27 | Ilya Zaritskiy built a PE firm from credit cards

Ilya Zaritskiy arrived in Los Angeles as a refugee from Ukraine. He was a child, in middle school, perhaps. There were tanks on the streets in LA – the 1992 Rodney King riots were happening. Neither he nor his family spoke any English. This podcast is the story of how one immigrant kid used the 18-month 0% APR schemes banks were pushing to buy a UPS franchise, start a PE firm, and buy a bar.

I liken it to trying to build a house by throwing up beams in the air and shooting them with a nail gun and hoping that you can hit them in the right place so that by the time gravity takes its toll it will fall down as a building… otherwise it’s going to fall on your head and break you.

25 | Rohit Chopra and the history of Indian media

Rohit Chopra is the co-host of the podcast India Explained and Associate Professor at Santa Clara University. We talk about journalism in India and it’s evolution from the days of Doordarshan to the cornucopia of (mostly bad) options available today. Through our conversation I was introduced or reintroduced to a number of people and bodies of work that I either didn’t know about or don’t spend enough time with.

For example, Ashis Nandy, a political psychologist whose work seems very interesting if the titles of his book are anything to go by: The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism; Regimes of Narcissism, Regimes of Despair; Traditions, Tyranny and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness. One of these might find a place on my reading list for 2019. Similarly, Palagummi Sainath, has done extensive reporting from rural India and whose work I’m curious to explore more. Particularly, Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India’s Poorest Districts. Urvashi Butalia runs a feminist publishing house in India and whose Poster Women: A Visual History of the Women’s Movement in India I just ordered. The political magazine Economic and Political Weekly, for example, provides a deep and fascinating coverage of India, even though I can rarely find anything I agree with its commentary on.

Rohit’s own book, Technology and Nationalism in India, might be too heavy a read for me but I’m curious to read the upcoming and more accessible books.

This is a fairly left-of-center reading list and I’m looking to balance it out with someone interesting that’s slightly to the right-of-center. Got any suggestions? Send them my way!

24 | Jim Tanner

Jim Tanner founded Just Good Advice with the goal of providing sound financial advice to ordinary people. In the story that takes him to Just Good Advice, we talk about his first fin-tech company from when the best way to transmit data was the fax machine; Morningstar, where Jim ran the sales team; and the realization for Jim that he wanted to create something to make investing simple for mainstream America: financial advice for the not-1%. We discuss the Value of Financial Advice from a paper written by David Blanchett (spoiler alert: ~1.5%) and the idea that in investing, you get what you don’t pay for (see this blog, and this shiny paper from Vanguard).