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The Rational Reminder Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore of PWL Capital.

A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore of PWL Capital.




A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore of PWL Capital.




Robin Wigglesworth: The Story of Index Funds (EP.184)

Episode 184: Robin Wigglesworth: Unpacking and Understanding Trillions Episode 184: Show Notes. We have often spoken about the book Trillions on the show, and in today's episode, we are lucky enough to interview the author, Robin Wigglesworth. We get to speak to Robin about his book and some of its central and most interesting ideas, while touching on other subjects too. Listeners will definitely come away with some enriched perspective, and hearing Robin's thoughtful and articulate...


Market Efficiency Myths and Misconceptions (EP.183)

While there is certainly room for rigorous debate regarding market efficiency versus inefficiency, there are many who dismiss Eugene Fama’s Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) as an incorrect model without understanding what the implications are or how to test it. In today’s episode of the Rational Reminder Podcast, we tackle some common market efficiency myths and misconceptions using Fama’s 1970 paper on EMH as well as supporting papers by Kenneth French, Lubos Pastor, José Scheinkman, and...


John 'Mac' McQuown: The Data Will Sort That Out (EP.182)

One of the pillars of our approach at The Rational Reminder Podcast and PWL Capital is the idea of index investing, a concept that is both fundamental and deeply embedded. Today we are very lucky to have John 'Mac' McQuown on the show, who was behind the creation of the first equity index fund. It is hard for us to overstate just how important this contribution has been to the world of finance and any fund managers and investors that share our philosophy. Mac's work back in the 1960s, his...


A Year in Review (EP.181)

We have reached the end of another year, our third while doing this podcast. We are spending this episode on our customary year-end review, and we will be pulling segments from some of the great interviews we hosted over the course of 2021. In doing so, we hope to create a bit of summary of the year and the biggest lessons we all learned together. The podcast has continued to grow beyond our wildest expectations and we are so grateful to be on this journey with our ever-increasing community...


Is Canada Really in a Housing Bubble? (EP.180)

There is no doubt that housing in Canada is expensive, but are we really in a bubble? Today on the show we explore the user cost equation and how it can help us answer this question. Before the main topic, we get warmed up with a behind-the-scenes look at Dell’s growth path in Cameron’s review of Play Nice But Win. From there we address Peter Lynch’s recent warning against passive investing as well as reiterate our position on the performance of small-cap value versus large-cap growth....


Professor Marco Di Maggio: Crypto, DeFi, and Monetary Policy (EP.179)

Of all of the possible disruptive uses of cryptocurrency and blockchain, decentralised finance (or DeFi) might be the one most likely to bring this technology to a wider audience; and challenge the established finance industry in the process. For this week’s episode on crypto-based decentralised finance, we welcome economist and faculty member in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School, Professor Marco Di Maggio. Tuning in, you’ll learn everything you need to know about DeFi and...


Are Inflation Concerns Inflated? (EP.178)

In today’s episode of The Rational Reminder, we tackle the subject of inflation in a twofold manner. Firstly, there are details around how people perceive inflation that often get overlooked, and secondly, these expectations have investment implications that are worth unpacking. Before diving into the main topic, we talk about Colin Bryar’s Working Backwards which tracks the role of failure and customer obsession in Amazon’s growth path. After getting into this week's news and listener...


Dr. Anna Lembke: Dopamine & Decision-Making (EP.177)

The contemporary world is saturated with ways in which we can experience rewards that were historically much more difficult to access. Although this idea of a world filled with dopamine fixes is not new, it can be continually surprising just how extreme this reality has become. Here on the show today to talk about this issue and her most recent book, Dopamine Nation, is Dr. Anna Lembke, and we have a fascinating and important conversation in which she unpacks the human body and mind in...


Is the Value Premium Smaller Than We Thought? Featuring Mathias Hasler (EP.176)

Today we have a guest join us on one of our 'us episodes', and we are very lucky to welcome Mathias Hasler to take part in the last section of today's podcast. Mathias is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance at Boston College, and his primary research focuses are empirical asset pricing, market efficiency, value investing, and corrections for data mining. In our chat with him today, we zoom in on a specific paper of his and its proposition about 'the six decisions' and their...


Robin Taub: The Wisest Investment: Teaching Kids About Money (EP.175)

Today we are tackling the vitally important subject of financial literacy from the standpoint of parents wanting to educate their children. We have a true expert on the show today to help us with this discussion, and we cannot wait to share this highly actionable and impactful conversation with our audience. Robin Taub is a former CPA turned author, and her book, The Wisest Investment, approaches the need to educate children from an early age, and the best strategies that parents can use for...


The "Good Company is a Good Investment" Fallacy (EP.174)

It sounds reasonable to say that investing in the most popular companies would produce the best returns, but this is just not how asset pricing works. Today on the show, we unpack the ‘good company is a good investment’ fallacy. Before diving into the main topic, we kick off our discussion on the subject of index funds with Robert Wigglesworth’s Trillions. From there, we share some updates about custom indexing and home buying in Canada, along with the immense valuation of Tesla as well as...


Antonio Picca: From Index Investing to Factor Investing at Vanguard (EP.173)

In our conversation this week, we take a deep dive into factor investing. We are joined by the formidable Antonio Picca, Head of Factor Strategies at Vanguard, to help us navigate this complicated topic. Antonio is one of the largest asset managers in the world, with over seven trillion dollars under management. Among his credentials is a Master's in Finance and Economics from the London School of Economics, as well as a Doctorate in Finance and Economics from Chicago, where he was also a...


Is the debate over renting vs. buying a home really over? Featuring Rob Carrick (EP.172)

Today we welcome Rob Carrick back to the show to talk about a range of interesting topics, focusing on the Canadian housing market and some of the recent developments from the banking and investment space. Rob has such a balanced and measured approach, qualities that are visible in his long-standing work at The Globe and Mail. We start today's episode with some fun recommendations of books and TV content, before diving into the meat of our conversation. Rob weighs in on the range of...


Campbell R. Harvey: The Past and Future of Finance (EP.171)

For this week’s episode (our longest to date), we get together with the legendary Professor Campbell R. Harvey and take a deep dive into a diverse range of topics that draw on his incredible breadth of knowledge and extensive research. Campbell is the Professor of International Business at Duke University and is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 2016 he served as the President of the American Finance Association, and from 2006 to 2012 he occupied the...


Are Homeowners Happier than Renters? (EP.170)

For decades, owning a home has been seen as a hallmark of the ‘American dream’ and a major life milestone. While we take it for granted that home ownership is good, we make the argument in today’s episode that, from the perspective of subjective well-being, owning a home isn’t necessarily the key to happiness. This conversation covers the non-financial aspects of homeownership and why owning a home isn’t necessarily superior to renting one. This is supported by data from a number of...


John Cochrane: Modern Modern Portfolio Theory (EP.169)

Today's conversation is an extremely enlightened and highly detailed one, that you may want to return to, in order to accrue all of its value. We host John Cochrane, an economist specializing in financial economics and macroeconomics. John has a popular blog and podcast called The Grumpy Economist and also hosts the GoodFellows Podcast. He is a Rose-Marie and Jack Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a senior fellow at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and was...


A Replication Crisis and a Housing Crisis (EP.168)

Today we have a somewhat unique episode for all of our listeners, rounding up the news and information from the world of finance and investment before we welcome Ben Rabidoux back to the show. Ben was a guest on Episode 96, which aired early during the pandemic last year, and we are so happy to have him here for another appearance, to touch in with his real estate expertise, and his thoughts on the current issues facing the Canadian housing market. Ben is the Founder of Edge Realty Analytics...


Professor Hersh Shefrin: Fear, Hope, and the Psychology of Investing (EP.167)

In many episodes of this podcast we refer to the psychological component of investing, and today we are very happy to host a global authority on the subject and share an absolute masterclass about behavioural psychology as it relates to our finances and the decisions we make. We welcome Professor Hersh Shefrin to the show, who is the author of many books including the seminal Beyond Greed and Fear, which he wrote in the last 1990s, and still holds much value and relevance in today's climate....


Lessons from 100+ Years of Global Stock Returns (EP.166)

In this week’s episode, Cameron and Benjamin share what’s on their mind and delve into listener questions on subjects ranging from the CAPE ratio to how to go about changing someone’s mind. Tuning in you’ll get a preview of some of the formidable guests featured on future episodes, like John Cochrane and Hersh Shefrin. We also cover book recommendations and unpack the concept of libertarian paternalism from the highly influential best-seller, Nudge: The Final Edition by Richard Thaler and...


Gordon Irlam: (Near) Optimal Retirement Planning using Machine Learning (EP.165)

The evergreen subject of retirement planning is something that we prioritize here at the Rational Reminder Podcast, and today we have a very interesting conversation in which we explore the topic from a slightly different perspective. We are joined by Gordon Irlam, who is a notable researcher with a wealth of experience from the world of tech and beyond. We have the chance to ask Gordon about bonds, annuities, and optimal allocations for different outlooks, and also get his perspective on...