What is your preferred list of news sources?

I received this email from a former UCT student today:

“I have been struggling this last year, now that I am adulting, to find a good news source.  MoneyWeb was always my go-to but it’s been letting me down… What is your preferred list of news sources so that I can stay up to date now that we no longer have the BAG weekly email?”

What a great question!  I have some thoughts on websites as well as podcasts – check them out below!

WEBSITES

In line with encouraging you to read further, I have collected up a few business websites that are worth the investment of your time.  I am not a regular reader of all of these but if I have something that I want to investigate, these are the places where I have found the greatest assistance:

Financial Times – the best business daily in the world but it also has a paywall.  Check your library access though because most campuses do have a subscription.

The Economist – do not get put off by the title, this is the best weekly publication you could treat yourself to.  I read the hard copies – every one of them – they are essential reading for those interested in life!

Business Insider – a mix of business and pleasure, this site can contain great links to interesting stories originally posted elsewhere.  It is focused on American business.

Moneyweb + Biznews – South African business news and interviews – my preference is more towards Biznews these days.

Business Day the SA newspaper which does the best job of analysing the latest business news.  It has a paywall after a few articles though.

Google News – this is where Google curate the most popular business news stories of the day.  You can unearth some interesting developments here and I tend to check this most days when I am in the office.

AccountancySA – SAICA’s publication – it contains articles on topical issues that are worth reading, these are the people that set the board exams after all!

Investopedia Industry Handbooks – great overview of the big industries and although it is from an American perspective, it is worth browsing.  This website also covers a lot of the CFA syllabus.

Aswath Damodaran – this man is “lecturer to the lecturers”.  His site contains notes, quizzes and more.  Lots of topics covered but Valuations and Corporate Finance are especially good.  Also check out his blog.

Learnaccounting.uct.ac.za – is something that we are really proud of: a partnership between the UCT College of Accounting, Getsmarter and FASSET to create video resources on key accounting topics in a variety of languages, and to make them freely available to anyone. Check them out and spread the word!

Financial Management – this publication from CIMA includes mini-cases from industry, topical articles and ethical questions.

Fortune – although focusing mainly on issues facing American companies, the articles still give you a good idea of the issues that are important to business executives.

Bloomberg Markets – this contains really good investigative journalism and interviews with business leaders who share great insights.

Economia – this publication does contain more articles from an audit perspective but it is topical and in-depth.  It is published by the UK “SAICA”.

Besides being of interest, the more you read, the faster your communication and business skills will improve.  What other websites should we be checking out?

PODCASTS

Think of podcasts as gym for the brain.  Selected wisely, they could even be described as CrossFit for the brain!

What are podcasts?  They are basically audio files that can be freely downloaded.  I usually listen to them on my phone when I am in the car or going for walk.

Why should you listen to them?  They are free.  They have great content. They help pass the time when you are commuting somewhere.

Where should I start?  It totally depends of what you want!  There are many genres that might be of interest.  As a starting point, here are the podcasts I listen to regularly.  All of these have many interesting episodes so I suggest browsing through all of them – there are some classics here.

Planet Money. These come out regularly every week and cover an array of business issues. Here are 3 great episodes to get you started:

DECEMBER 23, 2015 #671: An Insider Trader Tells All
Today on the show: A man who got caught insider trading explains everything — what he did, how he did it, and why. Though he’s still struggling with that last one. (This was the Audit Partner for Herbalife and Sketchers.)

DECEMBER 2, 2015 #216: How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil
Two decades ago, shoppers in Brazil would run ahead of the worker who raised prices every day. Inflation was crazy. Today on the show: How four economists –who were also drinking buddies– fixed it.

NOVEMBER 18, 2015 #416: Why The Price Of Coke Didn’t Change For 70 Years
Prices go up and down. But for 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola stayed a nickel. On today’s show, we find out why. The answer includes a half a million vending machines and a 7.5 cent coin.

How I Built This has interviews with the people that started some amazing businesses – Airbnb, Zappos, Dermalogica, Lyft and more.  I listen to it first thing every Monday.  Get it here.

The Economist offers the best weekly publication you can get your hands on as a professional.  If you have never done so, please give it a read and be prepared to learn more in a few pages than you have for the past week!  They have a free podcast that looks at the week ahead, and this helps me to keep updated on world events.  You can get it on iTunes here

Malcolm Gladwell has a podcast called Revisionist History.  If you have enjoyed his books, you will enjoy his thoughts on a range of issues – like the high price of university fee’s.  The latest episode I listened to involved the Toyota sudden acceleration case, which cost the company more than R20bn.

Michael Hyatt is the former CEO of a publishing company that decided to refocus his career and help others develop leadership and productivity skills.  I use a lot of his productivity hacks and can recommend his “Shave 10 hours off your workweek” ebook, which you get for free if you register on his website.  His podcast “This is your life” has had over 10 million downloads and the archive can be viewed here.

Tim Ferriss is an interesting character.  Essentially he will interview a world class performer – authors, sports, military etc – and try to distill the big lessons that they have learnt.  The podcasts are long – some over 2 hours – but if the interview is with someone you are interested to learn from, it is brilliant to really delve into their ideas.  At the same time, if you aren’t interested in the content,  you should quit quickly.  I therefore recommend scrolling through the archive and starting with the episodes that contain people you know and respect.  Here is it!

Andy Stanley releases a monthly podcast on leadership.  If you are leading in any capacity, he does a great job of helping you get better.  His interview with the former CEO of Home Depot, Frank Blake, is a great starting point.

Tim Keller was introduced to me on honeymoon – my sister gave us a wedding gift of an iPod with his talks on it – and I have not stopped listening.  He leads a church in New York, a city with fascinating people, many of which are young professionals, and Keller answers many of the questions they have about the meaning of life.  His podcast is here.

Which ones am I missing?  Please let me know in the comments!

Paul Maughan

4 Comments

  1. “Finimize ( http://www.finimize.com) is an email service that hits you with an email that is designed to take you roughly 3 minutes to read but has all the top finance news from around the world”_ UCT Finance Group

  2. Thanks Paul. Can you recommend any online courses that you have either enjoyed, or that inspire your UCT Board course?

  3. Hi Matthew – good to hear from you! Nothing comes to mind – I’ve not managed to complete an online course myself yet!

  4. A way I’ve found to keep on top of news using Business Day is by subscribing to their daily news updates (AM and PM). You get an email with all of the big headlines for the morning or afternoon with links to read the full article if it tickles your fancy. I remember being blocked by the paywall a while ago when researching for an essay for varsity, but have never been blocked after following a link from one of their newsletters.

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