Pods & Recs: No. 148

Today we have Jeremy Grantham with his take on asset prices around the globe, a great episode on credit derivatives, episodes on annuities and farmland, and Dr. Jim Loehr on what it takes to be an elite performer in any field.

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Investing

Real Vision: Finance, Business & The Global Economy: Jeremy Grantham’s Big Calls: Emerging Markets, Venture Capital, and the Green Revolution. Grantham is the co-founder of GMO and widely respected for his ability to remain sane amid market bubbles. He argues we are currently in a period of elevated prices across almost all asset classes besides emerging markets. He talks about the U.S. slipping in most categories as a world leader (as shown by the poor response to COVID-19 and declining fertility and increasing morbidity) and how China is catching up in most areas, including venture capital, which he thinks will be very important going forward. He also talks about climate change and the global coordinated effort that it will take to combat the issues the world is facing. [January 1, 2021–1 hour, 25 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Emerging markets are absolutely cheap; they are relatively as cheap as they have ever been.

Real Vision: Finance, Business & The Global Economy: Finding Relative Value Amid Credit Market Madness (w/ Boaz Weinstein and Ed Harrison). Weinstein is the founder and CIO of Saba Capital Management and has spent his career trading credit derivatives. He provides an overview of the current state of the market. He talks about the famous trade put on by Bill Ackman earlier in 2020 that netted him billions and how a trade like that is typically constructed. He also covers the Fed’s role in credit markets, liquidity issues with bond ETF’s and what opportunities he’s seeing in closed-end funds trading at discounts to NAV. [December 31, 2020–1 hour, 8 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Real Vision: Finance, Business & The Global Economy: What Does It Take to Invest in Russia? (w/ Harvey Sawikin). Sawikin is the co-founder and lead portfolio manager at Firebird Management, a fund dedicated to investing in frontier and emerging market equities in Eastern Europe. It started with a focus solely on Russia and has now grown to invest in places like Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Romania. He talks about how investing in frontier markets differs from developed markets, how he thinks about currency, liquidity, and geopolitical risks, and what his biggest mistakes have been in his career. He also covers how most frontier and emerging markets have faired since the onset of COVID and why he’s repositioning towards growth stocks in Eastern Europe. [December 27, 2020–51 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Google | Breaker | Website Link

My First Million: #141: The 2020 MFM Award Show (with Andrew Wilkinson). This isn’t a podcast I’ll share episodes from weekly since it’s always business ideas, but this episode that looks back on all business-topics of 2020 is great. You can check the show notes for what they talk about, but some of my favorites are the one way they made the most money this year, what their biggest miss was, wildest prediction for the future, and favorite hacks, podcasts, and books from the year. [December 30, 2020–1 hour, 45 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Google | Breaker | Website Link

Bio Eats World: The Machine That Made the Vaccine. This is a great overview of how the Moderna vaccine was made and gives insight into the future of biotech’s ability to create vaccines and drugs quicker than they’ve been made historically. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel tells the story of the vaccine’s development and incredible technology used to create it. The theme of the episode is that we used to grow our vaccines, but now we’re able to print them. The episode explains how they were able to do so in literally 48 hours, the technology that used mRNA and how it works, and the process of getting the vaccine printed and approved in 2020. [December 18, 2020–39 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Google | Breaker | Website Link

The Meb Faber Show

The Meb Faber Show: #275 — David Lau, DPL Financial Partners — The Root Of All Evil When It Comes To Annuities Are Commissions. Lau is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of DPL Financial Partners, a firm focused on the distribution of financial products geared toward the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and fee-based advisory channels. The episode is a deep dive into annuity products and how his firm is able to provide annuities at a lower cost by removing the commissions (which he says lowers the cost by ~80%). He explains why they make sense for RIA’s to offer clients and what the benefits are, and why people will need to rely upon them more with rates so low and stocks around all-time highs. He also talks about some use cases from RIA’s and what the future of the firm is. [December 28, 2020–54 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Google | Breaker | Website Link

The Meb Faber Show: #276 — Craig Wichner, Farmland LP — There’s $2.7T Worth Of Farmland In The U.S…And That’s The Same Economic Value As All The Apartment Buildings In The U.S Or All The Office Buildings In The U.S. Wichner is the founder of Farmland LP, a leading investment fund that generates returns by converting conventional commercial farmland to sustainable farmland. The episode is all about farmland investing and what the asset class offers to investors. He talks about how the company is able to increase the value of farms by converting them to organic, the ability to make money via both capital appreciation and income generation, and why owning an organic farm can serve as a hedge against a weaker dollar. He also talks about policy decisions that politicians could instill to help the industry and encourage environmentally friendly practices for farmers.[December 30, 2020–1 hour, 5 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Google | Breaker | Website Link

The Rest

***Must Listen*** The Tim Ferriss Show: #490: Dr. Jim Loehr on Mental Toughness, Energy Management, the Power of Journaling, and Olympic Gold Medals. Loehr is the CEO & co-founder of the Human Performance Institute, which gives him access to work with some of the most elite performers in the world. He’s also written multiple best-sellers, including The Power of Full Engagement, and most recently Leading with Character. He strongly believes the most important factor in successful achievement, personal fulfillment, and life satisfaction is character. He touches on correcting your inner voice be kinder to yourself, why energy, not time, is the most importance resource we all have, and why we need to avoid having a ‘hidden scorecard’ of success. He finishes with comparing some all-time great athletes, including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. [December 28, 2020–1 hour, 33 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Google | Breaker | Website Link

The power broker in your life is the voice that no one hears. How well you revisit the tone and content of your private voice is what determines the quality of your life. It is the master storyteller, and the stories we tell ourselves are our reality.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Books

Jim Loehr (CEO & Co-Founder, Human Performance Institute):

  1. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
  2. Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

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Colby Donovan

Colby Donovan

Here to bring you podcast suggestions. Twitter → @colby__donovan

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