Australian Investors Podcast with Johnny Shapiro


Companies & indices mentioned:


Johnny Shapiro, Senior Reporter for The Australian Financial Review, recently joined me for a conversation as part of The Australian Investors Podcast.

The AFR is Australia’s number-one finance newspaper and Johnny is one of our country’s best journalists. Hence why he recently won the Walkley award for this coverage of Big Un Limited (ASX: BIG).

Tune in:  iTunes — Soundcloud — Castbox — YouTube

Here’s What You’ll Hear

In recent years, Johnny and his colleagues at AFR have been responsible for reporting on the unravelling of some of our country’s highest-profile corporate collapses.

In this episode we talk about Johnny’s career, growing up with a freedom fighter for a grandmother and a gold trading grandfather and how his investigative journalism unravelled an ASX technology company’s darkest secrets.

Finally, Johnny concludes with the story of how he missed out on a 60,000 bagger investment return!

Tip:  Read his article BEFORE listening: “Inside The Boiler Room That Is Big Un”

Show Notes:

  • 0:45: Intro to Johnny
  • 1:30 – Apple’s THREE co-founders
  • 3:45 – Fact, fairytales and Johnny is a function of his grandparents: one a freedom fighter the other a stockbroker
  • 6:45 – Johnny studies finance and ends up at a job at INSTO, networking with institutions
  • 8:00 – NSW councils were buying CDO’s(!) before the GFC
  • 11:30 – How Johnny built his network to know everyone in Aussie debt markets, leaves INSTO to join ANZ… then back to INSTO
  • 13:00 – Staring into “the abyss” in the early days of the GFC
  • 16:30 – some of Johnny’s highlights – Slater & Gordon made Johnny appreciate how difficult it is to cover stories involving management and investors in high-profile collapses
  • 19:30 – Johnny tells an incredible story: How Johnny unraveled Big Un (formerly ASX: BIG) – and it started with GetSwift
    • Following leads
    • The network
    • Copping abuse on social measure
    • 2 smoking guns
    • PPSR searches
    • $12,000 for one social video?
  • 31:30 – Does this Cost?”. Response: “Hahaha only if you want it to. With our sponsor onboard the filming on the day is all covered.” And where is Big Un today?
  • 37:00 – Could a mum and dad or DIY investor detect this type of poor corporate governance?
  • 40:00 – What is a roll up strategy? How does it go wrong? Also, a big mention of Constellation Software (TSE: CSU).
  • 43:00 – Corporate Travel Management’s Vs. VGI Partners’ 20 “Red Flags”
  • 46:30 – Blue Sky’s denial of “foreign” short seller claims and a conference call – without questions
  • 49:00 – Is short seller reporting unfair?
  • 53:00 – Where is finance journalism headed over the next 10 years?
  • 56:30 – A correlation between negative news and newspaper sales?
  • 59:10 – What Johnny would tell a younger him about money or investing – A 60,000x investment he sold!!!!

Further Reading:

Learn more about Johnny & AFR: 

Owen Raszkiewicz

Owen Raszkiewicz

Owen is the Founder of Rask Australia, Lead Investment Analyst for Rask Invest and head educator at Rask Education.