Podcasts have soared in popularity since British journalist Ben Hammersley coined the term in 2004. There are now more than 2.4 million podcasts — and 65 million episodes — on the Apple Store alone, according to the Podcast Industry Insights tracker. About 30 per cent of that amount has been created in the past three years alone.
Listener growth has followed, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the two years that we have all been dealing with the impact of the coronavirus, podcast consumption has more than doubled, Spotify data shows.
The market is forecast to continue growing at a staggering compound annual rate of 31 per cent over the next few years — reaching an estimated $94.88 billion by 2028 — thanks to the low entry barriers for creators and easy accessibility for users.
With more financial podcasts available than ever before, we asked finance industry professionals in the UAE to tell us what podcasts they are listening to — and creating — and how they might apply to our financial lives.
For everyone: The Financial Confessions
If you are looking to build good financial habits, then a go-to podcast is The Financial Confessions, which is hosted by Chelsea Fagan and author of the best-selling finance book, The Financial Diet, says Moadh Bukhash, chief marketing officer at Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest lender by assets.
“The podcast focuses on all things money and our relationship with it,” Mr Bukhash says.
“As a strong believer in adopting good financial habits early on, I would recommend this podcast to anyone seeking advice on managing their money better. Each guest expert offers a unique and fresh perspective on financial situations we find ourselves in at some point in our life.”
Recent episodes have looked at how disability affects one’s finances, why couples need prenuptial agreements and why multilevel marketing is more than it appears to be.
Emirates NBD also creates several educational podcasts of its own, offering insights into the economy and financial markets. Of these, Mr Bukhash listens to Creating Opportunity and Market Matters, both of which are available on the bank’s website.
For big-picture buffs: Exchanges at Goldman Sachs
From Ford’s first initial public offering in 1956 to the fallout of the 2008 global financial crisis, investment bank Goldman Sachs has been ringside at events that have shaped the world’s economy.
Ola Lind, director at FinTech company FTFT Capital, recommends the Exchanges at Goldman Sachs podcast, where the bank’s experts discuss big-picture developments shaping the worlds of business, finance and economics.
Recent episodes looked at opportunities in Europe’s digital economy, how stagflation risks are changing the investment playbook and how China’s zero-Covid policy is affecting markets and investors.
“I like the podcast because the episodes feature an in-depth chat with a panel of experts who present statistics and analysis on the topics driving the global economy, providing insights from the company’s professionals on market updates, performance and unique positions,” Mr Lind says.
The Exchanges at Goldman Sachs podcast, which is accessible globally, covers global financial topics in detail, and, as such, “would assist individuals and business owners in the UAE figure out how the financial industry dynamics work, help them develop a strong sense of what is going on in the market and be able to make informed financial decisions”, he says.
Mr Lind also recommends Russell Investments’ Insights podcast, which provides a deep dive into the investment world. The podcast brings in top investment strategists to discuss global market news, the economy, key issues and challenges facing today’s investors and financial advisers.
“The UAE is a stable, investor-friendly country and one of the world’s most free economies with a global-orientated, investor-friendly culture,” Mr Lind says.
“The UAE’s legislation protects investments; as a result, residents enjoy diverse investment opportunities in the region. Encouraging UAE residents to listen to the Russell Investments podcast would enlighten them about investment opportunities and pitfalls.”
For female investors: The Purse
Tara Tyan, regional head of marketing at Saxo Bank, the trading and investment platform, has been following and shaping the conversation around women and finance.
She listens to The Purse by Jana Hlistova, which aims to empower women and how they approach money and investing.
The podcast features financial experts, wealth managers, angel investors, entrepreneurs and fund managers.
“I am particularly interested in podcasts that actively work on closing the gender investment gap in a tangible and structured way, and The Purse does just that,” Ms Tyan says.
The Purse has also inspired Ms Tyan to create an Arabic-language podcast for Saxo Bank, DeepDive with Saxo.
In collaboration with online streaming service Deezer, the podcast features Emirati entrepreneur Anas Bukhash and financial expert Marie Salem as they break down investment issues into bite-sized nuggets for Arabic listeners to take control of their financial future and make an impact, Ms Tyan says.
For insurance insiders: Leadership in Insurance
Neeraj Gupta, chief executive of insurance product comparison website Policybazaar.ae, tunes into podcasts regularly.
“Anyone who’s wanting to learn how to take more control of their financial position and better manage their family’s financial wealth should inculcate the habit to tune into financial planning and insurance podcasts as they give detailed, actionable advice, guiding people to manage debts and make an informed choice,” Mr Gupta says.
One of Mr Gupta’s favourites is the Leadership in Insurance podcast, which he listens to regularly.
At 89 episodes, the series offers a crash course in the current state and future of financial protection through interviews with industry leaders and pioneers.
While geared towards insurance insiders, the series also has lateral insights for professionals in other fields. A recent episode — with Anthony Beilin and Benjamin Hay of insurance technology start-up Collective Benefits — explained how independent workers might be supported in the emerging gig economy.
Mr Gupta also listens to The National’s Pocketful of Dirhams podcast, his own Insurance Insights by Policybazaar and FS Brew, a Dubai-based insurance podcast hosted by Vidya Veerapandian and Renjit Philip.
For chequebook balancers: Frugal Friends
Friends Jen Smith and Jill Sirianni believe frugality extends beyond clipping coupons and reusing plastic bags to being good stewards of resources such as money, time, relationships and physical and mental space. That message runs through their Frugal Friends financial podcast, which drops each Friday.
“I only recently stumbled across Jen and Jill’s podcast but wish I’d found it earlier in my own journey towards financial independence,” says Jane Harvey, chief executive and co-founder at Savii, the GCC neobank aimed at Gen Z, and a strong advocate of the Financial Independence Retire Early movement.
“Frugal Friends is fun, informative and, most importantly, relatable — with loads of practical, no-nonsense advice on how to resist the urge to splurge and become more intentional about your spending habits,” Ms Harvey says.
“That is something we could all learn from! They share their own experiences and real-life suggestions on how to save money on the things you need, spend less on the rest and embrace frugality without being cheap.”
For entrepreneurs: Business Wars
Entrepreneurs looking for motivation would benefit from tuning into Business Wars, says Ramzi Khleif, general manager at wealth management platform StashAway Mena.
“Business Wars is arguably the most famous business and finance podcast. Hosted by David Brown, the podcast gives its listeners a new perspective of how businesses around the world are run, how competition can be fierce and how to always think outside the box in a business environment if you wish to succeed,” he says.
“The podcast host speaks about real business stories and what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights — or to ruin. It can give aspiring entrepreneurs the hunger they need to take their business to new heights.”
StashAway has its own biweekly podcast, In Your Best Interest, which features thought leaders talking about the best practices of personal finance. Episodes cover subjects such as whether the metaverse is the next big thing, the future of decentralised finance, and how parents can teach their children the basics of investing.
“On In Your Best Interest, listeners can learn about every single topic a regular investor thinks about, while sharing the personal journey of leaders. That can be inspirational to the listeners and leave them with action points to apply in their daily lives.”
Updated: May 12, 2022, 5:00 AM