Celebrating Minyanville's 10th Anniversary: Wall Street Selector Interviews Todd Harrison
In this one-on-one, Todd Harrison discusses his book, his trading psychology, and the US economy.
This article was originally published on June 27, 2011.
Todd Harrison, founder and CEO of Minyanville Media and former president of Cramer Berkowitz, tells his incredible Wall Street tale of rise, fall, and redemption, a story so remarkable that Oliver Stone featured it in his 20th anniversary Wall Street documentary.
John Nyaradi: Hello, everyone, I'm John Nyaradi, publisher of Wall Street Selector Sector, a financial media site specializing in exchange traded funds and global stock market and economic analysis. Today I'm really pleased to welcome our special guest, Todd Harrison. Todd, welcome to Wall Street Selector Sector.
Todd Harrison: Thank you, John.
John Nyaradi: Todd is founder and CEO of Minyanville Media and his flagship website is www.minyanville.com. He's a 20-year Wall Street veteran and was president of the $400 million hedge fund, Cramer Berkowitz. He has appeared on FOX, CNBC, CNN and his articles are published in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune and Barron's. He's also an Emmy Award winner for his animated business news show, "Minyanviille's World in Review." Today we're going to talk about Todd's new book, The Other Side of Wall Street: In Business It Pays to Be an Animal, In Life It Pays to Be Yourself and get his insights about trading, investing and today's economic landscape. Todd, congratulations on writing a really great book.
John Nyaradi: I think the title says it all, "The Other Side of Wall Street: In Business It Pays to Be an Animal, In Life It Pays to Be Yourself." Just start out with what you wanted to do and your overview of life from the inside the Street and how you can be an animal and still be yourself.
Todd Harrison: You know it really was a process of discovery. For me, it has been an interesting journey, to say the least. Coming up through the ranks and really just having the mission in life of just making money, and getting to where I thought I wanted to be and realizing that there are certain truths in life that I had never stopped to think about. The difference between self-worth and net worth and having fun versus being happy, and looking for validation in the value of a bank account. I'm not ashamed of it because it helped to shape the perspective that I have today but it took some very hard lessons and difficult times to get to this point. I think the dramatic nature of the book, the self reprioritization in today's day and age, I think is something a lot of people going through.
John Nyaradi: Oh, definitely. We are all on a personal journey and you've outlined a great one here. I'll start right on the cover with Hoofy the Bull and Boo the Bear. These are two iconic characters. How did you come up with those?
Todd Harrison: The characters were born in 2000. I was the president of Cramer Berkowitz, Jim Cramer's old hedge fund. In 2000, he went on vacation and he asked me to fill in for him for a day and I had never written before in my life. I wasn't interested in writing. I just want to trade and make money.
And you know, typical Jim, he looked across the desk and I actually saw the light bulb go off and he asked me to fill in for him the following Monday for one day. I did so and I actually enjoyed it. I owe Jim a debt of gratitude for opening that door for me.
As you said earlier, they won an Emmy Award in 2008 for new approaches to business and financial reporting and we think they put a fresh face on finance; they educate, they entertain and enlighten. I think that now, more than ever, folks need a trusted choice for a financial voice.
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