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Season 3, Episode 19: When Investors Become Gamblers — And Why It’s Happening Now

With William L. Silber, Author of ‘The Power of Nothing to Lose: The Hail Mary Effect in Politics, War, and Business’

William L. Silber, author of the book ‘The Power of Nothing to Lose: The Hail Mary Effect in Politics, War, and Business,’ joins the podcast to discuss his thesis that individuals, including investors, can become reckless gamblers if they have nothing to lose.

Silber has a career dating back to 1966 in academia and Wall Street. His comments are pertinent in the present day of cryptocurrencies, the ‘retailization’ of options trading, NFTs, and meme stocks, among others. So is his recommendation (not investment advice) to reduce risk exposure.

Content Highlights

  • When people have downside protection and limitless losses, “they tend to become reckless and almost gamblers” (3:48)

  • Rogue traders and the skewed payoff that makes them go rogue (14:41);

  • What to make of the present day and investors’ collective risk appetite, especially regarding meme stocks? (17:32);
  • Background on the guest (24:55);

  • A valuable lesson learned at Odyssey Partners in the 1980s: what’s an exit strategy? (27:47);
  • Is this a time for investors to reduce risks and sell stocks? (30:26);

  • Precious metals and their place in a modern portfolio (36:52);
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Season 3, Episode 15: Colin Lancaster is Fed Up!

The macro trader discusses his book and what to make of central bank policies.

Colin Lancaster, global head of macro/fixed income at Schonfeld Strategic Partner Fund, joins the podcast to discuss his book Fed Up! Success, Excess and Crisis Through the Eyes of a Hedge Fund Macro Trader.

The book spans the period from October 2019 to June 2020 and includes the height of the coronavirus crisis. This features heavily into the conversation. We also discuss the Federal Reserve and his view of current markets.

Content Highlights:
(Spotify users can click on the timestamp to link to the segment directly)
  • What went into him writing the book? What was the impetus? (3:50);
  • Macro investing and the need to be a diversifier and disaster hedge (7:38);
  • What is he most concerned about right now in markets? (12:07);
  • What does an investor do in this market, especially with the Fed continuing to hold rates near zero? (14:30);
  • The Fed’s experiment is “dangerous” and the central bank has “very little credibility” when it comes to inflation (18:55);
  • Background on the guest (23:49);
  • The Fed’s role in creating and fostering wealth inequality is significant, despite its good intentions (27:48);
  • How to go about fixing this? Does the Fed perhaps have too much autonomy? (31:30);
  • The book is technically a novel and has quite a few characters. Are these fictional or based on real people? (36:28);
  • Alternative data; some ideas of what to look for (40:35).
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Season 3, Episode 13: The Rise of Retail Investors (Update)

With Gav Blaxberg, WOLF Financial

Updates with second YouTube video, bottom of this page.

Gav Blaxberg of WOLF Financial joins the podcast to discuss his views of the retail investors who have been pushing stocks like GameStop and more recently AMC.

Blaxberg’s research on this phenomenon predates the GameStop brouhaha. He has reasons to believe retail investors have been gaining in power and will be a growing force to reckon with when it comes to major movement, especially among small cap stocks.

Content Highlights:
(Spotify users can click on the timestamp to link to the segment in question)
  • What happened with GameStop was not an anomaly. Expect more where that came from (3:47);
  • The trend did not start with GameStop, but can be traced to the ‘Kodak movement’ (5:07);
  • Institutions still have more capital and control more of public companies’ shares. How are smaller retail investors able to move these stocks? Even small caps? (8:23);
  • The return of retail investors, which hasn’t been seen since the heady days of the dot-com doom, can be traced in large part to commission-free trades (10:37);
  • Quick segue after the guest mentions he gets 9% APR on his blockchain-linked savings account — in USD (14:25);
  • Background on the guest and how he came to start WOLF Financial (20:42);
  • Twitter remains the most actionable social media platform when it comes to moving stocks. Everything else is a distant second. Yes, even Reddit (32:30);
  • So what stocks are popular on social media right now? It’s still growth stocks. Some examples (36:34);
  • What stocks have potential but don’t do enough (or anything on social media) and could boost their popularity with retail investors if they changed this? Some examples (39:34).
More Information on the Guest

Not intended as investment advice.

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