Innovator

Barry Ritholtz

Founder, Chair and Chief Investment Officer, Ritholtz Wealth Management

“Everything I’ve done professionally is a reaction to something else,” said Barry Ritholtz, explaining his career accomplishments.

Over the past two decades, he has become best known as:

  • The host of Bloomberg Radio’s Masters in Business podcast, which he created in 2014 as a push back to what he called “terrible financial TV interviews.”
  • Chairman and chief investment officer at Ritholtz Wealth management, founded in 2013 in reaction to the “traditional Wall Street model — nonfiduciary and a sales culture.”
  • Writer of the blog, The Big Picture, which he started in 1998 in response to what he perceived as poor media coverage of the financial world.

“People would rather be cheerfully lied to than told the truth about negative things,” he said. “There’s a very entrenched interest in keeping people agitated.”

Mr. Ritholtz’s blog played a big part in putting him on the map, as did his writing for TheStreet.com, which grew his blog following and led to invitations to contribute to the Washington Post and Bloomberg. His blog also spawned his influential book “Bailout Nation.”

An attorney by training, Mr. Ritholtz practiced law for five years and then decided on a career change, starting over as a trader. He was influenced by his entrepreneurial parents: his mother owned a real estate agency and his father, a sneaker store. Law school shaped him as well.

“I was shy in high school,” Mr. Ritholtz said, “But in law school, I learned to stand on my hind legs and make a coherent argument.”

— Deborah Nason