that they have yet to do a deal in 31:35 – What is going to change to make for more thoughtful underwriting of subprime lending 35:51 – Major structures of asset backed lending 39:49 – Whether the home serves as an interesting playground for credit opportunities and whether people will own anything again 42:44 – Mark’s experience working at a huge firm vs his experience at CoVenture 44:31 – How does the current credit cycle impact their view 47:04 – Lending against bitcoin 50:06 – Who is interested in these loans against bitcoin 50:57 – How to set interest rates against a weird asset like this 53:00 – What are the key determents of success in this business 1:02:27 – Kindest thing anyone has team for the team 1:03:52 – How to treat people that you pass on   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
October 9, 2018
My guest this week is Saifedean Ammous, author of the book the Bitcoin Standard. This was one of the more interesting conversations I’ve had in the world of cryptocurrency, primarily because we don’t talk about Bitcoin or Crypto until 25 minutes into the talk. Instead, we focus on history, economics, sound money, low time preference, and gold—all interesting topics. Saif’s thinking on cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin—which is that they are worthless—is unique and thought provoking. His reasoning around why gold shouldn’t be compared to the returns generated by assets like equities was also compelling. If you’ve followed my Hash Power episodes, this is a new a differentiated interpretation of Bitcoin as a technology for the store of value use case. Please 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   Show Notes 2:10 - (First Question) – Explain Sound Money 4:25 – Examples of hard vs easy money 7:36 – the even money trap 9:36 – The benefits of hard money vs today’s standards 14:05 – Why this interests him             14:16 – Gold Wars: The Battle Against Sound Money As Seen From A Swiss Perspective             14:56 – Democracy – The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order 16:17 – Correlation between time preference and people’s ability to succeed in life 19:59 – How money markets worked in the late 18th century vs today 27:57 – How he came across Bitcoin and how he thinks of it as a digital gold 35:42 – How will the world transition to a sound money standard 42:15 – The impacts of hyperinflation on crypto currencies 45:04 – The idea of a orderly upgrade of the world currency 48:20 – His thinking on alternative coins 54:05 – What it takes to compete with bitcoin 1:01:43 – How he diversifies 1:04:35 – Stalling bitcoins demand 1:06:11 – Does he apply his thinking of lower time preference elsewhere in his life 1:07:09 – 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
September 28, 2018
“This is an unusual early episode release thanks to the timing of the recent news on Tesla. In this short episode, Danny and I discuss cannabis stocks, Tesla, and his “wild bill” story about quant investing.” 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
September 25, 2018
My guest this week is one of my best and oldest friends, Jeremiah Lowin. Jeremiah has had a fascinating career, starting with advanced work in statistics before moving into the risk management field in the hedge fund world. Through his career he has studied data, risk, statistics, and machine learning—the last of which is the topic of our conversation today.  He has now left the world of finance to found a company called Prefect, which is a framework for building data infrastructure. Prefect was inspired by observing frictions between data scientists and data engineers, and solves these problems with a functional API for defining and executing data workflows. These problems, while wonky, are ones I can relate to working in quantitative investing—and others that suffer from them out there will be nodding their heads. In full and fair disclosure, both me and my family are investors in Jeremiah’s business. You won’t have to worry about that potential conflict of interest in today’s conversation, though, because our focus is on the deployment of machine learning technologies in the realm of investing. What I love about talking to Jeremiah is that he is an optimist and a skeptic. He loves working with new statistical learning technologies, but often thinks they are overhyped or entirely unsuited to the tasks they are being used for. We get into some deep detail on how tests are set up, the importance of data, and how the minimization of error is a guiding light in machine learning and perhaps all of human learning, too. 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 2:06 - (First Question) – What do people need to think about when considering using machine learning tools 3:19 – Types of problems that AI is perfect for 6:09 – Walking through an actual test and understanding the terminology 11:52 – Data in training: training set, test set, validation set 13:55 – The difference between machine learning and classical academic finance modelling 16:09 – What will the future of investing look like using these technologies 19:53 – The concept of stationarity 21:31 – Why you shouldn’t take for granted label formation in tests 24:12 – Ability for a model to shrug 26:13 – Hyper parameter tuning 28:16 – Categories of types of models 30:49 – Idea of a nearest neighbor or K-Means Algorithm 34:48 – Trees as the ultimate utility player in this landscape 38:00 – Features and data sets as the driver of edge in Machine Learning 40:12 – Key considerations when working through time series 42:05 – Pitfalls he has seen when folks try to build predictive market investing models 44:36 – Getting started 46:29 – Looking back at his career, what are some of the frontier vs settled applications of machine learning he has implemented 49:49 – Does intereptability matter in all of this 52:31 – How gradient decent fits into this whole picture     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
September 18, 2018
(0:49) This week, to mark the two-year anniversary of the podcast, I offer a quick summary looking back and forward. (0:55) Yesterday I heard about an Appalachian Trail thru hiker named Croatoan, or Crow for short. Crow was his trail name, which all A.T. thru hikers carry. Importantly, you can’t give yourself a trail name. Someone else has to name you along the way. Crow’s girlfriend was named Porridge. Another hiker he encountered along the way was named Bear Wrestler…more on him in a few minutes. Crow was a Sobo, a south bound hiker heading from Maine to Georgia. This is a far more unique route, as most thru hikers are Nobos, hiking north. These hikers maintain a rich culture. Each wears their own trail flare, and has their own trail style. They are obsessed with their gear and food. They develop their own improved walking method to cover ground efficiently. Hikers typically won’t veer far off course, no more than a tenth of a mile, for almost any reason. Crow once left a meaningful gift he had received by a river bed, realized it two tenths of a mile later, and just kept moving. Two exception to this rule are to visit a brewery or find some homemade ice cream. (1:50) There are different types of thru hikers. White blazers are hikers who follow the main trail, lit by the famous white blazes marking the way. Blue blazers often go a step further, exploring side trails in addition to the main trail. Green blazers smoke weed the whole time. There are other colorful ones I’ll stay away from here as they aren’t safe for work. Apparently you can spot an imposter in a number of ways. My favorite was that anyone wearing big, sturdy hiking books should be questioned, because most thru hikers realize quickly that they are way too heavy and opt instead for lightweight shoes. Crow had a nice pair of Altras. (2:22) This brings us back to Bear Wrestler. Around a campfire, Bear Wrestler was telling Crow and his girlfriend all about his long trail adventures and feats, but Crow noticed that Bear Wrestler was still chubby, carrying 40 pounds of fat. This is a second way to spot a potential imposter. When hiking intensely for months on end, it is impossible to keep any weight on, so Bear Wrestler was clearly a yellow blazer, a type of hiker who drives between trail heads instead of hiking the entire way like the purists. As I heard about Crow and his adventure, I was thinking about what to say in this short episode about what I’ve learned across two years running this podcast. What I quickly realized is how many yellow blazers there are in the world, and that at many times in my life, I too have been a yellow blazer—opting for easier but less authentic, and less interesting, routes. The podcast is part of a portfolio of things that I’ve put in place in my life to try to avoid being a yellow blazer. To instead push myself to be more like a blue blazer, exploring anywhere I can. (3:16) Looking back on the incredible guests I’ve had, I realize now the common mindset that unites them, and I’d like to highlight that mindset here. Even though my guests have come from just about every conceivable background, investing and otherwise, they are all in persistent and consistent pursuit of original experience. Now, that might sound obvious, but its rare to meet people whose default is to chase original experience. These people stand out quickly now to me, because I can recognize freshness in them, patterns I haven’t already seen 10 other times elsewhere. I now think often: am I doing this because its conventional, and/or because I’m watching what other people do? I think if you do the same exercise, you’ll be alarmed by how often the answer is “yes.” Diving a bit deeper into these people and what unites so many of my past guests, there are four elements that I see over and over again. (4:01) The first is common trait is deep curiosity. My take on curiosity after meeting all these people is that it works best in two ways: through building units of exploration, and through embracing strange intersections. When people ask me what I do, I’ll sometimes just list the actual things I do, instead of a job title. So I say, I read books, papers, and articles. I run tests on data, using many of the same scripts and tools. I have tons of individual conversations with people in nooks and crannies of the investing world. I talk to clients and prospects. I write letters and white papers. These are my units of exploration, and I expect that I’ll keep repeating each of them forever. I have no clue where that might lead, but I’m confident that through curiosity fueled repetition, I’ll find good things. My close friend and most frequent podcast guest Brent Beshore has looked through 12,000 business deals. Talk about repetitions. I think curiosity, and the interesting investing opportunities it creates, is just a set of habits. Finding the right habits, the right units, is a great start. I also often see what I call strange intersections. Picture a Venn diagram with tiny, but interesting, overlap. Some of the most intriguing things I’ve learned about live in these strange intersections. Ali Hamed and Savneet Singh, who are partners at a firm called CoVenture, have found interesting overlap between the worlds of lending, technology, and old world business. Whether it be shoe returns online or watermelons, they’ve found unique ways to lend at high rates on unique platforms enabled by technology. I often see people using seemingly unrelated interested, ideas, or strategies together to produce something different. I encourage everyone to think about strange ways of combining their areas of expertise and interest. (5:40) The second common trait is persistence through randomness. Sometimes when I talk with people about the importance of curiosity, they say it sounds too easy and fun. The good news for the skeptics is that more often than not, its not fun, it is a total slog. When I looked back recently, I found that I only finish about 1 in 7 books that I start. Even most that I finish aren’t great. Put differently, I read an incredible amount of mediocre books to find just one book that makes a difference. This happens everywhere. The vast majority of data and ideas that we investigate at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management go nowhere at all. I think most people will agree that the journey of discovery is often tedious, filled with dead ends, and above all random. My favorite example of this persistence through randomness was my conversation with Josh Wolfe, which I recommend in its entirety. One of my favorite phrases picked up in the past two years is the Shangaan phrase Hi Ta Xi Uma, which I learned from Reinius Mflongo, one of the top trackers in Africa. It means “we will find it,” and Reinius will keep muttering it when he loses a track and struggles to find the next one. Everything is hard, and usually much harder than we can fathom. All the best people I’ve met through the podcast just don’t let that stop them. They also seem to develop an awareness of this constant difficulty and just become used to it. (6:55) This second trait, persistence through randomness, is perhaps my favorite way to test for yellow blazers. There are many people in the world of business and investing who can talk extremely well. But if you keep peeling back the onion, asking more and more specific questions of a yellow blazer, you’ll find nothing original. But when you do hit on something, several layers down, that you’ve never heard before, that to me is a mark of persistent inquiry. That’s the kind of people I’m after. (7:21) The third common trait is risk management. It is tempting to view uncertainty as a sort of risk, but I think that is a large mistake. All the good stuff is found in places that haven’t been mapped already. In fact, to take the idea of original experience a step further, what is common across the best people I’ve met is not just having the experiences, but then bringing some sort of order to the chaos they found in uncertainty. This isn’t risk, in my opinion. If anything, not seeking out chaos is what’s risky. But then there are the conceivable risks: things that could go wrong that we can list ahead of time. On this front, guests were often very thoughtful: developing plans to be deployed when specific risk scenarios play out. I loved Mike Zapata’s story about the darkest night. He and his SEAL team would prepare and practice every tiny detail of a mission, creating plans for all risks, then wait to attack on the darkest night they could, because even though the conditions were hardest in the dark, their preparation and risk mitigation would shine in that difficult environment. More specific to investing, many of my guests have a clear focus on downside risk protection. Several people have told me that there are common ways that things go wrong, but many more unknowable reasons things go right. So instead of trying to predict what will work, focus on avoiding the common pitfalls. My favorite example again came in Africa, being told 100 times to not run when lions charged us. It is a common and known risk factor (each of our guides had been charged more than 50 times), but one that was easily mitigated. If you don’t run, the lion will stop short and maul and eat you. You just have to have that lesson beat into your brain a hundred times ahead of time because the basic instinct, as is so often the case with investing, is to run. (8:57) For the fourth common trait, we return to our thru hiker Crow one last time. I heard Crow’s story from my friend Bill, who picked up Crow hitchhiking to give him a quick ride into town. Bill offered to buy Crow dinner. He accepted with a huge smile, telling Bill “wow, that is some real trail magic right there.” Trail magic is my favorite piece of lingo in the thru hiking culture. Hikers tell endless stories about trail magic, which is what they call the acts of kindness and goodwill bestowed upon them by strangers along their journey. Food, shelter, a quick lift, a homemade cookie. Consider how incredibly positive sum trail magic is. The givers and the receivers of the magic both come out ahead. Despite all I’ve learned about business and investing over these two years, my favorite question to ask is still my final one in each episode, about acts of kindness. Getting to hear more than 100 stories of kindness from these people has been the highlight for me, and the best lesson. (9:49) Summed up, what I’ve learned from these people is to follow your own way, always. Figure out the right units of exploration, embrace strange intersections, and carefully consider what could go wrong. Rest when you need it, be dogged and aggressive when the situation calls for it, but just keep going. Do it all with respect for others and as much trail magic as you can muster. Thanks to all the great people I’ve had on the show, and thanks to you for listening for these two years, I promise to keep this discovery process going in some way, shape, or form forever. 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
September 11, 2018
My guest this week is Kathryn Minshew, the co-founder and CEO of the Muse, and the co-author of The New Rules for Work: the Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career. I’ve learned in business is that the quality of people and the culture they create dictate outcomes. Having made plenty of mistakes hiring, and having had many enormous successes, I am always interested in best practices for finding and successfully recruiting the right people. Given that Kathryn runs a jobs marketplace and has written a book on the topic, she is the perfect person to explore some the core concepts around pairing people with the right positions. We discuss how companies should market to prospective employees, how employees should represent themselves to employers, and the most common mistakes she sees across the hiring landscape. 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 1:31 - (First Question) Largest changes in the nature of work and how people approach finding the right job for them 3:27 – Can this work be jammed into a formula 5:18 – What strategies is she sharing with employers when it comes to hiring 8:31 – How long should the process take 9:33 – Biggest mistakes employers make in this process 10:39 – Besides the usual stuff, what can perspective employees do to bolster their chances 12:50 – How much more efficient will matching technology get in the years to come 16:00 – What will be the largest changes to work itself 19:09 – Will we move away from full time work into parsels of work units 20:50 – Most successful piece of content or content strategy the Muse has employed 22:34 – Advice for early stage entrepreneurs 26:24 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Kathryn   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
September 4, 2018
I intentionally avoid the world of quantitative investing on this podcast. The whole point of this format is to learn about many different fields, and the vast majority of my time is already spent in quant world. Occasionally I’ve broken this rule because of something unique, including this week’s conversation with Richard Craib, the founder and CEO of Numerai. If you listen to the podcast often you’ll have heard me reference Numerai, a hedge fund which blends quant investing, cryptocurrencies, crowdsourcing, and machine learning — talk about a PR company’s dream. One important note: Numerai is both incredibly open and very secretive. You may sense a bit of frustration on my part, but that is only because, as a fellow quant who loves details about data and modeling, we couldn’t go deeper into the details on the record. We discuss how Numerai has created an incentive structure to work with data scientists around the world in an attempt to build better investing models. The idea of having data scientists stake cryptocurrency in support of the quality of their models is fascinating. Like many hedge funds, Numerai doesn’t share its track record, so we don’t know if this works—but I hope you, like me, use this conversation as inspiration for how different technologies can intersect. Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments Please enjoy my conversation with Richard Craib.   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 2:32 - (First Question) – How he came up with Numerai and how its related to his background 4:08 – How he works with and models the data for his system 5:24 – Describing machine learning as it relates to his work, and specifically linear regression 7:11 – The important stages in his sequence 8:46 – How the scale in the number of data scientists they use is different from other areas 11:30 – Which is the most important aspect of creating alpha; their data, algorithm work, proprietary ensembling of those algorithms. 14:30 – The idea of staking in blockchain 17:30 – Does the magnitude of the stake matter in blockchain 19:10 – Understanding the full incentive structure for both staked and unstaked work 21:07 – How is the prize pool determined 22:29 – Philosophy on how to source interesting data 26:11 – His thoughts on the crowd model and the wisdom of crowds 27:12 – The size of stakers for Numerai 27:51 – Interpreting the models and knowing when something is broken 30:03 – How they think about people not submitting their models 31:48 – Their model building 32:39 – Most interesting set of things they are working on to improve the overall process             35:38 – The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism 37:11 – How people can come along with their own data 39:00 – His thoughts on the quantitative investment community 40:44 – What else is interesting him in the hedge fund world 44:03 – Building a marketplace and staving off competition 46:16 – 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
August 28, 2018
My guest this week has a fascinating background. He has a PhD in biology but has split his time as both an investor and an operator. As an investor, he’s involved in companies like Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart, Opendoor, Stripe, Square, and Pinterest—not too shabby. As an operator, he helped both Google and Twitter scale their businesses, in the case of Twitter from 100 employees to 1500 over two years. He’s just written a book about these experiences called the High Growth Handbook.  Our talk centered on what makes for a good investment and more specifically how Elad identifies an interesting market. Operators and early stage investors will find lots of nuggets in this fun 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 1:31 - (First Question) – Process for evaluating a young business             2:43 – Andy Rachleff Podcast Episode 3:09 – Data factors for evaluating a business 5:08 – Reference checks 6:42 – Advice for companies that are reliant on product cyclicality             7:01 – Where to Go After Product-Market Fit: An Interview with Marc Andreessen 7:31 – High Growth Handbook 9:30 -   Lessons learned from marketing and growing companies 12:09 – How do you hire the best people to improve your distribution 13:16 – How does he think about lifetime customer value vs customer acquisition cost 15:57 – Should companies just focus on the high margin power users 16:35 – Best ways to organize a company hierarchy 19:16 – His interest and background in the area of longevity research 21:52 – Changes he has made in his own life as a result of this longevity research 22:56 – Most effective use of a CEO’s time 24:58 – How he evaluates or identifies interesting markets for potential businesses 28:03 – Any markets that fit his criteria that are underappreciated by investors 30:02 – Worst practices for businesses 32:19 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him 33:20 – What would be the topic of his next book 34:40 – Biggest lessons he’s learned about markets   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
August 21, 2018
For the 100th episode, I’ve brought back my good friend Brent Beshore. Brent was the 10th guest on the podcast, after we met because of a mutual interest in capital allocation. I quickly learned that Brent was one of the most unique and thoughtful investors around. He was an entrepreneur from the moment he left school, trying many different things before finding a fit buying smaller business with the intention of owning them forever. What amazes me about Brent is his encyclopedic understanding of business and the nuances of different business models and deal structures. This comes from reps. He and his team have looked at about 12,000 deals over the years, at every kind of business that you could imagine. I’ve been with him when he goes through this process and it’s fun to hear what makes certain businesses stand out from others, which is largely the topic of this conversation. You all know transparency is key for me, so it’s important to know that my family and I are investors in a fund called permanent equity, run by Brent and his firm Adventure.es. To commemorate this milestone episode, I can think of no one better than Brent, because he exemplifies what has made this podcast so fun for me: learning from other people who are willing to share what they themselves have learned through fun, blood, sweat, and tears. Please enjoy our conversation, and thank you so much for coming along on this journey. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. 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 2:02 - (First Question) – How does he think about optimizing risk in terms of the capital stack when looking at deals 5:27 – What conditions would they add debt down the road after investing in a company 6:52 – What business sectors are most intriguing for Morgan to invest in right now             6:57 – Trent Griffin Podcast 9:34 – Why no HVAC businesses if it’s such an attractive sector 13:56 – thoughts on rolling up similar businesses and horizontal scale 16:04 – Another industry Brent would focus on 18:02 – Difference between property management in larger cities vs smaller metro areas 18:51 – What role does profit margin play when Brent is evaluating a business 22:46 – The appeal of a hyper cyclical business             22:52 – Brent Beshore Podcast Episode 27:27 – Favorite counter cyclical business 28:14 – How they judge assets, tangible vs intangible assets 33:58 – How does he think about wage inflation when considering the cost of a business 37:21 – His fascination with pet crematoriums 38:57 – History of the permanent equity fund and the changes by having a larger pool of capital 43:48 – Pitching investors on a new structure for the business 46:14 – How will this business model scale   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
August 15, 2018
Today’s conversation is a continuation of my discussion on applying the lessons of tracking animals in the wild to tracking in your own life. I encourage to listen to that episode first. In this second part, Boyd’s sister Bronwyn joins and offers perspective on business and life. Given that Boyd and Bron grew up in this wild place, their perspective on the world is refreshing and very different. We discuss a wide range of things, But the section on restoration near the end is just phenomenal stuff. Please enjoy part two of my conversation with the Varty family.   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 1:21 - (First Question) – Concept of shame and the role it plays in the lives of the people that visit 3:11 – Bron’s take on shame and if this is uniquely male issue 5:15 – How the Varty’s think about the concept of presence, and time with Nelson Mandela 13:34 – Selfishness as an impediment to presence 20:26 – Tending the cup 20:37 – Life is not a zero-sum game 23:15 – How they run the reserve as a business 30:18 – Importance of motivation as a business 33:55 – Cultivating a culture that makes a business a family 40:15 – How they help other family businesses 45:29 – The idea of restoration as a business and legacy 51:23 -Restoration model in investment 53:49 – The age of restoration will be born on the age of information 54:48 – Places that have given Varty’s deep connections (other than Africa) 1:00:46 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Bron   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
August 14, 2018
An interesting question that I think about a lot: how do you balance exploring the new with savoring what you already know and love? Most of the time I prefer to explore, but the best part of this podcast experience for me has been meeting people who become close friends. For episodes 99 and 100, I’m bringing back two of the most popular past guest who are both now dear friends.  This week’s episode is split into two parts, today and tomorrow. Today’s episode is with Boyd Varty and tomorrow is with both Boyd and his sister Bronwyn. The incredible Varty family hosted me in South Africa, so you’ll hear birds and elephants in the background as we talk.  This conversation with Boyd is about our shared experience called “track your life” which I couldn’t recommend more highly. We tracked animals on foot for five days, and learned a lot from the environment itself. While we discuss our time together, this is much more about how to live. My original conversation with Boyd had a huge impact on me, and this continues the exploration of Boyd’s idea that we should all be going our own way, in the right way, instead of simply following well trodden paths.  I hope you enjoy this conversation with Boyd and check back tomorrow for another conversation with the Vartys.  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 1:55 - (First Question) – Encounter with five wild dogs 10:19 – The idea of a perfect day on the track 15:59 – The importance of silence 19:42 – Why we could all benefit from the power of silence 21:37 – Side effects of being on the track 23:49 – Following the smaller paths 25:20 – How culture can keep us from forging our own path   29:34 – The stress he puts on the watch at night 33:34 – The power of going from alert to rest and back again             35:11 – Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers 38:25 – Disconnecting from the modern world and reconnecting with your life’s purpose 41:42 – How much does skill play into finding your life’s calling 43:23 – Common objections to what they do 49:58 – Importance of end of day on the track 52:33 – Silence and feeling of thousands of years of time passing through hallucinogenic 56:22 – His experience with bees 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
August 7, 2018
Ryan Selkis - The Crypto Barbell and Token Curated Registries - [Invest Like the Best, EP.98] This week’s conversation is for those interested in the nitty gritty of cryptocurrencies and for those who, like me, are fascinated by that world but more than a bit skeptical of the investing prospects for the many cryptocurrencies now in existence. My guest is Ryan Selkis, who I met at an event hosted by Union Square Ventures and Blocktower Capital. At that event, in a crowd of many brilliant people, Ryan was consistently asking hard questions and raising counterpoints. I love his perspective because he is both passionate, but realistic, excited about crypto, but worried about many aspects of the ecosystem. We discuss many new topics like his barbell analogy for thinking about different kinds of coins, token curated registries, and the need to better transparency around decentralized projects. Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments Please enjoy our conversation.   March for the Fallen Want to meet other curious investors, get in good shape, and support a fantastic cause? Consider joining a great group to hike 28 miles in honor of those who have fallen in defense of our nation.  Learn more and sign up at alphaarchitect.com/mftf.    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 2:55 - (First Question) – how he best explains blockchain technology 4:12 – How does he categorize each cryptocurrency 9:11 – How Numeraii is valued 10:04 – Explaining token curated registries (TCR) 12:58 – How Token Curated Registries are being applied 15:05 – Innovations that will protect against nefarious actors in the crypto space 16:37 – How do you convince investors to commit to TCR’s 18:40 – Biggest headwinds to this industry 22:12 – What are the quality filters to root out the bad actors 25:42 – Thoughts on the ICO market as an alternative to capital raising 29:23 – Litmus test for who should use an ICO to raise capital 34:28 – What is unique about creation of a token vs the normal exchange of cash to determine if a company needs a token 36:21 – How many ICO projects are really necessary 38:28 – How should people form an investment opinion about this space 41:35 – Core mission of his company 44:28 – What are some of the reasons his goals won’t happen 49:30 – Lessons learned while working at Coindesk 49:58 – What is he most excited about for the future of this space 52:56 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ryan   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
July 31, 2018
My guest this week is Cathie Wood, the founder of ARK invest. Cathie and her team believe that disruptive innovation is the key to long-term growth and, therefore, alpha in the public markets. Because their style of investing is entirely contingent on what will happen and change in the future, it is about as different a style as exists from the quantitative approach to investing, which relies on what is currently knowable about stocks and businesses.  The future is notoriously hard to predict, so I am always interested to hear about investing approaches which try to model or handicap the future and build portfolios against that work. In this conversation, we explore all the most interesting and exciting technology trends at play in the world today—and how those trends may play out for investors. We discuss genome sequencing, blockchain, software 2.0, mobility as a service, automation, and more.  We also discuss Cathie’s take on building a bridge between the worlds of finance and Silicon Valley, and why starting with a benchmark is anathema to their process. It is hard to deny Cathie’s passion and enthusiasm, and I credit her for building a unique firm culture that emphasizes openness and collaboration. Please enjoy our conversation on investing in innovation.  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 2:30 - (First Question) – Cathie’s idea of bringing open source to Wall Street 4:47 – Deep dive into the platform             6:09 – White Paper on Bitcoin – Could Bitoin serve as the role of money 7:43 – Why disruptive innovation is so inefficiently priced 10:04 – How well does the market discount cash flow of disruptive businesses 14:09 – A look at their investing strategies, starting with top-down.  16:10 – How they picked their 5 categories of technological change, starting with foundational     19:42 – Changes in energy 21:53 – Robotics 24:17 – Excitement over deep learning 28:03 – How they express their top-down ideas from the bottom up 36:06 – Mobility as a service as a key area of focus 45:25 – The power of public mistakes 46:39 – What she looks for when hiring 51:14 – her philosophy on building and maintain a portfolio 56:38 – Behind the growth of the company 1:04:01 – Most exciting area for her right now 1:07:52 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Cathie   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
July 24, 2018
I’ve often heard that good investors are a bit like journalists: doggedly collecting evidence and building an understanding of how all the pieces of a company or investment fit together. My guest this week is one of my favorite writers and journalists, Bethany McLean. Across her career, Bethany has covered many of the most interesting stories in business and investing, including Enron (which became the famous book and documentary, the Smartest Guys in the Room), Valeant, Wells Fargo, SAC Capital, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the great financial crisis, and most recently, fracking and the energy revolution. Given how deeply she has investigated all of these topics-- and thought about the common threads across them all--this was an amazing conversation. When talking to her, you can feel how much she cares and how diligent and fair she is when analyzing a topic. In addition to all of the great stories already listed, we discuss the art of persistence and other lessons she has learned about businesses and people gone bad. I especially loved her evolving take on housing in America. Please enjoy my conversation with Bethany McLean   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 Mindsets: Optimism vs. Complacency vs. Pessimism Disgraced ex-BofA exec raises uncomfortable questions about #MeToo The Hunt for Steve Cohen   Books Referenced The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron” Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis   Show Notes 2:22 - (First Question) – Differences and similarities between investors and journalists 3:19 – What has more of an impact on business practices, exposing negatives or reporting positive 4:57 – first story that got Bethany intrigued with finding bad behaviors 6:19 – The process of getting to know the people who know more than the market             7:43 – Mindsets: Optimism vs. Complacency vs. Pessimism 8:18 – First short seller that garnered her interest 8:57 – The process that led to The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron 10:36 – How to ask questions 12:18 – Importance of preparation 12:49 – Commonalities among the motivations for people who do bad things 14:20 – Difference between a visionary and a fraud             15:42 – Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science 16:23 – Any standout frauds that told a really compelling story 17:33 – Looking into Valient 19:32 –Writing about the #MeToo movement             19:34 - Disgraced ex-BofA exec raises uncomfortable questions about #MeToo 21:49 – Thoughts on the spectrum of chasing this story 23:26 – Ways journalist can fairly impact this movement 24:14 – The romance of owning a home in America and what it has meant for the market             24:34 – Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants 28:27 – What has changed on her thinking about housing 30:24 – What role does Fannie and Freddie have in the market today 31:13 – Her desire to look into energy             32:26 – Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World 35:05 – What have been the changes in energy market in the US             34:40 – Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy 37:01 – Where are we in the life cycle of energy production 38:27 – The more boring things that are actually the drivers of our economy             38:29 – Technologies that shaped industrial revolution in America 39:42 – Where can people learn more about how our energy independence will impact other markets 41:10 – Why is Peter Elkin the best investigative journalist 42:24 – Most relentless she has ever been 43:58 – Who is doing it right             44:38 – All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis 45:36 – Her take on reporting the The Hunt for Steve Cohen story 49:01 – How her views have evolved over her career and lessons learned 50:40 – Are there ways to prevent success from leading people down a bad path 53:48 – The role of empathy in her career 55:13 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Bethany’s career   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
July 17, 2018
A very short introduction today because my guest is anonymous. Suffice it to say he manages a large pool of private capital. He goes by the pseudonym “modest proposal” and his twitter presence is one of the reasons I first got on and now stay on the platform. He is level headed, smart, and skeptical by nature, all of which made for a great conversation. We discuss how difficult the market has become for active investors, thematic investment opportunities, and the potential sources of market mispricings. Please enjoy our conversation, and let me know which other anonymous accounts you’d like to hear from. 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 Factors from Scratch: A look back, and forward, at how, when, and why factors work Josh Wolf Podcast Episode Mike Zapata Podcast Episode Michael Mauboussin Podcast Episode   Show Notes 1:55 - (First Question) - How value investing has changed 5:45 – How does he apply the lens of market over-reaction to the current market today             5:47 – Factors from Scratch: A look back, and forward, at how, when, and why factors work             7:06 – Josh Wolf Podcast Episode 8:35 – Areas where he prepares most             8:36 – Mike Zapata Podcast Episode 12:18 – Where markets may be over reacting in media 20:10 – How does he invest on this thinking             20:44 – Michael Mauboussin Podcast Episode 22:35 – Other parts of media that he finds interesting 27:35 – Aggregation theory and how it plays into his investment philosophy 31:06 – Structuring a long-short portfolio in today’s media market 35:59 – Customer acquisition costs and how it’s impacting retailers 40:51 – The role of physical locations in a world that was upended by virtual retailers 49:41 – Consumer Internet Story thesis and what he’s seen during his career 58:11 – Why the FANG stocks can’t win in the niches 1:02:25 – The distrusted 50 1:05:00 – How he thinks about Capital Allocation and buybacks 1:11:08 – His view on international equity markets 1:13:58 – His take on the asset management business 1:19:38 – Allocation of a portfolio in between periods of conviction 1:21:08 – People that he has learned the most from 1:23:54 – How do you identify people who are capable of evolving after a rough spot 1:26:53 - How does he force himself to adapt to new conditions and evolve 1:30:31 - Thoughts in investing in cannabis industry 1:32:31 – Conditions where he would get interested in crypto currency 1:36:20 – 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
July 10, 2018
With Patrick out of the country this week, we thought we'd play an old favorite that many of you have not heard. Please Enjoy!     This week we explore a rare and underappreciated skill through the lens of an incredible story. My guest is Eric Maddox, whose name you probably don’t know but won’t soon forget. Just trust me that you need to listen to this entire episode, and listen carefully—because that is what the episode is ultimately all about: how to listen to others, with care and empathy, in the age of distraction. Sometimes it’s fun not to know what’s coming and be surprised, so I won’t say anymore. After the episode, you can learn more about Eric at Ericmaddox.com. On his wall, Eric has a framed Cuban cigar, he starts his story by explaining the significance of that cigar. Enjoy this episode, and try Eric’s method. It has worked wonders for me. Please enjoy!   For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to investorfieldguide.com/maddox/ 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  
July 3, 2018
This week’s episode covers a new set of topics. The conversation, with Niel Robertson, covers media, e-sports, content distribution, marketing, and a lot more. Niel started a software company out of his bedroom when he was 14, and sold his first company in 1999 for $280 million, when he was 24 years old. He has started and sold other companies to Twitter and Cisco. He started another large business that ultimately failed. He’s been an investor, venture partner, and serial entrepreneur. You can find more in the shownotes.  As I often do, I cut the long background section from the interview so we can get right to the meat of things, but Niel concluded that section saying: “I think that could be all summed up by I just liked building things and I can't stop doing it.” In addition to the overall media landscape, we discuss the role that the biggest media platforms will play, and where other opportunities may exist. We cover digital collectibles stored on blockchain, and what type of digital assets may be leased to others. We close with a discussion of leadership, company structure, content creation, and something you should do each year. Please enjoy this unique conversation with Niel Robertson.   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 Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career   Show Notes 2:30 - (First Question) – Overview of the media landscape as it relates to influencer marketing 6:42 – How does he think about this space as an investor 12:21 – What is the future of distribution of products 17:01 - An overview of the e-sports ecosystem 18:20 – The shift of people watching others play video games 20:06 – Will we see power shift from the platform to the influencer 27:03 – Why Amazon is the sleeper in this game 29:38 – Reviewing some of the other platforms, starting with Snapchat 30:54 – Twitter 32:06 – Other platforms that should be focused on…Pinterest 33:38 – His interest in blockchain and digital collectibles 36:34 – Who will be disrupted by digital collectibles 37:55 – Why does the decentralization of these assets matter 39:49 – The tokenization of assets 42:11 – What companies have the largest hurdles to innovate in these spaces 44:57 – His thoughts on leadership             46:44 – The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career 47:52 – Advice for content creators and content aggregators 50:10 – His thoughts on companies that aggregate top content creators 53:17 – His experience owning restaurants 55:46 – His experience in motocross 57:31 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Neil   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
June 26, 2018
My guest this week is Eric Balchunas, the senior ETF analyst for Bloomberg and the author of the Institutional ETF toolbox. This episode is intended for those in the asset or wealth management industry who have considered using ETFs in their portfolios, or for the individual investor who likes to stay up to date on trends in the market for asset management products. We cover all aspects of ETFs in some detail, and luckily in ways that have little overlap with a few other recent ETF-centric episodes on two of my favorite podcasts: the Meb Faber Show and Capital Allocators with Ted Seides with Matt Hougan and Tom Lydon respectively. We open with Eric’s favorite ETF tickers, discuss the pros and cons of ETFs versus other investment vehicles, and explore the largest areas of opportunities for new ETFs coming to market in the years to come. ETFs have become the vehicle of choice for many investors, so it was about time we covered them in depth in this forum. As you’ll hear, Eric is the right person to teach the world about ETFs, thanks to deep domain knowledge and unflagging enthusiasm. Please enjoy my conversation with Eric Balchunas on the past, present, and future of ETFs. 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 Quantitative Momentum: A Practitioner's Guide to Building a Momentum-Based Stock Selection System Links Referenced Chart – There Are Now More Indexes Than Stocks Show Notes 2:32 - (First Question) – Eric’s favorite ETF tickers 4:07 – How Eric got started into his career and how it led him into the ETF world 8:04 – An overview of the ETF landscape 10:10 – Active managed ETFs             12:17 – Chart – There Are Now More Indexes Than Stocks 13:32 – Key variables he thinks about when assessing a new ETF 15:18 – Evaluating shiny object ETFs 17:30 – The appeal of ETFs 20:18 – Future regulatory concern of the tax treatments of ETFs 22:10 – The liquidity advantage of ETFs and why that can actually be bad for investors 24:19 – What would Eric do to build the perfect ETF 26:03 – What are the future trends for new ETF’s launched 29:40 – Categories that work well in the ALT world of ETFs 31:32 – Most effective marketing strategy for ETFs 35:50 – Quantitative Momentum: A Practitioner's Guide to Building a Momentum-Based Stock Selection System 36:28 – How will the winning asset managers have done differently in this space 41:56 – How the next downturn could impact ETFs 46:17 – Do ETF’s create pricing distortions 50:33 – What trend is Eric most interested in right now 53:21 – Alpha through Beta 55:51 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Eric 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
June 19, 2018
My guests this week are Kyle Samani and Tushar Jain, both managing partners at Multicoin Capital. I’ve taken a bit of a break from crypto because I hadn’t sensed many new angles to explore in this forum, from an investor’s point of view. I felt that while things keep evolving, the major investment theses have been established and explored. Kyle and Tushar are interesting because of their often divergent views. For example, Kyle has been an outspoken supporter of Ethereum relative to bitcoin. This conversation, which is meant for those still curious about crypto, offers lots of new food for thought. We discuss smart contract platforms, network effects, the coming platform wars, and why blockchains may not matter in ten years. Please enjoy my conversation with the partners of Multicoin Capital. 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 Paths to Tens of Trillions An (Institutional) Investor’s Take on Cryptoassets On the Network Effects of Store Value If SaaS Products Sell Themselves, Why Do We Need Sales? Money, blockchains, and social scalability Nakamoto Institute Token Economy Multicoin.capital Crypto Cannon              Show Notes 2:11 - (First Question) – What would get the entire cryptocurrencies ecosphere to 5-10 trillion dollars             2:53 – Paths to Tens of Trillions 4:37 – What will be the effective uses for crypto currencies, store value vs utility value             4:38 – An (Institutional) Investor’s Take on Cryptoassets 8:48 – Why they are negative on bitcoin and more positive on Ethereum 10:07 – Where will start to see widespread adaption of the utility value of cryptocurrencies 14:44 – What is the major breakthrough that cryptocurrencies create 21:21 – How do we gain confidence that a utility token will become a sound investment 25:16 – The different type of network effects             25:47 – On the Network Effects of Store Value 31:18 – How do you convince institutional investors to consider the crypto space 34:21 – Factors that they care about when first evaluating a crypto currency 39:21 – How does technological development and marketing factor into their decision when picking a crypto currency             40:31 – If SaaS Products Sell Themselves, Why Do We Need Sales? 41:42 – Where these two men disagree the most right now 44:07 – Why there’s a chance blockchain technology as we know it today could be irrelevant             44:25 – Money, blockchains, and social scalability 47:56 – Most compelling trends in this world today 51:51 – A favorite resource or person people can look into if they want to learn more             52:22 – Nakamoto Institute             52:57 – Token Economy             53:24 – Multicoin.capital             53:30 – Crypto Cannon          54:14 – Kindest thing anyone has done for them   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
June 12, 2018
My guest this week is Michael Recce, the chief data scientist for Neuberger Berman. The topic of our conversation is the use of data in the investment process, to help cultivate what is commonly referred to as an information edge. I call the episode “Tim Cook’s Dashboard” because of an interesting question that Michael poses: if you armed the best apple analyst in the world with Tim Cook’s private business dashboard, what might that be worth? Effectively Michael’s goal is to recreate the equivalent of a company dashboard for many businesses, helping analysts understand the fundamental health and direction of companies a bit better than the market does, and in so doing create an actionable edge. This is a daunting task, and you will hear why. It requires both a fundamental understanding of business and of data, statistics, and methods like machine learning. In our own work, we’ve found machine learning to be useless for predicting future stock prices, but extremely useful for other things, like extracting and classifying data. This conversation can get wonky at times, but as listeners know that is the best kind of conversation, even if it requires a second, slower listen. I hope you enjoy this talk with Michael Reece. Afterwards, I highly recommend you invest the time to read a series of posts called Machine Learning for Humans, which I will link to in the show notes. It helps demystify the buzz words and explain how these new technologies are being used.   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 Crossing the Chasm One Two Three Infinity   Links Referenced Sam Hinkie Podcast Episode   Show Notes 2:44 - (First Question) –  Changes in data science through the lens of Michael’s career 5:17 – The basic overview of using data and machine learning to create an edge 6:58 – How the state of business is more than just a single data point 7:53 – How you know when you’ve pulled a real signal from the noise of data 10:49 – The advantages that data provides 13:01 – Is there still an edge in decaying data 15:34 – Building data that would predict stock prices 19:43 – Prospectors vs miners in data mining 22:18 – Knowing when your prospectors are on to truth 27:09 – Understanding machine learning 30:10 – Defining partition 32:17 – Applying the parameters of selection process to stocks 36:05 – What’s the first step people could take to use data and machine learning to improve their investment process 38:54 – Building a sustainable advantage within data science 41:35 – Predicting the uncapped positive vs what’s seemingly easier, eliminating the negative 43:58 – How do we know to stop using a signal 46:22 – The importance of asking the right question 47:09 – Categories of objective functions that are interesting to measure data against             47:42- Crossing the Chasm 48:37 – Most exciting things he’s found with data 51:17 – What investors, individual or firms, has impressed him most with their use of data 52:17 – Will everyone eventually shift to being data informed or data driven 55:33 – Wall Street’s use of data vs other industries             55:36 – Sam Hinkie Podcast Episode 57:48 – Why everyone should know how to code 58:52 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Michael             59:22 – One Two Three Infinity   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
June 5, 2018
My guest this week is Ash Fontana, a managing partner at venture capital firm Zetta, who invests in companies which build software that uses artificial intelligence methods like machine learning to predict and prescribe outcomes. Ash’s combined experience as a founder, entrepreneur, and investor give him the perfect background to discuss with us one of the hottest topics in business and investing. This conversation is useful for anyone trying to evolve their own way of dealing with data. Of particular interest are the ways that Ash and his team evaluate data sets and how they think about competitive advantage in this new world—where he advocates a new term to replace the concept of moat: loops.  If we can use data to do things better than humans, or if we can supercharge our intuitions with predictive models, we can harness the power of this new technology. What Ash has taught me is that data itself is dumb. But great data sets can represent the fuel for incredible companies. Let’s dive into how that may be. Please enjoy this conversation on how AI is changing business, and how we might profit from that change.   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 Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for The Thoughtful Investor   Links Referenced Jerry Neumann Podcast Episode Ali Hamed Podcast Episode   Show Notes 2:25 - (First Question) – A look at their very specific investment strategy 3:35 – Future of competitive advantage in the SaaS industry 6:45 – How startups and new companies can compete against software giants that are pretty well entrenched in the market 8:38 – How do copies with narrow focuses attract VC money which is looking for massive returns 12:28 – The stages in which AI will be enabled 15:55 – Framework of an AI company 18:49 – Importance of the feedback in the AI company framework 20:56 – Examples of AI companies 23:50 – Why companies that are AI from the start will have a significant advantage in the space 26:21 – How do companies change their thinking about compiling useful data 32:18 – Regulation of AI 35:03 – Preventing other companies from leap frogging you in the AI space 37:57 – Some of his favorite AI companies 40:43 – How much has he seen in the finance world             41:07 – Jerry Neumann Podcast Episode 43:10 – Why the focus on B2B AI companies 45:34 – Major components of the enterprise stack that he focuses on for AI 49:30 – What impact will all of this AI have the daily lives of people 51:38 – Biggest problems that he is excited to see AI tacklet 53:04 – How do you value the intangible asset of an AI model 57:13 – How Ash thinks about getting other investors into firms they seeded 1::00:27 – Other investors that Ash really respects             1:01:15 – The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for The Thoughtful Investor             1:03:29 – Ali Hamed Podcast Episode 1:04:04 – Where would Ash invest outside of AI 1:07:11 – More about his family nut business 1:11:18 – Favorite macadamia nut story 1:12:05 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ash   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 29, 2018
My guest this week is remarkable. He now applies his talents on Wall Street, searching for smaller cap companies trading at huge discounts in an effort to compound wealth for his investors. He is classically trained, having earned his graduate degree from Colombia, a school known for producing value investors. But his method also reflects what he learned across more than a decade of active duty in the U.S. military. Mike Zapata served us all as a Navy SEAL in the aftermath of 9/11 and ultimately as a member of the SEAL’s “Development Group,” commonly known as SEAL team 6. I think everyone listening strives for excellence in what they do. This week we get to hear from someone who has pursued excellence on our behalf. I’ll let him explain the meaning of his firm’s name, Sententia, but for now suffice to say we are lucky to have quiet professionals like Mike. If you are interested in supporting the families of soldiers who fought with Mike and lost their lives, I encourage you to check out the Tip of the Spear foundation and make a donation along with me, small or large. Please enjoy my conversation with Mike Zapata. 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 Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War   Show Notes 2:23   2:23 – (First Question) – A quick overview of Mike’s career leading up to his time at Columbia 3:43 – What led him down the path of value investing at Columbia              3:51 – The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel 5:57 – The focus and goal of the firm 7:12 – Where the name of the firm, Sententia comes from 8:04 – His experience in the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) program and lessons learned from it 13:14 – How much grit is innate vs can be learned 14:59 – What the actual job was in BUD/S 17:33 – Difference between the broader SEAL community and being part of the more exclusive development group 19:03 – The team dynamic within the SEALS 20:26 – Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown 21:18 – The sacrifice that SEALs make with the story of Adam Brown as an example 24:35 – Waiting for darkness before deployment 27:23 – How do you know when to violate your best practices for a risk 29:26 – A look at three pictures in his office and why they are meaningful 31:36 – Lessons that would be useful to other people             33:10 – Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War 33:17 – How is Mike’s skillset applied to the investing world 39:24 – Factors that would be seen as good alignment in businesses 40:18 – How the view the profiles of other investors in these small businesses 41:46 – Examples of “smoke and fire”, markers of an attractive investment 43:42 – Other investors that he has learned the most from and what those lessons were 44:54 – Importance of balance sheets in value investing 47:33 – Is value investment oversaturated 50:28 – Market blind spots that are attractive to Mike 52:03 – What point in Mike’s career has he felt the most alive 53:14 – Any other lessons Mike would want to share 55:12 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Mike   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 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
April 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
April 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
April 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  
March 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
March 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
March 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
March 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
February 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
February 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
February 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
February 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
January 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
January 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
January 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  
January 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
January 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
December 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
December 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
December 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
December 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
November 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
November 21, 2017
This week’s conversation is an ode to old school, fundamental public market investing. My conversation is with IMC’s Connor Leonard, who spends most waking hours thinking and reading about markets. His mandate is to invest purely as if it was his own money, with no pressure to hug a benchmark, and no pressure to do much of anything other than earn strong long-term returns. The portfolio that results from this approach is highly concentrated and unique. Connor’s strategy is to sort companies into four categories based on their type of sustainable competitive advantage. As you’ll hear, the vast majority fall into the first category, which means they don’t have such an advantage and therefore should be largely set aside. We spend the majority of our conversation talking about the other three categories: 1) companies with a legacy moat, 2) companies with a re-investment moat, and 3) an interesting category Connor calls “capital light compounders,” which we explore in detail. When you step back and think about public markets, you realize how amazing it is that we can, from afar, buy an interest in so many companies around the world. A select few go on to deliver outstanding returns. This conversation highlights how hard that can be, but also how fun and ultimately rewarding. Please enjoy my talk with Connor Leonard.                                                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 Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success        Links Referenced Pat Dorsey Podcast Episode David Tisch podcast    Will Thorndike Podcast episode   Show Notes 2:31 - (First Question) –   Trends in value investing             2:52 – Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor 4:43 – A look at Connor’s backstory and the history of IMC, parent company of Golden Corral 8:01 – Why Connor loves the public markets so much   9:21 – The concept of intrinsic value when looking at companies 12:36 – How Connor categorizes MOATS             13:21 – Pat Dorsey Podcast Episode 14:27 – Legacy MOATS 16:11 – Reinvestment MOATS 17:58 – Capital light compounder MOAT 20:00 – Why classifieds are an interesting business model 25:12 – Looking at platform businesses 26:56 – Looking at companies in the 500 million to 5 billion range and what makes it so enticing 30:34 – What is the process that gets Connor to find investment opportunities             35:53 – David Tisch podcast   36:15 – How Connor looks at industry classifications 41:30 – Connor’s strategy for running his portfolio 46:36 – The circumstances in which Conno would buy a legacy MOAT company             46:49 – Will Thorndike Podcast episode             46:51 – The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success     49:21 – How do you pick managers that will beat the markets 52:21 – Second reason to buy a legacy MOAT 54:48 – Comparing the reinvestment MOAT and Capital A compounder in Connor’s portfolio 58:16 – Connor’s Mt Rushmore of Capital Allocators 1:00:03 – Impactful mentorships for Connor 1:01:52 – kindest thing anyone has done for Connor 103:04 – What in the discussion with founder of IMC got him the job   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
November 14, 2017
My guest this week is unique. As you will hear early and often, he is programmed to go his own way, to, as he says, go one way when everyone else is going another. His name is Dhani Jones, a name I knew as a Notre Dame football fan, because he won a championship with our arch-rivals, the University of Michigan, in the late 90’s. Dhani went on to a long and successful career in the NFL, but even more interesting has been his many pursuits in business and investing outside of football. Like my conversation with Tim Urban, I’ll remember this conversation as a reminder to use a first principles mindset. Dhani seems to have this fresh mindset baked into his character, and as you’ll hear this has led to many a great adventure. Please enjoy my conversation with athlete, businessman, investor, philanthropist, movie buff, and bowtie wearer, Dhani Jones.                                                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 1:30 - (First Question) –  A introduction into Dhani Jones and everything he’s done 5:35 – How did Dhani change throughout his football career 9:55 – The power of your mind in every aspect of life 10:34 – Most memorable experience in the NFL 13:10 – Making the transition from the NFL to the business world 18:20 – Looking at Bowtie Cause 22:40 – The role of creative agencies in Dhani’s ventures and why story telling is so important for him 26:48 – Looking at some of the TV stuff that Dhani has done, particularly around travel 28:21 – Dhani’s favorite movie 30:35 – Back to the joy of travel and “Dhani Tackles the Globe.” 36:54 – How does Dhani think about risk 38:56 – Some of the other sports and activities Dhani did while filming his show 41:45 – The psychological benefit of travel in your personal and business life 44:41 – Looking into the business part of Dhani’s career 51:19 – How to expand diversity in the financial world 54:56 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Dhani   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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