Listen Up

Mike Zaccardi

WHEN I STUDIED FOR the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams, I snagged extra prep time by listening to textbooks while commuting. As boring as that sounds, it helped me absorb the dry curriculum—and it made listening to financial information part of my daily routine.

While I no longer commute—or even own a car—I continue to plug in my earphones to catch up on the latest investment insights, often during my afternoon walks. Here are my eight favorite podcasts:

  • The Long View. Morningstar’s Christine Benz and Jeff Ptak do a great job of interviewing portfolio managers, personal finance experts and other market pros. Investors seeking to learn more about the current investment landscape and finance generally should tune in. Consistent with the research firm’s thoughtful, data-driven approach, Benz and Ptak allow guests to talk while asking targeted questions.
  • Animal Spirits. The Ritholtz Wealth Management team is famous for producing outstanding content for investors and financial advisors. Michael Batnick and Ben Carlson have been at the mic for almost five years. Biweekly episodes consist of a no-nonsense approach to markets, including interviewing fintech firms and promoting sound, long-term investment concepts—all with a fun tone. They also dive into their latest favorite books and TV shows, an ever-popular segment.
  • Standard Deviations. I’m a sucker for behavioral finance. To me, you won’t find a better communicator on the topic than Daniel Crosby, who has a PhD in psychology. He’s a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and has written several books on the subject.
  • Infinite Loops. These Apple podcasts by Jim O’Shaughnessy and Jamie Catherwood hit each Thursday, offering a much broader perspective than the typical financial podcast. They’re a refreshing escape from the constant market news and noise that I usually subject myself to.
  • CNBC’s Fast Money and Closing Bell: Overtime. HumbleDollar readers might scoff at listening to talking heads from shows focused on daily market action. I do it because panelists like Josh Brown, Ed Yardeni and Jeremy Siegel often bring commonsense to the crazy world of short-term trading. I also have to keep up with the day-to-day action for my writing gigs—it comes with the territory. “The Weekly Trend” by David Zarling and Ian McMillan, along with “Behind the Markets” with Jeremy Schwartz and Prof. Siegel, are also among my weekend market listens.
  • Odd Lots. While reading Bloomberg articles requires a subscription, you can freely tune into Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway interviewing guests on fascinating macro topics. Inflation, supply chain issues and niche industry trends are among the topics covered. The hosts’ chemistry makes the show compelling, and their journalism skills are on full display.
  • Kitces & Carl. Many financial advisors are familiar with Michael Kitces and Carl Richards. Kitces runs one of the most-visited research sites in the wealth management industry. Richards is famous for his simple and profound sketches published in The New York Times during his years as a columnist. Since I work with financial advisors, I never miss an episode. Rarely do I listen to a show and fail to come away with a cool writing idea.
  • Your Money Briefing. This daily 10-minute podcast from The Wall Street Journal covers a market topic or personal finance issue. Journalists are brought on to talk about their recent articles. I particularly enjoy it when Laura Saunders, the newspaper’s tax expert, weighs in.

Admittedly, I’m an information and research addict. Not everyone is like that and, indeed, some investors may be better off ignoring anything related to day-to-day market analysis and financial news. But if you want to learn more about the markets—and the information doesn’t prompt you to trade unnecessarily—you could do worse than listen to a few of the shows listed above.

Mike Zaccardi is a freelance writer for financial advisors and investment firms. He’s a CFA® charterholder and Chartered Market Technician®, and has passed the coursework for the Certified Financial Planner program. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeZaccardi, connect with him via LinkedIn, email him at and check out his earlier articles.

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