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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
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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.

Aug 12, 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 Aswath take over this special episode.

Aug 7, 2019

In episode 169, we welcome our guest, Jeremy Jacobson. Jeremy begins with his backstory of being an engineer by trade, and after paying off his school loans and taking a vacation, he decided to apply his engineering framework to approach saving and investing. He walks through the plan that allowed him to retire at the age of 37.

Meb then asks Jeremy to expand on his investment portfolio. Jeremy explains what going through the GFC did to his portfolio, and the realization that it didn’t impact his day-to-day life at all, in relying on income from his portfolio.

Meb asks Jeremy to discuss geographic arbitrage, and what that looks like for he and his family. Jeremy walks through his annual budget, and how that is used as a guide to where they travel and how long they stay there.

Jeremy follows up with some ideas on how he carefully optimizes his taxes living abroad.

As the conversation winds down, Jeremy covers some travel hacks, and what is coming up for he and his family.

All this and more in episode 169, including Jeremy’s most memorable investment.

Jul 31, 2019

In episode 168 we welcome Brian Livingston. Brian discusses his background and eventual transition into the world of investing out of a need to invest the money he had from the proceeds of selling his email newsletter.

Meb then asks Brian to get into what made sense to him when he started to look at investment opportunities. Brian discusses the benefit tilting portfolios to the momentum factor.

The pair then gets into the psychological difficulty of investing. Brian then goes on to talk about behavioral pain points, the evidence that people tend to liquidate after experiencing 20% downturns, and what people can do to improve the chances of avoiding pain points. He goes on to explain the mechanics of his process and “Muscular Portfolios.”

Next, Meb and Brian get into the issues of investors looking different than the “market.” Brian talks about the disruption it causes households and savers, and what he suggests people do to be successful.

As the conversation winds down, Brian and Meb discuss the context of one of Brian’s recent columns on the investment costs reflected in the bid/ask spread, as well as taxes and investing.

All this and more in episode 168, including thoughts on chasing performance, and Brian’s most memorable investment.

Jul 29, 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 Rob take over this special episode.

Jul 24, 2019

Episode 167 is a Meb Short. In this episode, you’ll hear Meb discuss a fresh opportunity…The Cannabis Opportunity. Meb covers some of his thoughts on thematic investing and how we arrived at where we are today. He gets into the opportunity we have today, the large and loyal consumer base that exists for cannabis, and the parallels to alcohol and prohibition. He also gets into the makeup of the industry, what analysts are saying about growth, and some thoughts about portfolio implementation.

Don’t miss this special episode.

Jul 24, 2019

Episode 166 has a radio show format. We cover a variety of topics, even Meb’s investment portfolio:

Bonds, stocks, and valuation

  • A Tweet from Movement Capital showing the various phases on 10-Yr Treasury return. Annualized Real total return from 1-1926 to 9-1981 was flat. 9-1981 to 1-2013 annualized a real return of 6.67%. Those two periods aren’t captured in the total real return from 1-1926 to 9-1981 of 2.38%.
  • Negative yielding bonds, and the case for investing in them.
  • From strategies outlined in the Global Asset Allocation book: The average yearly spread between the best and worst performing strategies was 18%. From 1973-2018, the spread between the best and worst performers was 2%.
  • Emerging and foreign developed stock markets remain inexpensive relative to US stocks.

 

There’s this and plenty more in episode 166.

Jul 17, 2019

In episode 165, we welcome our guest, Chris Mayer. Meb starts off asking Chris about his background, then shifts to the subject of 100 baggers. Chris provides insight into his work on analyzing companies that have returned 100-to-1. He discusses the broad characteristics of 100 baggers, and the patience required to get through the challenging journey of the roughly 20 years he expects it to take for those kinds of companies to earn that return.

Next, Chris talks about the Bonner family, the founding of Woodlock House Family Capital, and the fund he’s running.

Meb then asks Chris to walk through his world view. Chris talks about resisting trying to create some type of narrative, and picking through opportunities as they come. He discusses his current regional exposure, as well as a few names he’s written about recently and the opportunities he’s seeing there.

Chris then expands on his process, and how he doesn’t rely on screens as much as a watchlist he has built and his own research.

As the conversation winds down, Chris covers transparency, the process of writing, and how it has forced him to organize his thoughts.

Hear all this and more in episode 165, including some recommended resources, and Chris’s most memorable investment.

Jul 15, 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 Mike take over this special episode.

Jul 10, 2019

In episode 164, we welcome our guest, Jake Shapiro. Jake begins by talking about his background, as well as his early days in public radio with NPR.

Meb asks Jake to expand on major moments for podcasts. Jake discusses the three waves of podcast growth from the 2003-2005 era where podcasts were first introduced, to when Apple incorporated podcasts on its platform and the introduction of the iPhone, to 2014 when both a confluence of trends and Apple breaking out podcasts from iTunes as a standalone app created an important inflection point for growth.

Meb asks Jake to get into the point when he started branching out into some new ideas. Jake explains the spinout of Matter Ventures which launched as an accelerator for early stage mission driven media companies.

Next, Jake walks through the frustration with monetization and the solution that ultimately spurred RadioPublic. As it was spun out to run as a startup, Jake left with it. He discusses the backing it had, and RadioPublic’s current focus.

As the conversation winds down, Jake talks about podcasts being under monetized. This was the inspiration for Podfund, a fund that set out to help podcasters with tools, expertise, as well as startup and growth capital.

Hear all this and more in episode 164.

Jul 3, 2019

In episode 163, we welcome our guest, Albert Meyer. Albert begins with his backstory as an accountant and his time in academia with the ultimate transition to the world of investment management.

He then gets into his early days in the investing world and the work he did that eventually became public, to uncover the Ponzi scheme at the Foundation for New Era Philanthropy. 

Meb then asks Albert what the path looked like when he decided to start his own firm, Bastiat Capital. Albert discusses the evolution from running a research service to having demand for him to manage assets.

Albert follows with Bastiat’s investment philosophy, where he dives into his process, looking at company business models, financial statements, corporate governance, and why he gets into the details of items like equity based compensation.

The conversation then turns to Bastiat’s portfolio, where Meb asks about portfolio positioning on a high level and where Albert sees opportunities today. Albert discusses positions in things like Microsoft, Google, and Apple, as well as some Chinese stocks. He also explains how through complicated accounting rules, it may actually be easier now than in the past to hide accounting shenanigans.

As the conversation winds down, Meb and Albert discuss Albert’s ideas on social security and African development.

Don’t miss jam-packed episode 163 full of this and more, including some of Albert’s incredible work uncovering some of the most famous financial frauds in modern history.

Jul 1, 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 Paul take over this special episode.

Jun 26, 2019

In episode 162, we welcome our guest, Chase Nobles. Chase kicks off the episode with some background, meeting his business partner, and how he went on to become the co-founder of Kush.com.

He then gets into starting Kush Tourism as a resource for cannabis tourists during the early days of cannabis legalization in the state of Washington, showing them facilities, the industry, and educating them about cannabis and the business behind it.

Next, Chase discusses the phase of the business where he and his co-founder realized the value of their business was the network they built. That spurred the idea for a wholesale marketplace.

That evolution of the business ultimately led to raising funds and meeting angel investor, Jason Calacanis. Chase goes on to describe the platform, and how it has grown into the marketplace we know today as Kush.com.

Meb then asks Chase to discuss the near-term hurdles for growth. Chase explains the backlog of applicants for the platform they are currently working through, and the work it takes to process them, as an example.

As the conversation winds down, Meb asks about challenges in the industry. Chase talks about the issues with payment processing, and the hope that things will change in order to ease the burden on that front.

All this and more, including Chase’s perspective of the greatest challenges of being a CEO, in episode 162.

Jun 19, 2019

In episode 161, we welcome our guest, Brandon Zick. Brandon begins talking about his background in farming, and the current ownership structure he’s seeing in the farm business; land ownership and operations are a generation or two removed, which creates a robust rental market, and what makes investment possible.

Meb asks Brandon why investors should consider farmland in their investment portfolios. Brandon discusses the tangibility of owning a real asset such as farmland, the inflation hedge it provides, and its ability to diversify a portfolio.

Next, Brandon gets into the structural inefficiencies of the farmland market, and the risk/return profile it can provide investors.

Meb then asks about the ownership structure of their investments. Brandon talks about Ceres buying land from absentee land owners, their goal of partnering with top decile farmers, and putting more incentives in place for their tenants. He also mentions the farmer relationship and involving them in the underwriting process when looking at acquiring farms.

The conversation then turns to some history on the farmland bust phase in the 80s, and how leverage in the system contributed to that environment, but has also influenced how people acquire and own farmland today.

Brandon then goes on to explain why investors should embrace volatility, and how important it is as a land owner to have equity in land and cash in hand to be able to make acquisitions and grow.

As the conversation winds down, Meb asks Brandon about his thoughts on technology and it’s impacts in agriculture. Brandon talks about it being an exciting development, allowing farming to be less labor intensive and freeing farmers to make higher value, broad scale decisions.

Brandon wraps up with a discussion of Ceres’ fund, and what is on the horizon for Ceres.

All this and more in episode 161, including a discussion about what keeps Brandon up at night and what he’s particularly excited about, as well as his most memorable investment.

Jun 17, 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 Jack take over this special episode.

Jun 12, 2019

In episode 160, we welcome our guest, John Huber. John begins with some background on his approach to investing, and the framework he relies on at Saber Capital Management. John modeled his strategy after the early years of Warren Buffett’s partnerships. At Saber Capital Management, he focuses on good businesses that are poised to do well over time, and a tactical approach to portfolio management.

Next, Meb asks about the portfolio approach. John discusses his portfolio being concentrated and long only. He mentions he thinks diversification can be had in fewer positions than is commonly thought. He tends to have 5-6 stocks representing 80% - 90% of his capital.

The conversation then shifts into details about what he looks for when researching companies for potential investment. He talks about compounders, and how looking for them has changed since the days of Graham and Dodd to now, where the focus on intangible aspects is much more important.

John then gets deeper into his process. He reveals that he sees the investment landscape in two buckets. 1) companies increasing intrinsic value over time, and 2) companies eroding value over time. He tries to avoid companies that erode value over time. He notes that focusing on key variables can get him most of the way there, then he covers his final step, figuring out how much the company is worth, and how much to pay for it.

He discusses the degree in which large cap stocks fluctuate between their 52-week highs and lows, and his weighting to them in his portfolio. He then gets into a couple of cases with Apple and Facebook, followed by a description of his sell criteria.

All this and more in episode 160, including John’s most memorable investment.

Jun 5, 2019

In episode 159, we welcome our guest, Ashby Monk. The episode kicks off with a discussion about the concept of saving planet earth and the important role that asset owner investors, the largest institutions in the world such as sovereign wealth funds that total approximately $100 trillion, now have.

Meb then asks Ashby to get into the models behind large institutional investors. Ashby discusses some history, and boils it down to what he thinks are the three functions that drive success: people, process, and information.

The conversation then gets into Ashby’s thoughts about insourcing vs. outsourcing. Ashby explains that both paths are viable, and the importance of starting with a rigorous understanding of what it costs to run investments internally vs. externally. Ashby notes that he thinks the institutions pursuing the highest quality inputs in terms of people, process, and information should receive recognition, independent of the model they’re running.

Meb asks about trends in the industry. On the good side, Ashby discusses the push on fees and costs, and the positive effect it has on institutional investors as a catalyst for innovation. Ashby then talks about how being green and good stewards of the environment has delivered outperformance.

The conversation then shifts into Long Term Stock Exchange (LTSE) and its mission.

As the chat winds down, Meb and Ashby discuss the app he co-founded, Long Game, and the mission to engage people in their financial decisions in an entirely different way.

All this and more, including what Ashby is particularly excited about and his most memorable investment in episode 159.

May 29, 2019

 

In episode 158, we welcome back our gest from episode #77, founder of the Acquirers Funds, Tobias Carlisle. Toby begins by providing some detail about his new fund, The Acquirers Fund, a long/short deep value U.S. equity fund. He then spends some time talking about the short side of the portfolio, getting into the thoughtful approach he takes in considering positions including sizing, valuation, balance sheet factors, and stock price factors. He explains that the broad opportunity set looks good for short positions right now.

Meb and Toby shift to talking about the long period of underperformance for value investing. Toby hits on the fact that French/Fama data shows value has had its worst 10 year period ever based on the price/book ratio, and notes value has underperformed for an extended period based on other valuation metrics as well.

Meb then asks Toby about his process. Toby gets into some detail about his valuation process, and why he favors it vs. other valuation approaches.

As the conversation winds down, Toby chats about his own podcast, The Acquirers Podcast, some interesting guests he’s hosted recently, and what’s on the horizon for him and Acquirers Funds.

All this and more in episode 158.

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