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The Investors First Podcast

Author: CFA Society Orlando

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The award* winning Investors First Podcast is a service of CFA Society Orlando. Subject matter experts from our Society interview Founders, Chief Executive Officer’s, Chief Investment Strategists, Fed Presidents and more to discuss timely and relevant topics in finance. Our mission is to educate investors and investment professionals in Florida, the Americas and beyond, with a focus on making you a more informed investor and/or advisor.

*The CFA Institute awarded CFA Society Orlando the 2020 Impact and Innovation Award for the Investor’s First Podcast. Previous guests include Patrick O’Shaugnessy, Liz Ann Sonders, Barry Ritholtz, Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic, Dr. David Kelly, Mark Yusko, Annie Duke, Morgan Housel, Peter Zeihan, and Meb Faber.

CFA Society Orlando is a member of the CFA Institute's Network of over 150 societies globally. The majority of its members hold the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, which is considered the most respected and recognized investment management credential in the world. Fewer than 1 in 5 candidates who begin the program end up successfully earning the CFA charter. Successful candidates take an average of four years to complete the program.
85 Episodes
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In this episode, we have the pleasure of hosting Michael Mauboussin, Michael is a highly respected figure in finance, celebrated for his deep insights into decision-making, behavioral economics, and investing. Michael is currently the Head of Consilient Research at Counterpoint Global (part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management).  He also serves as an adjunct professor of finance teaching Security Analysis at Columbia Business School (since 1993), teaching essentially the same class that Ben Graham started teaching in 1920. Michael is chairman emeritus of the board of trustees of the Santa Fe Institute, a leading center for multi-disciplinary research in complex systems theory. Mauboussin is best known for his influential books like "The Success Equation" and "Think Twice," which explore critical concepts such as the interplay of skill and luck in business and the power of counterintuitive thinking, which we will touch on in this episode.    In today’s episode, we cover a wide range of topics, including the ongoing public vs. private equity discussion, luck vs. skill as skill increases, stock market concentration, buybacks, valuation and advice for aspiring investment professionals.    Today's hosts are Steve Curley, CFA (Founder, 55 North Private Wealth) & co-host Chris Cannon (CIO/Principal, FirsTrust)   Please enjoy the episode. You can follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn or at investorsfirstpodcast.com
Today we host Ali Hamed, a Co-Founder and Partner at CoVenture and a prominent figure in venture capital and alternative investments. With a background in finance and technology, Ali brings strategic insights to early-stage investing. Hamed's track record of success and commitment to fostering entrepreneurship make him a key player in shaping the startup ecosystem. (concise bio courtesy of ChatGPT).   In today’s episode, we start with Ali’s origin story, starting with his time as a baseball player and agriculture major at Cornell, and what led to him eventually saying the internet was his major in college (which you will see on his LinkedIn profile). I have witnessed Ali’s differentiated view on investing in person and have enjoyed listening to his firm’s approach, which in some cases, they are 1 of 1 in their space. We discuss whether it is better to have capital or a good investment idea first, the democratization of private market investing, funding YouTube creators, and more.     Today's hosts are Steve Curley, CFA (Founder, 55 North Private Wealth) & co-host Chris Cannon (CIO/Principal, FirsTrust)   Please enjoy the episode. Follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn.
Today we host Dr. Meir Statman, somebody who was extremely productive during the pandemic, which included completing his new book A Wealth of Well Being. For those familiar with his behavioral finance research, Meir needs no introduction. For the rest of you listening, Meir has devoted his entire career to behavioral finance and making better investment decisions. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to host Meir for an event before the pandemic, but this is the first time he has been on our podcast.   Meir received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and his B.A. and M.B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It is worth noting that his research has been published in countless reputable academic journals and has been supported by the CFA Institute Reserarch Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA).    In today’s episode, we cover the different measures of wealth in a person’s life and the case for diversification across the various measures of wealth one can have (financial, social, cultural, among others). We also discuss human capital as a measure of wealth, optimal vs. sensible portfolio management, overspending vs. underspending, self-actualization, and more.   Today's hosts are Steve Curley, CFA (Founder, 55 North Private Wealth) & guest host Frank Garcia, CFA (Founder, Frankly Finances).    Please enjoy the episode. Follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn.    Social Media:   LinkedIn Post (and Facebook): New episode w/ Dr. Meir Statman, Professor of Finance at Santa Clara University, hosted by Steve Curley, CFA & Frank Garcia, CFA   *Various measures of wealth a person can have *The healing power of multiple forms of wealth *Human capital as a measure of wealth *Optimal vs. sensible portfolio management *Overspending vs. underspending *Self-Actualization   Enjoy! Insert link here   Twitter Post: New episode w/ Dr. Meir Statman, hosted by Steve Curley, CFA & Frank Garcia, CFA. We discuss personal wealth beyond the numbers (well-being) with the authority on the topic.   Show Notes:  Santa Clara University: https://www.scu.edu/business/finance/faculty/statman/ New book: A Wealth of Well-Being Office Hours with Professor Meir Statman: A Crash Course in Behavioral Finance
Our guest today is Sion Evans, CFA, Senior Investment Manager at VenCap, one of the longest-established investment management and advisory firms active in the VC industry today. They’ve made over 500 commitments to venture capital funds in the US, Europe, China and India.    In today’s episode, Sion gives a masterclass on what the data says about venture capital. We spend a lot of time on the importance of capturing the fund returners, why power laws drive venture returns, and what the global VC & startup landscape looks like today.    Our co-hosts today are Frank Garcia, CFA, and myself, Colby Donovan, CFA. Please enjoy the episode.    Follow the CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL
Our returning guest today is Vikram Mansharamani, a global trend-watcher who shows people how to anticipate the future, manage risk and spot opportunities.   In today’s episode, Vikram updates us on what’s been a busy three years since he first came on the podcast. We discuss his senatorial campaign in New Hampshire, his unfortunate split at Harvard, and then get into his new book, The Making of a Generalist. He gives a brief overview of the book and then apply his generalist lens to talk about his annual blog post that shares global developments he’s keeping an eye on over the next five years. We touch on immigration, the space economy, AI, tensions between US & China, and more.    Be sure to check out the show notes for all the related links we discuss in the episode.   Our co-hosts today are Chris Cannon, CFA, and myself, Colby Donovan, CFA. Please enjoy the episode.    Resources 24 Global Developments to Watch Over the Next Five Years Purchase his book, The Making of a Generalist: An Independent Thinker Finds Unconventional Success in an Uncertain World Read the intro to his book Drill, Baby, Drill! The Kai Guy Show   Vikram's Recommendations Grant by Ron Chernow Quantum Supremacy: How the Quantum Computer Revolution Will Change Everything Hardcover Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 1984 by George Orwell Grid Down, Power Up     Follow the CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL
Today we host Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management. For most of us in the investment community, Howard needs no introduction. He is somebody we have looked forward to hosting for quite some time and I couldn’t think of anybody better to kick off year five of the Investors First Podcast. We could go on and on about his track record, whether it be his time at the University of Pennsylvania or the University of Chicago, his firm’s investment performance, or his various professional achievements, but we must note that Howard is a fellow CFA charter holder (circa 1975).    In today’s episode, we cover the various phases of Howard’s career. We then discuss the beginning of his time in high-yield debt and how the shift to a risk-return framework for fiduciaries forever changed the investing profession. We also discussed his famous memos and his important thoughts on the Sea Change we are currently experiencing in markets and much more. We are truly grateful for the time Howard offered and he was everything we expected and then some.    Today's hosts are Steve Curley, CFA (Founder, 55 North Private Wealth) & guest host Chris Cannon, CFA (Chief Investment Officer, FirsTrust).    Please enjoy the episode. Follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn.
Our guest today is Adam Nash, the co-founder & CEO of Daffy.org, a modern platform and community for charitable giving that allows you to sign up for your donor-advised fund. Adam has served as an executive, angel investor, and advisor to some of the most successful technology companies to come out of Silicon Valley, including Dropbox, LinkedIn, eBay, and Apple. Adam also served as President & CEO of Wealthfront.    In today’s episode, Adam explains why his time at Wealthfront gave him the idea to launch Daffy (which stands for donor-advised fund for you). We walk through the ins and outs of a donor-advised fund, how Daffy manages to offer it at a cost that makes Vanguard 13x more expensive, and why this can be a great tool for year-end tax planning.   Listeners get an extra $25 for charity when they join Daffy. Get started for free here.    Our co-hosts today are Steve Curley, CFA, and myself, Colby Donovan, CFA. Please enjoy the episode.    Follow the CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL
Today we host Professor Aswath Damodaran, where we speak about how Aswath gained his love for teaching and how it led to him becoming an expert in valuation. The episode quickly veered into a sharp critique of the shortcomings of ESG investing. We also discuss market efficiency as it relates to active vs. passive investing, his story approach to individual companies, the future of education, career advice for finance professionals and more.    Our hosts today are Steve Curley, CFA & guest host Chris Cannon, CFA (Chief Investment Officer, FirsTrust).   Please enjoy the episode. Follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn.   Social Media:   LinkedIn Post (and Facebook): New episode w/ Aswath Damodaran, hosted by Steve Curley, CFA & Chris Cannon, CFA.   *Aswath’s love for teaching and how it led to him becoming an expert in valuation *A sharp critique of ESG investing *Market efficiency *His story approach to individual companies *Future of education and career advice for finance professionals   Enjoy! Insert link here   Twitter Post: New episode w/ Aswath Damodaran, hosted by Steve Curley, CFA & Chris Cannon, CFA. We discuss his love for teaching, his story approach for individual companies, a sharp critique of ESG investing and more.   Show Notes:  NYU Homepage: https://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/ Writing: https://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar Data: https://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar Tools: https://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar Musings on Markets blog: https://aswathdamodaran.substack.com/ YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLvnJL8htRR1T9cbSccaoVw
Today we host Phil Hayes, The ESOP Guy, where we speak about how Phil went from banker to Managing Partner of a large regional accounting firm (as a non-CPA) to now becoming an expert in ESOP’s.     In today’s episode, we speak about exit strategies in general, where ESOP’s fit, the mechanics of ESOP transactions and the tax advantages of this structure. We then bounce around and discuss everything all at once ranging from 1042 exchanges with qualified replacement property, to whether this is a good deal for BOTH the owners and the employees and much more.     Our hosts today are Steve Curley, CFA & guest host Chris Cannon, CFA (Chief Investment Officer, FirsTrust).   Please enjoy the episode. Follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn.   Social Media:   LinkedIn Post (and Facebook): New episode w/ Phil Hayes, Partner at Berman Hopkins, hosted by Steve Curley, CFA & Chris Cannon, CFA.   *Journey from banker to Managing Partner of Regional accounting firm to ESOP expert *The ESOP Guy podcast *Exit strategies and where ESOP’s fit for business owners *Tax advantages *1042 qualified replacement property *Is this a good deal for BOTH seller and employees?    Enjoy! Insert link here   Twitter Post: New episode w/ Phil Hayes, Partner at Berman Hopkins, hosted by Steve Curley, CFA & Chris Cannon, CFA. We discuss the ESOP Guy podcast, goodness of fit for business owners, tax advantages, 1042 qualified replacement property, and whether this a good deal for all parties involved.    Show Notes:  https://www.journeytoanesop.com https://www.bermanhopkins.com/ https://www.esopassociation.org/resources https://www.nceo.org/find-your-resource https://www.esop.org
Our guest today is Peter Atwater, President of Financial Insyghts and an adjunct professor at William & Mary and the University of Delaware. He studies the impact of changing confidence on consumer decision-making, using his research to advise investors, business leaders, and policymakers. In 2023, he released the book, The Confidence Map: Charting a Path from Chaos to Clarity.    In today’s episode, Peter walks through some of the key topics in the world today, including the dominance of U.S. stocks, the rise of grifters in the past few years, why he coined the term K-Shape Recovery in 2020. Everything Peter discusses is through the lens of the decision-making framework laid out in his recent book, which is the best writing about the way feelings of confidence and vulnerability relate to the markets at any given time.    Our co-hosts today are Chris Cannon, CFA, and myself, Colby Donovan, CFA. Please enjoy the episode.  Follow the CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL
Our guest today is Orlando’s own fantasy football expert, KC Joyner. KC used to work for ESPN and now runs his own website called The Football Scientist. We’ve had lots of amazing podcast guests since we started in March 2020, but since last year’s episode with KC was the second most downloaded episode of any episode we’ve had, we had to invite him back on.     In today’s episode, KC explains how another past podcast guest Peter Zeihan’s geopolitical framework applies to fantasy football. We cover a range of topics to get you prepped for your draft, and KC was kind enough to give our listeners a discount to his draft guide, so visit www.thefootballscientist.com and use the code CFA for a discount on his draft guide and season-long packages.    Our co-hosts today are Steve Curley, CFA, and myself, Colby Donovan, CFA. Please enjoy the episode.    Follow the CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL
Our guest today is Cameron Dawson, Chief Investment Officer of NewEdge Wealth. Cameron is a Florida native, Rollins college graduate and former board member of the CFA Society of Orlando.  In today’s episode, Cameron talks about her overall view of the markets. She touches on value, emerging markets, alternatives, and why she’s keeping a close eye on the Bank of Japan going forward.  Our co-hosts today are Chris Cannon, CFA, and myself, Colby Donovan, CFA. Please enjoy the episode.  Follow the CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL
Our guests today are David Lau and Wade Pfau. These two individuals have been collaborating for quite some time to solve retirement income puzzles for investors. David has been doing it with DPL, bridging the gap between low cost insurance and Fee Only wealth management firms. On the other hand, Wade has been approaching retirement solutions from the academic lens with rigorous research.    In today’s episode, we discuss the potential blind spot in Fee-Only wealth management firms as it relates to insurance and annuities, whether insurance and investments should be comingled and the concept of the outsourced Chief Insurance Officer. We break down the cost of certain products and discuss the puzzles that David and Wade are trying to solve for retirees seeking stable income sources. We also discuss if Ken Fisher is a fiduciary, what products should exist that don’t currently exist, recreating your grandparents pension with lower cost products and whether long term care insurance products are cost efficient for retirees.    Wade will receive the award as the most resilient guest of the Investors First Podcast, as he was kind enough to join us while on a trip in Japan and even experienced two earthquakes while recording the episode.    Our host today is Steve Curley, CFA. Please enjoy the episode.   Follow CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL   Social Media:   LinkedIn Post (and Facebook): New episode w/ David Lau, DPL & Dr. Wade Pfau, RISA, hosted by Steve Curley, CFA.    *Breaking down a commission free insurance product *The challenges of market volatility and homemade dividends in retirement *Credit risk associated w/ the implicit guarantee in insurance products *Is Ken Fisher a fiduciary?   Enjoy!   Twitter Post: New episode w/ David Lau & Dr. Wade Pfau, hosted by Steve Curley, CFA. We break down commission free insurance products for Fee-Only Advisors, the challenges of homemade dividends for retirees with total return approaches, whether Ken Fisher is a fiduciary and the concept of the Outsourced Chief Insurance Officer.   https://www.dplfp.com https://risaprofile.com https://retirementresearcher.com/ https://www.mcleanam.com/ https://www.theamericancollege.edu/our-people/faculty/wade-pfau
In today’s episode, we host Wes Gray, CEO of Alpha Architect. Founded in 2010, Alpha Architect is a research focused quant firm that put themselves on the map offering value and momentum factor exposures, but it doesn’t stop there. Wes and his group have evolved to offer advanced tax strategies in the form of ETF’s, separately managed accounts (SMA’s), and ETF white-labeled services. Wes has an incredible bio that starts with humble beginnings growing up on a ranch. He later becomes a Captain in the US Marine Corps followed by earning his MBA & PhD studying under Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama at the University of Chicago.    This episode is centered around investments and tax minimization, starting with why Wes moved to Puerto Rico a few years ago. We discuss his bio and his mission for Alpha Architect & ETF Architect. We focus the rest of the episode on tax efficiency for asset owners, starting with white labeling ETF’s, creative conversions to ETF’s, whether direct indexing is currently oversold, post ESOP investment strategies, box spreads as an alternative to T-Bills and more.    Hosting today’s episode is myself Steve Curley, CFA & guest host Frank Garcia, CFA.    Please enjoy the episode. Follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn.   Social Media:   LinkedIn Post (and Facebook): New episode w/ Wes Gray, CEO of Alpha Architect, hosted by Steve Curley, CFA & Frank Garcia, CFA.    *PR Act 60 (Preferred Tax Status for Puerto Rico Residents) *Bio/Mission if Alpha Architect & ETF Architect *White labeling ETF’s & creative ETF conversions *Direct indexing, oversold? *Box spreads as an alternative to T-Bills *Post ESOP investment strategies   Enjoy! Insert link here   Twitter Post: New episode w/ Wes Gray, CEO of Alpha Architect & ETF Architect. We discuss everything tax, from PR Act 60, to his firm’s mission & focus on tax efficient investments, white labeling ETF’s, creative ETF conversions, direct indexing being oversold, box spreads instead of T-Bills & more.    Show Notes:  Alpha Architect: https://alphaarchitect.com/about ETF Architect: https://etfarchitect.com/ Box spreads: https://alphaarchitect.com/2023/05/box-spreads-an-alternative-to-treasury-bills/ March for the Fallen: https://alphaarchitect.com/mftf/ Democratize Quant: https://alphaarchitect.com/democratizequant/ How to Start an ETF: https://alphaarchitect.com/2021/11/how-to-start-an-etf-resources-and-faq/
Today we host Jan van Eck for the second time on the Investors First Podcast. Jan is the CEO of VanEck, a global asset manager with over $57 billion in assets under management, including ETF’s, mutual funds, SMA’s, UCITS and more. Since our first recording with Jan in April 2020, Jan took the initiative to create a financial history course at VanEck during the pandemic. Jan is a brilliant investment professional with a passion for financial history. Beyond VanEck’s work as a pioneer in the asset management business, we wanted to highlight the great work he is doing (beyond managing money) in this episode.    In today’s episode, we speak about Jan’s financial history curriculum, railroads as the first internet of the United States, the philosophical debate continuing between Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians, the concentration of power with ETF’s (and politicization of ESG), predicting the future and much more.    Our host today are Steve Curley, CFA & today’s guest host is Chris Cannon, CFA (Chief Investment Officer, FirsTrust).   Please enjoy the episode. Follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn.
Our guest today are Rick Bookstaber and Govinda Quish, co-founders at Fabric Risk, which provides factor-based risk management applications for investment advisors, consultants and family offices. This is the second time we have hosted Rick on our podcast, with this time focused on the current state of banking and the risks of contagion, as well as other risks in public and private markets. We encourage you to listen to our prior episode with Rick to learn more about his background or visit fabricrisk.com to learn more about their professional backgrounds. Hosting today’s episode is Steve Curley, CFA, co-founder of The Investors First Podcast & former President of CFA Orlando. Please enjoy the episode. Follow CFA Society of Orlando on LinkedIn & Twitter @CFAOrlandoFL. You can find every past episode of the The Investors First Podcast at investorsfirstpodcast.com.
Our guests today are Dan Rasmussen and Bob Elliott. This is the first time both Dan and Bob have shared a podcast stage and they did not disappoint. In today’s episode, we discuss Dan and Bob’s time at Bain Capital and Bridgewater and how that experience led to founding their respective firms. We then discuss the idea of return smoothing in venture capital, whether active management has an edge in this market environment, is alpha just beta waiting to be discovered, the flaws of private market indices, and much more. Our host today is Steve Curley, CFA. Please enjoy the episode. BIO's: Dan is the Founder of Verdad, which is an independent research driven global asset management firm seeking to replicate private equity exposure in public markets. Prior to Verdad, Dan spent time at Bain Capital Private Equity and Bridgewater Associates. In 2017, Dan was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Dan earned an AB from Harvard College and a MBA from Stanford. Bob is Co-Founder, CEO and CIO of Unlimited Funds, which uses machine learning to create low cost ETF’s to replicate the returns of classic hedge fund strategies. Prior to Unlimited, Bob was at Bridgewater Associates, where he served on Bridgewater’s investment committee, led Ray Dalio’s personal research team and authored hundreds of Bridgewater’s widely read Daily Observations. Bob holds a BA in History and Science from Harvard. Follow CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL
Our guest today is Jeffrey Sherman, Deputy CIO of DoubleLine, which manages over $100 billion.  Jeffrey oversees and administers DoubleLine’s Investment Management sub-committee coordinating and implementing policies and processes across the investment teams. He also serves as lead portfolio manager for multi-sector and derivative-based strategies. In today’s episode, Jeffrey shares how he views the investment landscape as we kick off a new year. He touches on inflation, interest rates, and whether or not he expects a Fed pivot. He also shares where he sees opportunity in the market today, specifically in the credit markets. Our co-hosts today are Steve Curley, CFA, and Colby Donovan, CFA. Please enjoy the episode.  Follow the CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL
Our guest today is Mark Brewer, President and CEO of the Central Florida Foundation. Mark frequently advises private and corporate foundation grantmakers across the region and plays a public policy advisory role on strategy and advisory boards around the state of Florida.   Our conversation on this Giving Tuesday focuses on the role philanthropy in society, best practices on how to be strategic about causes you choose to support, and the major areas of need in Central Florida today.   Our co-hosts today are Steve Curley, CFA, and Colby Donovan. Please enjoy the episode.    Follow the CFA Society of Orlando on Twitter at @CFAOrlandoFL
Our guests today are David Berns & Mike Taylor. David Berns is Chief Investment Officer & Co-Founder of Simplify Asset Management, which is focused on creating hedge fund and structured product strategies in a liquid, transparent, tax-efficient and low cost vehicle (ETF’s). David has a PhD in Physics from MIT in the field of Quantum Computation. Mike Taylor is Portfolio Manager for the health care strategy at Simplify, which is one of the most unique strategies in the investment management industry, with all net profits donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. He has spent the last two decades managing hedge fund strategies at funds including Millennium, Citadel and Diamondback Capital. Mike holds advanced degrees in Science and Business from the Johns Hopkins University and the William E. Simon School of Business. In today’s episode, we discuss how Simplify was created and how the idea for their health care strategy came together. We then discuss Mike’s hedge fund career, how managing a long only health care ETF differs from hedge fund investing and much more. We recorded this episode in October for breast cancer awareness month and we wanted to highlight the great work Simplify is doing with Susan G. Komen, using finance as a cause for good. This is the first 100% pro bono ETF, with all net profits donated for the benefit of Susan G. Komen Foundation. Our hosts today are Steve Curley, CFA, past President of CFA Society Orlando and co-founder of the Investors First Podcast, and Javier Perez, CFA, also a past President of CFA Society Orlando & Director at Skyview Investment Advisors. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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