The media world is filled with personalities who started out in other fields entirely and were able to use their previous experience to break into TV news or publishing. For Jeff Macke, the reverse was true: when he started writing on investment site The Motley Fool in the 1990s, he saw it as a way to advance his career in finance. That’s when he discovered a need he could address: spot information holes and fill them. When Macke looks at a stock, he sees its backstory: where a company has been, where it’s headed, what it’s doing right, what it’s doing wrong. That ability to see the story behind the symbols on the rolling stock ticker, combined with an innate on-screen comfort, made him a natural fit for the world of stock punditry. Soon, the former hedge fund manager found himself making the jump from finance show guest to one of the founding hosts of CNBC’s Fast Money.
Now a reporter on Yahoo Finance, and with a new book, Clash of the Financial Pundits, co-authored with Joshua Brown, under his belt, Macke still views himself as a trader exploring the intricacies, trend lines and possibilities of various investments, albeit publicly. And because his stock tips and investment advice are playing out in front of an audience, Macke sees a dual mission for his work as “trying to educate and inform at the same time.”
Macke talks with Mediabistro about how hosting on a digital site differs from broadcast TV and how he follows his own instinct and curiosity as a way to stand out from the competition.