THE SUMMER OF PODCASTS!

So I have a confession to make: I’ve succumbed to a deep and irreversible addiction to podcasts this summer. I f***ing love them, can’t get enough. Every spare moment, I have someone teaching me something or telling me a story, directly into my ear holes.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing 10-20 mile bike rides a few days a week, or maybe it’s because all of a sudden I’ve discovered so many new ones that I love…

Whatever it is, I’m hooked.

I wanted to tell you about what I’ve been listening to, so maybe you’ll fall in love as I have…

First, my absolute favorite, is Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. The massive muti-part series on WWI, Blueprint for Armageddon, is one of the most incredible pieces of art I’ve ever come into contact with. It’s like 20 hours of riveting storytelling, with the kind of detail and nuance, scope and scale, that only a true master of the subject could bring to the table. If 20 hours worth of WWI stuff sounds like too big of a commitment, I’ll tell you what – start with one of the single-parters like The American Peril (about the Spanish-American War) or Prophets of Doom (when Munster, Germany was exposed to a non-Latin translation of the bible and lost its collective mind).

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Next, I’d like to introduce you to The Meb Faber Show, starring my buddy Mebane Faber, maybe the smartest investor I know. Meb’s up to 9 awesome episodes so far. He’s alternating between interviews and plain-English quantitative lessons on asset allocation. It’s going to make you smarter, I guarantee it.

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Of course, I would be remiss (and possibly fired) if I didn’t mention my partner Barry Ritholtz’s groundbreaking Masters In Business series for Bloomberg. He’s now done over 100 (!) episodes and they get better and better. Barry is pioneering a new format of financial media, with deep-dives into people’s careers and the traits that made them successful, instead of the typical “what’s your favorite stock today?” Where else can you hear Jeff Gundlach, Arthur Levitt, Jim Chanos, Jack Schwager, Leon Cooperman and Jack Bogle do a few hours on how they made it on Wall Street, mistakes and all? Nowhere else. Barry is crushing it.

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And there are more!

How about Malcolm Gladwell’s quirky little entrant, called Revisionist History?

Or the amazingly erudite Alphachat, where you can hear interviews conducted by FT brainiacs Cardiff Garcia, Izabella Kaminska and Tracy Alloway? Don’t miss the Chris Arnade talk on McDonalds as the social glue of the lower class.

And then there’s the eponymous a16z podcast, a regular blast from a VC firm at the cutting edge of tech investing, featuring VC mavens Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen.

There are others. And Patrick O’Shaughnessy just launched one that I haven’t gotten around to, maybe you can beat me to it. James Osbourne has a bunch of great Fireside Markets episodes in the can as well (one featuring yours truly). All of these are going to make you a better investor and a smarter person. You probably have more spare listening time than you think to get to this stuff – in the car, walking around town, exercising, trying to fall asleep without fistfuls of melatonin, etc. Check one or two of them out today, and become hooked yourself.

 

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