Podcast: The perks of being Village Idiot (and bonds)

Kristia van HeerdenLatest, The Fat Wallet

The Fat Wallet Show is a weekly humble pie eating contest (on iTunes, for all the world to witness, as of this week).

For about the first six months after joining Just One Lap, I left every meeting with a list of things to Google. Half a year in, I finally knew enough to start asking questions. However, nobody around me ever asked a question. I realised that either the expert-to-novice ratio was skewed and I was literally the only person who didn’t know what was going on, or someone was bullshitting.

We did it again! Our 8th Fat Wallet Show. We’re finally on iTunes! #podcast

A photo posted by Kristia Van Heerden (@k_r_isis) on

The Fat Wallet Show is a direct result of the process of owning my ignorance. Since I’ve already claimed the Village Idiot title, I’m no longer shy to ask smart people to explain things to me. They already know how little I know. Once I started unabashedly owning my stupidity, the rate at which I learned things increased dramatically. Yes, sometimes I ask stupid questions, but once in a while I ask a really good question, and I’m proud of that.

This week, something really cool happened. I was reading through a report we got at the CoreShares ETF Exchange and noticed something I didn’t understand. This did not shock me. I went through my usual process, which means I asked Simon. He didn’t know. So I asked the three ETF geniuses, Helena, Candice and Nerina (*whistle*). They didn’t know. Then I asked my smartest friend, who drove over to my house so she could draw pictures. Only, she couldn’t figure it out either. It turns out an important piece of data was missing and nobody knew what was going on.

This excites me, because the financial services industry as we know it today came about in a time before fintech and, you know, cars that weren’t attached to horses. Like all new things, it didn’t start out effective and efficient. It remains a work in progress, a living thing that exists for our benefit. A simple question like, “Why is it like this?” naturally leads to, “Is there a better way to do this?” That question, hopefully, leads to improvements that can benefit the human race, not just some dude in a suit.*

Information is such a powerful tool. To get it, though, you have to plant your feet firmly in what you don’t know. This week, I tell this story, which you now have to go through twice. I apologise. Then I talk about bonds. If that’s what you’re here for, skip to the end.

By the way, ETF geniuses, where my retail bond ETF at? Gimme it.

I mention our friend Daniele in the podcast. You can follow him here.


*I’m actually a big fan of dudes in suits. Especially well-made suits that fit just right. Please don’t stop wearing them. You look fantastic.

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