Nick Maggiulli: ‘The Biggest Lie in Personal Finance’ – Morningstar

Christine Benz: Hi, and welcome to The Long View. I’m Christine Benz, director of personal finance and retirement planning for Morningstar.

Jeff Ptak: And I’m Jeff Ptak, chief ratings officer for Morningstar Research Services.

Benz: Our guest on the podcast today is Nick Maggiulli. Nick is the author of a new book called “Just Keep Buying: Proven Ways to Save Money and Build Your Wealth.” He is also the author of, which is a blog focused on the intersection of data and personal finance. In addition, Nick is chief operating officer and data scientist for Ritholtz Wealth Management. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in economics.

Nick, welcome to The Long View.

Nick Maggiulli: Thanks, Christine, for having me on.

Benz: Well, we’re thrilled to have you here. So, you’re chief operating officer and data scientist for Ritholtz Wealth Management. Most people probably have some familiarity with what a chief operating officer does. But what does the role of data scientist entail?

Maggiulli: It’s interesting because not many RIAs, registered investment advisors, have data scientists at their firms because it’s just such a new thing, the data science, in general. But some of the stuff I was doing early on for the firm was just basically answering business questions with data–we call this business intelligence. Data science is a very broad field. It goes from everything from data infrastructure, on how you build out servers and all that, machine learning, to just even simple charts, graphs, things like that, just to answer questions. Ultimately, what you’re trying to do is organize information and answer questions to the best of your ability.

So that means I’m trying to figure out what type of leads are most likely to convert into prospects, which can then become clients? There might be certain factors that we know about the leads. And I’ve done certain types of analyses, creating models to look into that. Or what’s going on with attrition, or what’s going on with how …….


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