Given the popularity of the Essentia reading list, we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite podcasts for your listening pleasure. Have we missed one that you’d recommend to other thoughtful investors? Let us know and we’ll include it in our next update!

New to podcasting? 

Apple added podcasts to the iTunes store back in 2005, but there’s recently been an explosion in the number of high quality podcasts, across a wide range of subjects.

Podcasts are the perfect way to turn your commute, walk or quiet moment into an easy, low-effort opportunity for learning, new ideas, reflection, and entertainment. Many podcasts include interviews with interesting authors you may not be aware of, and Audible and Kindle are only a couple of clicks away. 

Listen to a podcast in your browser by clicking the links provided.
Or, to download podcasts to your phone for mobile listening, see the quick podcast primer at the bottom of this page.

Freakonomics radio

1. Freakonomics radio
30- 50 minutes per episode

Inspired by the books of the same name and hosted by journalist Stephen Dubner, with economist Steven Levitt as a regular guest. Explores the “the hidden side of everything”, usually with a behavioral science angle. Prepare to be enlightened!

How I Built This

2. How I Built This
30-50 minutes 

Excellent interviews with entrepreneurs who have built products and services that we’ve come to know and love. Rather than them basking in their own brilliance, the interviewees reveal the often painful and rocky roads to success, with insights and lessons learned along the way.

note to self

3. Note to self
20 minutes

Host Manoush Zomorodi talks to everyone from big name techies to junior school teachers about the technological dilemmas that plague us in our day to day lives. With insights and a sense of fun, she explores everything from the differences between reading on paper versus a screen, to the pros and cons of wearable technology, and how to deal with a racist friend on Facebook.

The Hidden Brain

4. The Hidden Brain
25 minutes 

Veteran science explorer, Shankar Vedantam, looks at exciting areas of research in the social sciences (psychology, sociology, economics) and connects it with the ways we live and manage our lives. Comfortably geeky, The Hidden Brain also does a great job of making complex scientific ideas understandable and relatable, and it feeds our hunger to understand more about how and why humans do what they do.

Planet Money

5. Planet Money
20 minutes

The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Takes a wide range of often technical subjects and explains them in terms that are clear, smart and funny. Such is its success, many episodes have been incorporated into undergraduate microeconomics and macroeconomics courses at universities.

HBR Ideacast

6. HBR Ideacast
30 minutes 

Harvard Business Review brings its most interesting ideas around leadership, team dynamics, collaboration, work-life efficacy, and more, to the audio format. These interviews with a wide range of academics, top athletes, artists, and corporate leaders are brain food for enlightened managers. 

TED Radio Hour

7. TED Radio Hour
50 minutes

Spanning a wide range of fascinating and insightful speakers, interviewees and topics, this one is good for a long drive. 


8. Alphachat
45 minutes 

The Financial Times’s foray into podcasting is an informed but also irreverent review of some the most important political, financial, and economic ideas that are circulating right now. Host Cardiff Garcia is joined by authors, experts and journalists to discuss the evolution of economics that is taking place before our very eyes. 

Odd Lots

9. Odd Lots
30 minutes

Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so-random weekly walk through hot topics in markets, finance and economics. Like Alphachat, Odd Lots covers topics that aren’t really front page news, and in many cases, are far more interesting than the topics that are.

Money, Mind and Meaning

10. Standard Deviations
30-45 minutes

Each week, asset manager, psychologist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Daniel Crosby interviews a fascinating new guest and looks at money, mind and meaning – all through a psychological lens. Topics span everything from finance to literature and wellness.

How to download podcasts – a quick primer

iTunes user? Go to the iTunes store, and click on the ‘podcasts’ menu option on the left. This takes you to the podcasts home page, where you can browse by category, genre, and publisher. Select an episode to hear it, or click “get episode” to download.

Alternatively, try one of the many free podcast apps available on iOS and Android. Here are a few. Download the app to your phone, search for your favorite podcasts and subscribe. They’ll be ready for you to listen whenever you’ve got a moment – regardless of whether you’re online.

If you subscribe to a podcast, new episodes will download automatically to your computer or phone when they become available. They do eat up valuable hard drive space though, so you may want to delete old episodes that you’ve listened to.

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