I believe in continued education in all aspects of life by any means possible. The pursuit of knowledge in general consumes a great deal of my time. I do not watch television or movies regularly preferring instead to spend my leisure time educating myself. One media channel that has been particularly helpful in my goal of continued education has been the audio podcast.
I first became addicted to podcasts while working on my family’s farm and ranch. If you have ever put in an 18 hour work day plowing wheat ground you have come dangerously close to the upper limits of boredom. When I was younger I used to stop periodically on the turn row and run some wind sprints just to keep my blood pumping enough to remain conscious. Farm machinery produces a dull roar that has the tendency to lull those ill equip to sleep. This is dangerous, and also why the radio is the second most important feature on a tractor, the first obviously being the air conditioner. I was lucky that my family kept both the radio and climate control in tip-top shape in all of our tractors.
I have nothing against AM & FM radio bands but after listening to the radio all day every day for about two weeks one can be considered an expert on all music, past and present. It seems the current radio trend is to select 8 different songs and play them in rotation indefinitely. This radio practice results in some sort of mild brainwashing effect that’s purpose remains unknown to the author. A good portion of my youth was spent sitting on a tractor frantically calling radio stations with song requests to break the established monotony. I’m proud to say that I had roughly a 6% success rate, which I consider to be above average. The rise of the smartphone and internet age gave the average user something truly amazing, user directed content. Nowadays we have Netflix, Pandora radio, and many other user directed media outlets. It is important to remember that there used to be NO choice, whereas now the public is free to choose whatever content they wish to consume.
I fell in love with the idea of podcasts. This most likely stemmed from my experiences with AM talk radio. I began listening to AM radio solely out of frustration with the FM bands playing the same music over and over. I have always found AM talk radio to be a little too political. I do not wish to provoke a political discussion but I think most people can agree that there is only so much Beck, Limbaugh, and Ramsey and individual can take in a given day, regardless of political affiliation. The ability to choose from thousands of on demand talk programs is amazing. I now have a 45 minute commute everyday and travel 3+ hours every weekend. This high amount of driving gives me a lot of time to myself. I have been filling this void by listening to podcast programs. The podcasts I listen to cover a diverse range of topics and provide quality information or commentary on the subject matter. Please note that the podcasts are listed in no particular order and do not represent my personal views or opinions in any way. With that being said some of my favorite podcasts are listed below.
Tim Ferriss is an author, investor, traveler, and entrepreneur. He is a very successful, funny, and interesting man in his own right but often outdoes himself with the quality of guests he interviews on the show. He recently interviewed Jamie Foxx in one of the best podcasts of the year. The show has been touted as the iTunes “Best of 2014” & “Best of 2015” podcast. Tim Ferriss is on the leading edge of world trends and brings many diverse guests on the show. He discusses topics including overall optimization and motivation in this excellently produced interview style podcast. Each episode of this show is a pleasant surprise. Tim’s own personal brand of humor, intelligence, and curiosity makes this podcast very enjoyable.
J. Massey is a real estate investor and businessman. He was once homeless with failing health and a baby on the way. While down on his luck he discovered real estate and has built an empire over an incredibly short period of time. In this podcast J. Massey interviews high quality guests and provides advice regarding real estate investing and how to generate cash flow. He has been trained by Robert Kiyosaki and provides great commentary with a fair dose of humor. If you are interested in real estate investing this show is by far the best informational podcast I have found.
The description of this podcast says it all: “The Art of Manliness podcast features discussions on topics and issues important to men. The goal of this podcast is to help men become better men.” The AoM podcast has guests on to discuss topics such as hunting, survival, relationships, cooking, camping, strength, fitness, etc., etc. Every week is something new and highly informative. Past guests have been high ranking military officers, Master Masons, scientists, survival experts, world champion athletes, and successful businessmen. This is an extremely varied podcast that always delivers.
Does this one even need a description? Revamped in April 2015 by SkyBridge Media LLC, the new “Wall Street Week” features Anthony Scaramucci as the host and Morgan Stanley senior advisor Gary Kaminsky as the co-host. Guests are always top notch and have included Carl Icahn, Ben Bernanke, Jeb Bush and many others this year. To stay current on the investing climate check into this podcast as it is excellently produced, has excellent guests, and comes out every Sunday like clockwork. Quality and consistency have always described Wall Street Week and this trend continues in the recent revamp of the classic show.
Andrew and Thomas produce the layman’s financial show. They often start the show by discussing what particular craft beer they happen to be drinking and then dive full force into providing actionable financial advice. A good part of the podcast content is answering listener questions as well as addressing their own personal financial decisions. The show provides in depth discussions aimed at providing financial information valuable to the average individual. The guests are knowledgeable and I always seem to gain something out of listening. Sometimes the language used is crude but overall the show is excellent when it comes to actionable financial advice. This show is essentially two knowledgeable guys drinking beer and discussing money.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
Dan Carlin is one of my favorite podcast producers out there right now. His podcasts are SUPER long format, most are 4+ hours long and even then in multiple installments. His series on WWI, through 15+ hours of gripping audio content, taught me more about the conflict than I ever learned in school. The same can be said about his series “Wrath of the Khans” about Genghis Khan and the Mongols. This podcast is excellent. Dan has a great voice and researches his topics to an astounding degree. He brings a certain brand of historical discussion that intrigues me greatly. He often cites memoirs and tells the story of the individual. This approach allows the listener to really get a feel of what was happening and how the conditions really were. This is my favorite podcast to date and for any history buff is well worth the time investment. Carlin is able to dive deep and provide more information and context than any college course or text could ever provide on the topics.
Honorable Mention: Order of Man
Order of Man by Ryan Michler is directed towards men working to improve in 8 key areas of their lives: Intellect, Leadership, Manly Know-How, Health, Relationships, Self-Mastery, Style, and Wealth. This is an up and coming podcast that I am proud to have followed since its inception. I look forward to seeing this podcast grow in popularity over the coming year.
Thank you for reading this short list of my favorite podcasts. These have been the consistent top performers throughout 2015 in my opinion. I access these podcasts and others through the use of the iTunes “Podcasts” application for iPhone. These podcasts and additional information about the producers can be found at the linked websites. If you have any comments regarding this post or would like to suggest a podcast that was not listed please feel free to do so in the comments section below. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. Thank you again for your time and God bless.