Episode 24: Abnormal Returns’ Tadas Viskanta

The Early Days of Blogging

Tadas Viskanta is among the first wave of successful investment bloggers, starting the Abnormal Returns blog in 2005. Rather than providing its readers with forecasts and other crystal ball-gazing exercises, Viskanta focuses on education, writing about best practice in both investing and personal finance. MarketFox columnist Daniel Grioli speaks with Viskanta about the early days of blogging, what it takes to write interesting material and how blogging keeps wealth management clients engaged. They also talk about how this blog ultimately led him to join Ritholtz Wealth Management as Director of Education.

Tadas Viskanta Podcast overview:

5:00 Starting out in the industry
7:00 How did studying at the University of Chicago, the bastion of the efficient market hypothesis, influence your thinking?
11:30 The early days of blogging
14:30 How long did it take for people to engage with your content?
17:00 Taking an educational slant
19:00 Doing this on a daily basis allows me to see the flow of information and how topics evolve over time
20:30 The idea that investors can bring their values to the markets is going to be increasingly a topic for investment
22:00 The debate about whether an ESG strategy will deliver the same or somewhat more than the market is besides the point. The behavioural aspect is much more interesting than the performance.
24:30 There has been much talk about the FANGs, but the way in how these technology companies change and shape our society is something that is important to stay on top off.
29:40 My position at Ritzholtz wealth management is really a function of the blogosphere.
30:30 What does Director of Education mean?
32:30 Treating social media as a monthly performance report.
33:00 Authenticity is the key to writing online.
35:00 Howard Marks of Oaktree was one of the first investors to write in this style, before blogs even existed.
40:30 The great financial crisis was what brought the financial blogosphere to the fore. We were all in the dark and the media started to look at bloggers that had first hand experience in mortgage backed securities.
43:00 We use the blog to update our clients daily on what is going on. They don’t have to wait for the quarterly performance report.
46:00 There is no one way to communicate with a client.
47:30 What things in your career did you have to learn the hard way?
48:30 What blogs do you recommend?

About the [i3] Podcast

The [i3] Podcast is a conversation with some of the leading institutional investors around the world, discussing their philosophy towards investing, in particular towards portfolio construction and investment strategy. The [i3] podcast is available on iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher or your favourite podcast platform.