Why There Are No Televisions at Fusion

I get asked about whether or not I saw or heard things from financial television all the time.  Unless someone emailed me a video clip, the answer is no.  This is because my shop, Fusion Analytics, has no televisions anywhere in the offices.  Not in the lobby, not at the trading desk, not in anyone’s private office.

In an interview just posted at Barrons.com today, Barry Ritholtz explains why we don’t have TV sets going here at the firm:

IN RECENT YEARS, MONEY manager Barry Ritholtz has emerged as one of cable television’s most entertaining and compelling talking heads on topics of importance to investors.

But a visitor to Ritholtz’s understated offices in midtown Manhattan won’t find TV sets blaring CNBC or Fox Business News. According to Ritholtz, the CEO and research director of Fusion IQ, the quiet makes it easier for him and his team of researchers to think clearly and analytically about the markets.

In other words, he prefers not having to hear the kind of chatter that he and other market mavens routinely provide.

“With television, the sentiment virus will infect you,” says Ritholtz, who turned 49 last week. “What television does best is pass along the emotions of the market.”

I spent ten years in this business with a television blaring away over my shoulder.  It was shocking to spend my first week here without it.

And now, a few months later, I don’t know how I was ever able to function during market hours with a TV on at all.

I still grab clips off the web, still have news scrolling from all the wires, still have my trusty StockTwits stream, still listen to Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio for my pre-market routine, still tune in to Fast Money or Kudlow occasionally after hours.  But during Game Time, I need to concentrate.  I can’t be impulsed or influenced by the box and the talking heads who appear on it during the trading day.  Of all the things I’ve learned from Barry and Kevin, this tuning out of other peoples sentiment thing has made the most dramatic impact on me by far.

Things are better now, you should try it.


Barry Ritholtz is Modestly Bullish Again (Barron’s)

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