Posts filed under “Investing”

Coming July 12: Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio

Over the past few weeks, I have been dropping hints about a new project I am working on with the folks at Bloomberg. Now that we have an official launch date, I can reveal the details to you.

I have over the years, lamented about the state of media (see e.g., this, this and this).  Rather than merely whine continuously about the state of the financial press, I wanted to do something about it.

Last summer, I floated the following idea: Why not turn the usual Wall Street interviews upside down? Speak to the key people who are the source of the ideas that shape markets, drive portfolio management, influence the economy, and make the modern world of business and finance what it is today. My elevator pitch to the powers that be at Bloomberg was “Mark Maron’s WTF meets Charlie Rose, for finance.

Instead of focusing on the next 15 minutes, discover instead how they became who they were. Get to their philosophy, worldview, favorite books, mentors, etc.

Oh, and no stock picks and no predictions.

Instead, I want to focus on how the modern masters in business and finance got that way: Who and what were their influences? Who were their mentors? How did they get started, what odd or funny things shaped their careers? What helped to form their philosophies? How has the business of finance changed over their careers?

A deep dive into the most fascinating characters in finance.

Here is an interesting thing about Bloomberg LP: For a large and very successful organization, they are surprisingly entrepreneurial. Make a decent proposal, and they are happy to give you enough rope to hang yourself with.

Which so far, we have.

The show — which has the title Masters in Business –  is half radio, half podcast. It is a weekly one-on-one interview, broadcast (repeatedly) each weekend. The first half of it is an hour of radio (about 32 minutes of record time in 4 segments). But the second half has no time restrictions at all. I didn’t want anyone to feel rushed or pressured to give a pithy answer, or time pressured. After the live-to-tape for broadcast radio is done, we just keep going. Let the recording just run, and see what happens.

This led to some amazing and surprising results. Doubleline’s Jeff Gundlach tells wonderful stories in great details about his early days as a bond manager that are fabulous. Jim Chanos, Kynikos fund manager and wonderful raconteur, regaled us for hours with all great stuff. Former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt, Jr. is sharper at 83 then most of us ever were on our best day — and may just well be the finest Human Being I have ever met in my life. Rob Arnott is full of smart insights,James O’Shaugnessy’s career path is amazing, as is Jeff Saut’s and Michael Mauboussin’s. Sheila Bair is an utter delight.

That’s the sort of folks who have already done the show. My goal is to speak to the 100+ most influential and important minds in finance over the next two years.

The result will be an hour broadcast on Bloomberg Radio — 1130 AM in NYC and on Sirius XM nationally. It will be downloadable on Apple iTunes and on the Bloomberg Radio App. You can also stream it from, SoundCloud, the Bloomberg terminal, as well as here on this blog.

The interviews I did last year with Ned Davis and Felix Zulauf were the inspiration for the show. Only these are live and in person, which creates a very different interaction.

Our first 10 shows are now recorded and scheduled, and should broadcast as follows:

Masters in Business
1.  Jeff Gundlach, Doubleline (July 12)
2.  Rob Arnott, Research Affiliates (July 19)
3. Arthur Levitt, SEC Chairman (July 26)
4. Michael Mauboussin, Credit Suisse, Columbia U (August 2)
5. Jack Brennan, Vanguard Chairman & CEO  (August 9)
6. Jim Chanos, Kynikos (August 16)
7. Sheila Bair, FDIC Chairman (August 23)
8. James O’Shaugnessy, OSAM  (August 30)
9. David Rosenberg, Merrill Lynch, GS, (September 6)
10. Larry Swedroe, Buckingham Asset Management  (September 13)

As you can see, its a killer line up. We have recorded 20 interviews so far, with the first one set to broadcast this weekend.

Getting the nuances and timing of radio has been a learning process for me. It was much harder than I imagined, and I sucked much worse than I would have guessed at first. But eventually, you kind of figure out the timing, and it starts to come together.

I improve a little each week as the show progresses. But my own suckitude matters little, as the guests were so awesome. It is simply killer stuff. I promise you the shows we recorded are great stuff.

My bold forecast: This will become MUST LISTEN radio for anyone in the industry, as well as any serious investor.

Check out the show. You will not be disappointed.

Category: Financial Press, Investing, Media

I Love the 80′s: 1982 Low vs 2009 Low

click for ginormnous chart Source: The Chart Store   “I Love the ’80s” was a BBC television miniseries that examined the world through the lens of 1980s pop culture. (VH1’s riff on the show can be found here). I bring up the ’80s because of a wonderful chart from Ron Griess who runs The Chart…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Investing, Markets

Correction? Yes. When? Nobody Knows.

Welcome back from the long holiday weekend. Before we left for our nation’s birthday celebration, markets had a little party of their own: The Dow had broken 17,000, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had touched a record high and was spitting distance from crossing 2,000. Even the small-cap indexes such as the Russell 2000…Read More

Category: Investing, Markets, Trading

Inequality and Growth

Category: Economy, Investing, Taxes and Policy, Think Tank, Wages & Income

The Transition From Alpha to Beta

click for larger chart Source: Pension Partners   Hedge-fund assets recently eclipsed $3 trillion. One of the more popular strategies for hedge funds has been the long/short equity fund. Charlie Bilello, director of research at Pension Partners and the source of our chart today, writes:  Continues here

Category: Hedge Funds, Investing

Today in 1994: Garzarelli Fund Closed

via Jason Zweig: 1994: Remember Elaine Garzarelli, the “guru” at Shearson Lehman Brothers who “called” the Crash of 1987? Her Smith Barney Shearson Sector Analysis Fund, which sucked up $700 million in 1987 from investors dazzled by her forecasting ability, is shut down today as Smith Barney quietly merges Garzarelli’s fund into its Strategic Investor…Read More

Category: Investing, Really, really bad calls, UnGuru

S&P 500 Rate-Sensitive Industries

Source: BofA Merrill Lynch   Really interesting chart that shows how the reaction to rate increases are highly variable by industries.

Category: Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Investing, Markets

Single Variable Market Analysis is for Losers

If you work in finance, you will invariably come across an example of single-variable analysis. Almost daily, we see terrible examples of this sort of analytic error, rife with logical weakness, yet offered with the highest degree of certainty. The way this works is as follows: Some ominous data point will be shown, along with…Read More

Category: Analysts, Data Analysis, Investing, Philosophy, Psychology, Quantitative, Really, really bad calls

What Are the Dumbest Investment Ideas of 2014?

In my day job, I see lots and lots of really silly things. Portfolios transfer in filled to the brim with junk, silliness and evidence of malicious intent. I am working on my list of Dumbest Investment Ideas of the Year, but I am curious if any of you have seen anything that stood out…Read More

Category: Investing, Really, really bad calls

Underinvested in US Equities, Overinvested in Hedge Funds

Last summer in Boston, the Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security held its annual meeting at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Trustees and representatives of various state pension funds listened to explanations about the challenges facing endowments and pension funds. The conference is an attempt to explain why so many state pensions are underfunded and underperforming. The…Read More

Category: Hedge Funds, Investing, Venture Capital