36 episodes

Onward is a podcast from America's largest direct-to-investor alternative asset investment platform, Fundrise. Onward offers unique insights and perspectives from company co-founder and CEO Ben Miller and guests.

Onward, a Fundrise Production Fundrise

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 326 Ratings

Onward is a podcast from America's largest direct-to-investor alternative asset investment platform, Fundrise. Onward offers unique insights and perspectives from company co-founder and CEO Ben Miller and guests.

    Breakthroughs in military technology: Lessons from history and future implications

    Breakthroughs in military technology: Lessons from history and future implications

    Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize warfare and reshape geopolitics. Professor Andrew Wilson, professor of Strategy at the US Naval War College, explores the transformative power of military technology throughout history and its implications for the future.

    In this episode of Onward, host and Fundrise CEO Ben Miller and Professor Andrew Wilson explore how technological advancements not only transform warfare but also reshape political, social, and economic landscapes. Seemingly small technological advancements (especially those in the military realm) often have profound and lasting effects on societal structures and political dynamics.

    "Victory smiles up those who anticipate changes in the character of war, not upon those who wait to adapt themselves after the changes occur."
     –Italian Air Power Theorist, General Giulio Douhet

    Ben and Professor Wilson illustrate this by examining historical breakthroughs such as the stirrup, which led to the rise of feudalism in medieval Europe, and the Greek trireme, which fostered Athenian democracy and economic expansion. The discussion also highlights society’s transition from bronze to iron weaponry, which democratized military power by making effective weapons more accessible, thereby altering the balance of power in ancient civilizations.

    Moving to the present day, the conversation addresses the ongoing revolution in military technology, particularly focusing on AI and autonomous weapon systems. Professor Wilson and Ben discuss modern technologies’ potential to either democratize or centralize military power, depending on their cost to manufacture. This episode also explores China's military modernization efforts, emphasizing the strategic focus and investment in emerging technologies. Professor Wilson underscores the importance of maintaining an innovative edge and strategic flexibility to navigate the complex relationship between the United States and China, while also stressing the need for clear communication to avoid the so-called Thucydides Trap, where rising powers and status quo powers are potentially destined for conflict.

    Have questions or feedback about this episode? Drop us a note at Onward@Fundrise.com. 

    Onward is hosted by Ben Miller, co-founder and CEO of Fundrise, and Cardiff Garcia, Editorial Director of the Economic Innovation Group and host of the economics-focused podcast The New Bazaar (after spending many years as the co-creator and co-host of NPR's The Indicator podcast).

    Podcast production by The Podcast Consultant. Music by Seaplane Armada. 

    About Fundrise 

    With over 2 million users, Fundrise is America's largest direct-to-investor alternative asset investment platform. Since 2012, our mission has been to build a better financial system by empowering the individual. We make it easier and more efficient than ever for anyone to invest in institutional-quality private alternative assets — all at the touch of a button. 

    Please see fundrise.com/oc for more information on all of the Fundrise-sponsored investment funds and products, including each fund’s offering document(s). 
    Want to see the specific assets that make up and power Fundrise portfolios? Check out our active and past projects at www.fundrise.com/assets.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    The 5 patterns of technology breakthroughs

    The 5 patterns of technology breakthroughs

    Although each major technology wave is unique—mainframes, the personal computer, internet, mobile, cloud, and now AI—the way they have played out has been surprisingly consistent. The core financial, product, and economic patterns repeat each innovation cycle and help define which companies go on to win or lose.

    In this episode, Ben and Cardiff identify and discuss the five most significant patterns: 1) waves, 2) bridging, 3) democratization, 4) centralization-decentralization, and 5) the 3x multiple — and attempt to draw the lessons from the past to the opportunities of the present.

    Have questions or feedback about this episode? Drop us a note at Onward@Fundrise.com. 

    Onward is hosted by Ben Miller, co-founder and CEO of Fundrise, and Cardiff Garcia, Editorial Director of the Economic Innovation Group and host of the economics-focused podcast The New Bazaar (after spending many years as the co-creator and co-host of NPR's The Indicator podcast).

    Podcast production by The Podcast Consultant. Music by Seaplane Armada. 

    About Fundrise 

    With over 2 million users, Fundrise is America's largest direct-to-investor alternative asset investment platform. Since 2012, our mission has been to build a better financial system by empowering the individual. We make it easier and more efficient than ever for anyone to invest in institutional-quality private alternative assets — all at the touch of a button. 

    Please see fundrise.com/oc for more information on all of the Fundrise-sponsored investment funds and products, including each fund’s offering document(s). 
    Want to see the specific properties that make up and power Fundrise portfolios? Check out our active and past projects at www.fundrise.com/assets.

    • 1 hr
    Race against recession: growth vs. debts in America

    Race against recession: growth vs. debts in America

    Two roads diverged before the US. One the way of growth and the other the way of a debt spiral. In this episode, Cardiff Garcia and Ben Miller look at the state of US dynamism vs. indebtedness, and the narrow path that would lead to a prolonged US boom. They scenario plan three potential futures: the continuation of current growth trends, a major recession, and a surprise development. The discussion spans historical debt trends, the impact of AI and technology on growth, and the influence of interest rates and fiscal policies. They highlight the strategic balance required between debt management and economic development, with a focus on achieving a ‘soft landing.’ This episode covers the key decisions between leveraging growth and managing debt that will shape America’s economic destiny.

    Have questions or feedback about this episode? Drop us a note at Onward@Fundrise.com. 

    Onward is hosted by Ben Miller, co-founder and CEO of Fundrise, and Cardiff Garcia, co-founder of Bazaar Audio and host of the economics-focused podcast The New Bazaar (after spending many years as the co-creator and co-host of NPR's The Indicator podcast). 

    Podcast production by The Podcast Consultant. Music by Seaplane Armada. 

    About Fundrise 

    With over 2 million users, Fundrise is America's largest direct-to-investor alternative asset investment platform. Since 2012, our mission has been to build a better financial system by empowering the individual. We make it easier and more efficient than ever for anyone to invest in institutional-quality private alternative assets — all at the touch of a button. 

    Please see fundrise.com/oc for more information on all of the Fundrise-sponsored investment funds and products, including each fund’s offering document(s). 
    Want to see the specific properties that make up and power Fundrise portfolios? Check out our active and past projects at www.fundrise.com/assets.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    On the state of housing, with economist Ali Wolf

    On the state of housing, with economist Ali Wolf

    On the latest episode of Onward, Fundrise CEO Ben Miller is joined by Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda and one of the smartest people we know for analyzing and understanding housing and the economy. As we’re still in the early weeks of 2024, Ben and Ali’s conversation focuses on lessons learned from the past year, when a confluence of factors resulted in an economic period that still demands attention and deciphering: What happened to the recession that most economists believed was all but inevitable a year ago? Did we dodge that recession or just delay it? How do you tell the difference between a soft landing and an economic downturn that’s simply slowing? Is it possible to rely too much on history when trying to develop a forecast? Looking ahead, Ali shares her thoughts on which housing markets are most exciting going into the next twelve months (and which are likely to lose momentum). She also shares insights based on home builder surveys, leading to Ali’s forecast for what home pricing will look like through the rest of the year. And, importantly, when Ali’s spoken to builders, the two sentiments that have stood out have been both a sense of caution and a sense of optimism. As Ben says, that’s terrific news: Those emotions, together, tend to equal a balanced economy… and often what comes out of that balance is real, lasting growth.

    All this and more, on the latest episode of Onward.

    Have questions or feedback about this episode? Drop us a note at Onward@Fundrise.com.

    Onward is hosted by Ben Miller, co-founder and CEO of Fundrise, and Cardiff Garcia, co-founder of Bazaar Audio and host of the economics-focused podcast The New Bazaar (after spending many years as the co-creator and co-host of NPR's The Indicator podcast).

    Podcast production by The Podcast Consultant. Music by Seaplane Armada.

    About Fundrise
    With over 2 million users, Fundrise is America's largest direct-to-investor alternative asset investment platform. Since 2012, our mission has been to build a better financial system by empowering the individual. We make it easier and more efficient than ever for anyone to invest in institutional-quality private alternative assets — all at the touch of a button.  

    Please see fundrise.com/oc for more information on all of the Fundrise-sponsored investment funds and products, including each fund’s offering document(s).

    Want to see the specific properties that make up and power Fundrise portfolios? Check out our active and past projects at www.fundrise.com/assets. 

    • 44 min
    Buying the bottom

    Buying the bottom

    In this final Onward episode of 2023 co-hosts Cardiff Garcia and Fundrise CEO Ben Miller kick things off by discussing Ben’s major market call: The conclusion that the real estate market has hit bottom. After 18 months of escalating interest rates punishing the real estate industry, small businesses, and regional banks, we’ve entered a new period where we expect the move to falling rates to propel strong positive performance. Ben walks Cardiff through his view of the state of the economy, both macro and specific to real estate, furnished with data points drawn from top-down market analysis, bottom-up, and anecdotal evidence, referencing confidential third-party sources and Fundrise’s own portfolio of assets. Most importantly, after a year of market turbulence, the market’s trough means that it’s time for investors to shift their attitude and become opportunistic about buying along the bottom. Lastly, it’s key to note that this episode of Onward was recorded to enhance and be enhanced by the Fundrise 2023 year-end letter to investors, available at https://fundrise.com/investor-update/1123/view, and should be listened to alongside that letter, where readers will find a more thorough assessment of Fundrise’s own portfolio, along with our team’s thoughts on what the future may hold. As 2023 comes to an end and we enter a new phase for the market with the start of 2024, Onward.

    Have questions or feedback about this episode? Drop us a note at Onward@Fundrise.com.

    Onward is hosted by Ben Miller, co-founder and CEO of Fundrise, and Cardiff Garcia, co-founder of Bazaar Audio and host of the economics-focused podcast The New Bazaar (after spending many years as the co-creator and co-host of NPR's The Indicator podcast).

    Podcast production by The Podcast Consultant. Music by Seaplane Armada.

    About Fundrise
    With over 2 million users, Fundrise is America's largest direct-to-investor alternative asset investment platform. Since 2012, our mission has been to build a better financial system by empowering the individual. We make it easier and more efficient than ever for anyone to invest in institutional-quality private alternative assets — all at the touch of a button.  

    Please see fundrise.com/oc for more information on all of the Fundrise-sponsored investment funds and products, including each fund’s offering document(s).

    Want to see the specific properties that make up and power Fundrise portfolios? Check out our active and past projects at www.fundrise.com/assets. 

    • 47 min
    Building a $1B startup without ego, with Christina Cacioppo

    Building a $1B startup without ego, with Christina Cacioppo

    In the modern tech landscape, there are few topics more critical — or, unfortunately, more frequently overlooked and misunderstood by laypeople — than data security. Luckily Vanta has developed a revolutionary solution for how other companies can address the problem of data security compliance, with enormous subsequent benefits for how those businesses can operate safely — and access new market share as a result. In this latest episode of Onward, Fundrise CEO Ben Miller is joined by Christina Cacioppo, Vanta’s CEO and founder, to discuss some of the strategic and leadership insights that have helped guide Vanta’s success and unique growth trajectory. Christina’s leadership and Vanta’s foresight in defining a new, more streamlined way for companies to operate securely are some of the principal factors that contributed to Vanta becoming the Fundrise Innovation Fund’s first investment, in late 2022 and a subsequent year of impressive continued growth. Here, Ben and Christina’s conversation covers some of the key considerations that leaders must face in building a new, disruptive business, such as why learning to focus on a problem is often more fruitful than focusing on a solution; how a stereotypically overlooked topic, like data security, can be leveraged into 25x growth, when properly understood; the importance that iterating and making multiple attempts can be in finally developing a singular, revolutionary product; and what leaders like Christina and Ben look for in the board member, co-leaders, and venture capital partners they choose to work with. 

    Have questions or feedback about this episode? Drop us a note at Onward@Fundrise.com.

    Onward is hosted by Ben Miller, co-founder and CEO of Fundrise, and Cardiff Garcia, co-founder of Bazaar Audio and host of the economics-focused podcast The New Bazaar (after spending many years as the co-creator and co-host of NPR's The Indicator podcast).

    Podcast production by The Podcast Consultant. Music by Seaplane Armada.

    About Fundrise
    With over 2 million users, Fundrise is America's largest direct-to-investor alternative asset investment platform. Since 2012, our mission has been to build a better financial system by empowering the individual. We make it easier and more efficient than ever for anyone to invest in institutional-quality private alternative assets — all at the touch of a button.  

    Disclaimer: An investor in the Fundrise Innovation Fund should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. The Fund’s prospectus contains this and other information about the Fund and may be obtained at fundrise.com/innovation. Investors should read the prospectus carefully before investing.

    Please see fundrise.com/oc for more information on all of the Fundrise-sponsored investment funds and products, including each fund’s offering document(s).

    Want to see the specific properties that make up and power Fundrise portfolios? Check out our active and past projects at www.fundrise.com/assets. 

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
326 Ratings

326 Ratings

BobSherman2538 ,

Amazing Podcast

As an avid listener of podcasts (mostly real estate related), it’s rare that I come across content this amazing. Onward consistently surprises me with articulate and insightful market commentary. I couldn’t be more grateful for Cardiff and Ben!

Calpowdergirl ,

So much more than real estate

As a long-time Fundrise investor (and podcast listener) Ben and his team never cease to amaze. It’s not another how they make money for people like me (although that’s cool) but how consistently they reinvent themselves and how broad and forward their point of view really is.

Occasional episodes get too wonky for me, but most are fascinating! They’ve thrown back the curtain on the Washington political machine, artificial intelligence, the nature of crowdfunding, even what makes up the universe. Ben’s a tremendous combination of curious and well-prepared; there are seemingly no emerging trends he hasn’t gamed out well in advance, with a model that takes a clear-eyed yet contrarian view of human history. And Cardiff makes a great Yin to his Yang, keeping things brisk and accessible for Joe or Jane Listener.

Whether or not you consider investing with them, listen with care: Ben and crew have been dead right (IMHO) on inflation remaining surprisingly sticky, the froth ones of equities markets c. 2021; tech funding then drying up, leaving opportunities for the bold and well-capitalized; the partial collapse of the corporate debt market (ex: midsize banks); and (up next, grab your scorecards!) an incoming recession c. 2024 that will finally mute, unfortunately, “perfect soft landing” attitudes currently projected by Wall Street and The Fed itself.

If you’re curious about these things and enjoy any more, dial in - you really can’t know where they’ll go next, but they certainly won’t be restricted by a narrow vision of how world works.

Lfdmeag ,

Always look forward to hearing

As a long-time investor, I am encouraged by the knowledge and insight that comes through the exchange of information in these programs.

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