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Invest Like the Best

Author: Patrick O'Shaughnessy

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Exploring the ideas, methods, and stories of people that will help you better invest your time and money. Learn more and stay-up-to-date at InvestorFieldGuide.com
188 Episodes
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My guest today is Hamilton Helmer, the Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Strategy Capital and the author of one of the best business books in history called 7 Powers, which is the topic of much of our conversation. He has spent his career as a practicing business strategist: advising companies, investing based on strategic insights and teaching strategy.  In the last three decades, he has also utilized his strategy concepts as a public equity investor. In this conversation we cover all seven business powers, from counter-positioning to scale economies, and how companies earn and keep those powers. Any investor or businessperson should understand these concepts, and 7 Powers is the best work I’ve seen that explains them in depth. Please enjoy our conversation.   For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes (1:31) – (First question)  - What power means to him (5:05) – Benefits being more common than barriers in the power equation (6:28) – How early-stage companies develop their barriers (11:23) – The power of counter positioning and how he’s seen it applied (14:47) – The product side of counter positioning             (16:39) – Daniel Ek Podcast episode (17:27) – Applying the idea of counter positioning to yourself (20:40) – A cornered resource (23:49) – A look at google as a cornered resource (27:12) – Unique power of network economies (31:18) – What subtleties disqualify network effects (32:54) – Nuances of scale economies (35:56) – Learning economies and who can scale it better (37:07) – Building a switching cost and barrier into your business (40:10) – Branding as power (44:27) – Defining process power and how it differs from scale economies (46:40) – The notion of the time lag and cash flow (50:42) – Why is so much power concentrated in technology businesses (52:07) – What does power mean for customers (53:43) – Developing power as an art vs science, and the best power artists (55:08) – The kindest thing anyone has done for him   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest today is Tobi Lutke, the co-founder, and CEO of Shopify.  This is both a timely and evergreen conversation.  Timely, as the world as moved aggressively digital in the past two months, and Shopify powers so much of digital commerce.  Evergreen, because while we touch on Covid and the Shopify business, this is much more a conversation on business and personal principles, learning, design, and growth. Tobi is one of the CEO’s I look up to most for the type of company he is building and for the way he conducts himself.  We discuss business focus, why video games help you learn the power of attention, what design means for products and organizations, and much more. Please enjoy my conversation with Tobi Lutke.   This episode is brought to you by the MIT investment management company (MITIMCO) Reach out or learn more:  Email: partner@mitimco.org Website: https://mitimco.org/partner/ MITIMCo 10 year Letter: https://mitimco.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MITIMCo-Alumni-Letter.pdf MITIMCo brochure: https://mitimco.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/MITIMCo-Brochure_web_2018-12-05.pdf For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes (2:35) – (First question) – The launch of the new Shopify shop app             (2:44) – Deniel Ek Podcast Episode             (2:45) – Jeff Lawson Podcast Episode (4:56) – Having the right focus and growing a good business (9:06) – Marketplace business model vs the merchant driven business model             9:16 – Bill Gurley Podcast Appearances - 162 | 144 | 137 (11:47) – His role as a decisionmaker as CEO of the company (14:07) – What does he mean when he talks about quality (18:28) – His thinking on design and quality             (18:32) – Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance             (19:59) – The Design of Everyday Things (21:06) – Friction as a force in business and manufacturing (26:04) – His thoughts on systems and being free of process            (26:08) – The Systems Bible  (30:01) – The game of Factoria and how it relates to systems             (32:16) – Transfer Learning (34:33) – What Real-Time Strategy games have taught Tobi (38:30) – Building context inside of a company and making it scale (41:17) – Personality typing (46:22) – The Tobi Blueprint (46:04) – Why he likes The Guide to the Good Life and stoicism (55:38) – Raising kids and the impact of Covid (1:03:16) – The kindest thing anyone has done for Tobi   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest today is popular past guest Ali Hamed, who joins us for an update on private credit. We discuss what has happened so far, what parts of the market are frozen, and where opportunities may lie. We also talk about how the world has shifted digitally since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Please enjoy my conversation with my friend Ali Hamed. This episode is brought to by Koyfin. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes (1:41) – (First question) – World of private credit in the pandemic age (4:50) – Bag of uncertainty (6:27) – Important levers in private credit (9:15) – Scary scenarios and systemic risks in this world (13:21) – General trends in the credit data (15:30) – Are investors factoring government response properly (17:02) – Defining advanced rates (20:18) – Focus on quality vs rate of return now (22:26) – Pockets of opportunity as uncertainty declines (26:06) – Online ecommerce platforms, like the YouTube economy (29:40) – Non advertising driven ecommerce platforms (31:54) – How venture capital is responding (38:19) – How junior debt could be am opportunity (40:17) – Trends he’s thinking about; redefining small businesses (43:07) – Ali Hamed Podcast Episode   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest today for a flash update is Chris Bloomstran, the founder and CIO of Semper Augustus and a popular past guest on the show. We talk about his view on the state of the public equity market, why it will be hard for the market to deliver great returns for the next decade relative to the last, and where opportunities may lie. Please enjoy. This episode is brought to by Koyfin. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes (1:42) – (First question) – Adjustments to his portfolio in the age of a pandemic             (6:41) – Chris Bloomstran Podcast Episode             (9:36) – The Federal Reserve Act (12:32) – Surprising action in the markets during the crisis             (13:08) – 2020 Investment Letter (15:02) – Why we won’t see the same performance in tech over the future as we’ve seen the last decade (21:00) – The carnage in energy sector and return potential (30:06) – Berkshires activity since the crisis started (35:48) – Where sectors are valued in the current market (41:12) – Expectation for deflation over inflation  (48:54) – Characteristics to look for in businesses to own over the next 10 years (52:05) – Economic factors they are focusing on   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest today is Josh Kopelman, the founder of famed venture capital firm First Round Capital. Prior to starting First Round, which has invested at the earliest stages in companies like Square, Uber, and Roblox, Josh was a three-time entrepreneur, so our conversation spans early-stage investing, business building, and entrepreneurship. I’ll not sure forget his analogy distinguishing between navigators and cartographers, nor the rest of the interesting ideas he shared after seeing and investing in so many great businesses. We also discuss how First Round has bucked the trend to build what I’d call a platform adjacent to the core investing business which does a lot for their entrepreneurs and is a model for other professional investing firms, both in venture and elsewhere. Please enjoy my conversation with Josh Kopelman.  This episode is brought to by Koyfin. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes (2:05) – (First question) – How pandemic has impacted their investing strategies (3:54) – How this stressful environment impacts founders (6:23) – His early career as a founder and how startup culture has changed (10:15) – Most important lessons from his entrepreneurial career and building from just an idea (11:50) – How to analyze a founder (14:05) – Common disagreements when it comes to deciding on an investment (15:33) – How many opportunities they evaluate in a meeting (16:16) – The curvy road to their investment in Roadblox (17:52) – Whether the concept for a platform is overused (19:36) – Founders asking what google search they should build on (20:46) – Solving existing or forecasted problems (25:39) – How the startup scene is impacted by the huge legacy tech companies (30:28) – What makes a great early stage investor (32:19) – Do they focus on founders or themes (33:19) – Where will valuations and returns come back to after the pandemic (36:30) – How are business models evolving in technology entrepreneurship             (36:31) – Matt Clifford Podcast Episode (39:40) – The Dorm Room Fund (43:02) – Whether investment funds should have their own platform (47:31) – Product mistakes in software building (51:52) – What he’s most excited about for the future (54:05) – The kindest thing anyone has done for him  Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest today is Manny Stotz, the founder of Kingsway Capital. Manny is one of the leading investors in Frontier Markets, investing in equities in countries like Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. We discuss the opportunity in these markets from all angles: demographics, valuations, sectors and beyond. It is important to note that we recorded this conversation before COVID, and these markets have fallen 30% without a similar rebound in prices that we’ve seen in the U.S. As you listen you’ll hear why this may be relevant for the companies Manny focuses on and may accentuate the opportunity in Frontier Markets even relative to the numbers quoted in this conversation. Listeners will know my interest in Frontier Markets runs deep, so I was excited to have one of the categories leading investors join me. Please enjoy my conversation with Manny Stotz. This episode is brought to by Koyfin. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 2:07 – (First question) – How Kingsway was conceived, their focus on frontier emerging markets, and his career path 11:57 – What are the best company builders good at when it comes to fostering a brand 18:30 – How country-specific factors impact the tailwind 25:43 – How markets are faring in these special circumstances 32:09 – Building a book in many of the markets they trade-in 37:10 – Understanding your edge in frontier markets, showing up 39:59 – Importance of solid distribution for the companies he invests in 42:12 – Concentration in various markets 44:10 – Moving beyond consumer brands in these markets 47:14 – Some of the most interesting countries they are looking into and the country business model             47:42 – Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies             47:44 – Civilization: The West and the Rest             47:46 – Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty 53:21 – New topics he’s excited to learn about that will impact his business over the next 10-20 years 55:37 – Best way for people to get involved and invest in these markets 58:17 – Kindest thing anyone has done for him Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest this week is Sarah Tavel, a general partner at Benchmark, working alongside past guests Bill Gurley and Chetan Puttagunta. Sarah has a long history as both an investor and as an operator.  She was an early product leader at Pinterest before joining Benchmark. Sarah has become one of my go-to resources for topics like networks, consumer technology, and marketplaces among many other topics. I’ve used her framework for how to think about client engagement, company data, and marketplace liquidity and quality over and over again in my business life. I’m so excited to finally have her on the show.  Please enjoy our conversation. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 1:24 – (First question) - Lessons learned from watching the food delivery space 5:44 – Hip camp and how they are thinking about the space rental sector             5:45 - The a16z Marketplace 100 7:47 – Valuing private companies vs public companies 9:37 – Building marketplaces 14:24 – Tipping a market             14:30 – Bill Gurley Podcast Episode 18:09 – How to incorporate reputation scores into a network 19:55 – Search ranking as a tool for marketplaces 21:00 – Size of marketplaces vs their competitors 22:15 – Niching of marketplaces             22:21 - Chetan Puttagunta Podcast Episode 23:26 – State of the consumer social sector 27:50 – The LinkedIn problem and how she would build a social platform 30:42 – Things that are piquing her interest in the consumer space 32:20 – Lessons learned about scaling while working at Pinterest 38:42 – Pricing and the marketplace 41:25 – Identifying and optimizing a Core Action in a digital business 44:18 – Accruing benefits and mounting losses as part of the product design 47:48 – Her investment in Reci 52:18 – How should companies gather the best data from their business 56:03 – Lessons to SaaS investing 56:29 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Sarah 57:45 – Most interesting philosophy lesson             58:09 – Creating a Kingdom of Ends   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
In the midst of the worldwide quarantine, my friend Boyd Varty decided to begin an adventure he has been considering for a long time: a 40 day and 40 night stay in the African wilderness. I’m releasing this short conversation with Boyd to pique your interest in his daily dispatches. He will be taking short audio journal-like recordings and sharing them with the world as he goes. As of today they are several that you can listen to by subscribing to the Track Your Life podcast on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Please enjoy this short chat with my good friend Boyd Varty. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes (0:31) – The start of his 40-day trip (1:42) – Origin of the word quarantine and how it led to this journey (3:07) – History of this idea (6:14) – The logistics of this 40-day venture (9:59) – His experience doing this before and how it changed his psyche (12:07) – What is he most fearful of (13:22) – How he feels about sharing this experience when he returns (15:47) – The mental preparation to this journey             (15:48) – Priya Parker Podcast Episode             (15:49) – The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters (17:33) – How can outsiders make a connection to Boyd while he’s in this isolation (19:55) – How can people actually follow him on this journey             (20:23) – Track Your Life with Boyd Varty Podcast – Apple Podcasts | Spotify             (20:33) – Instagram - @boyd_varty             (20:36) – boydvarty.com             (20:43) – 40daysand40nights.com (21:05) – The story of the 17 lions Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest today is with past guest Gavin Baker, the founder and CIO of Atreides Management, LP. We discuss investing during a bear market and the major ways in which the COVID19 outbreak has dramatically altered the investment landscape. Please enjoy my second conversation with Gavin Baker. This episode is brought to by Koyfin. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes (1:40) – How he sees the markets right now (3:06) – How he handles information uncertainty and the value spreads (5:53) – Trading in today’s market and the volatility (9:45) – How the economic activity squares with the amount of stimulus being pumped into the market             (13:11) – Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders (13:56) – Asset tests for individual companies in this environment             (19:09) – This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (20:45) – His take on software companies during the crisis (28:57) – Fast pace of change during extreme times of duress (35:14) – Space as a service (39:52) – Attention and time inside digital universes and how investors can take advantage (46:17) – Why chaos is a ladder             (50:42) – It Was a Very Good Year: Extraordinary Moments in Stock Market History   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest today is D.A. Wallach, one of the more interesting investors I’ve come across. He is the former lead singer of the group Chester French and the former artist-in-residence at Spotify, where he was also an early investor. While he’s also an early investor in companies like SpaceX, his focus the last 5 years has been on early stage health care investing, which is the topic of this conversation. We discuss the entire life sciences and heath care investing ecosystem. This was recorded in the very early days of the Coronavirus outbreak so while we touch on it briefly it isn’t the primary focus, and I intend on returning to more traditional episodes like this one in the coming weeks, meant to be evergreen conversations. Please enjoy my conversation with D.A. Wallach. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 1:31 – (First question) – Where is interest in healthcare started 4:04 – How to categorize health services 5:13 – The product of medicine 6:56 – How medicine is changing in 2020 10:17 – What is enabling innovation in medicine 12:41 – Manufacturing of solutions, gene therapy example 17:16 – Using CRISPR 19:47 – Pros and cons, and the morality of gene intervention 23:44 – How progress is being made in medical breakthroughs 26:51 – What is the business and investment world seeing on the longevity side 30:15 – What is next in the wearable medical tracking trend 33:04 – The personalization of medical treatments 34:31 – How he thinks about all of this from an investing standpoint 36:37 – Exiting these companies 39:41 – How he thinks about founders in this space 42:35 – Drug prices             42:46 – The Paradox of Pricing 46:45 – What will lead to a change in the pricing of drugs 49:05 – The delivery side of healthcare 51:09 – Investments that could improve the delivery side of healthcare 53:33 – Thoughts on the anti-interventionist line of thinking in the medical world 57:50 – Lessons from his health portfolio 1:02:33 – Other frontiers that pique his interest, including gut biome 1:06:46 – His career in music 1:08:20 – Lessons he learned during his time in the music industry 1:10:19 – Opportunities in the music industry as an investor 1:12:29 – Kindest thing anyone has done for DA   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest today is Chad Cascarilla, here to discuss some of the tail risks in the economy and markets as of March 24th in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Chad was one of the most successful investors during the global financial crisis with a specialty in the banking and finance systems. He now runs Paxos, a trust company which trades and custodies unique products like pax gold, bitcoin, and other tokenized assets including simple pax dollars. I feel it is important to avoid confirmation bias in times like this and not just talk to people are optimistic or long, and while I still believe this is ultimately a positive and optimistic conversation, Chad acknowledges and outlines scenarios that few are talking about yet in the markets.   This episode is brought to by Koyfin.   For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes (2:04) – (First question) – Today’s market and the porridge scenario (7:38) – Risks to the market that people aren’t focused on (10:54) – What lessons from 2008 do we need to heed this time (13:07) – How does he think about inflation on the other side of this crisis (16:02) – What does a too cold recovery look like (20:35) – Benefits of nationalizing the banks vs pumping liquidity (24:13) – What does the just right recovery look like (25:24) – Assets that might be ideal to hold in a too hot or too cold scenario (29:00) – His take on how Bitcoin has performed during this crisis (31:53) – The US’s inherent strengths compared to the rest of the global economy (34:50) – Advice for people             (38:59) – Paxos.com (39:48) – What is he monitoring to see which way things shake out   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My conversation today is with my close friend Brent Beshore. Brent is a private equity investor who owns and interacts with many small businesses, which have been hit especially hard by COVID. We discuss the various impacts that COVID has had and may have on both small business and the private equity investing community. Brent also proposes some policy actions which he thinks may help those most in need. Please enjoy. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 1:13 – (First question) – What Brent sees as the current landscape for small businesses 3:25 – The real problem for small businesses right now 6:02 – How long can small businesses survive these freezes 9:14 – Ideas to help businesses stay afloat during a global shutdown 11:01 – The cost of restarting businesses on the other side of this   13:41 – Policies that could help             14:30 – government co-paying some business expenses             16:05 – Suspending payroll taxes             16:17 – The small business bond             18:00 – Wider latitude for banks 20:03 – How effective would Brent’s ideas actually be at lessening the pain 22:41 – A look at how things look in the private equity complex 25:39 – What are the potential opportunities out there 29:24 – What is a balance sheet product 32:00 – How this is personally impacting Brent 34:20 – How this is personally impacting Patrick 35:45 – Importance of relationships for personal health Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest this morning is Dan Rasmussen of Verdad Capital. Like me, Dan and his firm focus on quantitative research. Just a month before the COVID crisis hit markets, they completely and published a study on investing during periods of market crisis, which is the topic of this conversation. We discuss what works and what doesn’t during and after acute periods of panic in markets. I think you’ll find it extremely informative. Because Dan’s firm and my own share many beliefs about investing and conduct similar flavors of research, I try to offer devil’s advocate questions throughout. Please enjoy. This episode is brought to by Koyfin. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag  Show Notes 1:54 – (First question) – What he sees in the markets today given the atmosphere right now 4:26 – An overview of their study: Crisis Investing: How to Maximize Return During Market Panics 8:38 – How things get more predictable during crisis 11:15 – The length of these crises and assets they focused on 12:40 – What happens to bonds and credit during these times 15:50 – Geography of crises 18:14 – How does this impact the philosophy of just index investing 20:40 – Positioning of value in this market 27:50 – Lessons from other crises 32:21 – Importance of a blended factor approach 35:44 – Role of momentum 38:10 – What else he is paying attention to during this crisis Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guests today are Bill Gurley and Chetan Puttagunta, both partners at benchmark capital. We review the early stage investing world in the face of coronavirus in a very timely conversation, which is one that will remain valuable once this crisis is done. We discuss enterprise and consumer, funding and growth, and the entrepreneurial spirit in the face of a crisis. Please enjoy. This episode is brought to by Koyfin. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 1:44 – (First question) – Landscape for venture capital ecosystem 6:47 – The experience in 2009 and the entrepreneurs that tend to rise to the top 8:24 – The relationship between early stage companies and public investors 10:45 – How this crisis impacts enterprise businesses vs the broader corporate sector 14:46 – Advice for early stage companies in a period like this 18:23 – What Chetan was doing during the last downturn and what he learned during it 20:27 – Early stage vs late stage companies in this environment             22:57 – On the Road to Recap 23:00 – Benefits of being small in a period like this 25:22 – How portfolio companies are responding and pivoting during this period 29:33 – Best practices for remote companies 31:39 – Themes that stand out during this period 34:51 – Closing thoughts  Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest in this flash podcast is Bryan Krug of Artisan partners. We discuss what has happened so far in the corporate high yield and investment-grade credit markets, and the loan market. We compare today’s environment to the financial crisis and other past crises with lots of nuances that I hope will be helpful to bond and equity investors. Please enjoy. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Show Notes 1:08 – (First question) – An overview of what he covers in the corporate credit markets 1:52 – How things have changed in the last couple of weeks 3:56 – Composition of the high yield market 7:07 – Major sectors of the high yield market outside of energy 8:39 – How do they price the risk in securities right now 11:21 – How do they handicap a great unknown 13:00 – Risk for broader contagion in the overall credit markets 14:49 – What’s the downside potential here 16:31 – Potential for upside 18:33 – How does he view companies that are drawing down on their entire line of credit 19:44 – An overview of the loan market 20:42 – What warning signs equity investors should be watching for in the bond markets 21:57 – What do credit spreads look like today compared to before this crisis Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
This week, I’ll be recording and immediately releasing a series of conversations on business and market reactions to the spread of coronavirus. The conversations will be on oil and gas, corporate credit, and the reaction within the venture capital community. Today’s conversation is with Matt Smith, Ian Singer, and Kobi Platt of Deep Basin Capital. We are investors in Deep Basin, and they were past guests on the podcast. We discuss the new price war in the oil markets and the impact it might have on equities and especially on U.S. oil producers. Please enjoy. This episode is brought to by Koyfin. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Show Notes 1:59 – (First question) – An overview of the global oil market and demand 3:37 – Supply and demand shocks we’ve seen lately 6:22 – What happened this weekend with Russia and Saudi Arabia and why the outcome was so shocking 9:45 – The knock-on effects of this activity on equities 14:24 – Impact on US energy production 18:29 – What other industries will feel the effect of reduced production in the US 20:35 – Defining a price war and how victory is defined 27:53 – Saudi Arabia’s calculus in this energy fight. 31:11 – How does all of this change what factors they use to analyze companies 35:43 – What it actually looks like within the commodities markets to trade energy 40:01 – What uncertainty is most intriguing to each of them 43:00 – The long-term interest in investing in the energy sector Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest this week is Peter Zeihan, the author of a new book, the Disunited Nations.  Peter was an extremely popular guest on the show last year and after reading his new book, I knew we had a lot to discuss in round 2.  In this conversation, we discuss two ways of ruling the world, the coming American disinterest in global affairs, and which country are poised to do well int eh future.  We explore military and non-military technologies, political changes, and up and coming alliances like that between the United States and Mexico.  As with last time, peter packs more information into an hour than just about anybody.  Please enjoy our conversation. This episode is brought to by Koyfin. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Show Notes 1:57 – (First question) – What makes for a successful country 6:02 – Five first-tier countries that are well positioned 7:14 – Ruling the world, US carrot model vs British stick model 9:39 – How other countries will use these models in the future 12:59 – The surprising reliance of Iran and Russia on the US 15:24– Key points of his research on the Middle East 18:36 – Advice for how those operating in the US should think about future business investments 23:05 – The future of manufacturing partnerships with the US and the focus on Mexico 27:30 – What Coronavirus has taught us about the world economy 30:01 – What the primaries and election are teaching us 35:09 – What role does Africa play in the future 38:36 – Strong and weak players in Europe and how Brexit has impacted things 44:41 – The future for nuclear power 46:27 – The outlook for South America 50:42 – The trends and future in military technology 55:03 – Non-military technology that will have a major impact 58:26 – Skills young people should focus on for the future 1:00:07 – Coronavirus as a dress rehearsal for large scale disruptions to the world Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
My guest this week is Jeff Lawson, the Founder, and CEO of Twilio. Twilio is a 15-billion-dollar company offering a cloud communications platform to its customers.  Twilio is used by customers like Lyft, Twitch, and Yelp to make communications in their products easy.  Jeff and I talk about why it pays to be a platform, how to be a platform, and how to sculpt a company culture. This is a must-listen for anyone building a business whether it’s a tech business or not. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 1:18 – (First Question) –  Company vowels and draw the owl 5:26 – Significance of API’s 12:14 – How non-software businesses can transition into the space          17:50 - Agile way of working at ING Belgium (video) 18:38 – How they strategize their product build 23:27 – The idea of asking your developer and why it’s so important to them 33:02 – How they codified their business culture 45:12 – Parting advice for people building platforms 48:13 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Jeff  Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
Niko Canner is the founder of Incandescent where he and his team help the leaders of large companies in the areas of strategy and innovation. He was also the founder of Katzenbach Partners and a member of Bridgewater’s management committee. Niko is a fantastic writer, and I highly recommend you check out his blog “On Human Enterprise,” which has posts on many of the most interesting aspects of business and personal purpose. This conversation was inspired by many of those posts. Please enjoy.   For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 1:17 – (First Question) – The story of Doctor V             3:24 – Aravind and the Choice of Great Achievement 4:00 – Becoming the perfect instrument 6:05 – What is Niko planning to be the perfect instrument of 8:18 – How should individuals think about finding what they can be the perfect instrument of             8:59 – Brett Victor – Inventing on Principle 10:59 – How do businesses apply this principle 13:20 – Making choices easier 16:43 – Era’s to a company and when it’s time to start a new one 19:52 – How can business culture be cultivated and useful 22:53 – Cultures at the tail end of a distribution 24:33 – Can hierarchy be fluid, or does it need to be a dedicated corporate structure 27:47 – My Unlikeliest Favorite Business Book             28:03 – The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It's Not About the Money...It's About Being the Best You Can Be! 30:46 – The Red Test and how it can be used by businesses 36:54 - Ten Principles for How to Run a Company 42:25 – Dealing with the sponsor owner brief in the software world 45:24 – How does one choose customers 46:32 – Bill Hubbard passage – A Theory for Practice: Architecture in Three Discourses 49:09 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Niko Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
For the 100th episode, I’ve brought back my good friend Brent Beshore. Brent was the 10th guest on the podcast, after we met because of a mutual interest in capital allocation. I quickly learned that Brent was one of the most unique and thoughtful investors around. He was an entrepreneur from the moment he left school, trying many different things before finding a fit buying smaller business with the intention of owning them forever. What amazes me about Brent is his encyclopedic understanding of business and the nuances of different business models and deal structures. This comes from reps. He and his team have looked at about 12,000 deals over the years, at every kind of business that you could imagine. I’ve been with him when he goes through this process and it’s fun to hear what makes certain businesses stand out from others, which is largely the topic of this conversation. You all know transparency is key for me, so it’s important to know that my family and I are investors in a fund called permanent equity, run by Brent and his firm Adventure.es. To commemorate this milestone episode, I can think of no one better than Brent, because he exemplifies what has made this podcast so fun for me: learning from other people who are willing to share what they themselves have learned through fun, blood, sweat, and tears. Please enjoy our conversation, and thank you so much for coming along on this journey. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Show Notes 2:02 - (First Question) – How does he think about optimizing risk in terms of the capital stack when looking at deals 5:27 – What conditions would they add debt down the road after investing in a company 6:52 – What business sectors are most intriguing for Morgan to invest in right now             6:57 – Trent Griffin Podcast 9:34 – Why no HVAC businesses if it’s such an attractive sector 13:56 – thoughts on rolling up similar businesses and horizontal scale 16:04 – Another industry Brent would focus on 18:02 – Difference between property management in larger cities vs smaller metro areas 18:51 – What role does profit margin play when Brent is evaluating a business 22:46 – The appeal of a hyper cyclical business             22:52 – Brent Beshore Podcast Episode 27:27 – Favorite counter cyclical business 28:14 – How they judge assets, tangible vs intangible assets 33:58 – How does he think about wage inflation when considering the cost of a business 37:21 – His fascination with pet crematoriums 38:57 – History of the permanent equity fund and the changes by having a larger pool of capital 43:48 – Pitching investors on a new structure for the business 46:14 – How will this business model scale Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag
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Comments (10)

Arunkumar Navasiva

Great content!

Mar 4th
Reply

Kevin T

brilliant

Feb 21st
Reply

Timera Boateng

very interesting

Jan 23rd
Reply

Kurt Edwins

this guy is amazing.and thanks Patrick for letting him. from New Zealand.

Jan 15th
Reply

Manny George

akallq

Dec 26th
Reply

Bob

Blew me away. Great episode!

Aug 8th
Reply

ryan weston

Great conversation

Mar 10th
Reply

hemal dani

superb episode

May 25th
Reply

Anthony Roach

Josh Wolfe is fast speaking and has an intelligence like few other. Great show guys, informative and eye-opening. Thank you!

Feb 18th
Reply

IJS

Excellent podcast.

Feb 5th
Reply
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