Be sure to check out the fantastic profile of Michael Batnick in Barron’s.
For those of you who don’t know who Batnick is, I used to call him our secret weapon — only the secret is out. His title is Director of Research, but he had long since outgrown that role.
He is a key component of everything we do.
The interview discusses all of the content he helps to create — The Irrelevant Investor, Animal Spirits, What Are Your Thoughts; The Compound, he wrote the book Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments, — but that is just the tip of the iceberg. He is essential to the Bloomberg Masters in Business interviews I do; he is invaluable to Josh on his CNBC appearances.
Michael is my right-hand man on the Investment Committee, he drove the creation of our CryptoIndex with WisdomTree, he spearheads any venture or seed investments we make into FinTech; he was the reason we moved into direct indexing via Canvas.
A few choice quotes from Barron’s:
Describe the firm’s investment philosophy. Our investing philosophy is not black or white. I think one of the things we do really well is marry the best of Eugene Fama and Bob Shiller, who both won the Nobel Prize in the same year for diametrically opposed market views. Fama’s efficient market hypothesis says, “Everything is reflected in the price, you idiot.” Just buy the market, and maybe some factors, but definitely don’t time the market. And I agree with like 90% of that.
What do you mean when you say, “We tell our truth”? Our job is to double down on good advice. The typical advisor doesn’t have that luxury; they will do whatever they can to make sure the client is happy. “You want to sell your stocks? I agree, now is not a good time to be invested in the market for X, Y, and Z.” We don’t operate that way. We do not take orders from our clients. We have relinquished ourselves from our duties rather than give in to what we know is not the right thing to do.
I count on his insights and sage counsel more than just about any other person in the investment world — including all of the Masters I have interviewed over the years. I can always count on his level-headed approach, understanding of nuance, and context for any complex, risk-embracing decision. Over the past decade, I have watched him develop from a behind-the-scenes researcher into a full-fledged force of his own.
Crushing it, indeed.
Ritholtz Wealth’s Michael Batnick: Crushing It With Content
Barron’s, Feb. 4, 2022