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The Minyanville Mission: An Interview with Todd Harrison


People who are good at what they do, but better at what they are.

We've all heard urban legends of successful people who became inspired and traded their careers for a life dedicated to helping others. There's the faceless dot-com whiz who banked in the boom and now directs a savvy nonprofit.

Or, more recently, maybe you've heard of a mortgage broker or contractor who exited the housing market when things got unethical, and now that person works with Habitat for Humanity. Then, there's the President of Jim Cramer's hedge fund who lost his grandfather around 9/11 and redirected his efforts toward financial education: Todd Harrison.

Todd's reputation preceded him as one of the nicest and brightest guys on Wall Street. Since the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, the same can be said of the Minyanville team and their content: intelligent and positive. Great teams don't accidentally align, they are forged and vetted under a zeitgeist.

While building Minyanville, Todd's guiding philosophy has been to surround himself by "people who are good at what they do, but better at who they are." If you believe the good guys always win in the end, then Todd's fate is sealed.

I had the pleasure of cruising through Todd's life and snagging a bunch of pithy wisdom along the way. His inspirational adventure is like one part Oliver Stone's Wall Street, one part Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, and a dash of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.

Damien Hoffman: Todd, you've been known as a great trader, a great writer, and now a great CEO of Minyanville. When did you realize you had the entrepreneurial spirit and that was how you would express yourself creatively and intellectually?

Todd: Very much by accident! I started writing in July of 2000 filling in for Jim Cramer at At that time, I had never written anything more than a letter from camp to my mother. My first assignment was to write to fill-in for a single day. After that day I was asked to finish the week. After that week I was told that page-views traffic was exceedingly good, so I was asked to continue by writing The Trading Diary opposite Jim on

Jim and I are very different people and have very different styles. So, it was quite interesting to actually move forward in that regard -- particularly since I had no training as a writer. I was a trader. I worked my whole career to be a trader. The writing became an extension of my thought processes while trading which helped synthesize my thoughts. I found that to be of great benefit.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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