New year, new podcast review! With the Aussie dollar performing so valiantly right now, I thought you could join me on a trip across the Pacific to US shores as we find out out what all the fuss is about over Freakonomics Radio.
This world is a pretty weird place and Freakonomics Radio is all about uncovering some of the Western world’s strangest socioeconomics. If that description sounds a little broad, that’s because the content that is churned out by the Freakonomics Radio team is kind of broad too. This particular podcast started as a spin off from the best-selling Freakonomics book, first published in 2005, and extends to some of the weird and wacky topics covered in the text version.
The good news is that there is some serious personal finance gold stashed under quirky titles like ‘What Does a CEO Actually Do?’ and ‘The Stupidest Thing You Can Do With Your Money’. With more than 300 episodes to choose from – should this podcast take your fancy – you will have a killed a helluva lot of commute time and, if you really fall in love, these guys have several books, a blog and a documentary to throw yourself into.
What to expect?
Now, I wouldn’t be recommending a podcast that doesn’t deliver a smooth and creamy audio experience – after all your ears, like mine, deserve the best.
Pieced together by the production team at WNYC Studios (the guys behind the award-winning Radiolab), Freakonomics Radio is delivered with the highest sound quality going about and is well cut so that interviews flow seamlessly with narration, neat tunes and subtle sound effects. The result is flowy, coherent podcast episodes ranging from 30 minutes to just over an hour that are both entertaining and investigative.
Now don’t let the American-ness of this podcast turn you off. These guys might not be from our glorious shores but they have a sharp sense of humour and, like a lot of us, don’t take things too seriously. So if you’re an Aussie ready to let a couple of American dudes into your life and learn a few money lessons, now is the point where you reach for your headphones.
I haven’t convinced you yet? You want to know more about who it is you’ll be listening to? Fine!
The podcast is hosted by Stephen Dubbner, former journalist at The New York Times Magazine, and he is joined, more often than not, by economist Steve Levitt. These two first linked up for an article back in 2003 and much like our own, their relationship flourished.
Yap, yap, yap – I’m getting sick of the sound of my own voice (and you probably are too), so let’s hear what they have to say about themselves.
“Each week, hear surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. After just a few episodes, this podcast will have you too thinking like a Freak.”
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Money (But Were Afraid to Ask)
Ah, if I only I had discovered this episode before I had started writing about all things money!
This 44 minute-long gem is a crash course in personal finance, running through some of the financial literacy basics with Italian economist Annamaria Lusardi. Along the way we find out how compound interest works and whether you should invest in a single stock or a mutual fund.
Dubbner then moves the episode on to how to manage your personal finances with the help of guest speaker, Harold Pollack who simplifies everything you need to know about your precious pennies into nine simple, easy-to-follow rules with the main message being, “avoid emotions and trust the economics.”
Dying to find out what these nine rules might be? You can catch the full episode here.