Episode 5 | Greg Nance

I spoke with Greg on what was a very early Shanghai morning and late Atlanta evening, and had just so much fun jamming about what Greg has been up to. Greg Nance is an entrepreneur, an ultra-marathoner, and a passionate champion of people-to-people diplomacy (although he doesn’t say as much). Some show notes:

  1. Moneythink: is an incredible organization that grew from a handful of schools in Chicago to a nationwide movement
  2. Dyad.com: mentioned in this podcast a couple times; founded by Greg, this monetizes bridging information asymmetry in the education market through mentorship programs
  3. Start Before You’re Ready: this isn’t some new discovery but Greg certainly owns this more than most people I’ve met
  4. Luck Surface Area, explained here
  5. Blog Recommendation: Ben Casnocha
  6. Talk to strangers: this is how Greg found three of his top mentors. The advice doled out to children (don’t talk to strangers) needs to be discarded at some point; Greg demonstrates the rewards of doing so.
  7. Follow your smile. I love this expression!
  8. Institute for International Education (site)
  9. Open Society Foundation (site)


Episode 4 | Ngiste Abebe

I had a lot of fun jamming with Ngiste Abebe, fellow UChicago alum, author of Bidding for Development: How the Olympic Bid Process Can Accelerate Transportation Development, Co-Found and COO of Aulenor Co, and a campaign organizer in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Our conversation spanned sports (ok, not really), politics, fantasy and sci-fi, public policy, civil service. We ran out of time before we could fix the health care system so we’ll need to schedule a second session to talk about that sometime.

As always, I’d love feedback, and also your helping in sharing this with others who might enjoy it. Thank you so much 🙂

Episode 3 | Life of the Mind with Joe Sroka

There are some conversations that you cannot plan, and this was one of them. I thought that my guest Joe Sroka would be interesting to chat with about finance (he is currently the Chief Investment Officer at NovaPoint Capital) and his career in/through finance. But Joe ended up giving me (a foreigner) a tour of the post-Soviet-Union world from the American perspective that I didn’t anticipate (#awesome). We talk about East German refugees (there’s some hope in there for the current refugee crises), the Bond villains in a world where there were no enemies (can you guess which one?) before getting to finance.

But there’s another side to this conversation that’s just as interesting on the nature of recessions, business cycles, board governance, investment management vs investment bankers, portfolio investing, and investing using AI/machine learning.

To ponder further, on information vs. noise in decision making: if you can’t support your decision making with data and it’s completely qualitative, it’s noise/speculative. (If you’re betting your money on a stock that has bad technicals, bad financials, but feel-good stories, you are investing on noise.)