Practical analysis for investment professionals
21 October 2015

Essential Listening: Apple, EMC, and Twitter

Posted In: Weekend Reads

One of the big media stories this year was the departure of popular sports analyst and bestselling author Bill Simmons from ESPN. After a bidding war, he ended up at HBO and is planning the 2016 launch of his television project. In the mean time, he is back in the public eye with his relaunched podcast. I mention this because it underlines the importance of podcasting for branding and for simply reaching your audience.

Not only are podcasts a great way for talent to connect with and grow their audience, they are also a great medium to expand the breadth and depth of your content consumption. In short, podcasts allow us to take deep dives into new and interesting topics in a way that leverages mobile age technology.

Speaking of the mobile age, it is important to use an app that helps you easily discover and consume content in an efficient manner. Overcast 2 by developer Marco Arment of Instapaper fame is exactly that. Overcast 2 is now free and available for iOS. While most credit Apple with helping to launch the podcasting revolution by including podcasts on iTunes, the company has done little to enhance the listening experience. Chris Welch at The Verge calls Overcast 2 the best podcasting app for iOS and I would agree.

In these posts, I am going to be liberal in my use of the term podcast. In fact, the first three episodes are all videos freely available on YouTube. So without any further ado, let’s dive into some interesting stuff.

  • Access to successful hedge fund managers is limited, for good reason. That is why this lecture by John Burbank of Passport Capital is so interesting. Speaking at UC Berkeley back in April, Burbank discusses his investment process. (YouTube)
  • One lesser-known thing Google does is bring in investors (and authors) for the Talks at Google series. In this edition, Tom Russo of the value investing shop Gardner Russo & Gardner considers the near-term challenges of value investing in light of the long-term potential gains. (YouTube)
  • Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago Law School may be best known as one of the co-authors of the Freakonomics series of books and the resulting podcast series as well. He is also a world-class economist, and in this presentation he explains how he has used novel data sets to examine issues other economists have neglected. (YouTube)
  • As I noted last time, book authors are a staple of the podcasting scene. Wharton’s Philip Tetlock, co-author of Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, talks about what makes good forecasters and how you can use these insights to help improve your own forecasting. (Knowledge@Wharton)
  • The financial crisis was supposed to kill off insolvent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Years later, however, they are still around and still dominant actors in mortgage lending. Bethany McLean, author of Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants, talks about how we got here and whether anything will push Fannie and Freddie aside. (Slate Money)
  • Speaking of the financial crisis, one of the reasons why it occurred was the realization that presumably safe assets based on the housing economy ended up not being all that safe once housing prices fell. Cardiff Garcia talks with Greg Ip, author of Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safeabout the often mixed-up relationship between the pursuit of safety and risk. (FT Alphaville)
  • Barry Ritholtz of Ritholtz Wealth Management talks with Jeremy Siegel, professor of finance at Wharton and author of Stocks for the Long Run. Their wide-ranging conversation is well worth a listen for market aficionados. (The Big Picture)
  • Not surprisingly given the technology angle, there is no shortage of technology-related podcasts. In this episode of Planet Money, they take a look at whether Silicon Valley (again) is in the midst of a major bubble. The answer may surprise you. (NPR)
  • Speaking of technology, there is no more analyzed company in the world than Apple. Eric Jackson interviews Apple watcher Horace Dediu about the company and whether Apple is really serious about getting into the automobile business. (Asymco)
  • While Apple may be the biggest technology (or any other) company in the world, the recently announced merger of now-private Dell with the public EMC is a big deal by any measure. The question is why did these two companies feel compelled to get together and how can they compete with other tech giants. (Andreessen Horowitz)
  • A number of years ago, a failing podcasting outlet called Odeo transformed itself into a little company by the name of Twitter. James Altucher speaks with Ev Williams, who had a hand not only in founding Twitter but also Blogger — sold to Google — and now Medium. (The James Altucher Show)
  • You can see in the career of Ev Williams the trajectory of internet-based communications. On Wall Street, however, one device has been at the center of how financial types get data and communicate, and that is the ubiquitous (and expensive) Bloomberg Terminal. In this podcast from FiveThirtyEightBusiness Insider‘s Linette Lopez and Robin Wigglesworth of the Financial Times explain how the Bloomberg Terminal has changed with the times while staying a linchpin of the financial industry. (FiveThirtyEight)

There are only so many podcasts any one individual can listen to. So if you have any suggestions for others that ought to be included, please feel free to leave a comment to let everyone else in on your discovery. I might even highlight your suggestion in this next edition of this podcast roundup.

You can read more from Tadas Viskanta on his blog, Abnormal Returns, or follow him on Twitter @abnormalreturns.

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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.

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About the Author(s)
Tadas Viskanta

Tadas Viskanta is the founder and editor of Abnormal Returns. He is also the author of Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere, which culls lessons learned from his time blogging.

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