The last few years have seen an explosion in high quality financial commentary through both blogs and podcasts. They range from the very quantitative to the less explicitly so, but still generally rigorous (yes, I admit that non-quants can be rigorous!). Many are concerned with the same things we at AQR obsess over. Issues like which “factors” are real versus artifacts of fitting the data, how to practically implement these ideas, how to guide investor behavior (whether following factors or just, for instance, not over-timing the market) to better long-run outcomes, discussing the fair fee for different strategies and exposures, etc. Some are short and breezy (again, the good ones can still be rigorous!), some long and analytical. Some are serious, while others are laced with trenchant humor. Some are quite topical to issues of the day, some timeless.
I read and listen to them regularly. I have studied these things all my adult life, but I still have a lot to learn, and this community is a godsend. It’s also a fun group of nice people. Some of my favorites blogs and podcasts—with apologies to any I’ve left out as this list is, of course, non-exhaustive—include Alpha Architect, Behind the Markets, The Big Picture, Masters in Business, MebFaber.com, Investor’s Field Guide, Fortune Financial, Invest Like the Best, Flirting with Models, Flirting with Models (podcast), The Irrelevant Investor, Animal Spirits, Pragmatic Capitalism, Capital Allocators, A Wealth of Common Sense, The Reformed Broker, InvestResolve/GestaltU, Abnormal Returns, EconomPic, Larry Swedroe, and Philosophical Economics. And I haven’t even tried a summary of who you should follow on Twitter or LinkedIn. Of course, I don’t always agree with everything above (or anywhere for that matter). What would be the fun in that! But I respect and read/listen to them all.
I encourage you all to spend some time with them. If you’re a professional, well, it’s hard to choose as they’re all worthwhile. If this is more of an avocation, then browse, try on a few, and stick with your favorites. It will be a fruitful exercise.
We’ve been blogging for a while (e.g., this blog, which I resisted calling a blog at the beginning but so obviously is one) and, as you probably know, regularly share white papers that are far more accessible than the peer-reviewed journals we also on occasion appear in. But the purpose of this particular blog, besides just praising those I’ve benefited from, is to announce we’re throwing our hat into the podcasting ring (was my title too much of a giveaway?).
We’ve chosen the admittedly somewhat generic title “The Curious Investor” for our offering, after batting around many possibilities that all seemed too geeky or otherwise too pigeon-holed given the range we expect to cover (both in topic and in method). We settled on this title as we hope and believe that curiosity has always been, and will always remain, an AQR hallmark. We remain simply fascinated by how investing works. It’s an amazingly interesting topic, as it covers and must include both some serious math and a lot of observations about the behavior of real people. Innumeracy is punished in investing but so is a low “EQ”—sometimes in quite a subtle fashion. We think we (the broad “we” not just we at AQR) have made significant strides in understanding investing and investor behavior in the last half century. But it’s both humbling and exciting that there is still so much that remains unknown or at least unsettled. How can one not be “Curious”?
We intend to utilize the wide-ranging talents at AQR, and our access to some really special guests, to hopefully make a significant contribution to the already wonderful discourse going on. We are certainly not a substitute for those already doing work we admire, but hopefully a complement. Please let me know how we are doing!
With that, I give you AQR’s The Curious Investor podcast.