Today we’re joined by Bill Burckart and Megan Kashner of Colorful Capital, both of whom are professors of impact investing (Columbia and Northwestern) as well as co-founders of the venture firm focused on the LGBT community.

We hear from them on why the firm is necessary, how they’ve gone about trying to access the people they’re trying to reach, and then discuss the role they see for Colorful Capital going forward. For a deeper exploration of the topics we discussed and links to various resources mentioned, check out our blog post on this episode.

Don’t forget our typical helping of banter – this episode’s topics feature new sovereign wealth funds, guns, and a roast of burning man. Ya know, the usual.


Sloane (she/her) (00:02.051)

Welcome to the free money podcast, the Provo Palo Alto conversation about institutional investing that you desperately crave.

ASHBY (00:10.534)

Glad you remembered. Provo Palo Alto.

Sloane (she/her) (00:11.914)

That, I mean, that new login, that new lead just flies right off the tongue. I mean, although, you know, I hope I'm not in Provo for like years and years and years and years. Just. Ha ha ha.

ASHBY (00:16.278)

It's tight. Yep.

ASHBY (00:23.734)

I know, I hear you. But, and I'm actually technically not in Palo Alto. Ha ha ha.

Sloane (she/her) (00:29.958)

Yeah, I know. I mean, like the nice thing is that there's so many different letters for your various locations.

ASHBY (00:35.814)

Los Gatos!

Sloane (she/her) (00:38.334)

I mean, I love that you live in a town that's called Cats, California. You know, cats.

ASHBY (00:42.038)

Yeah, it's cats. And we have big ass cats up in these mountains called mountain lions. And the good thing about living here is you learn what to do. If there's a mountain lion that you run into on trail, you get your you get big, you get your body big. You don't turn your back on the mountain lion, it'll get you.

Sloane (she/her) (00:49.774)

It's so cool.

Sloane (she/her) (00:58.018)

Do you?

Sloane (she/her) (01:04.306)

Yep, yep. I mean, there are a lot of people around here will carry sidearms in case of encounters with such stuff. I feel like that's kind of mostly because they wanted to justify carrying a sidearm.

ASHBY (01:17.51)

Can I be honest though? That's one of the few reasons to carry a sidearm that I could actually get behind. You're like, hey, I bumped into bears a few times and you're like, yeah, maybe carry a gun, dude.

Sloane (she/her) (01:23.384)

Yep. Yeah, I mean.

Sloane (she/her) (01:30.49)

It is, you know, it's one of those things where it does seem, I mean there are places where you should be carrying a gun, I guess, you know.

ASHBY (01:37.838)

Have you seen this one where the guy is literally being chased down the trail by the mountain lion and he's backing up because he walked in on the mountain lion and it's cubs and this mountain lion basically chases him back down the trail for like a mile and he's like yelling and chucking rocks at it. And you know what did go through my mind? I bet you wish you had a gun.

Sloane (she/her) (01:44.59)

I'm sorry.

Sloane (she/her) (01:50.145)


Sloane (she/her) (02:06.63)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, this is like, you know, I mean, out here in Utah, I, there's a, I was, I love to go to all the weird like antique malls and thrift stores because like the thrifting environment out here is absolutely goaded. It's just like not picked over like Brooklyn's. Anyway, I saw a concealed carry corset for a hundred bucks recently at this place. It was like, so yeah, it's a.

ASHBY (02:09.289)


ASHBY (02:17.747)


ASHBY (02:23.61)


ASHBY (02:27.947)

Oh my goodness.

ASHBY (02:31.748)


Sloane (she/her) (02:32.69)

A corset that has room for your 9mm inside of it. Yeah, I mean, I feel like, you know, I've got various sales goals, you know, and if I want to be, you know, really set up for that, I should probably invest in the proper corset shirt.

ASHBY (02:37.075)

That is pretty legit.

ASHBY (02:50.99)

Yep, I hear ya. People are gonna be surprised to hear that neither of us expected to be talking about guns at the top of the show. You know, this is how we do it. We just get into it, num num.

Sloane (she/her) (03:00.73)

Well, you know, it's the firmly established, you know, our guests in this episode accused me of professionalism and I've never been more offended in the, I'm sure they'll join at some weird time and, you know, give light to that. But yeah, you got any news for us? News?

ASHBY (03:09.626)

Holy cow, that's just some baloney.

ASHBY (03:17.946)

Before I get to the news, here's what I was planning to, because I've got a tip for people that I think is outstanding. And some people may not make it all the way to the tip part of the show in about an hour when we do garden tips. So I'm gonna get a certain tip out of the way, because I have to tell you, maybe I am allowed to say who told me this. It was Ben Mang. Screw it. He deserves the tip. He was telling me about ESG.

Sloane (she/her) (03:22.67)


Sloane (she/her) (03:40.676)

Oh shit. Yup.

Sloane (she/her) (03:47.457)


ASHBY (03:47.458)

And he's like, you know, here's my tip for you Ashby. I call it energy security. I call it food security, even national security. And all of a sudden people are like, oh, tell me more about this investment strategy that is all on top of energy security. Anyway, Ben Meng is on top of it. And so I've been using that over the last week talking about security. People don't even know you're talking about ESG. They don't know what it.

Sloane (she/her) (03:54.654)

Yeah. Mmm.

Sloane (she/her) (04:17.038)

I love that. So, you know, I actually like, you know, so I mean, I have some companies that we own shares in, I engage with them. One of my recent messages to one of the companies was like, that happens to be regulated pretty tightly by Congress, is like, hey, you guys can stop using those curse three letters if you want. It's not particularly relevant to me that you proclaim fealty to this like arbitrary standard. You know, it's like really more about outcomes that you're driving and you do that at your revenue line. So.

ASHBY (04:17.975)


ASHBY (04:39.401)


Sloane (she/her) (04:45.734)

I'm kind of happy I don't need policies or some matrix or whatever. But yeah, exactly, that's a good point. But yeah, I feel like framing it as energy security, framing it, I mean, the resilience frame a couple years ago was also big.

ASHBY (04:48.132)


ASHBY (04:54.582)

only if it's the real Matrix.

with Neo.

ASHBY (05:04.614)


I'm still writing papers on that resilience frame. So that's not gone. I'm just talking about how you talk to these treasurers and right-leaning states. You know, if I was BlackRock, I would be touting my food security and energy security investment strategy. And, you know, let that speak for itself.

Sloane (she/her) (05:14.913)


Sloane (she/her) (05:28.598)

Although isn't that just a different kind of mis-selling than the old one, right? Where, you know, the old... The old mis... Well, like, yeah, I mean, the old kind of mis-selling was like, hey, you know, we're gonna, 10,000 chickens are not gonna die because of all the money you put in our fund. And to say like, I mean, there is a benefit to energy security and all this stuff, in thinking about and engaging your companies on it, but...

ASHBY (05:32.006)

Eww! Ha ha ha! Oh! Quit calling me on my shit! Ha ha ha!

ASHBY (05:48.698)


Sloane (she/her) (05:58.302)

It's so like obtuse and, you know, bank shoddy.

ASHBY (06:02.246)

All right, so let me give myself credit here, okay? Because I think the language gets in the way of the discussion. And so people hear E, S, and G, and they're like, their eyes glaze over, and they just stop wanting to hear you. And so obviously the content needs to be sound. You know, you and I have been crapping on ESG for as long as this podcast has existed. And that's because the content underneath the terminology was always

Sloane (she/her) (06:10.518)

Absolutely, absolutely.

Sloane (she/her) (06:15.728)


Sloane (she/her) (06:23.061)


ASHBY (06:31.982)

horror. Suss. And so if the security language allows me to go in and have a really thoughtful conversation about where we get the data, how we measure the impacts, all that good stuff, fine, great. I don't mind it. That's why I call it Stanford Long-Term Investing, because it was a way to

Sloane (she/her) (06:32.043)

Yeah, sus.

Sloane (she/her) (06:45.184)

Yeah, exactly.

Sloane (she/her) (06:49.334)

I absolutely, and you know, I think that you are so thoughtful in terms of sneaking into like, I feel like, you know, to go at one point in one of these episodes, you were like, look, I don't really care what we call it. As long as it gets boardroom attention on innovation. Like we could call it frigging, you know, the, I don't know, the choir or something like that, you know.

ASHBY (07:13.698)

Yeah. The choir.

Sloane (she/her) (07:15.506)

But like ESG gets attention and it winds up being a locus of innovation and that's a great place to have the conversation. Anywhere they're willing to have a conversation about innovation, you can drive positive outcomes.

ASHBY (07:24.238)

Yeah, exactly. Speaking of innovation, Sloan, boy do I have some news for you. Woo!

Sloane (she/her) (07:28.974)


Sloane (she/her) (07:32.866)

Oh, I hope it's innovative. It better be innovative.

ASHBY (07:37.614)

the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund's new subsidiary, sports, sports subsidiary. You know they're getting big into the sports investments. Did you hear this, Sloan? Have you heard about them investing in what's called the Professional Fighters League?

Sloane (she/her) (07:43.252)


Sloane (she/her) (07:49.183)


Sloane (she/her) (07:59.231)

Oh my gosh, I did not hear about that.

ASHBY (08:02.446)

These are the people that do the ma, I think it's pronounced. Sorry, I'm being told it's M-M-A. It's not ma. Yes.

Sloane (she/her) (08:10.042)

Oh man, oh my gosh. I mean, you could see that as a growth investment.

ASHBY (08:16.318)

I don't know, I was a bit blown away by this one. I kind of think as, you know, the PIF is like adopting Islamic finance principles. I don't know. And I just feel like beating each other's ass for money didn't quite.

Sloane (she/her) (08:25.166)

I mean.

Sloane (she/her) (08:28.758)

Doesn't the Saudi state have a pretty well documented commitment to violence? Yeah, that's true. You know, but like, you know, you're always saying that investors need to realize the true nature of their identity.

ASHBY (08:32.965)


As does America. Come on!

ASHBY (08:47.278)

Well, I thought it was interesting to see the sports investments carrying on, Sloan. I wasn't going after them for their violence, but I was gonna observe that. Isn't it interesting that the sports theme is really taking off right now? Yeah.

Sloane (she/her) (08:59.786)

It's such a, it's everywhere all of a sudden. Like I think I, you know, the, I first heard it in kind of niche-y zones. I think Ted Sides did a podcast about it, like maybe six months ago, seven months ago, you know, and there was, there were a couple of CFA discussions over the years, but like all of a sudden it's in headlines, it's in mailers and it, I don't know. I mean, it seems like a strange place to get all hyped up, although

ASHBY (09:11.065)


Sloane (she/her) (09:29.588)

I could see why.

ASHBY (09:30.318)

the upside is, it's not going to have venture returns, but I think it's going to have like, it's like when people were buying trophy assets in New York City, the downside is limited.

Sloane (she/her) (09:39.678)

Absolutely. Yeah. Like, so there's a liquidity benefit to having these prestige assets that, you know, an investor like PIF.

ASHBY (09:49.146)

You're gonna preserve the capital if you're not gonna grow it, you're gonna preserve it. And then maybe there's all the extra financial benefits of like you get big buff fighters to come to the kingdom and beat each other up.

Sloane (she/her) (09:57.931)


I mean, there's certainly like benefits for like, you know, staff entertainment, uh, you know, to this, or, you know, like, I feel like the, um, you know, one of the things I'm always looking at when I'm looking at a company is like, is this, is the management like an empire builder, are they trying to kind of, you know, gratify themselves and like get a nicer office in a nicer city? Um, you know, if you were an imperious CIO, uh, this would be a great way to pad your nest is to own.

ASHBY (10:05.78)


ASHBY (10:19.32)


ASHBY (10:22.906)


Sloane (she/her) (10:29.246)

a trophy asset of some kind, and even better, if you can legitimate it within your portfolio.

ASHBY (10:34.566)

True. Next bit of news, got two good ones here. The Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund, Sloan, is, get the fuck out of here! Oh, I, jupuff! All right, fine, that's what we're gonna call it from now on. Jupuff, the jupuff is huge. It might be the biggest pension on earth.

Sloane (she/her) (10:43.478)

Kapuf! This is my new thing. I'm just gonna pronounce it. Kapuf!

Sloane (she/her) (10:50.835)


Sloane (she/her) (10:59.47)


ASHBY (11:00.642)

It might be the second biggest institutional investor on earth behind Safe and China. It has decided much to my shock, not awe though, but shock that they are gonna aggressively pursue active management and they have appointed going from seven to, I can't find it, 30 managers. I take notes, Solana. I want you to know I'm doing homework here. So.

Sloane (she/her) (11:27.983)

That's a lot of growth.

ASHBY (11:30.19)

Here's the thing that bubbled in my brain. I love the Japoof, okay? But it's hard to add value in active management when you're the biggest investor on the planet. And I fear that they're gonna start paying active management fees for beta exposure.

Sloane (she/her) (11:41.388)


Sloane (she/her) (11:48.306)

Yeah. Although, I mean, in the hero days, he vocalized really well a philosophy of choosing between managers based on how well they can control externalities. I feel like if they're sophisticated in their view of that, and their measurement around that, it might not be that, but yeah, how big is that portfolio? A trillion dollars? Two trillion dollars?

ASHBY (11:59.802)


ASHBY (12:15.558)

Two, pretty sure.

Sloane (she/her) (12:17.81)

Yeah, so Apple stock trades $10 billion worth of value worth of thing a day. And it's going to be, you know, the largest whatever in, you know, any market weight portfolio, you know, anything they do is going to be hugely influential, you know, and, but like, I always find that it sucks when they, you know, they do, they're like, we're committed to regenerative investing. And then I try and reach out and they're like, oh yeah, well, you need to be able to cut cash off $500 million check. Uh,

ASHBY (12:23.906)

Hmm, all right.


ASHBY (12:33.542)

That's true. Yeah.

ASHBY (12:47.362)

Yeah. Okay, last one. There's a new sovereign wealth fund. It's in a place called Borneo. And I want you to know that I think they put the name of this fund into a random sovereign wealth fund name generator. Okay, and so I'm gonna read you the name and then you could confirm or deny if it was randomly generated by machines. It is the Sarawak Sovereign Wealth Future Fund.

Sloane (she/her) (12:54.628)


Sloane (she/her) (13:10.046)

Okay, okay.

Sloane (she/her) (13:15.182)


ASHBY (13:17.434)

What do you think? Random? Random f-

Sloane (she/her) (13:20.45)

What is, what is zero? I mean, I like, that's the board, that's a, that's their sovereign wealth future fund. I mean, it is, it does seem like they're really pouring it on thick with the, with, you know, the kind of modifiers there.

ASHBY (13:22.838)

I think that's the boardio part. That's the legit part. It's the Four Divs Sovereign Wealth Future Fund.

ASHBY (13:35.323)


ASHBY (13:39.662)

I think we should all have a Sovereign Wealth Future Fund. The Ashby Sovereign Wealth Future Fund.

Sloane (she/her) (13:47.03)

Like, are you talking about a retirement account? Yeah, it's... Yeesh.

ASHBY (13:49.518)

Yeah, that's my retirement account. Exactly. That's my 401k. The Ashby Sovereign Wealth Future Fund is actually my, myself.

Sloane (she/her) (13:58.998)

I mean, I, yeah, I do love the idea of like, you know, just silly, like having so many of these things operative that it's like asset managers where it's like, you know, color and geologic formation.

ASHBY (14:12.022)

It's fun, yeah, I guess that's where I was going with my news item, is it feels like we are getting into like a whole series of naming conventions, like Blue Rock, Blackstone, you know, all of the treat oak, you know, oak partners. Woodrock!

Sloane (she/her) (14:16.392)


Sloane (she/her) (14:28.846)

Trust story, yeah, exactly. And then don't get me started on the Latin and the mythology, you know, like the, but you know, isn't that like kind of in a way like exactly what the best outgrowth of insourcing is, is like the proliferation of asset management decision-makers moves from being these like vendors to being institutional asset owners.

ASHBY (14:37.021)

Oh my goodness.

ASHBY (14:55.458)

Yeah, totally. And so why not get fun names? You may as well go for the fun names.

Sloane (she/her) (14:57.31)

You know, yeah, exactly. Yeah. And like, I mean, the, maybe the make fun ability, uh, that this confers on the, on the sector as a whole, uh, you know, well, it's good for us. Certainly great content for us. I mean, which is, I think in terms of structural value creation, I think that's where everyone should be concerned. Uh, but, uh, you know, I think maybe it leads to getting more recognition in the mainstream, you know.

ASHBY (15:10.378)

is good for our podcast.

Ha ha!

Sloane (she/her) (15:27.392)


ASHBY (15:27.458)

It does. And I'll tell you, I found this one because I did have a search term for future fund. And I was like, oh, sovereign wealth future fund. What's that about? And then I read the article. It was actually a fascinating article because the politician was like, we got to make sure we get good governance in our Borneo sovereign wealth future fund. We have to make sure that politicians can't influence investment decisions. We have to have arm's length governance structures. So even though we're critiquing the name.

Sloane (she/her) (15:45.39)


ASHBY (15:57.758)

it does feel like the naming conventions are kind of following investment conventions and governance conventions and all these things that we would hope to see in the new sovereign wealth funds being established.

Sloane (she/her) (16:11.498)

Yeah, exactly, versus the legacy, you know, asset management industry. But speaking of new funds being established.

ASHBY (16:20.279)


Sloane (she/her) (16:21.738)

We have our first of two guests in the lobby. Should I let her in, do you think? I mean.

ASHBY (16:26.394)

Let's just get, if only one person showed up, we'll get them tagga. It's out.

Sloane (she/her) (16:29.274)

Oh, they're both here. Oh my gosh. Ugh. Bah! No way. Fancy seeing you guys here. It's crazy that you just like happened to be like in this. Yeah, like thanks for dropping by. Our guests of course are Megan Kasher and Bill Burkhart. She of the Northwestern School of Management. He of, where the hell did, what's your other gig Bill? Like.

ASHBY (16:36.506)


Megan Kashner (16:41.145)

We were in the neighborhood.

William Burckart (16:42.655)


William Burckart (16:57.021)

Good, good.

ASHBY (16:57.504)

We do it all live here, Bill. I just want you to know.

Sloane (she/her) (16:59.143)

Yeah, yeah, yeah

William Burckart (17:00.399)

And yes, also adjunct professor at Columbia, SIPA.

Sloane (she/her) (17:05.786)

Oh, no big deal. Look at this guy.

ASHBY (17:06.648)

Oh, NBD. It's legit.

William Burckart (17:08.559)

You know, you know, but and T I P or the investment integration.

Sloane (she/her) (17:16.31)

the investment integration project. That is the phrasing that I was looking for. But you guys are the first behind Colorful Capital, which is an LGBT-oriented venture fund. Why would anybody wanna invest in queers? I think I basically go out of my way to demonstrate that we're unprofessional and uninvestable every single day.

ASHBY (17:40.75)

Not true.

Megan Kashner (17:46.078)

I think the bigger question truthfully is why do people shy away from investing in queers, right? Why is the market tipped, biased, structurally barred in some way from an equal amount of money flowing towards LGBTQ plus founders as to those who are not? So I think it's more of a question of structural inequity. But to keep on the light note, we're fabulous. Why would people not want to invest in us?

ASHBY (18:14.63)


Sloane (she/her) (18:17.508)

Yeah, like, it's such an interesting story. And I'm, you know, I'm far from impartial. I'm an advisor this fund and I consider these people I mean, you know, this is the related parties podcast. What you know? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But like, when you're telling people about this story, right, you know, there's not one LGBT experience. You know, I mean, we represent, you know, three of the four letters here. You know, and

ASHBY (18:26.242)

I was gonna say that's half of what we do here is related to what we do.

Sloane (she/her) (18:43.978)

like our experiences day to day are completely different. I'm sure. How does that play into the storytelling? Does that make what you're doing harder in some kind of way?

William Burckart (18:55.175)

I mean, so I'm thinking about it from two levels. So I think one is why is more capital not flowing towards ventures led by our community, right? Broadly defined. And I think that, you know, I'm a systems thinker, so I try to take it back to like, what's the underlying belief that is ultimately cascading through? And...

I was really thinking about this one. I was talking about it with some colleagues and I think it's just this, it's a fundamental belief that a monoculture is the most efficient way to allocate assets. Right. And the reality of that in that, you know, cause it, cause we did this big, uh, report on racial inequity and you know, the, you can't like the assumption can't just be that like everybody's racist. Right. Like that, that can't be the fundamental starting point. It's a huge.

ASHBY (19:29.062)


William Burckart (19:44.607)

part of it and it permeates through the foundations of our financial system. But it's one aspect, right? And so when I was scrambling with this whole idea of, well, what is that, what's that underlying, it's that belief that, yeah, yet again, there's an official way to do this and it's predominantly straight white men that are going to be the most efficient at that. In reality, how it plays out then for the members of the community that we're focusing on is, yeah, it's uneven and the experience is more severe for...

certain members of the community, particularly when intersectionality is mixed into it. And, you know, Megan and I, and some we've talked about this, but it's some of the horror stories that we've heard from different members. And a lot of it's because yet again, the venture capital world is traditionally run by white men, maybe members of the community, largely not. And so that's where the money goes, to those that they see and understand. And it's because the networks they're part of. I don't know if Megan would add more.

Megan Kashner (20:41.594)

Well, and I think Sloan, just to piggyback on the way that you framed this, of course, when you've met one founder, you've met one founder. But when you've met one member of the LGBTQ plus community, you've met one member of the LGBTQ plus community. We seem to have moved past the era in the 90s when there were five, total of five lesbian haircuts to be found out there. And we could count them. Like, yes.

ASHBY (20:49.254)


Sloane (she/her) (21:07.106)

We're up to 20 now.

Megan Kashner (21:12.51)

But, you know, what's woven in here when we look at the barriers? We're looking at homophobia, we're looking at misogyny, we're looking at transphobia, we're looking at a different flavor of misogyny and homophobia, which is more of like an over or hypersexualization lens that people put on members of our community. We've got layers of racism, ableism, you name it, it's playing in.

Sloane (she/her) (21:40.194)

That's so, yeah, I mean, like that's, you know, I'm really excited to press for some specific stories that you can tell on an anonymous basis, but I'll just say that when y'all and one of your MBA students, Megan, interviewed me around my own experiences, I was like, holy shit, that's transphobia? Huh. You know, and I think there's this sort of problem where, you know, those of us who are doing the doing of starting businesses, like,

are often too in the weeds of whatever we're actually doing day to day to attribute various causal factors to our experiences. But I think it might be helpful and healing for some people to just hear some of this stuff that you've heard other LGBT founders go through so that they can kind of think about if that's happening to them, maybe it's not just about.

them. Maybe it's something systemic.

William Burckart (22:43.342)

Yeah. And I, go ahead, Megan.

Megan Kashner (22:46.486)

You know, sometimes it is blatant, right? You know, when a gender lens fund is talking to a trans woman and looks that woman dead in the face and says, yeah, but are you a real woman? Right, that's blatant. That's overt, that's right. There is nothing subtle, nothing subtle about that. And that legit has happened to a founder that we know.

And so much more of it is not that overt. So Bill, go ahead. I just wanted to lead with that one because sometimes it's not overt and we internalize negative messages or there's something wrong with my venture, there's something wrong with me, why can't I access capital the way that others can? Because it's not overt and we can't see it, but sometimes we can.

Sloane (she/her) (23:38.158)

them makes total sense.

William Burckart (23:38.351)

Yeah, and I think it's an interesting thing because how it plays out for different segments of the community, it goes back to that idea that the moment that there's multiple dimensions to an identity, that's when you start to see the most severe representations of this kind of put any of the isms next to it, right? Like that are informing that.

William Burckart (24:08.271)

a laundry list of these things. And they're all shades of basically people being horrible, right? Like, I mean, that's the reality. And what the problem with that, though, is that because of the way that someone's hair is, or their clothes, or their gender or sexual identification, all of those things don't speak anything about the quality of the leader and the ability to really build powerful enterprises that

not only are potentially good for the world, but also can really drive competitive returns. It has nothing to do with it. And so when you see, I mean, we've been in these different meetings where it's like, you see a founder come in and they're not, you can tell, like you can tell at the beginning of the call, they're not sure how they can show up and then by the end of it, you'll get that thank you so much for just creating a safe space and then they'll recommend other founders to talk to us. That's the thing that that's that it's like, I don't know.

ASHBY (24:55.163)


William Burckart (25:06.995)

if you'd say it differently Megan, but that's what sticks with me.

Megan Kashner (25:11.446)

Yeah, I think that's exactly right. And the internalization, Sloan, that you were mentioning is real. I cannot tell you there have been more than a handful of conversations with founders where they have expressed that like, I've seen other founders raising money based on like a worse idea on the back of a napkin.

William Burckart (25:31.779)

Oh, she's, it's a, this is one of those she wants to leave you really wanting that.

Sloane (she/her) (25:33.703)

Oh You know

ASHBY (25:39.67)

I know. It was good. We lost you for a second, Megan. For the punch, the punchline.

Sloane (she/her) (25:40.898)

This is-

Megan Kashner (25:42.986)

Oh no! I'm sorry. Oh-

Sloane (she/her) (25:46.411)

Yeah, right as you were saying, expressed. Yeah, this is what you get for accusing us of professionalism, Bill.

ASHBY (25:51.416)

Yeah, no.

William Burckart (25:54.053)

Yes. I mean, I know better. I know better.

ASHBY (25:55.45)

Finish your thought.

Megan Kashner (25:57.038)

shutting down some other things that are taking up bandwidth here. I'm not sure why I'm freezing. There we go.

ASHBY (26:01.446)

All right, while you do that, let me just offer a reflection and then another question while you're de-tabifying your device. First thing to say is we, so I run a lot of programs around institutional investment and good governance, and we build a lot of process into organizations to strip out cognitive biases.

anchoring bias, status quo bias. We write memos, we challenge them in investment committees, we do all these things. We don't have good tools for behavioral biases and emotional biases. And I've done a lot of work at Stanford on racial bias and we don't do a good job of stripping that out. And so hearing you talk about these biases affecting the flow of capital.

It seems obvious to me that you could go and build a highly successful venture capital firm because the markets aren't functioning efficiently because these biases exist. Then you can go and capitalize on it by building an amazing community and you can be the ones to kind of take advantage. That's a terrible way of describing what you do when there's a bias.

But that's what investors do. They spot biases in markets and they take advantage of them. You're taking advantage of this bias to drive out performance. And so I think there is a lovely story here around what you're doing, even from a basic old school pension mindset about outperformance. The second thing I would say, which is now the question I was going to ask instead of just talking, is about building your networks. But Bill, you just kind of talked about it. I was going to actually ask about

How hard is it to build a network when, in my experience, this community is spread across every industry and every part of the world. So building a dedicated network where you can source these deals, manage these deals, I thought might be hard. But you said it, Billy, you said word of mouth. You said you're creating safe spaces. And that is actually a lot of how venture capital builds their network. So just tell me a little bit more about how you build your network. And if it is word of mouth, if you're more proactive and...

ASHBY (28:15.126)

and how you originate deals.

William Burckart (28:17.851)

Yeah, so we do it in a couple of ways. We were really intentional when we were setting this up to be mindful of the fact that we wanted to bring people in that represented different facets of the financial services community, unified by this idea that they are members of the LGBTQ plus community, although we do have our token straight person. But the idea is that you were drawing from different perspectives. And so that's why you have folks. I mean, the reason that Sloan and Megan and I know

Sloan is through one of our other advisory group members, Bob Daniels, who was at, you know, CFA, now he's at Shift. And so you're trying to get people that kind of cut at this from different angles, right? Because they represent different reach within the community to figure out like more opportunities. We have incredible venture partners that are also similarly helping to source and ultimately vet a lot of opportunities. And then it's

really leaning into beyond word of mouth, beyond making sure that the experience of the founders is positive, really connecting with the, we're not the only ones, right? There's a community, Start Out has been incredible as a kind of resource and just a source of opportunities, insights, I mean, they've been really helpful for us.

And so start out as a huge thing and they get deals and that's a great spot for a lot of leaders to go to when they're starting to raise capital. It's unfortunate that there's not a lot of other purely dedicated investment strategies that are out there focused on the community. There's a lot of lip service that's played, but it would be remiss if we didn't point out like chasing rainbows, pride fun. I mean, there's a couple of them. And yet again, like.

We can name on one hand how many there are. And that's really frustrating. It's really frustrating. And I got the two, yeah. And I promise you, I can't count that high, but I can count more than two.

ASHBY (30:08.278)

Yeah, and you got to two. Yeah, it's like.

ASHBY (30:15.329)


Sloane (she/her) (30:15.41)

Yeah. And despite what you may have heard, George Soros does not hand out $5 million checks to every LGBT backed company. At least if that's a thing, I feel like I'm due some money, Georgie Porgy. I'll be in New York in a couple of weeks. You can hit me up then. Anyway, yeah, that's a really sophisticated approach because a lot of how a venture fund is an organism, right? That is really about access to deal flow, access to information on a recurring basis.

ASHBY (30:26.854)

few million.

Sloane (she/her) (30:44.786)

And like, I love the way that you guys are approaching this, not as like some, oh yeah, the pink dollar has an increasing share of wallet, but more as by occupying this crack, you can access just a bunch of ideation in a preferential way.

Megan Kashner (31:06.522)

Well, and what's interesting is, if I wanted to go into Crunchbase or PitchBook or any, you know, any listing or index of startups and look for female founders, I might be able to sort for that. Look for founders and companies in the Midwest. I might be able to sort for that. You cannot do that for LGBTQ identity, with the exception, a little shout out to Crunchbase, which is now allowing folks

to self-identify, which is lovely. But even when we can identify ourselves, there are reasons, true, valid reasons, why we might, as founders, as investors, whomever, we might choose not to check that box. And so one of the other things that we're doing, which is antithetical to how VC generally operates, is folks can reach out directly to us. There's a Contact Us form on our website, there's a contact email address.

And we will look at those because we need folks to self identify and seek us out, which is truly antithetical, right? Most of VC is who sent you, right? Who sent you? I'm in Chicago, right? It's all about who sent you, right? Politically, but this is, you know, this is in terms of capital flow. And interestingly, generally, when you have even an event and a VC is open to meeting with some founders.

ASHBY (32:16.838)


Sloane (she/her) (32:17.826)

Thank you.

ASHBY (32:23.598)


Megan Kashner (32:35.274)

There will be a curatorial process where the VC can let the organizers know what types of folks they're interested in meeting with, and they will sort of say, okay, I'd like to meet with these, and then the founders of the event, whatever, will make it happen. I recently went to one where the founders of the ventures could reach out directly to me through the portal for this event and say,

you know, I'm a trans founder, I am a lesbian woman, I am a whatever, and I have this venture and I'd love to meet with you. Switching the flow, right, between the capital provider controlling all the access to themselves and allowing ventures and founders to self-identify is a game changer as well, and I wish that more of these matchmaking events and services would do that.

Sloane (she/her) (33:31.574)

That's really huge. Yeah. Like I know a lot of my trans kind of brethren and Sibylven in the finance community are flying under the radar because they don't want to be out on their U4s or whatever, for whatever reason. So that's a huge point. As two literal professors of impact investing, one imagines that you

are fairly knowledgeable on the subject. But this is the first time you've actually stood up a pooled investment in vehicles, stood up a fund. I know that you can know the theory pretty damn well, but when it comes time to actually stand up a regulated vehicle, it's a whole thing. How has that been? What have you learned?

William Burckart (34:19.192)

Megan, why did you start that?

Sloane (she/her) (34:20.262)


Megan Kashner (34:21.222)

So there are there are a lot of SEC rules about what one can and cannot say. So what we will talk about is the firm, the colorful capital as a firm. You know, yes, so standing up colorful capital as a firm.

Sloane (she/her) (34:31.995)

Yeah, yeah, important caveat.

Megan Kashner (34:41.01)

has been both easier than one might think and harder than one might think, right? So standing up a firm and getting the legal structure and getting the right back office and contractor support, everything that you need, vendors is actually probably easier than it's ever been for starting a new VC fund.

The bringing in of interest, the bringing in of collaboration, also fairly easy. For everyone in the VC community writ large right now, capital access is a challenge. When Silicon Valley Bank happened, it really put a damper on the entire environment. We are emerging from that as a system. We are now emerging from that.

And I think this fall is going to be a really interesting moment of windfall for a lot of first-time fund managers like us.

William Burckart (35:41.915)

Yeah, and I guess I would say, talking about yet again, the firm, that it's an interesting thing. So much of my career has been spent advising institutional investors on how to build strategies that are focused on impact investment or sustainable finance generally. And so my work has touched on certain asset classes that I'm not saying we're just a firm. But

Sloane (she/her) (35:47.414)


Sloane (she/her) (36:09.014)

Ha ha ha!

And what do you do with that firm? Nothing, we're just firm stuff, you know? I've got a briefcase full of jelly beans. Ha ha ha.

ASHBY (36:15.974)

Yeah, things that firms do.

William Burckart (36:18.63)

Yeah, so, and, and

William Burckart (36:38.575)

equipping these founders in the right way and supporting them in the right way, that's always like, it's always that question of, are we organized and are we showing up in the way that's going to be most beneficial for the founders? Because selfishly, the better they do, the better we do. And that's been the part that I think I didn't anticipate the, really the different ways that we have to show up.

There's a couple of anecdotes there, but yet again, I don't think we can talk about certain things. But there is, there's one in particular, like things that, yeah. So I'll just stop there because I don't, I don't want to get myself in trouble.

ASHBY (37:15.886)

we're going to stop talking about your firm now. So your firm is out of this picture. So now we're talking about something other than your firm, but let's talk about venture capital, okay? Not your firm, but let's talk about the impact that any investor might have using venture capital with say a strategy based around LGBTQ trans, you know, but.

Sloane (she/her) (37:26.501)

Which again is completely different from your firm and what it may do. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Megan Kashner (37:29.286)

That's correct. Wildly distinct.

ASHBY (37:44.514)

That impact you can have through venture capital on the broader world, can we just talk about that and like, what are the limits of it? But also what are the benefits of pursuing a venture-based impact strategy?

Megan Kashner (37:57.19)

So I'll start by talking about some of the limitations because I want us to just be realistic. Venture capital is an alternative asset class, right? It has its uses and for anyone, right, you wanna see those uses in the context of a broader portfolio strategy. When you're talking about impact, venture capital has a particular role to play when it comes to access to capital, which means the opportunity to grow and scale.

for founders and leaders of early to growth stage companies. What does that mean specifically for LGBTQ folks? Well, what do we know? We know that folks in our community are sitting at a structural disadvantage economically and in terms of household income as compared to our straight colleagues and peers out there in the community. We know the intersectionality of identity then layers on top of those structural

disadvantages, you know, for a household led by two women, for a someone who is, you know, LGBTQ and Black, right? So these things layer on one another. So how do you, where does VC fit? Well, you can overcome economic structural inequity, or at least you can try and access better economic and financial mobility a few different ways, right? Education is a great way.

reowning real estate is a great way, inheriting money is a very good way, right? If you can do it, right? Smoke them if you got them, right? But...

Sloane (she/her) (39:26.594)

Ha ha! Tried and true, yeah. Oldest trick in the book.

ASHBY (39:29.07)


Megan Kashner (39:34.302)

But owning a business is also an incredible way towards economic mobility. But if those structural barriers to access to capital stand, then we still have barriers to that opportunity to, you know, for members of our community, given their multiple layers of identity, for them to overcome and thrive. And what happens when members of our community overcome and thrive, their wealth,

and economic stability increases. Those who they employ and hire, right, are benefited. The communities they operate in are benefiting, and the places where they spend their money are also benefiting. So, you know, there is a rising tide, you know, concept here.

William Burckart (40:20.519)

I would, so there's two, I guess, additional dimensions. So totally agree with everything Megan said. I think two additional dimensions that gets into, I think one of the ways to answer your question. So we often think about the spectrum of capital and this is me putting the systems hat on, where it's the spectrum of capital and you think the purpose of different capital in the world is different, right? So it's like.

If you want to drive incremental kind of evolutionary change of big companies around transparency and other activities, public equities are great. If you want to help finance public goods, fixed income, right? If you want to drive disruptive, revolutionary change, venture capital and private equity are the way to go. And so it's just that idea of saying where we show up and how we show up is pretty critical to this system that we're trying to ultimately disrupt or otherwise increase the health of.

And I think it's doubly important because what we're fundamentally talking about, this is a community that has been habitually overlooked and undervalued. And what that does is it creates gaps in the economy, right? It creates not just downside, but it also creates like missed upside. And so we often talk about this whole idea of like, it's important as an investor, if you're thinking of a systems lens that you're seeking alpha, but you're also focused as much on building beta, building the health of the economy.

So if you have this significant portion of the population that has been yet again overlooked and undervalued, you're not, you gotta bring them in because then you don't, you really, that's where you get to additionality. That's where you get to changing the adaptability of a system. That's for me. And I think any investor worth their salt that has a long time horizon or anything, they should care about that.

ASHBY (41:54.244)


Sloane (she/her) (42:10.21)

I think that's a really important lens is like, I remember the first time I heard somebody, it was someone from a Dutch pension, which I'm sure is a shock to zero people in the room, talk about building beta returns. It was a waterfall moment for me where I was just like, wait a second, you can do that? So thank you for giving that moment to whatever baby systems thinker is out there in the world listening to this. And yeah.

ASHBY (42:18.566)

Ha ha ha.

ASHBY (42:30.156)


William Burckart (42:37.071)

I'm sure Ashby, I mean, who here hasn't read John Lakomic and Jim Hawley's book? You know? Yeah, I mean, hi. Where's Jim? We just got to phone him in.

ASHBY (42:42.83)

I was going to say universal ownership. Exactly.

Sloane (she/her) (42:45.027)


ASHBY (42:50.374)

Yeah, no, we can dial him in. He's not far from here. Yeah.

Sloane (she/her) (42:50.834)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, he'll be here at some point. I mean, you know, like people just show up here. It's weird. Like it's like a Zoom meeting somehow, but.

William Burckart (42:54.934)

Thank you.

William Burckart (42:59.323)

Did we actually just enter a Zoom bomb? Is that what happened? We weren't actually.

ASHBY (43:04.595)

We had no clue you guys were showing up here today.

Sloane (she/her) (43:06.187)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's totally cool though. Thanks for being so polished and prepared to talk about your fund. Or firm, yeah, not a fund. Yeah, like I nevermind. There's no funds here. No one has funds. It's only firms. Anyway, I'm a firm supporter.

William Burckart (43:06.301)


Megan Kashner (43:06.886)

Ha ha

ASHBY (43:12.547)

No, firm.

Megan Kashner (43:13.53)

I affirm!

William Burckart (43:14.867)


Megan Kashner (43:25.05)

One thing that I would add to what Bill was saying is, when we think about the spectrum of impact capital, and for those listening, watching, consuming this, if you haven't looked at the Bridges Fund Management spectrum of impact capital, please do. There was a misperception for years, if not decades, that you could not have capital for impact that would yield market rate returns.

ASHBY (43:42.595)


Megan Kashner (43:54.13)

and a VC approach to impacting a broad community that has been undervalued and has faced structural disadvantage in terms of access to capital, it's one of those opportunities to prove that misbelief wrong, that you really can drive market rate returns through impact investing.

Sloane (she/her) (44:20.374)

Yeah, because, and beyond, yeah, because contrary to popular belief, we actually do talk okay and do business okay, despite doing different things in the bedroom. Yeah, I mean, the very nature of our bedroom activities, you might say, is innovative. Anyway, thank you guys so much for joining us.

ASHBY (44:20.567)

and beyond.

Megan Kashner (44:28.062)


ASHBY (44:32.463)


William Burckart (44:32.787)


Megan Kashner (44:40.882)

Give them some credit, some non-LGBTQ folks have creativity in that area.

ASHBY (44:46.49)


Sloane (she/her) (44:46.822)

Yeah, yeah, that's appropriation, Megan.

William Burckart (44:53.683)

Wait, also just out of curiosity, so people will be able to actually see us when they... Because I, did you see when I missed my mouth with a cup of water and I spilt it all over myself?

Sloane (she/her) (44:58.335)

Uh, no, I mean, maybe I like I

Megan Kashner (44:59.908)


ASHBY (45:00.23)

At some point...

ASHBY (45:05.874)

Oh no, that would have... Oh my gosh.

Sloane (she/her) (45:06.044)

Well now this has to be the first one we put up on YouTube.

William Burckart (45:10.044)

I thought you saw me, I was like, oh. You can just cut this out. Okay, glad I got it up. Yeah.

Megan Kashner (45:14.334)

Okay, none of us noticed that.

ASHBY (45:16.075)

No, I missed it.

Sloane (she/her) (45:16.104)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Imposter syndrome much? Anyway, I'm kicking you guys out of here. Bye.

William Burckart (45:21.575)


ASHBY (45:24.282)

Thank you so much. It's awesome to have you. You know, there is so much evidence now that impact investment strategies drive beyond market performance. You know, it's the development funds, it's the impact lens. It's like, you can almost feel their privileged access to deal flow, right? Like, people are gonna invite them into deals just to have them involved.

Sloane (she/her) (45:37.738)

Yeah, I-

Sloane (she/her) (45:46.11)

Exactly exactly like I mean I can't

Sloane (she/her) (45:51.954)

I know people who are crazy innovative that probably would not talk to most of the VC folks that I know, but would talk to Megan and Bill and their partners. And like the, you know, it's, you know, it's not like that crazy. You know, I feel like an impact for, or with VC firms in general, you always want to look at it as a social organism and say, how does, you know, how does this operate?

ASHBY (46:01.667)


ASHBY (46:20.058)


Sloane (she/her) (46:20.426)

You know, and you can really get an intuitive sense of how backing LGBT founders could be something that would create be kind of a flywheel effect over time. Um, you know, and like, it's, I kind of love being like, uh, you know, on the advisory calls, I'm always like, Hey, what's up fellow members of the gay mafia. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Much better than PayPal, you know, and like the free money cabal is not quite as, as organized as the game mafia, but

ASHBY (46:29.391)


ASHBY (46:37.9)

Yeah, why not? Better than PayPal mafia.

ASHBY (46:48.194)

Look, we can't talk about FNAN though. If we could, people would understand.

Sloane (she/her) (46:51.825)

Yeah, we can't talk about it. Yeah. I mean, it's just a shame that we can't talk in detail about all the rad shit that's happening within F and on. I mean.

ASHBY (46:57.182)

I know. Evanon is so much, we're having a lot of influence in Washington. Sorry, I'm not supposed to talk about it, but...

Sloane (she/her) (47:02.374)

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, like big, big things are happening. Where we, where we go, one, we go all. That's a QAnon reference if you didn't get it.

ASHBY (47:07.374)

Big thanks.

ASHBY (47:14.038)

Oh shoot. Hey, one of the things that I cracked up at, which I couldn't really talk about was when Megan was saying about, oh, you just have to inherit a bunch of money. Because I always made this joke, like, what do you want to be when you grow up? It was like a philanthropist. It's like...

Sloane (she/her) (47:26.47)

Oh, totally true. You know, it's funny, I was.

Sloane (she/her) (47:34.526)

Yeah, I mean, like sign me up. I feel like I would be great at being an eccentric air. You know, right? Like the.

ASHBY (47:40.27)

Me too. Oh my God, I will wear bow ties. You know what I mean?

Sloane (she/her) (47:45.458)

Oh, I feel like what you need is the really nice silk robe, like the, you know, with the...

ASHBY (47:50.294)

Yeah, that you wear it in appropriate places, like cocktail parties.

Sloane (she/her) (47:53.862)

Exactly. And, you know, I think though, too, it's like, it's hard to really intuit and internalize how much of entrepreneurial activity is related to that inherited wealth thing. Like I was talking about this with someone on the wood cash team recently where like, you know, we were chatting about somebody that, um, there's a little eccentric who is in some of the networking circles that we come across. And it's like, you know, how the heck is this person funding their existence?

ASHBY (48:05.626)


ASHBY (48:23.685)


Sloane (she/her) (48:23.69)

Um, you know, and, uh, and then we were just sort of like, ah, people inherit wealth, don't they? You know, it, yeah, as well as you can, you can know it, you can internalize it. You can realize it, but it can, it cannot really hit you anyway. What's been hard for you recently ash bones.

ASHBY (48:32.706)

It happens. Yeah.

ASHBY (48:41.926)

Wow, it's all hard. Feels like beginning the school year, kids are, although you know what? Both my kids go to the same school this year. So that's awesome. So that is not hard things. That's the opposite of hard things. That means one drop off location. Synergy, goodbye. They're both out the door. You know what I mean? Also, as much as I think Elon Musk is a tool, his car.

Sloane (she/her) (48:48.086)

Oh yeah!

Sloane (she/her) (48:52.704)

Oh, that's good.

Sloane (she/her) (48:58.938)


Sloane (she/her) (49:03.774)

Yep, that's fabulous.

ASHBY (49:11.118)

makes a very loud fart noise when you put it in park. You can put your Tesla in park, you can put up this amazing entertainment dashboard and underneath the car, through the thing that does the honk, is a giant megaphone. That megaphone has a fart option. You can make a fart so loud, you could hear it from 150 yards away. And so what I get to do is pull into my kid's parking lot.

Sloane (she/her) (49:14.53)


ASHBY (49:41.835)

and just rock the biggest part and have my kids be like, oh my God, that's dad. I've got to go get in that car that's making that fart noise. Everybody's like looking around. Anyway, none of this stuff is hard, but it's interesting.

Sloane (she/her) (49:44.631)

Let one fuckin' rip.

Sloane (she/her) (49:52.039)

Oh my gosh.

Sloane (she/her) (49:59.734)

It's the spice of life, you might say.

ASHBY (50:03.065)

What's hard for you?

Sloane (she/her) (50:04.702)

Uh, right now it's, I mean, so we're gearing up to hard launch wood cash, right? So, you know, I'm taking, I'm going by Amtrak, uh, in a couple of weeks because like, okay, it, it feels kind of fucked up to fly to sell carbon removal to people. Um, it right. You know, and so I'm taking the Amtrak, uh, to New York city for climate week.

ASHBY (50:09.69)

My gosh.

ASHBY (50:18.946)

It does. I get it.

ASHBY (50:24.57)

Dude, can you document that? Do you know that my son and I, Henry and I, and, you'll be mad that I didn't mention her, the three of us, Courtney's not interested in this at all, but me and my kids, we wanna do a long train trip, an overnight train trip.

Sloane (she/her) (50:28.106)

That's what I'm gonna do that. Yeah.

Sloane (she/her) (50:36.746)


Sloane (she/her) (50:41.918)

I feel like it's sort of this undiscovered country. When I was working at CFA on the East Coast, your options for getting to Charlottesville, Virginia from New York City were either to take a flight that is always canceled or always delayed or to take the Amtrak, which is hyper reliable, but nine hours. And I feel like if I can get good at taking Amtrak,

ASHBY (50:56.698)

Mm-hmm. Yeah, weather.

ASHBY (51:04.248)


Sloane (she/her) (51:10.378)

that's just like a huge, you know, dividend for the rest of my life. You know, but yeah, I'm gonna be.

ASHBY (51:16.838)

There's something to be said for like staring out a train window and having deep thoughts while you're like potentially writing on a laptop, you know, or, yeah.

Sloane (she/her) (51:24.006)

Exactly. Yeah. I mean, that's kind of what I'm hoping is to have like, you know, I got to do some outreach. I'm going to stop along the way in various places and try and do some outreach. If you know, if you know anybody who wants to buy carbon removal credits, guys, reach out. But, uh, the like, but basically

ASHBY (51:36.474)

Hey, shark bait's gonna kick your ass for selling stuff.

Sloane (she/her) (51:43.758)

Sharkbait, I mean, that's a good point. Yeah, he's gonna feed, I mean, well, you know, the mysterious other Sharkbait, like Sharkbait 1 will come back from the dead.

ASHBY (51:46.69)

Just passing on you, that's fine, that's fine. Gonna make you walk the plank.

ASHBY (51:57.987)

One day we'll have Sharkbait 1 fight Sharkbait 2.

Sloane (she/her) (52:01.27)

Holy shit, that would be amazing. But yeah, anyway, my heart, exactly. Yeah, what? Yeah. Dun-da-da-dun. But yeah, figuring out how to actually manage the sales stuff is hard. We're at the point where we need like a CRM and we gotta like pick one and all that shit. I've been told there are SaaS innovations out there, but you know, I think what people are really, oop, that's the preview again.

ASHBY (52:03.234)

be the final, the final episode. Ha ha ha.

ASHBY (52:17.378)

Yeah, they're out there CRMs.

ASHBY (52:25.047)


Sloane (she/her) (52:29.974)

What people are really excited about, what everyone's really here for, is the Dear Ashby Horn, which is playing, loading.

ASHBY (52:33.279)


ASHBY (52:37.847)

Is it playing? I don't hear it. AHHHHH!

Sloane (she/her) (52:41.046)

Ah, there we go. That was it. We the best at sound effects. But yeah, just for anyone listening, in addition to giving us five star reviews on your podcast platform of choice, also know that we love taking your questions. You can write an email to freemoneypod at and these questions can be really thought out, like graduate student questions where you're like, Dr. Monk, I read your paper on identity investing and... Uh, uh, you know, or you can...

ASHBY (52:43.936)


ASHBY (53:07.614)

Oh, I love that. Yeah.

Sloane (she/her) (53:10.302)

Or you can do questions like the one that this one asked, which I think is really quite topical. When did Burning Man become a punchline instead of a cool gathering for fun people?

ASHBY (53:18.416)


ASHBY (53:27.542)

It might be this year, actually. Yeah, I mean, I never went, but then again, I've never been into hard drugs. So like, you know, the concept of like going out to the desert and just tripping out was never like, for me, I know everybody tells me, oh no, you don't even need to be on drugs to be there. And then you read about it and you're like, yeah, you do. Yeah, you do.

Sloane (she/her) (53:29.307)


Sloane (she/her) (53:34.638)

I'm just kidding.

Sloane (she/her) (53:41.601)

Yeah, yeah, like.

Sloane (she/her) (53:49.714)

You I mean like, you know, yeah, I feel like going to Burning Man and not at least doing a little bit of mushrooms, you know, is a you know, it's like have you it's like not going to the gift shop.

ASHBY (53:55.621)


ASHBY (54:01.406)

Yeah, so I know, you know, and I think the opportunities I've had to do Burning Man, it was just like little kids. It's like, it just never fit. But this year in particular with the, with the rain and the nastiness, I think like people saw, you know, the sheltering in place at Burning Man. This was the first time. So this is what people are saying. Nobody wants to go to the desert.

Sloane (she/her) (54:09.526)


Sloane (she/her) (54:24.373)


ASHBY (54:28.762)

for Burning Man and be told to shelter in place, which happened this year.

Sloane (she/her) (54:32.262)

Yeah, yeah. I mean, for me, I think it was when Ray Dalio got photographed at Burning Man in that ridiculous outfit. So I've had plenty of opportunities to go to Burning Man over the years.

ASHBY (54:35.967)

Oh, yeah.

ASHBY (54:44.442)

Didn't you expect to see Jeff Bezos with his fiance? Like...

Sloane (she/her) (54:48.866)

Yeah, exactly. Like it would be, I mean, that's the problem. You know, it's like the, I mean, like, I know, like for instance, I actually know the guy who runs the OrgyDome kind of decently well. Yeah, yeah, the OrgyDome is a big deal. And like, you know, if you're a sex positive person, it's not that, there aren't that, it's not that big a world and like, you know, but like the, it's usually not hanging out with people like that, that is like.

ASHBY (54:53.626)

They're showing up everywhere.

ASHBY (54:59.338)

Oh, that was in the news.

Sloane (she/her) (55:16.85)

what's famous about Burning Man, it's like the lawyer who went to the Supreme Court and got it fixed so that Nestle can use child slaves to harvest cocoa without violating its promises or whatever is at Burning Man.

ASHBY (55:26.133)


ASHBY (55:31.778)

You know, the one that... I think the reason... Pfft. Have you heard of the Bohemian Grove?

Sloane (she/her) (55:38.422)

I think I have, yeah, that's like a California, you know...

ASHBY (55:39.614)

Yeah, that's like the that's like the next level of cool, I think.

Sloane (she/her) (55:45.022)

It's the California version of skull and bones, I feel.

ASHBY (55:48.106)

Yeah, you got into like the Redwoods and I think you're doing drugs there too. I don't know, I've never been, but that's where you're getting Supreme Court justices and senators and titans of industry mixing with artists. And so it's kind of a mini version of that. You could probably talk me into going to that one.

Sloane (she/her) (55:58.295)


Sloane (she/her) (56:09.866)

Yeah, same. I think like what the people that I know who are like, and my old address is like in the burner mythology is like a semi-sacred spot or a sanctified spot, like a loft building in Brooklyn. I'm a caricature of myself. But what all those people would say is like, all right, I'm over the big burn, but the regional burns are where it's really at.

ASHBY (56:22.473)


ASHBY (56:27.687)

Hmm. Hehehehe.

Sloane (she/her) (56:38.13)

So if you go to one of the, like, there's usually local meetups or local groups that are a little bit less bad. Um, but yeah.

ASHBY (56:44.086)

It's like the difference between Woodstock and Lollapalooza.

Sloane (she/her) (56:47.55)

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Here's another great one. How the heck should I dress in today's industry? Do clients expect me to be wearing a collared shirt or will my work, will my commitment to their success speak for itself?

ASHBY (56:51.519)

Not really, but anyway.

ASHBY (57:08.938)

tempted to say like put a goddamn suit on and just go full rad old school you know like I did it what I wore a suit and tie for a long time well but by that I mean like nine months but why not try it out once in your life putting the suit on you know it's like you're going to war in the morning

Sloane (she/her) (57:19.185)


Sloane (she/her) (57:27.052)


Sloane (she/her) (57:31.006)

I, there is something to, to that. I mean, like I, I feel like I have been observably more productive on days where I've put on, like, you know, cause I work from home, like everyone does these days, right? Like, and you know, my commute is basically down the stairs except I don't go all the way to the bathroom. Um, you know, so like, but I've found when I take the time to be in actual clothes, when I leave my bed, um, I'm just happier.

ASHBY (57:44.132)


Sloane (she/her) (58:00.474)

Um, and like, you know, I feel like it doesn't necessarily have to be a suit, uh, but having some kind of getup that screams professionalism and interaction is, is a worthwhile thing.

ASHBY (58:13.974)

Yeah, there was a this like super Wunder kid recently that I met and I've done a bunch of work with and he would show up to zoom meetings in a suit and I couldn't help but make fun of him. So I love the kid, but it's like at a certain point you're overdoing it. So I would concur with your takes long, which is like just look sharp like put on a colored shirt, put on a nice, you know, put a nice sweater.

Sloane (she/her) (58:39.372)


ASHBY (58:43.258)

you know, comb your hair, whatever it is. Yeah, like take it seriously, be professional. This business, at least today, is all about your network. And so, you know, take a little bit of pride, put on your deodorant, things like that. But I do feel, even to this day, when I throw on the suit and the nice shoes and the leather belt and I'm doing the tie-up, it's kind of like putting on the sports outfit. You're like, it's go time. Like I'm going to do something.

Sloane (she/her) (58:44.959)

Be vibesy.

Sloane (she/her) (58:52.258)

So true.

Sloane (she/her) (59:12.97)

Yeah, yeah.

ASHBY (59:13.242)

And I do miss that a little bit sitting here in my onesie. I know you can't see me, but I just have my snuggie on here.

Sloane (she/her) (59:22.054)

Yeah, Ashby's wearing basically the bottom of his fursuit and you can see the back of it, his head is visible on the couch behind him. I didn't know you identified as a fox, Ashby, that's so interesting. I support you, this is a safe space. All right, this is actually like, I think a really interesting question around

ASHBY (59:25.674)


ASHBY (59:31.29)


ASHBY (59:38.938)

Thank you.

ASHBY (59:47.962)


Sloane (she/her) (59:49.438)

I mean, so many different levels. Let's just ask it. So we now know that aliens are real, thanks to all the hearings, or at least UAPs, right? Unexplained Aerial Phenomena are real. Let's assume that aliens have been walking among us in the finance industry for decades. What subspecialty do you think they would most likely gravitate towards?

ASHBY (59:54.839)

Yes, we do.

ASHBY (59:59.884)


ASHBY (01:00:13.29)

And those of us that have been in finance for decades know this is true. Like they're in there.

Sloane (she/her) (01:00:18.258)

Yeah, yeah, I mean, there's definitely people who you talk to, I mean, I usually assume it's more like linked to, you know, like the CIA or something like that, you know. Because there are, I mean, there are firms out there that are like explicitly linked to the CIA or to the FSB or to whatever state entity, you know, out there.

ASHBY (01:00:22.798)


ASHBY (01:00:27.238)


ASHBY (01:00:35.066)

Whatever it is. So I interpreted this with three different subcategories. Do the aliens mean us harm? Do the aliens wanna help us? Do the aliens just wanna hide and observe? Okay. Do they mean to harm us? I think they're working in crypto. To me.

Sloane (she/her) (01:00:45.308)


Sloane (she/her) (01:00:54.047)


ASHBY (01:01:01.206)

the amount of energy, the amount of bullshit, the amount of fraud, like holy cow, like we were generating more energy than nation states to make this bullshit ecosystem function, so that we could look at fake ape.

Sloane (she/her) (01:01:05.57)

That would explain so much. Yeah.

Sloane (she/her) (01:01:17.282)

That would, yeah.

ASHBY (01:01:20.762)

NFTs and think they were valuable. It's like these aliens got us. They're taking us down from within. Okay, that's the first one. Second one is if they want to help us because they're coming in and they're like, well, it's like the Star Trek philosophy where you can't reveal yourself to the, you know, the primitive species. Remember that one? Holy shit, you know the Prime Directive? Fuck.

Sloane (she/her) (01:01:28.15)

Yep, yep.

Sloane (she/her) (01:01:41.36)


Yeah, the prime directive.

Sloane (she/her) (01:01:48.398)

girl come on yeah I mean come on yeah

ASHBY (01:01:49.73)

Dude, yeah, I'm literally talking about the Prime Directive. Okay, all right, come on. Sorry, venture capital. I think that's it. I think it's the Prime Directive. I think they're in there.

Sloane (she/her) (01:02:02.134)

You think venture capital is a private right? Ashby, that's a little... That's like, you know, a little, it's like to become a caricature of yourself, like out here, it's like going up and being like, yes.

ASHBY (01:02:06.102)

The good ones are aliens. The rest of them are all humans. Ha ha ha.

ASHBY (01:02:16.238)


I see the positive. I'm optimistic about the potential. I just got off a session with a firm called Color Capital. Okay. They could be aliens.

Sloane (she/her) (01:02:27.734)

Yeah, that's true. They're out here, you know, they're fulfilling the prime directive. They could be aliens, you know, that would explain a fair bit. But I...

ASHBY (01:02:37.954)

And then the observe and report hedge funds. They're just black boxes. They're sitting back there, high-frequency trading. They're, they are collecting all the metadata. They're doing some trading and they're sending back the, you know, the, the insights to the mothership on the other side of Jupiter, you know?

Sloane (she/her) (01:02:41.235)

Yeah, yeah, all the secrecy.

Sloane (she/her) (01:02:48.001)


Sloane (she/her) (01:02:56.394)

Yep. I would throw, I would add into that private credit because I feel like, I feel like right now, yeah, yeah. Like I feel like right now you can basically do anything and call it private credit. Yeah, exactly. Exactly, I'm a private credit, you know, allocator when I choose between my Amex card and my whatever.

ASHBY (01:03:02.452)

The observe and report one. Is that the, yeah.

ASHBY (01:03:10.198)

Isn't that right? Holy shit. We're all private credit managers, basically. If you have a credit card, you're a private credit manager. Oh my God. Yeah, I look at my wallet and I'm like, which one do I want? And then people look at me and they say, why do you carry such a big fricking wallet? It's like, I'm a private credit manager, you mofo.

Sloane (she/her) (01:03:27.524)


Sloane (she/her) (01:03:31.266)

It's like, cause of all the innovation, asshole.

ASHBY (01:03:37.118)

I'm like George Costanza. I've got this big ass wallet. Everything makes fun of me for it.

Sloane (she/her) (01:03:41.547)


I mean, you know, that's, that's very old school. Um, I love that. I mean, yeah, I, uh, you know, there's a, I mean, when we eventually get the merch store back up, I, we, I feel like we need like a bumper sticker or a magnet that says that, um, there was a, a cell side head.

ASHBY (01:03:45.85)

Fuck you, I'm a private credit manager.

ASHBY (01:03:58.694)

Yes. Oh my god, the merch store was so good, Sloan. We had t-shirts. We had underwear. We might have had a hat. We had a mug. I still drink from my mug.

Sloane (she/her) (01:04:05.695)


We had hats, we had hats, yep. Yeah, I mean, I broke my mug, unfortunately, because, well, I was putting it through trials just to make sure, because our quality standards are obviously, yeah, you know, you gotta be the high, you know, construction grade. But like, I think getting to what's most important in terms of driving value for our stakeholders, what's going on in your garden?

ASHBY (01:04:16.87)

God damn.

ASHBY (01:04:21.27)

No, we got high standards, yeah, so.

ASHBY (01:04:26.315)

Yeah, yeah.

ASHBY (01:04:34.272)

How many people do you think forward to the garden tip out of the gate?

Sloane (she/her) (01:04:38.8)

I feel like there is a meaningful constituency that doesn't care about investing content from us and is just like, all right, I want some half informed hip shooting outsider opinions on what to do with gardening.

ASHBY (01:04:47.311)


ASHBY (01:04:52.406)

Yeah, and they like our technical failures. There's a lot of people who tune in just waiting to see how we deal with technical failure.

Sloane (she/her) (01:04:56.492)


Sloane (she/her) (01:05:01.298)

I know for a fact that a bunch of like invest vegan clients do who are, and they're just like, you know, it's really refreshing to hear people talk in English and not be like, you know, all mission accomplished about this various, about this problem, you know? Like the, you know, so who knows who our listeners are, I think is the real upshot.

ASHBY (01:05:22.95)

I think, I haven't checked the stats in a while, but it's gotta be massive. Yeah.

Sloane (she/her) (01:05:28.782)

Tens of people, tens and tens of people. I haven't really, I confess, I haven't checked the stats recently either. I am planning to do a little bit of a renovation to the website in October, which I'm pretty excited about.

ASHBY (01:05:39.15)

I think our website is a little bit difficult to navigate.

Sloane (she/her) (01:05:43.002)

I think it's, what's the technical term for this? Bad? I think it's bad.

ASHBY (01:05:47.31)

Uh, I'm glad you said it. The way that I would describe it is, it seems as if we're trying to put our listeners through a series of IQ tests to get to our content. Because even I can't find certain buttons to click from the home page.

Sloane (she/her) (01:05:59.327)

Well, yeah, what?

Sloane (she/her) (01:06:04.082)

I think, yeah, I mean, we demand fealty first at all. You know, I think the motto here is, it's better to be feared than loved. So, you know, but yeah, like I, you could tell that that, F and on does not have a motto. It does not even have a page. Yeah. Yes. I see you. I see you where you are.

ASHBY (01:06:11.769)


ASHBY (01:06:15.802)

Does F-anon have a motto?

ASHBY (01:06:20.278)

We're watching. We're watching. Maybe Zomato. I see you.

Sloane (she/her) (01:06:31.19)

But yeah, all that's happening. But yeah, like, I mean, what do you, fall's coming, you know, what are you doing? How are you prepping?

ASHBY (01:06:33.862)

Okay, garden tip. Yep. I admit that I'm still in this, because in the fall is when you do a lot of your planting. And so there's a bunch of seeds I've been planting, tree seeds I've been planting. And this go around with my seeds, I am using a technique called scarification. I am.

Sloane (she/her) (01:06:57.487)

Oh, I know, yeah, you're cutting the seed.

ASHBY (01:07:00.806)

And there's another thing that you do for certain seeds called stratification, which is to chill the seed before you plant it, because it needs to feel like it went through winter, I guess. And so I'm doing this scarification and stratification, and I'm just gonna see how does that work? I have all my little, I now don't just go plant them willy nilly in the ground. I have a bunch of little pots.

Sloane (she/her) (01:07:12.558)


Sloane (she/her) (01:07:26.604)


ASHBY (01:07:26.774)

where I'll do, here's my strategy. I do two seeds per tree type in each little pod. I keep it watered. I keep it actually right by my sink in the kitchen so that I can just keep watering it. Good windows there. So I'll keep you posted. I'm hopeful.

Sloane (she/her) (01:07:32.258)

Gotta get, yep.

Sloane (she/her) (01:07:39.113)


Sloane (she/her) (01:07:43.23)

It's, you know, being able to grow from seed just like makes everything so much cheaper and more fun, I feel, because like, and you get better plants because they don't have to go through the whole, I mean, nevermind the carbon intensity of, you know, shipping a plant from point A to point B. It's not good to be shipped from point A to plant B from a health standpoint. It's no fun and they don't love it.

ASHBY (01:07:48.271)


ASHBY (01:07:59.908)


ASHBY (01:08:03.242)

It also makes your walks around your neighborhood interesting because you're constantly kind of looking around for different seeds that you might take home in your back pocket. Also, when you're looking for seeds, you tend to see the dog poo and not step in it. You know what I mean? Whereas if you're not looking for seeds, you might just step in the dog poo. So there's a couple, yep, look for seeds.

Sloane (she/her) (01:08:06.646)


Sloane (she/her) (01:08:14.434)

Yep, that's a great point. That's a great point.

Sloane (she/her) (01:08:23.028)

So it's...

It's a general safety tip. Yeah, I mean, the best decisions are justifiable through multiple lenses, right? And I think it's interesting you bring up stratification. That's exactly what the locus of activity here is. So Provo has this incredible program where you can get a truckload of compost for $10. Yeah, so this is, and that's like, probably 140 bucks worth of compost out of commercial yard.

ASHBY (01:08:33.422)

Yeah, we were having a lot of impact.

ASHBY (01:08:47.311)


Sloane (she/her) (01:08:56.582)

Um, so what we've been doing is basically covering up all of our parking strips with this, like free or functionally free compost. And then after the first couple of frosts, um, I'm going to go out and lay some wildflower seeds over all of it. I've been growing some wildflowers individually, and I've like kind of got them seeded and planted and whatever. Um, but in order to create a real wildflower meadow, what you need to do is sow them after, um,

ASHBY (01:08:56.883)


ASHBY (01:09:04.007)


Sloane (she/her) (01:09:25.806)

frost so they can stratify over the winter and then just naturally grow in as their, you know, kind of cycle happens. And like, an interesting tactical question that anybody who's like thinking about a wildflower meadow will encounter is like, what's the mix between perennials and annuals that you want to include? Because perennial wildflowers will not usually flower in their first year. But they create the lowest maintenance, lowest impact thing long term.

ASHBY (01:09:33.37)


Sloane (she/her) (01:09:55.974)

Um, you know, so we are overwhelmingly gearing towards perennials. Um, and we, you can actually buy localized seed mixes of rare native plants and that's what we're doing. Uh, it's pretty cool. Yeah. And like, yeah, so, yeah, so this house is, this is like the original family farmhouse from the 18 seventies. It's like on a corner in a suburban neighborhood.

ASHBY (01:10:10.482)

That's awesome. Is this where your lawn was? That is that where this is going?

ASHBY (01:10:19.813)


Sloane (she/her) (01:10:24.218)

And like, it doesn't have much of a yard, but it has these huge parking strips between the sidewalk and the street. And like something like 80% of the overall physical plant is between the sidewalk and the street. So we're just gonna kind of fill that in with beautiful wildflowers. Yeah, and it's been so, yeah, and like there are tons of like, you know, eight and 10 year old homies in the neighborhood that I'm really excited to like let play with it. And yeah, anyway, but you know.

ASHBY (01:10:29.207)


ASHBY (01:10:40.808)

Beautiful. That's gonna be awesome.

ASHBY (01:10:49.44)



Sloane (she/her) (01:10:54.214)

That's it for us. Thank you all so much. Bye, love you all. L-

ASHBY (01:10:56.413)

Hell of a show, we love you. In the air!

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