I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts, and when I mention this, people often ask me for recommendations. In general, I don’t think I’m a great source of podcast recommendations, because I’m extremely picky and have extremely specific tastes. For example, I can’t listen to any of the most popular NPR podcasts because I find them agonizingly overproduced; you don’t need to add “street sounds” in post-production to convince me you are on the street!
But if your taste in podcasts happens to align with mine, then you’re in luck! Here’s what I’m listening to as of January, 2018. In each case I’m using the podcast title as it appears in my iPhone Podcasts app, which should hopefully make them relatively easy to find in your own preferred medium.
Podcasts are in no order whatsoever.
Money and finance
That’s what you come here for, right?
- Animal Spirits Podcast. From a couple of the guys at Ritholtz Wealth Management, a fun conversation about investing and investors. This podcast is still very new and is very much on probation, but I’ve tentatively enjoyed the 11 episodes they’ve released so far.
- Behind the Markets Podcast. Hosted by Jeremy Schwartz, who has some role at Penn’s Wharton School, it features a brief comment on the markets by Jeremy Siegel each week and then in-depth interviews with folks in the investment industry.
- Invest Like the Best. Hosted by Patrick O’Shaughnessy, this podcast started out very strong but Patrick has lately gotten obsessed with cryptocurrencies and other stuff of no practical interest to actual investors, so it’s back on probation. I’m still listening for now, though.
- The Meb Faber Show. Meb Faber is a sort of goofball but I find him and his obsession with “momentum” investing and other hocus pocus very charming. Every episode hilariously starts with a disclaimer that Meb won’t talk about any of Cambria’s ETF’s, and then he goes on to talk about Cambria’s funds for an hour every week.
- Slate Money. This is a weird product, since it’s three mostly-ignorant people talking about things they have no experience with or knowledge about, but I stubbornly keep listening. I should probably have culled this one a long time ago but Felix Salmon’s accent is too charming to give up.
- Masters in Business. Barry Ritholtz’s original podcast, MiB used to be great but I think has grown too big and now he mostly interviews authors promoting their latest books. There’s still an occasional gem though, and the back catalogue is brilliant (don’t miss his conversation with Jack Bogle).
- Investing Insights from Morningstar.com. This is a very strange podcast, since I believe it is the audio track from their weekly on-demand television program. It’s a mixture of market news and ads for Morningstar products, nothing of great interest but offers occasionally useful suggestions on portfolio construction, etc.
Politics and policy
Politics matters because policy matters.
- Vox’s The Weeds. The Weeds currently has a twice-weekly format, where they do an early-week episode on recent developments in the news and a late-week episode on specific policy issues.
- The Power Vertical – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. A show focused on developments in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. A mixture of news and discussion of long-term developments in the region.
I try to stay abreast of conservative media and would eagerly listen to a conservative policy podcast, but I do not know of any podcasts that make forthright positive cases for conservative policies. “The Editors” podcast from National Review offers occasionally interesting insight into the conservative mind, but they make no attempt to justify or defend an actual conservative governing agenda. I don’t mean to come across as uncharitable towards my conservative fellow citizens, but it does not appear to me that they have any interest in convincing people they have ideas which, if implemented, would improve the lives of Americans.
It’s very strange. Let me and your fellow readers know if you have any suggestions in the comments.
- Chapo Trap House. Chapo is not for everybody. In fact, it’s for practically no one. But if you have the same sense of humor as me, it’s indispensable. If you’re not familiar with the podcast already, I would suggest starting with episodes 74 and 76, “Tabletop Game Theory.” Extremely vulgar (more vulgar than you think — you’ve been warned). Alternating “premium” episodes are only available to paid subscribers.
- Conversations with Tyler. Tyler Cowen is an insufferable nitwit, but for my money has the best interview podcast out there and I listen devotedly. It’s comedy gold when his guests get increasingly frustrated with his insufferable nitwit questions. Think “Between Two Ferns” but where the host doesn’t know it’s a comedy program.
- The Ezra Klein Show. Ezra’s a weird guy, but he gets some great guests and does excellent long-form interviews. I don’t listen religiously but I keep an eye on the feed to make sure I catch the good ones. The podcast has gotten a LOT darker since election day, 2016.
- Dots, Lines & Destinations. DLD has gone through a few format shakeups since I’ve been listening (or as Seth Miller once replied to me on Twitter, “we have a format?”), but it’s a fun jog through the aviation, travel, and loyalty news of the week.
- Saverocity Observation Deck – Miles, Points, and Travel Podcast. Hosted by Saverocity’s own Joe Cheung and Trevor Mountcastle, and with a revolving cast of guests including yours truly, SOD is the only real travel hacking podcast that I know of.
Those who forget history are doomed to listen to podcasts about it.
- Revolutions. From Mike Duncan, the podcaster behind The History of Rome, Revolutions has told the story of the English, American, French, Haitian, and Bolivarian revolutions, and is currently covering the European revolutions of 1848. It’s superb.
- The History of Rome. I’ve only dabbled in Mike Duncan’s first podcast in between episodes of Revolutions, but it’s pretty good so far. Early on he has not yet upgraded his recording equipment so the sound quality leaves something to be desired, but I’ve learned more about the history of Rome in 4 hours of podcasts than I did in 3 years of studying Latin!
These are my podcasts. There are many like them, but these ones are mine.
What are yours?