In this era of video-on-demand, it would seem that audio would be the old-fashioned way to get your news and information. But the success of podcasts, which continues to grow, has turned media on its head.
As of early 2016, 21% of Americans age 12 or older said they had listened to a podcast in the past month, up from just 12% in 2013. Most of those listens are now being done on mobile devices, aka, their phones.
Podcasts popularity has resulted in an explosion of podcast shows. No one knows the exact number of podcasts that are being produced, but Libsyn, one of the large podcasting networks, said in 2015 it hosted 28,000 shows, up from just 16,000 in 2013.
That's a lot of podcasts.
But if you're a stock investor and you're looking for a few podcasts to check out for stock picks on your commute on the way into the office, how do you find a show about investing among the thousands of shows out there?
Investment Podcasts: Where Are You?
There are a wide variety of podcasts that cover money, such as NPR's famous Planet Money podcast which discusses everything happening in the economy and showcases interesting money stories. But Planet Money is not a podcast that focuses on stocks or the stock market.
Similarly, there are dozens of "trading" podcasts, and those can be helpful for those who want to move in and out of positions quickly. But they're not as helpful to the longer term investor or those who want to learn "how" to invest.
Personal finance podcasts are also popular including ones that teach you how to get out of debt, save for retirement or buy a house.
But investing podcasts, which talk about stocks, are rare.
I searched the podcast universe, and took polls of my friends and colleagues, and came up with the best of the investing podcasts plus a "bonus" podcast, which isn't an investing podcast, per say, but provides investing ideas for those who want to dig a little bit deeper.
These are the podcasts investors should be listening to in 2017.
My Favorite Investing Podcasts for 2017
Zacks Value Investor Podcast
The Value Investor Podcast, hosted by me, covers value investing topics every week in just under 15 minutes. I'm including my own podcast because I believe its one of the best at giving weekly value stock and value ETF ideas.
This is a show for the long term investor looking for stock ideas and how to find value stocks. It's not the place for the day trader types. I cover topics like how to avoid value traps as well as top value stocks to buy now.
Motley Fool Money
Motley Fool Money is Motley Fool's flagship weekly podcast that is also broadcast on radio stations across the United States. These shows run about 40 minutes and have outside guests discussing economic and stock market topics. They also provide stock picks.
I like this podcast as a good overview about what is going on that week on Wall Street or in Washington DC, either politically or with the Federal Reserve. These are more time sensitive so a show from 3 months ago probably isn't worth your time.
InvestED: The Rule #1 Podcast
InvestED is a weekly podcast hosted by Phil Town and his daughter, Danielle Town, who is a corporate attorney. Phil Town is a fund manager and author of the popular book The Rule #1. They range in length from 30 minutes to an hour and sometimes include outside interviews.
I like these podcasts because they cover the basics of investing such as finding companies that have moats, how to determine free cash flow and how to value a company. These podcasts aren't as time sensitive as some of the other shows. You won't get as many stock ideas here.
The Investors Podcast
This is an interesting weekly podcast with some of the biggest names in investing. Hosted by Preston Pysh and Stig Brodersen, they review books on investing and business topics such as a book on billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen as well as Jim Collins' "Good to Great" masterpiece about what makes a company move to the top of the pack. They also interview well-known investment managers like value investor Bill Miller.
These episodes are about 30 to 45 minutes and provide good ideas for long term investors. As a fan of investing and business books, in general, this is a great source of ideas for your own library. The podcast covers value investing strategies more than stock picks.
Paul Merriman spent 50 years in the money management business before retiring a couple of years ago. But retirement hasn't slowed him down. He continues to write articles for Marketwatch.com and does Sound Investing, a weekly podcast that lasts between 15 minutes and an hour and a half. They are usually around 30 minutes.
These are podcasts where he discusses different investment strategies, mostly geared towards long term investors. What I like about the podcasts is that he makes investing seem so easy, as long as you stick with it and have patience. He cuts through the noise and shows you ways to grow your portfolio through simple techniques. This is advice from someone who has been investing a long time. Sometimes it pays to listen to someone who has seen it all.
Recode Decode Podcast
Recode Decode Podcast from Kara Swisher isn't an investing podcast, per say. That's why it's the bonus here. Every week she interviews top journalists and CEOs about hot topics in Silicon Valley. The shows last about an hour.
If you're interested in investing in technology and social media companies, these interviews are a great source of ideas and information about what is really going on on the West Coast. You may hear an interview with a company that becomes the next "hot" thing.
Explore the Podcast Universe
Podcasts can be a great way to get stock ideas and learn investing techniques. You have to do something on the way to work, right?
These are some of my favorite investing podcasts but there are plenty of others out there including here at Zacks. I also host the weekly Zacks Market Edge podcast, which is about general economic topics and includes stock and ETF picks. Zacks covers interesting topics in the news and how those relate to investing and finance on the Friday Finish Line podcast with Maddy Johnson and Ryan McQueeney.
Tracey Ryniec manages the Insider Trader and Value Investor portfolios at Zacks.com. She hosts 2 weekly podcasts: Zacks Market Edge Podcast and the Value Investor Podcast. You can also catch her on Twitter at @TraceyRyniec.