The Rational Reminder Podcast podcast

Episode 263: A Tribute to Harry Markowitz with Alex Potts & 7 Steps to a Better Portfolio with Edward Goodfellow

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With the recent passing of Harry Markowitz, we wanted to take this opportunity to spend some time honoring this giant of financial economics. Joining us on today's episode is our friend Alex Potts, who shares some of his touching memories of Harry, and talks about the unmistakable impact he had on the field. Harry is commonly viewed as the father of modern portfolio theory but also might be considered the grandfather of behavioural finance and a huge proponent of intelligent diversification. Alex graciously shares the nine lessons he learned from Harry, a few 'Harryisms' and some fond and surprising anecdotes from the time he spent with the man. Following this, we welcome Edward Goodfellow to the show to explore his new book, 7 Steps to A Better Portfolio. Edward is a fellow Canadian financial advisor, and we get to hear from him about the motivations for his book, its intended audience, and his insight into a host of central and familiar themes that we deal with on the show, so join us to hear it all. 


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Looking back on the irreplaceable contributions of Harry Markowitz. (0:05:24)
  • Alex talks about reaching out and meeting Harry in 2010. (0:10:00)
  • Harry's amazing work ethic, unusual approach to problem-solving, and the nine lessons that Alex learned from him. (0:14:23)
  • Edward shares his motivations for writing 7 Steps to A Better Portfolio, the questions that gave it structure, and its intended audience. (0:25:53)
  • Understanding math and emotion, the four questions to ask before investing, and dangerous investment personalities and influencers. (0:29:39)
  • Categorizing the different types of risk we encounter as investors, and the role of predictions and expectations. (0:35:41)
  • Charting the evolution of a strategy over time, how to reassess and determine risk tolerance, and evaluating performance. (0:38:06)
  • Edward describes different types of active and passive investing and the seven steps from his book. (0:40:26)
  • Comparing financial science and active management research, and how to manage strategy risk. (0:49:42)
  • How Edward looks at the value of financial advice and his biggest takeaway from writing the book. (0:52:58)
  • The best way to approach figuring out the contradictions in the world of finance. (0:54:24)
  • Today's after-show featuring listener reviews, community updates, and future episode guests. (0:56:20)

Participate in our Community Discussion about this Episode:

Book From Today’s Episode:

7 Steps to A Better Portfolio

Links From Today’s Episode:

Rational Reminder on iTunes —
 Rational Reminder Website — 

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Join the Community —

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Follow us on Instagram — @rationalreminder

Benjamin on Twitter —

Cameron on Twitter —

Alex Potts —

Edward Goodfellow —

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