Over the course of its first year, the podcast has broken some news, generated some buzz, and generally been a wonderful learning experience for me. I have no professional media training, so it is very much a “learn-as-you-go” situation.
Its easy to overlook how good the pros are, as guys like Tom Keene and Pimm Foxx make it look easy. Once you see how much goes into a professional radio broadcast like Bloomberg Radio — especially a live one — you take for granted how talented these folks actually are.
A lack of professional radio or voice training notwithstanding, I hope my enthusiasm and curiosity make up for the lack of actual skills. With a year under my belt, I notice a difference in the technical things I often did wrong in the beginning; I hope listeners notice the improvement as well.
It was a fun interview (who doesn’t enjoy being called “a witty and iconoclastic contrarian”?). Chris somehow managed to get down much of what I threw at him in high speed over 45 minutes of babble.
Towards the end he asked about the classic car photos I post each Friday at 6am. I compare the similarities between great investors and classic cars — but its something I’ve always wanted to put a little more flesh on its bones.
The automobile is a transportation device that brings together many different disciplines. Even the most basic car requires skills that include mechanical engineering, metallurgy, coach building, materials sciences, and fundamental design. To a kid growing up in suburbia, even a basic car represented freedom. A more refined vehicle brings in elements of ergonomics, safety design, aerodynamics, style, technology, etc. Those were the vehicles that were nice to look at and drive, but beyond my budget as a young lad. The very best cars add an element of unique perspective and artistic vision that turns them into rolling works of sculpture, objects of beauty and desire.
That range — from relative simplicity to increased complexity to sheer beauty — is fascinating to me. I find surprising parallels between my love of mechanized artwork to investing and the guests we have on the MiB radio podcast.
The basics of investing are simple; A broad global asset allocation model, deployed in low cost indices, rebalanced regularly. That basic approach should suffice for most investors. The next level adds a quantitative approach to emphasize the mathematical dimensions that can generate higher returns (e.g., Small cap, value, quality, trend). We can step up another level by understanding the psychology of investors, what it is that leads them to make significant errors that ultimately cost them the permanent loss of capital (hopefully avoiding these errors ourselves). Understanding the history of markets and investing adds another layer. Accounting, mathematics, recognition of positive changes, recognition of mania, all add a tactical element to investing.
The people who I love speaking to on the podcast are those investors, strategists, fund managers, economists et. al. who have those multiple layers, who go beyond the basics to master the complexities that lead to great understanding of investing. And they have the track record that shows it.
Just as not every car is a Ferrari 275 SWB, not every investor is a Master in Business. But the parallels are surely there…
Go read the full piece at Talk Biz News: