Hello, I’m Howard. I’ve been a financial industry entrepreneur and investor for over 20 years. I’m now focused on investing and advising.
On this podcast, you will hear interviews with great entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, traders, and friends about 'Street Alpha' ... how they have used their eyes, ears, and feet to crush the markets.
This includes best ideas, worst investments, biggest failure, daily habits, and recommended reading.
I know your time is precious so I promise to keep it simple and on point.
Episodes with Smash Notes
On this episode we discuss how the movie Let it Ride is the original speculation meme - long before Wall Street Bets was cool. We talk about why Greg’s panicked about fires. And of course, we talk markets – finding those markets where the secondary market can be bigger than the primary market. How this is all leading to the fractionalizing of shares; and the eventual need for a regulatory framework. We close with the figurative fires of how much is happening around consumer and business behavior, particularly post COVID, and Greg’s search for great teams in what he calls the “founder-market fit”
In this episode we cover the early days building Product Hunt in the Tenderloin district, Ryan's move to Miami, and raising money naked in the age of Zoom. After a stint at a video game company in Eugene, Ryan found his way to San Francisco where he worked at a startup called Playhaven. He spent three and a half years building a network, relationships, and blogging. He was curious about discovering great products and wrote a newsletter, which led to Product Hunt. Once he sold Product Hunt to AngelList, Ryan switched hats to become an investor with Weekend Fund. We talk a little crypto, building communities, and round out our conversation with the three favorite public companies he’d buy tomorrow, regardless of price.
This week’s episode brings back DocuWare legend Woody Levin. Haven’t heard of DocuWare? Neither have we, but that didn’t stop co-host Don Nitti from making it up. (and then denying it) By DocuWare, we obviously mean Docusign. Woody is a good friend and great entrepreneur. He’s the founder and CEO of Extend (not to be confused with Extenze.) He can’t make your woody grow, but he can protect your electronics, furniture, and jewelry. Woody highlights his panic about the Cubs, his experience with SoftBank, and the business of providing extended warranties and protection plans. Woody is a crypto fanatic. He says crypto had a seminal moment with the infrastructure bill. The community banded together and stood up to make their voice heard.
On this week’s episode, we brought back a very special guest and probably one of the top 5 smartest people I know — John Street Capital. While he remains anonymous on the internet, he’s a good friend of the podcast. What makes John Street so unique is his deep understanding of everything from infrastructure, tech, banking, corporate development, VCs, trading, and more. John Street spends most of his time producing some incredibly thoughtful content on Medium. If you listen to John Street, I promise you’ll have a more clear understanding of how the markets work. On top of having such an insightful guest, I also had Don Nitti, a former Panic guest and portfolio manager, join me to help co-host this episode. In this episode, the guys and I talk about liquidity, private and public markets, exchange and crossover funds, why John Street is bullish on crypto, DeFi, regulations, buying the dip, retail investing, Coinbase, Citadel, Robinhood, Square, and more. Enjoy!
Ram Parameswaran has been dominating growth and “crossover” investing for years. He’s got an incredible mind and is a fantastic sharer of ideas, trends, themes, and insights. I’ve had Ram on the podcast in the past to discuss his background and investing thesis. So I figured it was about time to bring him back on to talk about the future, markets, and more. Ram’s firm Octahedron Capital is a crossover fund that invests in the internet economy. But before striking out on his own to start his own firm, Ram was doing big things at the multi-billion dollar firm Altimeter Capital (I’ve actually been a fan of Altimeter founder Brad Gerstner for some time and have shared links to his work in the past). Ram also has some big names in his past investments, including a pre-IPO Uber, Google and TikTok parent Bytedance. In this episode, Ram and I talk about investing in and demystifying the media’s views of China, regulation, building infrastructure, investing in tech, no-brainer investments, SPACs, and companies like Amazon, Uber, Roobinhood, and more. Enjoy!
If anyone knows fintech — it’s Julie VerHage-Greenberg. She was one of Bloomberg’s first fintech reporters and even covered Robinhood from before it was a billion dollar company. Since her time at Bloomberg, Julie has gone on to build her own media and newsletter company. Fintech Today is a community and media/content company focused on the fintech startup ecosystem for investors, entrepreneurs and operators in the space. On top of her founder duties, Julie is also an angel investor, startup advisor, podcast host, group fitness instructor, running coach, and yoga teacher. It’s alway fun to have reporters and fellow podcast hosts like Julie on Panic with Friends and ask them some questions for a change. In this episode, Julie and I talk about her jump to and building a fintech product, API, Robinhood, BNPL, Bitcoin, the gamification of trading, financial education, and more. Enjoy!
Raoul Pal leads Real Vision as co-founder and CEO. I’m a big fan and investor in Real Vision — a company with the goal of democratizing the very best of financial intelligence through media and video. Raoul has a history of managing hedge funds, and he was also one of a relatively small number of investors to predict the mortgage crisis of 2008–2009. Basically — he knows his stuff. I’ve also had Raoul on as a past Panic with Friends guest, and I loved getting his insights on the markets and crypto. So I figured it was time to give him another call and chat about what’s been happening in everything from the markets to tech since our last time together. In this episode, Raoul and I talk about the growing blockchain space, decentralization, crypto, the power of Twitter as a community, growing companies like FTX, asset allocation, inflation, and more. Enjoy!
I brought back Yoni Assia for another guest appearance on Panic with Friends. He is a good friend of mine who's been in the crypto space for a while now. Recently, I even got to catch up with him in Miami, which you can read about on my blog. I first met Yoni back in 2010. He was one of the first people to talk to me about Bitcoin, and I was immediately sold on the brokerage he was starting, eToro. Back then, I was telling all the venture capitalists I knew eToro was like “Zynga, but for men.” So, we invested. And I’m glad I did. EToro is now an over $10 billion Israeli social trading and multi-asset brokerage. They recently added 3.1 million new users in the first quarter of 2021 and clocked in 5.2 million users for the full year 2020. In total, eToro has reported 20 million registered users. In this episode, Yoni and I talk about Dogecoin, the most interesting characters in crypto space, eToro, capital markets, the rise of retail investors, “fashionology,” blockchain, SPACs, trends, liquidity, art, and more. Enjoy!
JC Parets is a good friend of mine who I first met back when I started Stocktwits, and he’s back for his second Panic with Friends episode. As the founder of All Star Charts, JC lives and breathes all things charts. If there’s a chart in front of him, you can bet he’ll have a strong opinion about it. His company All Star Charts is a technical analysis publication for everyone from hedge funds, to financial advisors, to individual investors. I was more than happy to bring JC back on to get his perspective on the markets and have a few laughs with him in the process. It’s fun to have market pros with such infectious energy like JC on that I can talk to for free, but I’d be happy to pay for his ideas and thoughts too. In this episode, JC and I go deep on the bull market, option strategy, the best technical indicator, gold, risk management, data, paying for ideas, and more. Enjoy!
For this week’s episode, we’re chatting with Sam Bankman-Fried. He’s a 29-year-old vegan living in Hong Kong. Oh, and he’s also a crypto billionaire with a huge cult following of fans around the world. Sam is the founder of two impressive companies: Alameda and FTX. His claim to fame came after capitalizing on the South Korean crypto kimchi premium (not the fermented food) and building FTX. Founded just a few years ago in 2017, FTX is one of the fastest growing digital asset exchanges in the world. I’ve had my eye on FTX for a while now and was excited to sit down with Sam to get his thoughts on the state of crypto markets and where he sees it going. In this week’s episode, Sam and I talk about his background, how he gets it all done, his preferred way to relax, living in Hong Kong versus the United States, stablecoins (and why they matter), crypto, defi, blockchain, derivatives, regulations, who he looks up to in the crypto space, and more. Enjoy!
On this week’s episode we brought on Michael Sonnenshein. He is the CEO of Grayscale Investments, a company that entered the world of crypto back in its earliest days. Starting as an account executive in 2014, Michael worked his way up under the guidance of Grayscale founder Barry Silbert and recently took the reins as their CEO earlier this year. He is an impressive, driven, and smart guy with formidable experience. Grayscale Investments is a big player in the crypto space, with the largest bitcoin investment product ($GBTC) and plans to ramp up an ETF. Grayscale is the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, which currently has $40 billion in assets under management and 14 different investment funds. They’re making crypto mainstream and helping everyday investors looking to buy Bitcoin on the stock market. In this episode, Michael and I talk about Grayscale’s success, crypto, retail investing, security, ETFs, decentralized finance, volatility, and more. Enjoy!
Ben Hunt is back for his third Panic with Friends appearance. Ben is co-founder and writer for Epsilon Theory, a newsletter and website that examines markets through game theory and history. He is is a great writer, investor, and an activist for people to stop being dumb (my words, not his). Ben wants you to invest with your head on straight, which is something I am a strong supporter of. He has helped navigate us through the ups and downs of the crypto space in his past appearances, and this episode is no exception. You can listen to his first and second appearances anywhere you get podcasts. This time around – and following our crypto conversation with Vinny Lingham from last week’s episode – Ben is giving his take on the bitcoin narrative. In this episode, I talked with Ben about his farm, raccoons (the real and financial kind), decentralization, the markets, how the bitcoin narrative has changed posts-crash, gold, the influence of Elon Musk, pricing power, why inflation is here to stay, and more. Enjoy!