Grant Williams in Conversation with Ed Mendel

Featuring Ed Mendel

Grant travels to Atlanta, Georgia for a conversation with Eddie Mendel, co-founder of Ned Davis Research and minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons.

Eddie’s journey from rural Arkansas to Wall Street in the 1980s saw him build relationships with the likes of Sam Walton, Stan Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones, and the lessons he learned from his time spent in the company of these titans of business and finance have helped shape his post-financial life in the world of sports.

Eddie and Grant discuss philosophy, philanthropy and the importance of partnerships in a wide-ranging discussion that, while it steers largely clear of financial markets, is both eye-opening and inspirational. Filmed on June 1, 2018.

Published on
29 June, 2018
Career, US Economy, Business Strategy
67 minutes


  • PG

    Paul G.

    16 7 2018 05:44

    1       0

    Grant is a legend. Wish they would get rid of that Cr@p knockon effect and return to GW's podacst!!!

  • MS

    Matt S.

    14 7 2018 13:27

    0       0

    Sports - boring.

    Philanthropy - boring.

    Left-wing fear mongering about "nationalist and populist states"... boring.

    Get Paul Tudor Jones on.

  • PM

    Patrick M.

    10 7 2018 00:15

    1       0

    He just drops bombs so easy mid thought. "Children learn what they live, etc." This wasn't Marc Cohodes, but nobody puts out content like this. This dude dropped so much knowledge, and thank goodness Grant could coax it out. Great interview, great interviewer.

  • JH

    Jeff H.

    9 7 2018 20:02

    2       0

    I think this is the first interview where it feels like more of Ed's points (maybe required) were covered than Grant's normal course of dialogue. Could be just the setting at the stadium, but this interview feels more like a publicity piece than it does uncovering deep knowledge.

  • FC

    Fran C.

    8 7 2018 12:21

    0       0

    Amazing interview

  • DW

    David W.

    7 7 2018 06:05

    0       0

    Fascinating interview. Two guys totally relaxed in each other's company (not new with your interviewing style, Grant) and with such breadth of content. This interview, in my opinion, was up there with the best.

  • LT

    Lucas T.

    5 7 2018 21:40

    5       0

    Sorry Grant, this is probably the worst interviewee you have had on in your series. A lot of people have made comments about how great he was, but I do not see it. Maybe someone could enlighten me? I don't really know much about him, so I can only base my opinion on this interview.

    He has no passion whatsoever. I think if his eyes were closed, you might have to check for a pulse. Seriously, does this guy care about anything he talks about? Does he have insights that don't include insider trading and fleecing customers? What does a good partner look like and how do you find one? Maybe some insight that does not involve "do this good thing," and "don't do this bad thing" would have made this interview have a bit more depth.

    Grant, you did a great job trying to pull something useful out of this guy, just did not get much.

  • TS

    Theodore S.

    4 7 2018 14:51

    1       0

    As usual, Grant knocks it out of the park. Some very good nuggets from Ed. Thanks for all you do Grant. You're truly an inspiration.

  • KS

    Kashyap S.

    4 7 2018 14:50

    5       0

    If he doesn't want to get involved in cryptos because they can be used for drug deals and money laundering, by the same logic, he shouldn't touch the USD with a barge pole. And considering the biggest mob is actually the government and central bankers, he should steer clear of all fiat currencies.

  • JB

    Jose B.

    4 7 2018 08:11

    2       0

    What a great interview!
    The human quality os Ed Mendel is humbling.
    It's unbelievable what you can lear about investment without a single reference to markets.
    Many thanks Grant. You are yourself a special person. The way you conduct the conversations with your guests is second to none to my knowledge.
    Keep on with the good work.

  • DY

    Damian Y.

    3 7 2018 07:37

    11       3

    Every time I listen to RV I'm hearing false misleading information. All the smartest people in world do not go to Wall Street. Having a background in science you'll find a lot of the real super brains go into research. A scientist is interested in how the natural world is made and works, which I find the most fascinating thing in life. Understanding life and how things are made make one realize just how much we don't know and how truly amazing this gift of life really is. Did Einstein go and work in the stock market? The super brains are obsessed with gaining knowledge and understanding things. You'll find they are working in places like the Hadron Collider in Switzerland working out how the world works by using different theories of particle physics, they usually aren't into money. Stock markets are man made, like the law, countries, politics and ideologies. They aren't natural law. I'm not saying that smart people don't work in the stock market but comments like all smart people go and work in wall street is wrong. I've seen scientific studies on wealthy business people and most of them have average IQ's but they do have very good people skills. There are also a lot of super brains working in IT and Tech. A lot of finance people I've met are only interested in their own pockets and arn't as smart as they thing.

    • VC

      Vince C.

      3 7 2018 11:51

      0       1
  • RA

    Robert A.

    2 7 2018 23:03

    0       0

    Another great one Grant. Kudos to the Production team as incredible Colors, background and clarity of the video—great professional production!

  • VV

    Vanessa V.

    2 7 2018 22:59

    1       0

    Loved the section on being conscious of our choices around the quality of our relationships (be it personal or professional). We are relational beings and our choices in this area have an enormous impact on our lives. Thank you to both Grant and Mr Mendel for a quality conversation.

  • BS

    Benjamin S.

    2 7 2018 19:03

    1       0

    I was just starting to miss these. Thank you

  • CA

    Craig A.

    1 7 2018 18:07

    2       0

    Grant, you are one if not the best interviewer I ever seen, thanks for all you do for us. Only one problem, I am a New Orleans Saints fan.

  • DB

    Douglas B.

    1 7 2018 15:35

    6       1

    Cryptocurrency “but it’s just air”

    Dinosaurs will be dinosaurs.

    • MS

      Michael S.

      2 7 2018 04:44

      2       2

      And gold is just a rock.

    • sB

      sylvain B.

      2 7 2018 10:18

      2       0

      its all about disruption and he is not alone in being a dinosaur, Chairman of 3G Jorge Paolo Lemann just said this
      “I’m a terrified dinosaur…I’ve been living in this cosy world of old brands and
      big volumes…we bought brands that we thought could last forever…you could just
      focus on being very efficient... all of a sudden we are being disrupted".

    • RA

      Robert A.

      2 7 2018 23:20

      1       0

      Great comment Sylvain and thanks....that’s some pretty good “color” when one of the “3 G’s” is hearing footsteps. As a long time holder of Nestle I’m rooting for Dan Loeb and his 3B bet on turning management around, but if the 3 G’s cost cutting playbook won’t work for them.....maybe some of the Brand Dinosaurs are indeed in a death spiral.

      I thought Grant showed great restraint during the Crypto portion of the discussion. I have watched all of the RV Crypto videos since inception and was quite impressed with both the level of thinking involved and the timing/appropriateness of the Blockchain. During the discussion all I could think of was.....”gee, I wonder what Eddie’s opinion would be if he had watched all of the RV Crypto pieces that I did”. Maybe he would still think of them as “Air”, but my impression of the man is that he might well change his opinion just a bit.

  • MB

    Mo B.

    1 7 2018 04:11

    6       0

    Can we please have the option to have subtitles? Thanks in advance.

  • SS

    Steven S.

    1 7 2018 00:44

    5       1

    #QANON ======> #TheGreatAwakening

    Could *this* be bigger than the end of a long-in-the-tooth economic cycle?

    you decide.

    • NI

      Nate I.

      2 7 2018 02:47

      1       0

      The mockingbird's eerie silence informs you that it's big. Thousands of resignations and 40,000 indictments big. Pray.

    • SB

      Stephen B.

      2 7 2018 22:03

      1       0

      I agree. It is big. Still trying to figure out what it all means for the markets, however. It seems to me that while POTUS has full control over the Treasury Dept (and the ESF/ plunge protection team) he may not have any influence over the FED (and sister CB's). If so, this could be the first time ever that they are not synchronized. Interesting times!

    • SS

      Steven S.

      3 7 2018 16:56

      1       0

      interesting perspective

  • CB

    C B.

    30 6 2018 17:10

    8       2

    One thing that went through my mind as I was watching this, is how insulated the successful and educated are from the average and poor man, today versus his era. His life was filled with intelligent, thoughtful personalities guiding him and teaching him. Today it is somewhat different, the mixing of wealthy and non wealthy does not seem as likely. Though I do not have great evidence of this dynamic (outside of CEO pay to average employee), if it were true, Does that create a feedback loop further polarizing economic outcomes into the future?

  • CM

    C M.

    30 6 2018 16:14

    2       0

    Excellent interview. While the discussion did not focus on current markets (outside of crypto), it is interesting to hear a successful investor's past and the successes and mistakes they made. One also learns how luck and timing played into this success in addition to hard work and surrounding yourself with smart people.

  • gr

    guy r.

    30 6 2018 15:26

    3       0

    top notch, love this part of real vision.

  • SC

    Sajad C.

    30 6 2018 13:44

    0       0

    Brilliant. Great job Grant.

  • JN

    Jill N.

    30 6 2018 12:05

    1       0

    A warm insight into a legend’s journey, thanks for sharing with us Eddie & Grant

  • VC

    Vince C.

    30 6 2018 09:04

    8       1

    If cryptos are mob stocks, what would that make the USD and fiat.... cartel kingpins? I agree with poster below (Ronnie). Most older generations underweight the demographics story that are underpinning cryptocurrencies. Most millennials are far more interested in discussing and putting money into Bitcoin and its ilk over instruments such as gold and government bonds.

    • AE

      Alex E.

      17 7 2018 00:27

      0       0

      Nice to see the next generation putting their collective faith in Man-made electrons... :)

  • MT

    Mike T.

    30 6 2018 05:46

    2       1

    yesterday /BTC did just 2.51K contracts, and that was relatively a large volume day so at the moment nobody is trading it, nobody is interested. The crypto story, and it is only a story for now is a good one, at least for being a able to wax lyrical in front of your friends.

  • PB

    Pieter B.

    30 6 2018 05:44

    1       0

    Thanks a lot Eddie & Grant! Another great interview!

  • RM

    Ronnie M.

    30 6 2018 04:39

    9       9

    "Crypto is air"? Seriously, the total lack of understanding of crypto by the boomer generation is unreal. Yes, ~95% of the current tokens out there probably won't make it, but the 5% that do will knock finance (and many other areas) on its face over the next 5-10 years.

    • BK

      Brian K.

      30 6 2018 14:24

      5       0

      He is smart enough to understand late cycle delusion

    • CM

      C M.

      1 7 2018 00:34

      8       1

      Remember consulting for some early 30 year olds in 1999 and early 2000 that had the same beliefs in their Internet start-up and all the money to be made from the Interent that current millennials may have about crypto. Still remember one of the founding partners, who was not worried about negative cash flow, stating that he could always go out and raise new money. The point - anytime you have a new technology, it takes decades to fully commercialize and there will be many losers as this company was. Will there be winners in crypto? Remains to be seen, but wouldn't discount the wisdom of boomers who witnessed a lot of ups and downs over the last 40 years. If a millennial loses 80% to 100% of their investment in crypto, you will see their enthusiasm vanish quickly.

    • SC

      Scott C.

      1 7 2018 09:42

      2       1

      Ahh yes, those stupid old boomers just don't get it. Amazing that some people think truth by assertion constitutes an actual argument. Perhaps the boomers have seen manias like this before. Have you noticed the price of bitcoin is down 70%?

      yours sincerely

      Not a boomer.

    • CS

      Christopher S.

      2 7 2018 07:13

      2       0

      I think its fair to say cryptos are just air...until they start showing actual utility as viable currencies...which thus far they have not. I genuinely would love to see it happen in the future, but currently I regard them as speculation tokens and not a lot more than that.

    • AE

      Alex E.

      17 7 2018 00:25

      0       0

      "~95% of the current tokens out there probably won't make it, but the 5% that do will knock finance (and many other areas) on its face over the next 5-10 years." Gees, I wonder how many crypto owners in Puerto Rico during last years hurricane season thought the 5% would knock "Finance" on it's face...

  • dn

    david n.

    30 6 2018 01:02

    3       0

    Really enjoyed this interview!! Ed Mendel comes across as both sage&humble, like a good many Southern gentlemen I have
    known. His comment about his grandfather making a killing by purchasing railroad bonds for pennies on the dollar reinforces
    something I have observed in my forty years as an investor- more fortunes are made buying distressed debt than virtually any other investment method. Unfortunately, only a relative handful of people(Josh Friedman of Canyon comes to mind) have the brains&
    discipline to do this successfully!!

  • RK

    Robert K.

    29 6 2018 23:40

    3       0

    Old man had a good run. Those were the times. Nice interview.

  • JL

    James L.

    29 6 2018 22:15

    18       4

    For the first time in my RV viewing life, I found this interviewee to be odious despite his charming Southern demeanor. (As I am from the South, I learned a long time ago to look through the drawl to the substance of what a man says and does.) He openly emphasized how, as a broker, he had ripped off customers with high commissions available at the time. He overcharged third parties for research because their fiduciaries were willing to use "soft-dollars" to pay ridiculous prices (a clear SEC violation). He tried to bail on his employer, who took a risk hiring him as a very young man, shortly after meeting Ned Davis, and thereafter rode Ned Davis' coat tails to success. He admitted to trading on inside information as a tippee of Sam Walton. He, in passing, derided the company that bought his research firm for a handsome price. Bottom Line: he is a caricature of a stock market operator, a throw-back, very smooth but I found his shtick offensive.

    • JL

      James L.

      29 6 2018 22:23

      6       0

      P.S. I doubt he read Blink, which he mentions several times, as it has nothing to do with being a contrarian or going against the crowd. It was much more about the subconscious or instinctive mind being able to make good decisions quickly, without the time required for the rational / logical mind to process, evaluate and determine a course of action.

    • VM

      Vincent M.

      30 6 2018 01:33

      5       1

      Different time.. different rules.

      Soft dollars were there for decades...until the last 5 years

      Brokerage fees were incredibly high until the mid 90’s..

      Nothing he said was unusual for the time..

    • TA

      Trevor A.

      1 7 2018 10:04

      0       0

      great point

    • NI

      Nate I.

      3 7 2018 17:26

      1       0

      The admission to insider trading wasn't lost on me either. Guess it didn't work out so well. It was also a bit ironic to sit and virtue signal about the importance of charity when you own a football team. Want to own a football team? Fine. Your money, spend it as you see fit, but then don't sit and virtue signal/lecture to me. Not one of Grant's best interviews, but it had far more to do with Mendel than Grant.

    • JL

      James L.

      3 7 2018 22:59

      0       0

      Vincent M. Character is timeless. Anyone can arb the rules and take comfort in the legalities ex post. Even if you're right, bragging about it shows his character flaws.

  • LH

    Leigh H.

    29 6 2018 20:39

    2       0

    Now I have to read Blink

  • JG

    John G.

    29 6 2018 19:53

    3       0

    Thanks, Grant, for another wonderful and insightful interview. I have actually met Ned Davis but I did not know much about Eddie Mendel. His concerns about the next 6 years are noteworthy.

  • TE

    Tito E.

    29 6 2018 19:14

    2       2

    Football pitch Grant, not a soccer pitch ;)

    • AE

      Alex E.

      17 7 2018 00:17

      0       0

      Tito, American Football "field", not a pitch and if you were watching, the field was setup for the Atlanta United Football (Soccer) Club, not the Atlanta ( American) Football Club...

  • DS

    David S.

    29 6 2018 19:04

    0       0

    Mr. Mendel is giving us what his Grandfather gave him. Thanks. Great interview. DLS

  • WM

    William M.

    29 6 2018 18:24

    4       7

    crypto = mob stocks......... great stuff

    • RK

      Robert K.

      29 6 2018 23:41

      1       0


  • SS

    Steve S.

    29 6 2018 18:09

    0       0

    Tower Place! I used to be a broker in an office there.

  • CB

    Chuck B.

    29 6 2018 16:36

    0       0

    Grant, thank you for bringing us the human whys.

  • MM

    Mike M.

    29 6 2018 14:21

    3       0

    Mendel's comments on feat currency, soft nationalism gaining momentum, income inequality, and political instability going forward are all road signs to heed. When a member of the 1% provides a head's up with a tells me we are much closer to an historical moment than any of us have experienced, witnessed or read about.

    • PU

      Peter U.

      29 6 2018 19:22

      3       0


  • MC

    Mike C.

    29 6 2018 14:17

    20       2

    Guy with a "license to steal" whose license was rendered worthless by technology hates crypto

    • RK

      Robert K.

      29 6 2018 23:41

      4       2

      from crypto to klepto

  • dj

    daniel j.

    29 6 2018 14:09

    3       0

    Love Grants journeys

  • PN

    Philip N.

    29 6 2018 13:20

    21       0

    "Never short a cult stock." My first thought was Tesla.

  • PU

    Peter U.

    29 6 2018 11:23

    7       5

    Can't hit it out of the park every attempt. Doesn't take anything away from Grant. Just didn't really get much from this.

    • PU

      Peter U.

      29 6 2018 12:53

      7       1

      I commented prematurely. Good interview. Picked up a few things. Thanks.

  • CT

    Christopher T.

    29 6 2018 11:18

    1       0

    Please add NDR to think tank

  • KJ

    Kulbir J.

    29 6 2018 10:34

    17       0

    Grant's grown quite the beard. That's how long its been since we've seen him on RV.