Joshua Brown

Joshua Brownage 38

CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management

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A wrong decision led Josh Brown down the right career path. At least it eventually did.

The chief executive of Ritholtz Wealth Management is a familiar face to fans of CNBC, readers of his popular blog “The Reformed Broker” and members of the Twittersphere. His 100K-plus Twitter followers appreciate his sharply written market commentary, references to hip-hop culture — and posts that sometimes combine the two.

There was a time when Mr. Brown worked for a brokerage firm that was less than thrilled about his online personality. That was one of many negative factors — including the commission-based compensation model — that drove him away from the brokerage world.

“When I left the last brokerage firm that I worked for, I was blogging for a year and really took off in popularity,” he recalled. “The owner of the firm told my friend, who was still working there, that if he had known the blog would get as big as it did, he never would have let me do it.

“I find that so emblematic of the attitude in that world that I left behind,” Mr. Brown said.

Nowadays, he runs a fee-only practice, and he’s able to maintain his online and TV presence at the same time. Mr. Brown credits his team of advisers and personnel as the enablers of his success — both with clients and in the public eye.

“They love that I’m doing so much reading and writing, but you really have to have a solid team to take care of the client,” he said. “There are six of us now, and everyone there is a fan of what we’re saying. To build a like-minded team from Day One — that’s awesome.”

— Darla Mercado

Fast Facts

  • Plays guitar
  • Wanted to be an artist or writer growing up
  • His kids are his “whole life”
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