It has become my morning ritual to wake up, head downstairs, grab a drink, grab my iTouch, lie down on the couch, put my headphones on, and listen to a good podcast for 30 minutes to an hour. If you have an iPod or iPhone and you are not listening to podcasts, then you are missing out on one of the best free features on your device.
I love to read and it is my preferred medium to get my information, but there are times when podcasts are just more convenient. In fact, recently there have been some podcasts that are just so good that I’m starting to listen about as much as I read.
In the morning I’m usually still waking up and don’t have the mental focus to comprehend what I read, but a podcast lets me be a little lazy and still get my morning news. The odd time I will listen to some comedy or light listening; my favorites right now are “The Ricky Gervais Show” (Karl Pilkington is hilarious, I could listen to him for hours) and the CBC’s “Laugh out Loud” comedy show. But, the majority of the time I am listening to business podcasts.
I have some favorites at the moment and I’d like to share my top 5 with you.
Number 5: Financial Post Big Picture
I use this podcast primarily to get my Canadian business news. It usually has good coverage of national economic events across Canada and decent coverage on global events. It’s a quality podcast with good audio and professionally produced (you’d be surprised how many podcasts out there sound like they were recorded on a 1980’s boom-box). I usually listen to this cast about once a week, sometimes less. It is a great source of information, but what it lacks is holding the reader’s attention; it can be a little dry at times.
Number 4: Harvard Business Review (HBR) IdeaCast
I really like this podcast. There are some great interviews with leaders in their respective research fields. It covers issues regarding bank regulation, behavioral finance, world issues, and education to name a few. They also have interviews with CEOs of fortune 500 companies and talk about their strategies, market outlooks, and business beliefs. My beef with this podcast is that they are too short. The average show is about 15 minutes and I find that is just not enough time to really cover a topic, especially if you are interviewing someone. It would be nice if they stretched them out to about 30 minutes.
Number 3: Bloomberg on the Economy
I guess it’s pretty obvious that a finance graduate would have Bloomberg on their top 5 podcast list. It does have some downfalls though. The podcasts are usually pretty short and the shows can be a little dry. However, the show covers all the key areas that finance people like: you get reports on companies and their performance, reports on specific country market outlooks, investing strategies from top portfolio managers, and much more. If this podcast ran a little longer and found a captive host, it would dominate the finance podcast world.
Number 2: EconTalk
I think deep down I want to be an economist. I like that this podcast isn’t focused on one subject such as the market or world economics. They apply economic thought to a broad range of topics. One podcast I really enjoyed was the talk with Gary Taubes on “Why We Get Fat” where they talk about grains leading to unbalanced hormones, which leads to growth in our fat cells, and somehow they tie all this to economics. I like this podcast because it provokes thought in me. I usually end up with more questions in my head than answers, which I like because I end up going and researching more about the topic online.
Number 1: NPR: Planet Money
The name of this podcast first deterred me from listening to it. I assumed it was a loud and aggressive show about the markets and completely focused on money (kind of like Jim Kramer). Good thing I gave it a try because I was completely wrong. Just listen to some of these titles: “The Cost of Free Doughnuts”, “Allowance, taxes, and Potty Training”, “An Austerity Wedding”. The podcasts read kind of like stories and the hosts are good at keeping the story interesting. Again, with this podcast I wish it was a little longer; they run around 20 minutes. I usually find myself listening to 2 or 3 of them when going through my morning routine.
I know I said I’d give you my top 5, but there are two other podcasts that I would like to share with you as well. They are the two podcasts that I spend most of my time listening to. They consume my mornings, they are the soundtracks to my bike rides, and they get me motivated to work on new ideas. The reason why I didn’t add them in the top 5 list is because they aren’t really “business” podcasts, but there are definitely overlaps.
Honorable Mention #1: Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn
I may like this podcast because I have recently joined the blogger world and Pat Flynn is a guru in that world. What I like about this podcast all has to do with Pat. Pat comes across as a really nice guy, who knows his stuff, and wants to truly give you some good advice about your blog or online business. This podcast gets me super motivated. I find myself repeatedly pausing the podcast and scrambling to find a pen. I don’t know if it’s Pat giving me great ideas or Pat just sparking my mind to think creatively. It’s probably a bit of both, but either way, I am hooked and NEED MORE!!!
Honorable Mention #2: This American Life
Every iPhone should have this podcast on it. I’m not going to waste time trying to explain this podcast; I would only ruin it for you. Download a couple episodes, go in expecting anything, and enjoy.
Thanks for reading and good luck out there!
What are your favorite podcasts? What do like about them? How could they be better? What do you hate about the podcasts I shared? Comment below!