Traveling to New York City in November has become an annual pilgrimage. My first trip to NYC was back in 2015 for the inaugural Evidence-Based Investing conference put on by the Ritholtz Wealth Management crew. That trip was not only my first November trip, but it was my first trip to NYC…ever.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
I instantly fell in love with the city and never imagined that each trip back would somehow top the previous trip. In 2015 I got to meet Josh Brown, Barry Ritholtz, Michael Batnick, Ben Carlson, and Bill Sweet in person—with the exception of Bill, I had been reading these guys’ blogs each day. To get to meet them in person and spend some time with them was magical sand since that day they all have been beyond supportive of me and I cannot thank them enough.
In addition to meeting the RWM crew, I also met Bob Seawright, Peter Lazaroff, Phil Huber, and Brendan Mullooly on that trip–a group I always enjoy getting to see and visit with whenever I can.
My next trip to NYC wasn’t until 2018 because we welcomed Silas on Halloween 2017, so leaving home didn’t even cross my mind that year. I was actually able to sneak out twice in 2018; the first was in the spring for StocktoberFest East. once again, my trip to NYC involved some time with the Ritholtz crew—this time I got to sign the infamous board in their office. I also met my good friends Brad Sherman and Joe Kolb in person for the first time—this was one of my first experiences with how amazing the FinTwit community is. Joe drove all the way in from Rhode Island just for the afternoon.
Last November was the first time I’d met Douglas Boneparth, who was so kind to pick me up from the airport, and Tyrone Ross in person—both of these men have become close friends; I consider them both extended family. We now start our Friday mornings with a Zoom meeting that we’ve only missed a handful of times since we started earlier this year.
After hanging out for a bit and having coffee (no surprise there), the three of us bombarded Ritholtz HQ and were surprised with an opportunity to hop on camera with Josh for an episode of Live From The Compound in which Josh had some extremely nice things to say about the three of us.
2018 was also the first year of taking my mentor out to dinner—Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn was the spot. An annual dinner is hardly enough of a “thank you”, but it’s the least I can do—plus it allows me to have a couple of hours of great conversation, exchanging ideas, and challenging and pushing each other to be better (the push is more on me than him). If you have someone you consider a mentor, I highly recommend doing this with him or her.
So now that takes us to November 2019. With the exception of writing this from the gate of Newark Airport while the plane is being worked on for minor maintenance, this year’s trip was the best yet. So many great memories on this one:
On Tuesday, I flew in earlier than I originally planned so I could take the train out to Hamilton, New Jersey to visit my aunts and grandmother. During my past trips I haven’t been able to make a trip out work and as a result, it’s been way too long since I’ve seen them in person—thanks to FaceTime we get to still see each other, but it’s not the same. Although it was only about four hours in NJ, it was a great visit—I was spoiled with a bunch of great food and just got to catch up and share stories.
On the commute to Hamilton, I was able to participate in the Advisor Growth Communuty™ webinar with Annie Duke—that’s a whole blog post in itself. It was a tremendous webinar and we got to hear fresh material from her book coming out in September. All I can say is her next book is going to be great! I’ll make sure you don’t miss it!
Wednesday was THE day of the trip. It started with a cup of coffee with my friend Matthew Ricks followed up by another cup of coffee with Samuel Deane. I wouldn’t be me if we didn’t record some type of content—I was able to record a couple of great episodes of Talkin’ Shop with each of them—be on the lookout for those soon. After coffee, it was time to get ready to head to the Bloomberg studios to film a spot on ETF IQ with Erica Balchunas and Scarlet Fu.
Being in front of the camera was an amazing experience. I don’t see a future as a full-time TV personality, but I hope to get the opportunity to do similar spots. It was a blast to share a little of what I do and more importantly bring a financial advisor’s perspective to a show that is traditionally for the active traders. Eric, Scarlet, and the Bloomberg crew couldn’t have been any nicer—they made me feel at home and at ease right away. A HUGE thank you to everyone at Bloomberg!
That right there would have been a great day, but that wasn’t it. I left Bloomberg and headed straight to Ritholtz Wealth Management HQ to meet up with Josh Brown to join him on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange while he filmed CNBC’s Closing Bell during the final hour of the trading day. I have to give another HUGE shoutout, this time to my friend Jay Woods, who took me around the NYSE and gave me the history of the exchange, the building, and some of the “artifacts” found throughout the building. It was so cool to hear the stories and history and Jay told it with so much passion and pride—I’m willing to bet no one does it better than he does.
After the market closed Josh, Jay, and me went over to Bobby Vans Steakhouse where I had the opportunity to meet NYSE legend Art Cashin. Art has been a staple on the floor for 60+ years and even has his own reserved chair at the bar. After a little small talk, Art went into storytelling mode and I got to hear him talk about how he got his start working on Wall Street at the age of 18. Getting to hear a legend like Art tell this story was priceless! He told me to be sure to come back because they can always use more people down on the floor–I fully plan on coming back and hopefully catching another story from him.
We stayed at Bobby Vans for year two of “dinner-on-me”. Before leaving we were able to get a tour of the basement of the restaurant. That may not sound exciting, but the basement at Bobby Vans once was JP Morgan’s vault. It was one of the coolest rooms I’ve ever been in—I can only imagine the conversations and history that went down in that basement. Check out the pictures—that door is ridiculous.
The finale to Wednesday—yeah, we’re still on the same day—was meeting up with my friend, and former AAYB podcast guest, Perth Tolle who just happened to be in NYC at the same time. I crashed the end of her dinner with friends; it was great to catch up with her. Perth is one of the most genuine people you will meet—revisit our conversation and check out what she’s up to.
Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end of the night, but I had more to accomplish before heading home Thursday evening.
Thursday morning I made my way back to Wall Street and had coffee with Diane King Hall, who is every bit a nice in person as she is on Twitter. We had a great conversation about financial literacy and brainstormed some ways to try and get more mainstream financial media coverage of the important financial topics, not just hot stocks. If anyone can get this done, I’m convinced it’s Diane.
The final meetup of the trip was lunch and then coffee (of course) with the one and only Douglas Boneparth. There was a bonus at lunch though…we were accompanied by his amazing wife Heather—it was great to finally meet her in person. Unfortunately, our Friday morning trio wasn’t complete—Tyrone had some important business to attend do. Ty, I’m bummed I missed you on this trip, but as we texted, Friday we’ll Zoom and it’ll be back to the normal routine.
And that leads us to right now…at this moment we’re finally pushing back from the gate to finally takeoff. It’s hard to complain about a delayed flight after the trip of a lifetime. I’m not sure I know how 2020 can top this year’s trip, but something tells me it will.
Here are a few more highlights from NYC Fall 2019:
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimer page.