By Stig Brodersen
3 November 2016
Back in April, I wrote a blog post called “The Future of The Investors Podcast…and me…” I don’t think I’ve ever received such great feedback for any blog or episode of the podcast. So, thank you so much for that! It really tells me that people care about our project and both Preston and I are super grateful for that.
This is going to be a personal blog post, where I’m going to update you what has happened on the podcast, and in my life (which is surprisingly similar!), emphasizing on the past six months. Let’s begin…
Getting the right people on the bus
When we originally started the podcast, one of our goals was to network with a lot of cool people. Yep – it was not a super advanced business plan (!), but that was how we looked at it. Now, after more than 100 episodes, we can say for sure that not only did it turn out to be true (one of the few right predictions we made), but it’s also the most fun part of our podcast.
We recently read From Good to Great by Jim Collins. It was an awesome book, but as you likely guessed it’s not the point I want to put across here. The book talked about how companies can go from good to great, and one key element was to “get the right people on the bus”. Basically the idea was that you need to build the right team around you and not really focus on strategy or anything else. The right people will eventually empower each other to achieve whatever goal you have.
I’ve thought a lot about it, and I’ve found it not only to be true for companies but just as much for personal relations – and a combination! When we started out as a two-person team, I just briefly had an idea of what a podcast was, but I was clueless about how to run it, not to mention an online company. But, one thing was as clear to me back then as it is today. Preston was the right person to bring on the bus!
I can’t believe how fortunate I am doing the podcast with Preston. Not just because he is super smart and has the perfect voice for podcasting(!), but his drive is amazing. I often find myself struggling to find time to do a weekly episode, but Preston, even with his full-time job and four kids, manages to-carve some time out of his life. I admire that so much!
Preston keeps me on the right track when times get tough. I can’t think of anything that is as much fun as The Investors Podcast, but at the same time, it’s also very hard to start up a new business – something I guess all entrepreneurs realize. Preston helps me keep my priorities straight and focus on what is important – not what appears to be urgent. Having someone do that is pretty awesome! But, basically it comes down to this: Preston wants to do the “right thing”. That doesn’t mean that he can’t be wrong – his track record of good decisions is a lot better than mine! – but when you meet a super smart person whose intentions are good, you should do whatever you can to hold on and grow that relationship.
This was a life lesson the podcast taught me – and I’ll never forget that!
Now that we’re more than 2 years into the podcast I’ve meet a ton of smart people and learned a lot from them. I even managed to convince some of them to join the TIP team. It seems that wherever I go, I meet amazing people, and interesting business opportunities open up all the time. But, really, it’s important not to get lost and forget who made this possible. And, I owe that 100% to Preston.
How to Invest in ETFs
One of our original thoughts about the podcast was to create educational video courses. I love watching online courses, and it seemed to work perfectly with the brand that was all about financial education. Now, here is the drawback…It turns out that it takes a long time to make, and video editing is likely the least fun activity I ever did! When I created our course about The Intelligent Investor, it took me four months to create it.
I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to take that long, and as an economist I’m all for doing what you are good at, which, for me, was not to do the technical part of the course creation… As luck would have it, after my previous blog post, a gentleman named Chris sent me an email and offered to help me out with the courses. Not only is he a super nice guy, and a long time listener of the show, but he is also much better (and faster!) when it comes to video editing.
In the previous blog post, I asked all of you to vote for the course you would like us to make, and one course topic stood out “How to Invest in ETFs” – so we decided to create the course. We talk more about the course at the end of episode 110, and if you click on the link you’ll see a short promo video.
I’m not sure if we’ll start pumping out courses though. What I’ve found was that even with someone as smart as Chris to help out, it still took a long time to create. I would say that it took us 3-4 months although it was a lot more On/off than the Intelligent Investor course because Chris was doing all the heavy lifting. The feedback of the new course will tell whether or not we will be focusing more on TIP or course creations in the future.
TIP Live Events
Every time I’ve hosted an event I’ve met great people, and even though it wasn’t intended, I’ve always found people at every single event that the TIP could do business with. I guess that it is just what happens when you are meeting cool like-minded people.
Together with James from the TIP team (more to follow on this awesome dude!) I’m hosting a TIP event in Manila on 27 December. Also, we’ll be having a TIP main event with both Preston and me in London hosted by TIP and the Bank of England on 27 January 2017. You can learn more about both events here.
Like so many other cool people, I didn’t know James before I started The Investors Podcast (Preston didn’t either). But, again, as it happens, we meet likeminded people on our forum and live events and before we know it, we start working on various TIP projects together.
For more than a year, James has been working on our new financial data application TIPmoney. We’re still in the testing phase, but hopefully we’ll release a free beta version in a few months or so. The easiest way to think about TIPmoney is as a similar real time service like Morningstar, Yahoo Finance, and MSN Money. We think our web application is a lot cooler and for the individual stock picker, you’ll find features that you haven’t seen before.
James is probably the most efficient programmer I’ve ever met. What he has done all by himself so far, would take a 10 person team just as long – if not longer! Luckily, Preston and I quickly realized that, and we knew that the best thing we could do was to get out of his way and not to distract James too much with all our crazy ideas we’re continuously are throwing at him(we’re not always successful!). Preston and I outlined the design of the web application, and James simply just ran with it (!).
We simply can’t wait to show you the application!
Another thing that Preston and I have been working on is “TIPproConsulting”. Before we started the podcast, we first discussed setting up a consulting company together. For various reasons (mainly time issues), it took a while before we set it up. But, it is here now. The good thing about TIP live events and having a contact form on our site is that we get a ton of great feedback on a consistent basis. Across all platforms, I would estimate that I easily get 100+ requests and questions from the TIP community every week. Even though I always feel horrible about not responding adequately to everyone, we learn what the TIP community would really like us to do. Thanks for the feedback!
Our podcast studies billionaires and also focuses on stock investing – preferably in combination. However, after a quick glance at my inbox, you’ll realize that people generally listen to the podcast because they want to learn more about stock investing and the current market conditions, and less specifically about billionaires. It is apparent that the audience would like feedback on their investment strategy, and individual stock picks. For this reason, we created the service “Portfolio review”. Another service we created is “Stock Pitch Job Interview”, because we realized that quite a few of our listeners typically apply as junior portfolio managers or equity analysts in the finance industry. I plan to take no more than 1-2 clients on at the time to do one-on-coaching with me for both products, due to my limited time, and I can’t wait to get started. Really, what is more fun than discussing stock investing?
Living and doing business in Korea
For me, personally, the last few months have been hectic not only because the podcast has been super busy, but also because I’ve moved to another country, not to mention another continent! So far things have been better than anyone could have hoped! That’s not to say that there’s no friction when you do a huge move, and you don’t know the language or the culture, but my wife and I are having so much fun that we might even consider staying here for a considerable period of time.
In regards to the podcast, I’ve finally been able to put more hours into it. I’ve taken a year of work, and while I ended up only working part time to leave time for the podcast, it’s amazing to be able to work full time on TIP. Things are so busy that I even had to hire an assistant to keep pace. Her name is Bianca, and if you think that everything looks and works a bit better on the site and podcast, you now know why! Bianca is super hard working, has a positive attitude, and with a background as an IT consultant for HP and media experience (awesome combination!) the TIP team or I couldn’t ask for more.
One of the coolest things about living in a city with 25 million people is that you have so many opportunities, and for me, it seems like my network has grown exponentially. Let me just give you one example. Preston hosted a TIP event in Seoul last summer, and he met Jennifer. Jennifer reached out to me when I got here because she is in the middle of an IPO for Wisdomain. Wisdomain is a patent company that realized that they could outperform the market by investing in listed stocks. The approach is to buy valuable patents that are priced very low compared to the market cap (you can think of this as deep value for patents if you like). You can read more about the research here if you are interested.
But, to make a long story short, the company invited me to moderate their discussion at the World Knowledge Forum. The event is like Davos here in Asia, including speakers like Dick Cheney and Gerhard Schröder, and I was honored to be invited as well. I hope to have a chance to write a specific blog post about the event, and the investing technique at a later point in time – lots of interesting things to discuss!
But for now, let me just sincerely thank you. Not just for reading what likely seems like a long blog post that would never end, but because I know that you are directly and indirectly giving me many wonderful experiences that I wouldn’t otherwise have. I’ve learnt from the awesome feedback you guys are giving us that you feel that you owe us, but I sincerely feel it’s the other way around.