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The Meb Faber Show

Ready to grow your wealth through smarter investing decisions? With The Meb Faber Show, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and investment fund manager, Meb Faber, brings you insights on today’s markets and the art of investing. Featuring some of the top investment professionals in the world as his guests, Meb will help you interpret global equity, bond, and commodity markets just like the pros. Whether it’s smart beta, trend following, value investing, or any other timely market topic, each week you’ll hear real market wisdom from the smartest minds in investing today. Better investing starts here. For more information on Meb, please visit MebFaber.com. For more on Cambria Investment Management, visit CambriaInvestments.com. And to learn about Cambria’s suite of ETFs and other investment offerings, please visit CambriaFunds.com.
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The Meb Faber Show
2019
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Nov 13, 2019

In episode 187 we welcome our guest, Kevin Carter. Meb and Kevin start the conversation with some background on Kevin’s career, getting to know Burton Malkiel, and launching EMQQ. 

Kevin offers some of his thoughts on investing in China, including his initial thoughts about the prominence of state owned enterprises. Kevin mentions that a key component to investing in emerging markets is that it’s about the consumer. He notes that emerging and frontier markets are 85% of the world’s people and almost 90% of the people under the age of 30, the GDP of those people are still growing twice as fast as the rest of the world, and their incomes are growing. 

Kevin discusses that once he figured out that the indexes that were available to invest in these markets were allocated relatively heavily to the legacy, inefficient, state owned enterprise portion of economies, he got to work on building indexes that were more targeted to capture emerging market growth. 

Meb and Kevin then discuss the reality of emerging market allocations for most investors today, and talk about the current weights of emerging market indexes and the implications for investors. 

Kevin gets into launching and running EMQQ, and how the index is constructed. He follows with a discussion on emerging market internet company valuations and the current pace of revenue growth.

 Meb then poses what he thinks is some of the most common “pushback” he hears about why people can’t invest in China. Kevin addresses some of the arguments he hears for not investing in China, including made up numbers and communism and explains why he doesn’t think there is a lot of merit to those arguments. 

As the conversation winds down, Kevin covers his thoughts on India, which he thinks is a particularly interesting opportunity from the standpoint of population size and growth. 

All this and more in episode 187, including Kevin’s most memorable investment.

Nov 11, 2019

Last year when we published The Best Investment Writing Volume 2, we offered authors the opportunity to record an audio version of their chapter to be released as a segment of the podcast, and listeners loved it.

This year, we’re bringing you the entire volume of The Best Investment Writing Volume 3 in podcast format.

You’ll hear from some of the most respected money managers and investment researchers all over the world.

Enough from me, let’s let Scott take over this special episode.

Nov 6, 2019

In episode 186 we welcome our guest, Carter Malloy. Meb kicks off the conversation with Carter’s background in finance and growing up in a farming family. When conducting research on the asset class. He saw attractive returns historically, but there wasn’t a great way for most people to invest in it. That insight spurred the idea for AcreTrader.

As Meb and Carter dig a little deeper into farmland, they discuss the return drivers, yield and asset appreciation, and the imbalance of demand vs. supply as a driver of returns.

Meb then asks Carter to get into the cycles of farmland investing. Carter covers leverage and cycles. The pair explore the Macro themes that have been in play over the last few years. Carter comments that it has been tough for farmers, and commodity prices have been low. He clarifies that if you separate the farmer from the land owner, the land owner has continued to do great.

The pair then get into the ideas behind Carter’s firm, AcreTrader. Carter walks through the inefficient nature of farmland investing, the platform, and the process AcreTrader goes through to bring investment opportunities to market as well as the ultimate vision for the platform.

Next, Meb and Carter also get into some examples of additional opportunities for farmland property including potential income opportunities like wind farms, solar farms, and mining that may be available to some properties.

As the conversation winds down, Carter lays out his thoughts on how farmland fits with investment portfolios and highlights the role it can play from a wealth preservation standpoint as a noncorrelated asset class in addition to providing protection from inflation.

All this and more in episode 186.

Nov 4, 2019

Last year when we published The Best Investment Writing Volume 2, we offered authors the opportunity to record an audio version of their chapter to be released as a segment of the podcast, and listeners loved it.

This year, we’re bringing you the entire volume of The Best Investment Writing Volume 3 in podcast format.

You’ll hear from some of the most respected money managers and investment researchers all over the world.

Enough from me, let’s let Larry take over this special episode.

Oct 30, 2019

In episode 185 we welcome our guest, Ben Claremon. Ben and Meb start the conversation with some background on the blog Ben started in school, The Inoculated Investor. From there, the pair move on to discuss Cove Street and the investment process.

Ben gets into investing, and what value investing means to Cove Street Capital, bifurcated between Warren Buffett style investing and Benjamin Graham style investing. Next, Ben discusses the investment and portfolio construction process he and the team undergo at Cove Street, including sell discipline applied to fund positions.

Ben and Meb get into the outlook for the investment landscape, covering Value investing to opportunities in China, as well as the auto industry. He also discusses some things to avoid.

Ben then gets into the importance of proxy statements, and the role corporate governance plays in the investment process.

As the conversation winds down, Meb and Ben get into the bogeyman of buybacks and talk about the idea that the focus should instead be on the short-term nature of the earnings cycle.

All this and more in episode 185, including Ben’s most memorable investment.

Oct 28, 2019

Episode 184 is a Meb Short. In this episode, you’ll hear Meb discuss the CAPE ratio, flawed logic behind the conclusion that “CAPE doesn’t work,” probabilistic investing, and a global perspective on CAPE.

All this and more in episode 184.

Oct 23, 2019

In episode 183 we welcome our guest, Ben Inker. Ben and Meb start the conversation with a chat about Ben’s thoughts on markets which include the overriding theme that non-us markets are currently presenting opportunity for investors.

Next, Meb asks Ben to get into his thoughts on current valuations and Ben walks through some ideas on high valuations for US stocks and reduced forward looking returns. On the subject of valuations, the pair then discusses interest rates and monetary policy. Ben follows that with an interesting paper he wrote that explored how high profitability has skewed toward large capitalization companies.

Ben expands on his thinking about valuations and markets outside the US, the past decade being the worst for value stocks, and being excited about opportunities like emerging market value stocks. He goes further in his discussion by getting into a concept he credits Robert Shiller with, clairvoyant fair value of a stock market, and shares that two pieces of information are critical, the starting valuation of the markets, and the return on capital.

As the conversation winds down, Ben and Meb discuss GMO’s benchmark free allocation strategy, and investing with the goal of making absolute money and worrying about absolute risk.

All this and more in episode 183, including Ben’s thoughts on hedging currency risk and his most memorable investment.

Oct 21, 2019

Last year when we published The Best Investment Writing Volume 2, we offered authors the opportunity to record an audio version of their chapter to be released as a segment of the podcast, and listeners loved it.

This year, we’re bringing you the entire volume of The Best Investment Writing Volume 3 in podcast format.

You’ll hear from some of the most respected money managers and investment researchers all over the world.

Enough from me, let’s let Gary take over this special episode.

Oct 16, 2019

In episode 182 we welcome our guest, Larry Hite. Larry and Meb start off the conversation with Larry’s origin as a trend follower, and the parallels to trend following and life. Larry follows with personal challenges he overcame in life, and how he found a path to success through a life lesson, weeding out what he couldn’t do, and include the things that gave him a lot of enjoyment and potentially a lot of money (or both).

Next, Larry gets into his start in investing, combing through hundreds of years of data and finding that cutting losses and letting winners run really works. He then transitions into some underlying foundations about how he thinks about trading, including, putting the odds in your favor by creating asymmetrical bets.

Meb then talks with Larry about founding Mint, one of the earliest systematic CTAs, and was the first hedge fund to raise over $1 billion.

As the conversation winds down, Larry talks about systematic rules, trend following, and making an array of bets.

All this and more in episode 182, including concluding thoughts on challenges and resiliency, and Larry’s most memorable investment.

Oct 14, 2019

Episode 181 has a radio show format. We cover a variety of topics, including the new ETF rule:

  • Major brokerage firms dropping ETF trading commissions to $0
  • New ETF rule
  • Market valuation
  • Trend following
  • Investment Process

There’s this and plenty more in episode 181.

Oct 9, 2019

In episode 180 we welcome back our guest, Rodrigo Gordillo. Meb and Rodrigo start the conversation with a walk through Rodrigo’s background and his experience growing up in Peru. Rodrigo then gets into his framework for thinking about investing and how that evolved into what he and his team is doing at ReSolve.

Rodrigo then spends some time on the knowledge gained by studying and backtesting investment strategies. He stresses the use of “ensembles” rather than isolating single parameters for more robust investment processes.

Meb shifts the conversation and asks Rodrigo to talk about ReSolve’s machine learning project. Rodrigo discusses applying machine learning to finance, and how it is a tool, and another element of the ReSolve team’s process.

Meb and Rodrigo chat about risk parity, and some of the common misunderstandings that exist, as well as the basic functions of how the strategy works.

As the conversation winds down, Rodrigo gets into some research projects on the horizon for ReSolve.

All this and more in episode 180.

Oct 7, 2019

Last year when we published The Best Investment Writing Volume 2, we offered authors the opportunity to record an audio version of their chapter to be released as a segment of the podcast, and listeners loved it.

This year, we’re bringing you the entire volume of The Best Investment Writing Volume 3 in podcast format.

You’ll hear from some of the most respected money managers and investment researchers all over the world.

Enough from me, let’s let Justin take over this special episode.

Oct 2, 2019

In episode 179 we welcome our guest, Dan Ferris. Meb begins with a discussion of Dan’s background as a guitarist, and his path into finance.

Dan then provides a high level view of his framework for how he thinks about investing. He discusses bottom-up value investing, and developing a powerful respect for the effect of cycles. When it came to evaluating companies, he took issue with traditional DCF analysis, and focused more on using DCF as a tool to provide guide posts to probabilities of various outcomes.

Next, Meb asks Dan to walk through the Extreme Value portfolio. Dan discusses there are 17 names with average days held of 1100, reflecting his thinking about equity as “permanent capital.” He covers names like Altius Minerals, Starbucks, and Dollar General. Dan also touches on his thinking behind the sell decision.

As the conversation winds down, Dan discusses some of the most influential books and passages he has read on investing: Chapter 20 of the Intelligent Investor, The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks, The Elements of Investing by Ellis and Malkiel, and more.

Don’t miss episode 179.

Sep 30, 2019

Episode 178 is a Meb Short. In this episode, you’ll hear Meb discuss the transactional nature of investing, finding an investment approach that works, and deploying an objective framework to govern removal investments and considering new ones.  

Sep 25, 2019

In episode 177, we welcome back our guest, Alex Rubalcava. Alex and Meb start the conversation by discussing startup company fundraising, and how it has gotten more difficult to attract top-tier VC firms.

The two then get into Alex’s firm, the track to seeing over 1500 startups this year, the process of evaluating them, and doing meaningful work on about 75 per year.

Alex shares his thoughts about the current IPO market, and some reasons he thinks it’s not in a bubble right now. Meb then asks about the SaaS business model, and how the world has changed. Alex weighs in with some comments and some ways he thinks about looking at these types of companies.

Next, Alex gives a brief review of QSBS rules, and the potential tax benefits available to investors.

The conversation shifts into the current deal environment, and competing for allocations for deals. Alex provides an example of seeing an opportunity and fighting for an allocation. He also describes how his initial optimism about an investment correlates with the results in ensuing years.

Meb then asks Alex about AI and the opportunity there. Alex describes his firm’s bullishness on AI, and why he thinks AI isn’t going to take over as many jobs as we think it will right now. Alex then gets into AI deployment doing one of four things; segmentation, optimization, anomaly detection, and recognizing objects. Commercial AI systems are being built to automate a process or make a prediction about the future.

As the conversation winds down, Alex describes portfolio investments deploying AI to bring new approaches and ideas to their respective industries.

All this and more in episode 177, including what the future looks like for Alex.

Sep 23, 2019

Last year when we published The Best Investment Writing Volume 2, we offered authors the opportunity to record an audio version of their chapter to be released as a segment of the podcast, and listeners loved it.

This year, we’re bringing you the entire volume of The Best Investment Writing Volume 3 in podcast format.

You’ll hear from some of the most respected money managers and investment researchers all over the world.

Enough from me, let’s let Wes take over this special episode.

Sep 18, 2019

In episode 176, we welcome our guest, Adam Tkaczuk. Adam and Meb kick off the episode with an overview of opportunity zones.

Meb then asks about the best way to source investments in OZs. Adam provides some background, resources, and some wisdom that it is important to look closely at fees and be careful about diligence into OZ investments. He notes that there are all types of projects available, not just real estate, and that location can have a huge impact.

Meb asks Adam about location based sources of capital. Adam describes examples of what that is and some examples of how business can use this practice to find money to fund business projects.

Adam then gets into the role he plays with small business owners in helping them navigate tax credits, find project funding, and maximize after-tax income. He talks about tax and investment strategies, and business sale tactics such as considering OZs and a structured sale.  

Next, Adam talks about some case studies on helping clients find tax credits.

As the conversation winds down, Meb asks Adam to get into the general flow of how he works with clients.

All this and more in Episode 176, included some great resources and Adam’s most memorable investment.

Sep 16, 2019

Episode 175 is a Meb Short. In this episode, you’ll hear Meb discuss a key development to be aware of in global markets, the valuation spread between the most and least expensive markets around the world. Meb explains why it is important to study history before assuming the U.S. deserves a valuation premium to the rest of the world, what global equity valuations look like, and the reality of investor home-bias.  

All this and more in episode 175.

Sep 11, 2019

In episode 174, we welcome our guest, Amlan Roy. Amlan and Meb start the conversation off with a discussion on demographics, why we need to understand them, and the idea that monetary policy is relatively ineffective in the demographic environment the world faces today.

Amlan then lays out some prescriptions for some of the issues he’s seeing today, including, the idea of doing away with traditional retirement ages, more fairness toward women, and updated immigration policies.

Meb and Amlan then get into negative yielding interest rates, the impacts they have on investors, and how we should be thinking about economic and finance theory. He also hits on falling productivity growth, and a trying to solve that issue in China, India, and the rest of the world by bringing more young people and women into the workforce.

Amlan then shifts to some additional thoughts on growth, and his idea of the “Demographic Dividend.”

Don’t miss all of this and more in episode 174, including some of Amlan’s most memorable and important market calls.

Sep 9, 2019

Last year when we published The Best Investment Writing Volume 2, we offered authors the opportunity to record an audio version of their chapter to be released as a segment of the podcast, and listeners loved it.

This year, we’re bringing you the entire volume of The Best Investment Writing Volume 3 in podcast format.

You’ll hear from some of the most respected money managers and investment researchers all over the world.

Enough from me, let’s let Bob take over this special episode.

Sep 4, 2019

In episode 173, we welcome our guest, Tom Williams. Tom and Meb get right into Tom’s background, moving to the Bay Area alone, and finding a job at the age of 15. He then spends some time on building BetterCompany, a mobile app designed to bring anonymity to sharing about work, and later, pivoting to enterprise.

Meb then asks about the beginning of Tom’s angel investing career. Tom walks through the progression of angel investing with a partner to launching his own fund, and how important it is to build a network.

Next, the pair dive into AngelList, syndicates, and how easy it has become to invest in startups. Tom dives further into venture, with an example of a fallacy that it is a zero-sum game. He describes technology driven disruption resulting in a democratization process where more and more companies taking their share of the market as a result.

Meb then asks Tom to explain his thought process on investing. Tom emphasizes his focus on macro. He then discusses a theme he’s been investing in, America losing its supremacy and how to fix that. He shares that he finds ethically run technology companies that are trying to “ladder up” the “trapped class” in America are looking very interesting.

Tom then spends some time talking about some portfolio investments. He walks through Grove Collaborative, already America’s largest independent brand for home and personal care, and the clear vision that the co-founder and CEO explained to him. Tom describes the vision being so obvious, he just had to go with it. He follows up with LogDNA, and Jumbotail.

As the conversation winds down, Tom reveals his plans for the future, including the idea of backing new angel investors.

All this and much more in episode 173, including Tom’s philanthropic work and his most memorable investment.

Aug 28, 2019

In episode 172, we welcome our guest, professor Cam Harvey. Meb and professor Harvey begin the conversation with professor Harvey’s 1986 dissertation on the yield curve, and his finding that when the yield curve inverts, it precedes a recession. His indicator has yet to provide a false signal. He goes on to explain the model, what it really tells us, and the implications as we move late into the summer of 2019.

Professor Harvey then gets into what an inverted yield curve means for growth, and a study he did that describes the performance of various asset classes before and after yield curve inversions.

He follows up with some background on the Duke CFO survey, and the predictive power it has in foreshadowing recession. As of a recent observation, 85% of respondents believe a recession will begin in 2020 or 2021.

The conversation shifts, and professor Harvey gets into some thoughts on cryptocurrency, and the research that went into the creation of his course on Blockchain.

Next, professor Harvey explains blunders in factor investing, from data mining, to investors not taking correlation of factors into consideration.

As the conversation winds down, professor Harvey discusses what he’s thinking about in his research these days, and disruptions he sees coming in finance.

All this and more in episode 172, including professor Harvey’s most memorable investment.

Aug 26, 2019

Last year when we published The Best Investment Writing Volume 2, we offered authors the opportunity to record an audio version of their chapter to be released as a segment of the podcast, and listeners loved it.

This year, we’re bringing you the entire volume of The Best Investment Writing Volume 3 in podcast format.

You’ll hear from some of the most respected money managers and investment researchers all over the world.

Enough from me, let’s let Corey take over this special episode.

Aug 21, 2019

In episode 171, we welcome back our guest from episode 46, Raoul Pal. Raoul and Meb start with a chat about one of Raoul’s tweets, “Buy Bonds. Buy Dollars. Wear Diamonds.” Raoul explains that he sees global growth slowing after the longest recovery in history, as well as a number of countries in or nearing recession. That presents an opportunity in US Treasuries and Eurodollars.

The pair continue the conversation and get into how Raoul looks at the world. Raoul walks through his current view including his take on business cycle and yield curve indicators.

Meb then asks Raoul to explain “The Doom Loop.” Raoul lays out the idea that corporate debt has increased at an alarming rate since 2009 relative to household and government debt. He discusses what he’s seeing now, and the risk this poses to the global economy and asset prices.

As the conversation winds down, Raoul gets into some thoughts on gold and crypto.

All this and more in episode 171, including the greatest macro trade Raoul has ever seen.

Aug 14, 2019

In episode 170, we welcome our guest, Bill Martin. Bill and Meb start the conversation by diving into Bill’s early entrepreneurial experience running Ragingbull.com. He discusses the business, raising capital, and ultimately selling the business. After Ragingbull.com, he started a research business and InsiderScores before ultimately launching Raging Capital in 2006.

Meb asks Bill to get into Raging Capital. Bill offers that the long side is fairly concentrated, focused on the long-term and thinking strategically about the businesses. The short side is where he and his team focus on a diverse basket of businesses they consider overvalued with fundamentally challenged business models. Bill describes the nuances involved in position sizing on the short-side, and even illustrates with an example of Insys Therapeutics.

Next, Bill covers where he’s seeing opportunity in the world. He talks about a theme with MLPs, companies with exposure to Puerto Rico, and building products.

Meb then chats with Bill about his thoughts on China. Bill walks through his thinking on China broadly, and that the network he’s building in China is beneficial to investments he’s making in the portfolio.

As the conversation winds down, Bill walks through mechanics of short selling, and some names and themes he and his team are working on, including a number of firms in the public storage space, and some auto-related companies.

All this and more in episode 170, including Bill’s most memorable investment.

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