Colby Donovan

Oct 27, 2019

5 min read

Pods & Recs No. 85

Today we have an episode on current market valuations, the NBA & China situation, lessons on coaching from Pete Carroll, how to deal with negative thoughts, and ways we can become better learners.

If you missed the last few editions of Pods & Recs, feel free to view them here: 84, 83, and 82.

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  • ***Must Listen*** The Meb Faber Show: #183 — Ben Inker — The Problem With Good Returns In The Near Term Is They Have To Be Paid Sometime. This is a great discussion on current market valuations and realistic forward looking expectations. The episode features Ben Inker, the head of GMO’s Asset Allocation team and a member of the GMO Board of Directors, a firm that is very underweight U.S. equities. Inker thinks U.S. stocks and bonds are overvalued and that investors should be looking in non-us markets to increase returns in the next ten years. He also touches on value stocks and expects value to perform well going forward. GMO is a firm that is willing to look different from their peers and this is a great listen on their investment philosophy. [October 23, 2019–1 hour, 9 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link


  • Exponent: Episode 175 — The Abyss Stares Back. The host of this podcast, Ben Thompson, runs a newsletter called Stratechery which is about tech and media, and is an avid NBA fan, which puts him in a unique place to discuss the recent NBA/China issue. His thoughts on the issue are the most insightful I have heard to date and he addresses the implications of doing business with authoritarian governments. They talk about the facts at hand, the timeline starting with Daryl Morey’s tweet, the NBA’s response (including Adam Silver, Lebron James, and Steve Kerr), and where they expect the situation to go from here. My biggest takeaway was Thompson’s statement that China is using their economy to bring their values to the rest of the world. [October 14, 2019–52 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link
  • Finding Mastery: Pete Carroll on The Art of Coaching (Live). This episode with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is about the art of coaching and a must listen for any coach or leader. He says coaching begins with caring about the people around you, being committed to help individuals succeed, and the ability to persevere through adversity. Carroll also talks about having a competitive and caring mentality, helping people discover who they are, and what it takes to become a great teammate. A Q&A session begins at the 59 minute mark and is worth listening to. [October 9, 2019–1 hour, 27 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link

The Rest

  • The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos: Don’t Think of the White Bear. This is the 6th episode of the fantastic series by Yale Professor Dr. Laurie Santos, who teaches a course on happiness that has become the most popular class on campus. The episode dives into the idea that we cannot rid ourselves of a negative thought once it enters our mind. Whether it is an athlete who gets the “yips” or someone who’s enduring significant pain or stress, research has shown that we need to deal with and acknowledge these emotions, which she calls “responding rather than reacting.” The episode gives examples of people who have done this and provides tips on how to enact this in your own life. [October 22, 2019–43 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link
  • HBR IdeaCast: 706: Accelerate Learning to Boost Your Career. The guest in this episode is Scott Young, who taught himself the four-year MIT computer science program in 12 months and authored Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career. The episode explains the importance of being a fast learner in a time when learning new skills is so important and we are all strapped for time. After researching and practicing some of the tips he learned, he shares them in the book and provides some of them in the episode. [October 22, 2019–29 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Breaker | Website Link


Below are books and white papers that podcasts guests suggested on episodes I listened to last week. The descriptions are summaries of what the guest said, not my own opinion.


Ben Horowitz (Co-founder, Venture Capital Firm Andreessen Horowitz):

  1. High Output Management by Andrew Grove — His favorite management book by far.
  2. The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C.L.R. James — Story of the Haitian revolution that’s also a good leadership book. L’Ouverture was a management and cultural genius, more-so than anyone he’s ever read about.
  3. It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell
  4. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries — Teaches you fundamental lessons of building a company.

Steve Huffman (CEO, Reddit):

  1. Shogun (Asian Saga) — Fictional book that is a really fun read and has some good business strategy information.

Peter Attia (Doctor, Podcaster):

  1. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Mate —Attia loves the book because the author does a great job about making the case you can be a different type of addict (drugs, high performance, money, power) and addiction belongs on a continuum.
  2. Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body by Daniel Goleman — The book does a great job explaining we don’t meditate for the state, we meditate for the trait.

Dan Harris (News Anchor, ABC):

  1. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie — Only self help book that’s been successful about discussing compassion.

Didier Elzinga (CEO, Culture Amp):

  1. Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation by Neel Doshi — Talks about how to drive adaptive performance (how to get performance from people when working in a complicated environment).
  2. The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh

Jason Calacanis (Angel Investor):

  1. The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump by Andrew McCabe

Investing White Papers

Jack Vogel (Chief Investment Officer, Alpha Architect):

  1. Value and Momentum Everywhere: Factors, Monthly by AQR — They test value and momentum on multiple asset classes, and found that both factors tend to work in all asset classes.
  2. Trend-Following: A Decade of Underperformance by Alpha Architect — Highlights the fact that trend-following can not work at sometimes, and is an important paper to read for anyone looking at a more tactical/trend-following portfolio.