14 episodes

Two old friends talk finance, money, and investing, every Friday.

The Rotterdam was a popular, downtown Toronto, Canada pub known for its extensive European beer selection. It was the perfect place for two rookies working for a large, US investment dealer to hang out after work on Fridays and discuss the capital markets.

The discussion continues today on our podcast, with more perspective. We will tackle a new topic each week and try to keep the sessions shorter than thirty minutes. There seems to be an unprecedented amount of crisis news in current headlines. Our podcast explains why those who ignore history and react to noise typically have poor investment results.

Always challenging but historically important, the stock, bond, currency, crypto and derivatives markets provide a unique look at human economic behavior. Jeff and Rasheed are not macro “talking heads” selling theory as fact. Rather than making short-term calls, we seek to simplify, clarify and discuss the financial markets from an honest theoretical and historical perspective. Importantly, our views come from our personal wide and deep experiences in the field.

We hope that you enjoy the discussions.

Please feel free to use the links to send comments or questions.

HOSTS:

Rasheed Saleuddin holds a PhD in Financial History from Cambridge University where he remains a fellow after completing his post-doc. He also holds an MSc in regulation from the London School of Economics. Rasheed was the founder and manager of a specialized distressed investment fund from 2008-2018, and he continues to be a professional angel venture investor and consultant. 
Dr. Saleuddin has authored two well-received books, The Government of Markets, dealing with the creation of modern futures markets and Regulating Securitized Products, a Post Crisis Guide, defining the risks that emerged during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Jeffrey Sandler is a retired portfolio manager with a large US investment firm’s Canadian subsidiary. He  previously managed large divisions for two Canadian, bank-owned investment dealers.  Jeffrey has been a frequent guest on radio shows and other media outlets for many years where he commented on the capital markets, usually during times of market unrest. Prior to entering the investment industry, he worked in broadcasting covering crime and business.

At The Rotterdam At The Rotterdam

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Two old friends talk finance, money, and investing, every Friday.

The Rotterdam was a popular, downtown Toronto, Canada pub known for its extensive European beer selection. It was the perfect place for two rookies working for a large, US investment dealer to hang out after work on Fridays and discuss the capital markets.

The discussion continues today on our podcast, with more perspective. We will tackle a new topic each week and try to keep the sessions shorter than thirty minutes. There seems to be an unprecedented amount of crisis news in current headlines. Our podcast explains why those who ignore history and react to noise typically have poor investment results.

Always challenging but historically important, the stock, bond, currency, crypto and derivatives markets provide a unique look at human economic behavior. Jeff and Rasheed are not macro “talking heads” selling theory as fact. Rather than making short-term calls, we seek to simplify, clarify and discuss the financial markets from an honest theoretical and historical perspective. Importantly, our views come from our personal wide and deep experiences in the field.

We hope that you enjoy the discussions.

Please feel free to use the links to send comments or questions.

HOSTS:

Rasheed Saleuddin holds a PhD in Financial History from Cambridge University where he remains a fellow after completing his post-doc. He also holds an MSc in regulation from the London School of Economics. Rasheed was the founder and manager of a specialized distressed investment fund from 2008-2018, and he continues to be a professional angel venture investor and consultant. 
Dr. Saleuddin has authored two well-received books, The Government of Markets, dealing with the creation of modern futures markets and Regulating Securitized Products, a Post Crisis Guide, defining the risks that emerged during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Jeffrey Sandler is a retired portfolio manager with a large US investment firm’s Canadian subsidiary. He  previously managed large divisions for two Canadian, bank-owned investment dealers.  Jeffrey has been a frequent guest on radio shows and other media outlets for many years where he commented on the capital markets, usually during times of market unrest. Prior to entering the investment industry, he worked in broadcasting covering crime and business.

    Episode 014: When Money Fails

    Episode 014: When Money Fails

    MONEY AND ECONOMICS (HISTORY). Recorded February 8, 2023. Published February 10, 2023.
    Throughout history, too little money has harmed entire populations, and it is generally the poor and especially urban poor who suffer the most.
    In Episode 14, Jeff and Rasheed show that a shortage can be so catastrophic that the private sector will often intervene to meet the needs of the desperate citizenry.
    The consequences of not having enough money in the system include recession, deflation, revolution or re-enslavement. So dire are the alternatives, that private solutions will often risk severe penalties, including death, by being boiled in oil.
    One of the best examples of private money filling a key need was the rise of copper tokens issued by mining companies and others in late 18th century Britain. As late as 1812, tokens were circulating at five to ten times the rate of official currency. One issuer minted three hundred tons, at 600+ coins per minute.
    Without private intervention the coin shortage would have been catastrophic for the industrial revolution, where former agricultural “smallholders” were forced from their lands, entered new workplaces and needed to be paid in small amount per week, and where they in turn need to buy provisions on an almost daily basis.
    Listen in for more of the story.
     
    For more on this subject read:
    Chambers, D., Saleuddin, R. and Mcmahon, C., 2019. Alternative finance: a historical perspective.
    Kuroda, A., 2005. Copper-coins chosen and silver differentiated.
    Lurvink, K., 2014. Strapped for cash: Non-cash payments on Louisiana cotton plantations, 1865–1908.
    Selgin, G., 2008. Good money: Birmingham button makers, the Royal Mint, and the beginnings of modern coinage, 1775–1821
     
    Contact us at contact@attherotterdam.com
    Show Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtTheRotterdam
    Show Website: www.attherotterdam.com
    Rasheed’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/r_sale
    Disclaimer: Nothing At The Rotterdam should be considered as investment advice. Always speak to a registered financial advisor before investing in anything mentioned on this podcast.
     
     

    • 30 min
    Episode 013: Luck, Tricks and Wall Street

    Episode 013: Luck, Tricks and Wall Street

    INVESTING (EVERYONE). Recorded February 1, 2023. Published February 3, 2023.
    Despite the evidence that few active investment strats consistently outperform the market, most of "us" still get suckered into paying active fees.
    While falling as a percentage of AUM, active funds over all geographies and asset classes continue to dominate.
    Episode 13 of At The Rotterdam finds Jeff and Rasheed explaining how our own biases drive us towards active investment strategies, and how Wall Street takes advantage of our weaknesses.
    Links:
    https://www.dimensional.com/us-en/insights/why-worry-about-survivorship-bias
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/stock-market-fund-benchmark-change-11660940613?mod=wsjhp_columnists_pos3
     
    Contact us at contact@attherotterdam.com
    Show Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtTheRotterdam
    Show Website: www.attherotterdam.com
    Rasheed’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/r_sale
    Disclaimer: Nothing At The Rotterdam should be considered as investment advice. Always speak to a registered financial advisor before investing in anything mentioned on this podcast.
     
     

    • 35 min
    Episode 012: Beyond 60/40?

    Episode 012: Beyond 60/40?

    INVESTING (EVERYONE). Published January 26, 2023.
    There is so much more to asset allocation than 60 stocks/40 bonds.
    Jeff and Rasheed introduce academic finance's contribution, which is no better than simple heuristics.
    Contact us at contact@attherotterdam.com
    Show Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtTheRotterdam
    Show Website: www.attherotterdam.com
    Rasheed’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/r_sale
    Disclaimer: Nothing At The Rotterdam should be considered as investment advice. Always speak to a registered financial advisor before investing in anything mentioned on this podcast.

    • 28 min
    Episode 011: Is 60/40 Dead?

    Episode 011: Is 60/40 Dead?

    INVESTING (EVERYONE). Published January 20, 2023.
    The most generic rule in allocating one’s investments to the various possible asset classes is to be 60% stocks and 40% bonds.
    But 60/40 performed very badly last year, after more than a decade of having both bonds and stock rally on the back of low inflation and ever-declining interest rates.
    Now there is a debate about whether or not 60/40 is optimal for (at least some) investors. Goldman Sachs believes it is a good choice given that the future is always uncertain. Blackrock wants us to expand into more asset classes. Yet another opinion at Goldman Sachs sees the 60/40 success of the past as potentially gone for a very long time, perhaps even a lost decade.
    In episode 11 of At The Rotterdam, Jeff and Rasheed argue that thinking in terms of 60/40 obscures the most important question, which is what portfolio is most suitable for each investor.
    This separates the decision into two parts.
    What amount of money do I need in the future at various key dates. Or, if no specific needs, how much of my portfolio should be in reasonably safe assets so that I can sleep at night?
    For the riskier allocation, what risk premium am I trying to capture and how is the best way to do this? The equity risk premium (ERP) has dominated the past 150 years of investing in the US. But there are others: inflation, credit, liquidity and commodity. There might even be different risk premium in sub-classes (e.g. the smaller company premium in US equities).
    The events of 2022 reveal that the bond bucket in 60/40 is far from low risk: Bonds fell almost as much as equities last year. And they were down last year as well!
    So fixed income investing shouldn’t simply be a case of owning the bond market. Micro strategies are likely necessary. Institutions call one of these asset-liability matching. Another time we will dig into the best way to do this. For sure, however, a bond fund does not do this.
    60/40 is good as a heuristic, reminding us to diversify, and so a good starting point for a discussion. But there are many more dimensions to an asset allocation decision, including one’s own specific needs.
     
    Contact us at contact@attherotterdam.com
    Show Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtTheRotterdam
    Show Website: www.attherotterdam.com
    Rasheed’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/r_sale
    Disclaimer: Nothing At The Rotterdam should be considered as investment advice. Always speak to a registered financial advisor before investing in anything mentioned on this podcast.
     
     

    • 25 min
    Episode 010: Does Ex Fed Chair Ben Bernanke Deserve a Nobel Prize?

    Episode 010: Does Ex Fed Chair Ben Bernanke Deserve a Nobel Prize?

    MONEY AND ECONOMICS. Recorded January 11, 2023. Released January 13, 2023.
    In awarding ex-Chair of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke  the 2022 Nobel Prize, a committee member observed that “Bernanke showed that banks played a central role in turning a relatively small recession into the Great Depression… [and] how badly it can go wrong if nothing is done about crises”.
    While the committee denied that Ben’s actions during the Global Financial Crisis  were a contributing factor, it was extremely fortuitous that it was one of the few specialists covering the monetary causes of the Great Depression who was in the driver’s seat at the Fed when deflation and depression loomed in 2008-9.
    In episode 10 of At The Rotterdam, Jeff and Rasheed discuss just how important Professor Bernanke’s research in the 1980s and actions in the 2000’s were.
    A solid knowledge of history backed the policies that halted the global economy’s fall into Depression.
     
    Some useful links:
    Bernanke's speech to Milton Friedman
    Ben's winning 1983 paper
    The Nobel Prize committee on Ben
    Perry Mehrling on the Fed as Dealer of Last Resort
    Bagehot's Lombard Street
    The Economics Nobel is not a real Nobel Prize
     
     
    Contact us at contact@attherotterdam.com
    Show Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtTheRotterdam
    Show Website: www.attherotterdam.com
    Rasheed’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/r_sale
     
    Disclaimer: Nothing At The Rotterdam should be considered as investment advice. Always speak to a registered financial advisor before investing in anything mentioned on this podcast.
     
     

    • 26 min
    Episode 009. Bubbles

    Episode 009. Bubbles

    INVESTING (EVERYONE). Recorded December 18, 2022. Released January 6, 2023.
     
    For episode 9 of At The Rotterdam we talk a bit about financial bubbles, centering on one of the worst boom/bust tropes in financial history, the Dutch tulipmania of 1686-7.
    The tulip bubble is a terrible poster child for bubbles. For one thing, it didn’t really happen, no matter what Charles Mackay wrote in his famous 1841 book.
    To the extent that prices rose and fell, the event was too small to impact most of the citizenry, or other markets.
    The tulip bubble had no long-term technological benefits, unlike bubbles in internet stocks, railways, cars and bicycles, to name a few.
    Tulipmania had no regulatory response, unlike the South Sea Bubble of 1720 or the subprime boom and bust.
    In any event, it is almost impossible to tell when a bubble has started or even finished. The 1998-9 NASDAQ looked like a bubble in 2001. But a small blip in a long bull market today.
    So not only are bubbles not as evil as many a morality tale contends, they can be forces for good. And trying to avoid them risks missing capturing the risk premium if the market doesn’t crash. Not all booms go bust.
    Embrace bubbles.
     
    Links:
    Contact us at contact@attherotterdam.com
    Show Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtTheRotterdam
    Show Website: www.attherotterdam.com
    Rasheed’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/r_sale
     
    Disclaimer: Nothing At The Rotterdam should be considered as investment advice. Always speak to a registered financial advisor before investing in anything mentioned on this podcast.

    • 30 min

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