“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s been over a year, so here is another weekly edition of Blogger Wisdom. As we have done in previous years we asked an esteemed group of finance bloggers a series of (hopefully) provocative questions. Their answers are unedited and the author’s name, blog name and Twitter handles follow. We hope you find something of interest below.
Question: What has you jazzed? It could be a blog, podcast, movie, book, show, app or gadget, etc. Give us your enthusiastic endorsement(s). (Answers are in alphabetical order.)
I am extremely excited for my generation right now. Millennials are on the cusp of being the controlling force socially, economically and politically. We are a highly motivated, educated and passionate cohort that’s up to the task of sparking and implementing great change at a time when it’s desperately needed. Knock us all you want, but the fact of the matter is we all need each other.
I cannot wait to watch season 2 of Dark. The first season is one of my absolute favorites, and from everything I’ve heard the second one is just as good.
I bought a pressure washer and am enjoying blasting the gunk that has built up on any number of things over the years. Getting away from the screens and into the analog world can clear the mind (and spruce things up).
Duolingo. I’ve been learning Spanish. The app is free (so far). I’m a novice Spanish speaker, but I’m learning faster than I have with any other method. If nothing else, it’s a great way of staying off social media on the phone.
I am really looking forward to spending a lot of time up in Grand Marais, MN this summer. I will be in the middle of the boreal forest for a month or more. I am jazzed about getting to know my future son in law better. I am jazzed about starting to read some “great books”. I have a list of about 50 I want to read before I die. I am going to try and limit how much I am on technology and just live some of life like it used to be, in the 1990s….
I am very jazzed about the startups our fund has invested in. HolbergFinancial.com, https://www.banking.pipit.global, openfinance.io, and our most recent Vauban.io have the ability to bring financial knowledge and opportunity to many people across the world. Hope your readers can find a way to support them.
My favorite book right now is Alchemy by Rory Sutherland; I’ve gifted numerous copies in the last month–it’s a must read for anyone interested in marketing and branding, including those with blogs and podcasts.
I find most financial debates tedious. Yes, of course, you should index. Yes, most folks should delay claiming Social Security. Yes, if you need life insurance, you should buy term insurance, not some ridiculously expensive cash value policy. Let’s not waste time on debates that were settled long ago. Instead, tell me how you get people to do the right thing. Behavior change is the next financial frontier–and the topic we should be spending far more time discussing. Learning more about that is what’s got me jazzed.
Slack has me jazzed. I honestly don’t know what we did without it. An unorganized cornucopia of short-form e-mails, Bloomberg IBs, and tweets is now wonderfully archived in a Slack channel for each of our focus list companies. It helps our small firm to scale tremendously.
Oh, and my new Line 6 Amplifi guitar amp is awesome. I can control it from my iPad, and make it sound like any amp used by anyone (Santana, Hendrix, Jack White, Prince, David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tom Morello, Randy Rhoads et al). Unfortunately I can’t remotely play like any of them, but out of ten, I just went from a 1 to a 2, so it’s been a two-bagger in just a month. A much better annualized return than any of my investments have been.
Through the CFA Society of Louisiana, I am helping start a classroom next school year for the non-profit Rock the Street, Wall Street, a financial literacy program designed to get high school girls interested in careers in finance. RTSWS was in more than 14 cities last year and is expanding rapidly. All volunteers must be women working in professional finance careers, and the second semester includes one-on-one mentorship between volunteer and student. I wish every high school could offer this program.
I love The News Quiz Extra podcast – it’s the one podcast I WILL NEVER miss an episode of. Satire is much needed these days and the panellists on this BBC Radio 4 show are just hysterical. I also really enjoyed Michael Lewis’s podcast, Against the Rules. There’s been some great TV so far this year. I’m currently enjoying the BBC production ‘Summer of Rockets’ and ‘Formula 1 – Drive to Survive’ on Netflix. I’ve struggled a bit with books lately but loved ‘Utopia for Realists’ which really challenged my views on how societies might be able to operate more fairly and ‘Future Politics’ which frightened the life out of me! I’m currently engrossed in ‘The River of Doubt’. I’m not a huge user of apps or gadgets, but I’ll give you my Airpods when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands ?
It has not received the attention it deserves, but Alasdair Nairn’s Engines That Move Markets is a fantastic read for anyone interested in the history of technological innovation, its impact on incumbent industries, and the market as a whole. It is a worthwhile read for any student of finance history.
I do not know why it took me so long to download Audible, but I love having a library of audiobooks available on my phone. I always felt like audiobooks were somehow “cheating” compared to the real thing, but I’ve been able to enjoy some great books during times where I otherwise would have been listening to music or a podcast.
Jamie Catherwood and Nick Maggiulli, because they came out of the middle of nowhere and are now two of the top voices in finance. That shows the system is working. This is a meritocracy, and if you have good stuff to say it doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is or how much experience you have — if it’s good, you’ll get noticed.
The OSAM Research Partners Program. The latest byproduct of this initiative – a research paper from the pseudonymous Jesse Livermore called “The Earning Mirage” – damn near broke the internet when it was released. Well, maybe not the internet, but it damn near broke Finance Twitter! It clocks in at over 100 pages, but I assure you the entire thing is worth reading.
Something tells me this is just the tip of the iceberg of exciting things “in the lab” from Patrick and his team at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management…
I love going to sporting events and concerts. Recently, I’ve given myself a pass to pay up for decent event tickets… I always question it, but never regret it.
Taylor Schulte has my favorite new podcast: Experiments in Advisor Marketing.
The Ember® mug may seem like an overpriced vanity item, which it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. It’s a ceramic mug with an integrated heating element that connects to an app via Bluetooth. The app allows you to set the exact perfect drinking temp for your beverage of choice – not too hot, not too cold – and alerts you when it reaches that temperature.
But here’s the best part – it keeps your drink at that exact temp for up to 2 hours. For example, you pour yourself a nice cup of tea, then notice your neighbor’s house is on fire and you’ve got to pull them out to perform CPR. When you get back to your desk an hour later, you’re a hero AND your tea is still the perfect temperature. Finally, the promise of technology is fulfilled.
Unison. They are a company that provides financing to home buyers for down payments in exchange for a share of the capital gain (or loss) on the home when it is sold in the future. I haven’t dug into every detail yet, but seems like it could be a good option for people struggling to make down payments in certain RE markets.
My cooking has become good enough that for many classes of food, I can do as well as many restaurants. My favorite website for that is Serious Eats, and I would love to meet J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.
I haven’t purchased yet, but I am excited to try the Zepp Golf 2 and being tracking and systematically improving my golf swing.
I am appreciating the Internet of Things. Also the advances in productivity tools like Evernote. The information explosion is both a blessing and a curse. One thing that Tadas does where we can help is highlighting the key points for investors.
First, I recently got done binging the second season of Dark on Netflix, and cannot recommend it enough to fans of science fiction. It’s a German show, so you can either watch the dubbed-over version in English or German with subtitles – it’s worth the effort.
Second, Douglas Boneparth got me into the FinTwit Chemex craze. I dipped my toe into the water with a Chemex, electric kettle, and scale, and liked it, so I recently went all-in and got an electric grinder. Game-changer! Nothing better than the smell of freshly ground coffee beans at home. Get on it.
I’ve developed a somewhat peculiar fascination with the history from late antiquity into the early Renaissance. There’s something about the creation of new order and new ideas out of the darker ages that has kept me heads down in a bunch of books and podcasts.
My wife recently joined me for a short holiday in South Africa after I spoke at a conference in Johannesburg. I worked there as a journalist for a few months after the first all-race elections, and going back, all these years later, was truly exhilarating. It’s a wonderful country, and if you haven’t yet been on safari, book one now. Life’s too short to put off the things you always wanted to do.
Honestly, I am just excited to see how everyone is evolving and building their businesses. The FinTwit and Financial Blogosphere has been a pretty tightly knit group for a long time. Some people looked at this group with skepticism 10 years ago, but now we’re seeing all these firms, advisors and experts develop real businesses, useful products, great research, etc. These are some of the truly best people in finance and it’s been such a fun ride watching them develop businesses and platforms that are now reaping the benefits and adding real value to people’s lives.
I can’t believe it took me so long to read Joe Peta’s Trading Bases. If you like baseball, trading, and/or gambling, you will love this book and learn something too.
For the first time in years, I’m really seeing some good dividend yields in several corners of the stock market. I wouldn’t have touched tobacco or telecom with a ten-foot pole a couple years ago. But today, the yields are fantastic. And those are just two general examples. This is a fantastic time to be a value and income investor if you’re willing to be patient.
Thanks to all the bloggers for their time and effort. Stay tuned for my answers to this week’s Blogger Wisdom questions.