To that, I plead absolutely and unequivocally guilty. A long time ago I decided that conventional reportage on business was just plain boring. I came from a sports and homicide reporting background -- inherently exciting, if not, alas, grim at times -- and I was taught that it was a cardinal sin to bore people. So, my credentials started in journalism, not money management. My formative and least tabloid portion of my journalism career came when I helped start
, a magazine dedicated to revealing the business behind the business of law. The success of that magazine, where I worked for three years, is what gave me a lot of the ideas I have now about writing and talking about the market. If you reveal the inner workings -- or if you are a traitor, to put it the way a lot of people did when I started -- then you have a rapt audience, one that seeks the real man behind the curtain.
For me, the need to entertain and the need to tell what really happens melded first into
and then "Mad Money," the television show.
I make no bones about the notion that I have become a televangelist for money. I believe it was needed, frankly. The fact that I am rigorous, Harvard-trained, whatever, just makes it a tad more novel than if a pure showman bit the heads off of toy bulls or hit the
sell sell sell
button or a button with a baby crying or a man falling out a window.
That's why, when anyone asks, I say that my shows are about educating, making money and entertaining. I believe that if you did any one of those three, you might have a moderately successful enterprise. For example, if you can help people make money instead of telling them how they
made money, which is what conventional business news is about, you'd probably do fine. If you could add education to it, success would pretty much be a given. But if you added entertainment, you might actually be able to reach people you wouldn't otherwise reach and have a following that goes beyond those who are hard-core.