Meb Faber on designing investment strategies, launching ETFs, and building a digital advisor
- Meb's firm, Cambria Investment Management uses research, books, and a new podcast to acquire investors.
- Cambria has just launched a digital advisor that packages its strategies together with low costs.
Meb Faber is a self-described investing researcher, author, financial entrepreneur, and now, podcaster. Meb's found a way to navigate his own path through investment management by building his own media platform. He's written a handful of research papers that are some of the most downloaded papers in history and a handful of best-selling investment books. From there, Meb's developed investment strategies with the feedback from the crowd. He's converted the feedback loop from his writing into 8 creative, quant ETFs (he has 8 others in registration). And now, he's just launched an online investment service called Cambria Digital Advisor that gives you about a dozen ETFs, from his firm and others, with minimal costs. On this week's episode of the Tradestreaming Podcast, we explore how Meb is building out his investment firm through collaborative product development and how he promotes his work via his own in-house content. If anything, Meb's fully invested in himself, his products, and platform. Below are highlights, edited for clarity, from the episode. Launching a podcast on finance It's been so much fun publishing our podcast. For two years, we considered doing a high-end video series. We quizzed our audience and found 95 percent of our audience preferred an audio-only format. People really seem to enjoy it. One of the reasons I think people like it is because it's almost like voyeuristically listening in to two people chatting at a bar. Using content to build a modern investment business If you think about investment management, people have been producing content for the past 100 years. Ken Fisher has built a $70 billion business through a column in Forbes and through direct mail. Ric Edelman has done it through radio. We produce a variety of different formats. Younger investors are never going to download our research papers. They'll only listen to a podcast. Launching a digital advisor We started launching ETFs because they made it very easy to package an investment strategy and deliver a low cost product to end investors without a huge organization behind it. We built a nice ETF business with eight ETFs and another eight in registration. But, I still see that my friends aren't comfortable managing their portfolios on an ongoing basis. We just launched an individual account offering called Cambria Digital Advisor with a portfolio of about a dozen ETFs and the best part is that we don't charge a management fee or fees on transactions. We partnered with Betterment, which charges a passthrough platform fee of 15 basis points, to launch.