My Day Job

I actually know some things

I started working for Josh and Barry in the Spring of 2012. I started working with them after a few months. A year later, I became a partner and one of the co-founders of Ritholtz Wealth Management.

Barry and Josh gave me a lot of responsibility early on for two reasons. The first is, and this is the truth, they had no choice. What I mean is that they were just getting started, so they didn’t have money to pay anybody with a real resume. They needed somebody like me who was what Leon Cooperman called a PhD- poor, hungry, and determined. The second reason is because I demonstrated that I was actually useful. Even though I didn’t know a whole lot or hadn’t spent much time in the industry, what I lacked in experience I made up for with tenacity

On my first day with them, Josh asked me to send him some notes for a lunchtime appearance on CNBC. I couldn’t believe it. The guy I had been following for years was now relying on me for some interesting soundbites on the air.

Over the weeks and months, I became immersed in all aspects of our little operation. Trading, billing, data reconciliation, performance reporting, research, finding tech vendors, and whatever else needed to be done.

I even found time to sprinkle in some writing.

In the beginning, all four of us were doing everything—that’s what happens when you start a business. But over the years, we’ve each been able to focus on the best and highest-value use of our time, shedding responsibilities to more capable people who can devote 100% of their time to whatever role they are in.

It started with four of us and $70 million in client assets. Now we’re 61-strong and oversee $4.26 billion as of 12/31/2023.

My responsibilities have evolved over the years. I’m no longer wearing a million hats, I’m down to half a dozen. I’m still on the investment committee overseeing client portfolios. I help run the day-to-day, but less so than I used to, with Jay, Anna, and the rest of our incredible team taking on more responsibilities.

At RWM, I’m doing everything I can to ensure everybody's happiness, from our clients to our vendors and partners, employees, advisors, and everyone else we touch. I’m also heavily involved in ensuring that the business, the actual business, is firing on all cylinders.

I work closely with Matt, Josh, and the rest of the FutureProof team, which is responsible for putting on a world-class event. Oh, and I also run a fintech-focused venture fund, specifically wealth tech.

And content. I do a lot of content. Between what you’re reading now, Animal Spirits and The Compound, I’ve got my hands full.

Everything that we’ve done on the content side up until now has focused on the market and investing. But as I’ve just described, I know the RIA industry pretty well, even if we don’t talk about it a lot. That changes today.

I’m so excited to announce that we’ve started a new channel called The Unlock for financial advisors. We’ll have conversations about things that you care about, from practice management to tech vendors and everything in between. We’re ready to flex the muscles that we’ve spent the last decade-plus building.

On our first show, we have the legend Nick Murray. For those of you who might not be aware of him, Nick is the advisor to financial advisors. He’s spent his career helping advisors gain confidence in their purpose.

I certainly needed that when I started working with Josh.

“What if the market does this?” I asked. “Okay.” I responded. “But then what do you do if this happens?” Josh said, “Stop. Do yourself a favor and read this book.”

I went home and read Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth in one night, and it has been like a Bible to me ever since. If there is a religion in my business, I worship at the altar of Nick Murray. I hope you enjoy this conversation. Make sure you subscribe to The Unlock for more content coming very shortly.