Commodities Focus
Commodities Focus
Sep 23, 2020
After Gastech, a sprint toward 2021 for the LNG sector and decision-making for projects
19 min
Harry Weber, Platts senior natural gas writer in Houston, and Stuart Elliott, editorial lead, Generating Fuels News, in London, discuss with Platts senior digital editor Jason Lindquist themes from the recently completed Gastech virtual conference and the outlook for gas, LNG and the integration of renewables in the energy transition occurring in parts of the world heading into 2021.
The Rational Reminder Podcast
The Rational Reminder Podcast
Benjamin Felix & Cameron Passmore
Dr. Brian Portnoy and Josh Brown: Beyond the Orthodoxy - How Financial Pros Invest (EP.126)
Dr. Brian Portnoy and Josh Brown’s book How I Invest My Money, captures the stories and investment strategies of 25 top financial advisors. The book highlights that while there are established dogmas that tell you how and why you ought to invest, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ way to invest. Today we speak with Brian and Josh about the key insights that we can derive from their work. We open our conversation by exploring how they conceived and developed their book before talking about why fully rational investing is a myth. After diving into how we allocate money to solve our unique needs, Brian and Josh share how people use their portfolios to express themselves. We then discuss common investing themes in the book, including how most advisors have an aversion to debt, and how their experiences have guided their strategies and outlooks. From why we should place more value on social and human capital, we look into why financial planning has a profound impact on how you manage your investments. We touch on direct indexing, the relationship between money and happiness, and the unexpected yet incredible perspectives that came from giving advisors a license to tell their stories. Near the end of the episode, Brian and Josh reflect on how their book might have changed their views and how their work fits into their visions for the financial industry. Tune in to hear more on the usually secretive topic of how financial advisors invest their money. Key Points From This Episode: * Introducing Brian Portnoy and Josh Brown, authors of How I Invest My Money. [0:0:15] * Why we invest and reflections on commentary made by the Rational Reminder community. [0:02:58] * Josh shares his motivations for being transparent on where and how he invests. [0:05:25] * Hear about the genesis and subsequent development of Brian and Josh’s book. [0:07:19] * The common needs that individual investors have beyond getting a return. [0:10:18] * How the uniqueness of everyone’s life affects their investing decisions. [0:13:09] * Why there is no strict ‘right way’ to invest — invest according to what’s right for you. [0:14:35] * ESG investment and seeing your portfolio as a form of expression. [0:17:21] * Exploring common investment themes that arise in Josh and Brian’s book. [0:20:07] * How Brian and Josh developed their personal investing outlooks. [0:21:44] * Why we should place more value in human and social capital. [0:25:16] * Brian expands on why we should invest in human and social capital. [0:28:35] * The importance of financial planning in managing both your life and investments. [0:31:50] * Answering the question: is direct indexing the future for outcome-driven portfolios? [0:36:55] * Assessing a client’s risk profile as central to modern financial advising. [0:39:34] * Portfolio customization and direct indexing versus helping clients create a portfolio around their purposes. [0:40:58] * Funding contentment and the relationship between money and happiness. [0:42:22] * Whether the stories featured in their book have Brian and Josh’s views. [0:46:18] * When your life is your benchmark, how do you derive your portfolio benchmark. [0:49:15] * How their book fits into Brian and Josh’s visions for their industry. [0:54:43]
57 min
The Intelligent Investing Podcast
The Intelligent Investing Podcast
Eric Schleien
#125: A New Model For Shareholder Activism
Show Links * The Proxy Activism Project * A New Model For Shareholder Activism (Blog) * A New Model For Shareholder Activism (YouTube) * A New Model For Shareholder Activism (Eric Schleien / John King) * Netflix, Sears, and Tribal Leadership (Eric Schleien / John King) * How To Keep Large Companies Innovative (Eric Schleien / Scott Forgey) * Eric Schleien discussing Tribal Leadership * Eric Schleien discussing Activist Investing * CBRE Case Study - Tribal Leadership * Comparing Transformational & Transactional Leadership (Eric Schleien) * Cultural Issues In The Hospital Industry (Eric Schleien) Took 9 Years To Develop ProxyActivism is a project that has taken 9 years to create over the course of thousands and thousands of hours to develop, and finally launch. This blog post will go into the background into how ProxyActivism came to be, our process, how I see this project unfolding, and how you as a value investor can be involved (and no, for all you cynical fucks, I’m not trying to sell you something) The Initial Insight My idea for ProxyActivism started when I did an ontological leadership program with a former Vice President of Disney who decided to quit his job and devote the rest of his life to empowering people. I got more in a few days of intense Socratic style inquiry than in all the years of reading books combined. As someone who relied on books to “get ahead” this was a completely new paradigm for me. Within the next few months, my income tripled, I repaired relationships with the people around me, and produced many more results. I figured there must be some application to business as well. And it turned out my intuition was right. The company had a consulting arm. The consulting arm of the organization was recently named one of the top consulting companies in the world by Forbes. At a lecture I attended at NYU, the preliminary internal data at the company was that their average client experienced a 600% increase in profits within 12 months. I thought to myself, “I wonder if I could combine ontological coaching with shareholder activism?” A Zero Competition Game I figured this must have already been done and figured I would go work for a hedge fund already doing this and get some experience under my belt. However, after searching, I could not find a single hedge fund that was doing activism this way. Even the funds that talked about so-called “transformations” at companies - were really just doing more “change management consulting” and not actually anything transformational. Nothing wrong with that, just not as reliable or as effective. So I became very frustrated that I could not find a single hedge fund playing this game called transform companies. I knew I was missing something. Every single business study on this kind of work showed results that any shareholder activist would be salivating over, this was clear alpha, and a low competition game with very high barriers to entry. (If the barriers to entry were low, I would not be writing about this or even talking about this). Why Is Nobody Already Doing This? I knew I was missing something but couldn’t figure out what. This was the best idea I ever had in my life for a business and also seemingly the lowest hanging fruit. I just couldn’t get why nobody had taken this on before. And then it became quite clear. I called 37 different hedge funds or investment managers that were engaged in some kind of activism. I was excited and figured they would all be competing for me to implement this idea at their fund. I had this vision that I would develop this business as a fund, make a ton of money, and make a ton of people (including myself) extremely successful in this world. These “so-called” rational people however became quite cynical. Not skeptical and open. Cynical and closed off. I couldn’t believe it. Some of them told me this was not their wheelhouse and they were going to stick to what they already knew. Ok fine, I can get that. But an unwillingness to learn something new? Whatever happened to expanding the circle of competence in a low-risk manner that would not take up a lot of time? Interesting. However, there were also managers that told me it sounded like bullshit, that the results sounded too good to be true. I asked them if they wanted me to share with them all the independent case studies out there. Not one person was interested. The Challenge: Combining Two Domains Now I was intrigued. Ontological coaching is so outside the realm of these managers because you can’t measure it directly as a function of cause and effect. I started to see that all business management tools and techniques were based on cause and effect and that these managers, while extremely smart at reading numbers or learning about different management techniques, were also completely immature around their thinking when it came to leadership, ontology, and anything transformational in nature. They were inappropriately trying to apply their pre-existing models for management techniques onto a leadership conversation as that was their box of awareness/logic system. Anything outside of that - it was like their thinking-brain just shut down and their survival-lizard brain went into automatic. It was outstanding to watch very intellectually smart people start spewing nonsense trying to make sense of something they had no understanding of into other models that were not relevant to this conversation. Long-story-short, they were unable to or unwilling to get it -- regardless of decades worth of data and case studies. I figured, fuck these guys, I’ll just work with consultants who already have a great track record of transforming businesses and share with them how doing the work they are already doing in the context of a fund structure would be much more lucrative than charging a rate on their time. The first person I went to was the CEO of this large consulting arm that had a several-decade long track record of doing ontological/transformational work with businesses, many that are in the billions of dollars in market cap. The CEO was extremely friendly on the phone with me but he flat out said that his company was going to stick to what they do best and not get involved in investing or starting a fund which he saw akin to gambling and “playing the market”. Fuck…... Was this why the idea hadn’t been done before? I reached out to another woman I knew who for 20 years had been producing amazing results with very large businesses charging $5,000/hour for her services. I spent a month outlining an entire business plan and then did a call with her presenting her with the idea. I again explained how if she did what she did in a fund structure she’d make more than her already lucrative $5,000/hour and would be able to generate even more business as the stock price performance would be worth more in marketing than anything she was currently able to do right now. I wanted her to be the woman that when a guy like Bill Ackman or Carl Icahn needed extra support, they could give her a call. She told me that she wanted to stick to what she was good at and not get involved in the stock market or hedge funds. Holy fucking shit!!!!!! It was becoming very clear to me why this had never been done before. The ontological coaching world didn’t know shit about investing and their brains would shut down. They were more akin to getting involved with startups, sexy industries, and today would be into things like Crypto and 3D printing. Again, all worthy pursuits but not to combine value investing/shareholder activism/ontological coaching together. Resignation & Cynicism On the flip side, many great investors are great because they are resigned and cynical by nature. Where is management lying to me? How are the books being cooked? Even people reading this article, many great investors may be reading this with their automatic little inner voice saying somet…
57 min
The Contrarian Investor Podcast
The Contrarian Investor Podcast
Nathaniel E. Baker
How Bubbles and False Narratives Made Financial Markets, with Jamie Catherwood, Author of InvestorAmnesia.com
Become a premium subscriber and get this podcast a day or more before the general public! No ads or announcements either! Contrarian.Supercast.Tech   With the Dow Industrial Average hitting 30,000 on the day of this recording, revisiting historical booms and busts feels particularly timely. Jamie Catherwood, the author of InvestorAmnesia.com and a self-proclaimed financial history nerd, is a perfect guide to this discussion. We discuss booms in treasure hunting, bicycles, railroads, breweries, and of course tulips (which it turns out was greatly exaggerated. The guest debunks this). Content Segments (Spotify users can click on time stamp to link to the section directly) * What epoch in financial history is perhaps most apt in light of today's period? (3:38); * How long do these cycles typically last? (12:40); * Bubbles in transportation technology: bicycles, railroads (twice), now electrical vehicles (16:25); * "Tulip mania," often cited as the "mother of all financial bubbles" was in reality nowhere near as crazy as commonly believed (18:40 ); * What are common elements that prick bubbles? (27:08); * The role of central banks and the money supply in the bursting of bubbles (29:59); * Background on the guest (40:36); * How he started his website on financial bubble history (45:44) * Contrarian investors through history (51:59); * Epilogue: bonus content for supporters of Tottenham Hotspur only (57:05). More Information on the Guest * Website: InvestorAmnesia.com * Twitter: @InvestorAmnesia * Financial History Course (premium subscribers get 10% off the price).
1 hr 1 min
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