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18 July 2017 Multimedia

Esoteric Assets with Rishi Ganti

  1. Rishi Ganti, CFA
  2. Patrick O’Shaughnessy

Welcome to Patrick O’Shaughnessy's podcast series, Invest Like the Best.

My guest this week is Rishi Ganti, who invests in what he calls esoteric assets. I’m not sure what to do other than laugh in amazement at his professional credentials — PhD in economics, CFA, CPA, lawyer, speaks six languages, and so on. The best part is he isn’t lording those over anyone and in fact casts some shade on the whole idea of credentials in our conversation. He just did it all because he’s a learning fiend.

Rishi’s core idea about markets is this: avoid markets at all costs. As he explains off the bat, the minute there are multiple buyers for anything, prices get efficient very quickly and there opportunity to find alpha shrinks. Instead, he searches for what esoteric assets: things without a market, orphaned assets that require high human capital and human touch.

A stark realization I had during the episode is how big the world’s asset base is. Almost all of our attention goes to the most highly refined ones: stocks and bonds. But there is a whole other world out there.

The closing sections, on what Rishi would do if not investing, and his answer for the kindest thing anyone has done for him were among the best answers I’ve heard.

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