Joshua Brown

CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, CNBC's The Halftime Report, Author, The Reformed Broker

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON May 05, 2016

Discussion

Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
Hi - my name is Downtown Josh Brown and I'm the CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management and the author of The Reformed Broker blog. I've been commenting on markets and the investment advice industry for eight years on the web and on my CNBC show, The Halftime Report. I'm a big believer that technology is revolutionizing finance in many unexpected ways. I'm thrilled to be chatting with you, ask me anything! Thanks everyone, this was fun!
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
As the Chairman of the Twitter Federal Reserve, are you long on Twitter?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@andrewett I am, unfortunately, a shareholder, but have bought and sold a few times. I have no idea why.
J S@whatdrexlersaid
@reformedbroker @andrewett I watched the last three seasons of Dexter.
ɯɐɥƃuıuunɔ uoɯıs@simoncunningham
Do you believe that religion is an important part of being healthy and successful in your work?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@simoncunningham the early settlers of America had this thing called Predestination as a big part of their religion (Protestantism, Calvinism). Basically, they believed that you could tell whether or not someone was destined for heaven by how successful and fruitful their labors were on earth. Farmers, merchants, builders, industrialists who began this nation were predominantly Puritan, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Quaker – all carrying an inherent desire to work hard and grow wealthy as a demonstration of piety and closeness to the lord. Calvinism came over on The Mayflower - was a big part of laying the foundation for American-style capitalism. There might be something to that. I'm not religious, myself but I do not think I have it all figured out.
Steven Sinofsky@stevesi · a16z
Great to have you on PH Live 😸. I'm always fascinated by the rountables on CNBC and the challenges you face commenting on buy backs/dividends of public companies. It is easy to love these as shareholders simply because of math, the price goes up. And easy to be critical because it feels so Q over Q manipulative. Do you have an algorithm to decide when to be positive v. critical of these efforts?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@stevesi the truth about buybacks is like the truth about everything - the answer is gray, not black or white. And everything in moderation is okay. Buybacks are not being done in moderation right now, they're being done in lieu of spending for the future. I heard a stat yesterday that buybacks / M&A last year cumulatively amounted to $750 billion vs only $250 billion in R&D / capital spending. Extrapolate that trend continuing for too many more years and we're in big trouble.
Who would win in a fight? Buffett or Icahn and why?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@zerobeta can Charlie Munger be tagged in?
@reformedbroker Only if Icahn can tag in Trump
Dave Pinke@davepinke · Product Manager @ PLI
What is your approach to idea generation? Do you mainly stick to sectors and companies you know and like?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@davepinke I start with technicals and try to identify winning stocks. Then I look at fundamentals and try to understand why a company has momentum and make a judgement about whether or not it can continue. I don't want to get involved with names on the way down most of the time. But that's just trading. Longer term investing is a different story entirely
Stefan Cheplick@scheplick
What's the first thing you look at when you go research a stock?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@scheplick the chart, always the chart. Not that it's enough, but price and other people's sentiment is probably a good starting point.
What's your advice for someone looking to get into finance/asset management? What skills will be most valuable as the industry changes?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@jnietzel computer science / programming will be a key thing on a resume. my friends who are hiring at asset management firms get excited when they see someone who can write in Ruby or can do algo work. Bigger picture, I think creativity and a multi-discipline background are underrated. There are plenty of CFAs already. Social intelligence / emotional IQ also underrated
Steven Sinofsky@stevesi · a16z
(One More) Where do you fall on the spectrum of the "reason why corporations exist"? Anywhere from serve customers, generate profit, enrich shareholders? Seems like this is even more unsettled than ever.
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@stevesi I think it should be all of these things. people have to have a purpose when they wake up every morning, having a job to support themselves and a family or future is part of the equation too. Companies may have forgotten that there are stakeholders that matter as much as shareholders / board members.
-vc@tdatvalane · VP Engineering at Emerio
You (RWM) are producing a wealth of information that from the outside feels like magic. How are you (and others at RWM) filtering through the vast array of data available today? Thank you.
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@tdatvalane we use Bloomberg, stockcharts.com, Returns 2.0 (via Dimensional Fund Advisors), and a host of other sources to build historical looks at the market. We're way more interested in probabilities than forecasting, so we tend not to get too far into the weeds with economic data or the news of the day. Everything has already happened before, with slight alterations in the names, places and products
Alexander Shein@alexander_shein · Student
Any advice for sometime trying to enter the industry?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@alexander_shein good connections are more important than almost anything else. It's a tough world to crack into, knowing people helps. I didn't know anyone, and it took me a decade or more to get any traction.
Stefan Cheplick@scheplick
The one thing you tell new investors about the stock market?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@scheplick I tell people that most of their money should not be managed by themselves, but at least in the early days, they should try to pick and manage a few stock positions as a learning experience. You learn the lingo by being personally invested / engaged. You may conclude that it's not for you, but you should at least have the experience.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What is one piece of advice you find yourself consistently giving on The Reformed Broker blog?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@ems_hodge less is more, simple is better than complex, incentives explain almost everything - those are the big three
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@jakecrump 44 years old, twenty pounds lighter, intimidating my daughter's boyfriends from an upstairs window as they pull up.
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What does a typical day look like for you?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@jakecrump get up at 5:30. If I don't have a hangover, I ride my bike or hit the gym. Then I'm on the train into NYC and reading the whole way. I spend probably a third of my day reading, a third on the phone or in meetings and the other third combined writing, blogging, tweeting, doing TV, eating, vaping.
J S@whatdrexlersaid
@reformedbroker @jakecrump #FinancialDadsThatVape
Rob Learn@poloist1 · Finance Student
What are your thoughts on apples stock going below 90$? or is 90$ a good time to be buying apple?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@poloist1 I own Apple at 93 or so. It's probably in for a tough time this year, but the real question is whether or not the market is already pricing in that tough time. I think it is, but sentiment can certainly get worse before it gets better.
How do I get an internship at Ritholtz?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@nrosa send a resume to Kris Venne at my firm. He reads them all!
Chris Walczak@cwalsd · Financial Analyst/Writer
What would you say to someone who understands indexing is probably better for after-fees returns but enjoys the process of scouting and owning individual stocks?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@cwalsd do both. Even Jim Cramer is now advocating this and he's the king of recreational stock picking. In his last book, I think he said something about using Indexes as a foundation and then venturing forth with "mad money" into individual names. I don't hate this approach
@calipolonia@calipolonia · Steve
What do you think the future holds for these so-called "roboadvisors"?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@calipolonia will be no such thing in a few years. Every advisor will be a roboadvisor. Human and robo will converge. I was around at the start of email. Some advisors were using it to talk with clients and some were not. We didn't refer to the early adopters as "Email Advisors". It's a tool, rapidly a commoditized one.
Judy Lozo@judy_lozo
What effects on the economy do you foresee if Donald Trump is elected president? What effects if Hillary Clinton is elected?
Downtown Josh Brown@reformedbroker · CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
@judy_lozo I really don't think anyone could have the answer to this question (won't stop 'em from trying!). Think about this. When George W Bush was elected, he was seen as "pro-business", had an MBA and had run companies (oil, Texas Rangers franchise etc). The stock market produced a negative 1% return under his tenure. The economy collapsed into the worst recession of the modern era. When Obama was elected, the attitude was "he's going to be terrible for business." The stock market tripled under his presidency. Corporate profits have never been higher, nor have household net worths or 401(k) balances. Overall, presidents get too much credit and blame for the economy they inherit.