What We're Listening ToSubmitted by Affiance Financial on June 4th, 2018
We’re back to share some new staff favorites with you. This time, we asked what our team is listening to. Not music, but podcasts and audiobooks! Find something new for your morning jog or afternoon commute from our recommendations below.
Molly Andersen, Client Service Specialist — The podcast I gravitate toward (pun intended) is Star Talk with Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s a mix of physics, science, nature, and ‘punny’ humor, all delivered in an incredibly relatable fashion. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a natural teacher, as well as the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. With his enthusiasm for the cosmos and science, it’s hard not to get passionate about it myself. He hosts famous guests such as Bill Nye, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Goodall; as well as professional athletes, and talks to them about how science and sports go hand in hand. It’s funny and lighthearted; which helps the rush hour commute.
Kyle Berg, Financial Planner — I listen to the Barstool Sports podcasts Pardon My Take and The Pat McAfee Show, mostly due to how funny they are. I also listen to a wealth-management podcast called Animal Spirits. It provides some good personal finance and investment insights that usually aren’t talked about in mainstream media.
Tyler Borgmann, Marketing & Communications Specialist — I listen to the Bill Simmons Podcast. It’s one of the most popular sports/pop culture podcasts available — being a perfect combination of intelligent sports analysis paired with reddit-like arguing about who the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all Time) basketball player is. He’s also an excellent interviewer. His guests include his sports writer friends from college, Ringer (his media company) staff writers, as well as high profile celebrities such as Kevin Durant, J.J. Reddick, Lou Adler, Kevin Bacon(!), and more.
Brendan Halleron, Operations Analyst — One thing I have been listening to is ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcast. It’s based on the 30 for 30 documentary series, which tells the stories of major athletes or sports moments. Usually, the documentaries are at least an hour and a half in length (sometimes longer). The goal for the podcasts is to tell intriguing sports stories that did not necessary have enough content for a full film. For example, one of the stories followed James Scott, a professional boxer who rose through the boxing ranks to become the number one light heavyweight contender, all while serving a prison sentence for armed robbery. They went on to talk about his rehabilitation and positive influence on other inmates.
I like listening to the 30 for 30 podcasts because the characteristics required to succeed in sports are similar to those required for success in life. Additionally, these podcasts shed light into the decisions and consequences of actions of some athletes that caused their rise or ultimate downfall.
Erich Leidel, Director of Client Services — How I Built This with Guy Raz is a podcast about how well-known CEOs and entrepreneurs started the companies we know of today, such as Michael Dell from Dell computer, James Dyson from Dyson Vacuums, and Reid Hoffman from LinkedIn to name a few. It’s inspiring to hear how these people took a risk, started a company from the ground up, and overcame all the obstacles to build successful companies we all know.
The Way I Heard It with Mike Row is a very entertaining podcast around 10 minutes that tells the story of well-known people or events from a unique perspective. You are kept on the edge of your seat while clues are revealed about who the story is actually about. It’s a great podcast for people that don’t want to commit to an hour or more of listening.
Seth Meisler, Principal, Chief Investment Officer — I think that a big part of the challenge of enjoying podcasts is finding a good app or media player for listening to them. I’ve been using Overcast and have been very happy with it. I particularly like that it automatically syncs between devices. Some of the podcasts I listen to on Overcast are, in no particular order:
- This American Life
- Israel Story (like This American Life, but about Israel)
- Capital Ideas (from Capital Group, home of American Funds)
- The Axe Files with David Axelrod
- Homecoming (a drama that starred David Schwimmer and Amy Sedaris, among others)
- The Knowledge Project Podcast with Shane Parrish
- Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations
- TED Radio Hour
Steven Schoenberger, Financial Planner — 99% Invisible is a great podcast all about the hidden world of design. As its name implies, 99% of what goes into many of the items we see and interact with every day is completely lost on us. In addition to being interesting, the host, Roman Mars, is a great story teller with a soft, easy-to-listen-to voice. If you want to check out this podcast, I recommend looking for one of the “Mini-Stories” episodes. In these shows they cover a number of fascinating topics, which may be too brief for a full show, but give you an idea of what the show is all about.
“Leonardo Da Vinci,” by Walter Isaacson, read by Alfred Molina, is an audiobook I am currently listening to. It is a long book, but I am able to listen to it slightly sped up, which makes it more manageable. After listening to about a third of the book, I could not imagine what more there was to learn about Da Vinci, but somehow Isaacson continues to make the biography more and more compelling as the book progresses — interspersing current events related to the painter and discussing some of the many facets of his genius of which I was completely unaware. I still have a few hours to go, but can confidently recommend this book to almost anyone.
Another great audiobook is “Words on the Move,” by John McWhorter, read by the author. I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to language. I was initially introduced to McWhorter on a Slate Podcast, Lexicon Valley. In his book, “Words on the Move,” McWhorter talks about how language evolves over time and how meanings change. Think about how the word “literally” has now come to mean “figuratively.” McWhorter does not merely identify examples, but explains how trends like this are a common and a constant in language. This book was a particularly interesting one to listen to, because in some instances you can hear how the pronunciation of words has changed, which might not come through in the same way on the printed page.
Marcia Zappa, Director of Marketing & Communications — Radiolab was the first podcast I ever listened to, and it’s still one of my favorites. The show’s tagline, “Investigating a Strange World,” sums it up fairly well. It covers a broad array of topics – from science (i.e. how the eye perceives color) to social issues (i.e. the history of gun control) – and breaks them down in a straight-forward, understandable, and interesting way.
I also listen to a lot of audiobooks. My recent favorite is “The Secrets of Happy Families” by Bruce Feiler, read by the author. He takes ideas from science, business, sports, and the military and applies them to families. I found most of the ideas a little far-fetched for normal family life. But, they were thought-provoking and inspired several little changes to our daily life, and some fun family “team-building” activities that we’ve enjoyed trying.