Rick Rieder is in charge of assets worth $1.8 trillion, but it is under his leadership that the hedge fund has managed to grow exponentially. After working at Lehman for two years, Rick was ready to establish his own fund hence in 2008, R3 Capital was born, being backed up by Lehman. By 2009, the hedge fund had assets worth $1.5 billion, but BlackRock acquired it; Rick was tasked with managing the fixed-income portfolio. Within a year, the assets' worth had increased to $600 billion. So, let's take a look at how Rick Rieder has stayed on top of things at BlackRock and a few more things you most probably didn't know about him.
1. His day starts at 3.30 am
You would think that the more you make money, the more time you get to sleep but Rick Rieder has proven that is not the case. According to eFinancialCareers, he wakes up at 3.30 am to catch up on the latest in the stock market before he starts trading. He explained that it is between 3.30 am and 6.30 am that the market is most volatile. The only days he sleeps in are two each month when he wakes up at 4 am during one weekend; however, even then, he still works for at least 10 hours.
2. He was a bright student
After Rick developed an interest in business, he was bent on taking up a career in business. Therefore he visited Emory University and fell in love with the curriculum. The institution requires students to have a GPA of 3.78, meaning that for Rick to be accepted, he must have had lots of As on his transcript. While there, he continued performing so well that he was the recipient of the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award for his exceptional grades in finance. His excellent performance in finance also enabled him to receive the Professor's Award for being the outstanding finance student. Besides, seeing that he also joined Wharton School of Business for his MBA is proof he was academically gifted.
3. How he became passionate about business
They say train a child in the path he should follow and he will not depart from it once he is older. Rick's parents were entrepreneurs; his father founded an office products company while his mother operated a chain of chocolate stores. They consequently instilled the entrepreneurial spirit in their son by encouraging him to take up jobs as he studied for his high school and college diplomas. Rick became interested in the field of business so much that he never cared much about his history lessons, but financial classes made his day.
4. What hooked him to investing?
While studying for his undergraduate degree in business administration at Emory's Goizueta business school, Rick heard a rumor that would change the course of his life. As he underwent the career interview process at the campus, someone was kind enough to tip Rick about a company whose future looked promising. Although he did not have loads of money to invest in the firm, the business executive still did with the little he could accumulate. The stock had lucrative returns which opened Rick's eyes to the world of investing, and he continued trading stocks, informing his decision with investment classes he was taking.
5. Why he decided to pursue a career in trading
Despite being fascinated by the stocks market, Rick preferred making his investments while working as a financial analyst. Therefore even after working at Chase Manhattan for two years, he was still determined to further his career in financial analysis. However, the head of recruiting at Lehman Brothers urged him to take a day interacting with several traders at the fixed income department. By the end of the day, Rick had changed his mind about pursuing financial analysis; instead, stock trading drew him in due to its risk-taking characteristic.
6. He is philanthropic
According to the Emory Alumni Association, Rick is a member of the Board of Trustees of Emory University. His commitment towards seeing children have the best education opportunities drove him to pledge $1 million in support of the Campaign Emory. He explained that the joint effort with other philanthropic organizations was because they saw an opportunity to develop kids' talents which would have otherwise remained untapped.
7. Why he places so much value on education
The collaboration he has with GradGen is through the BBA Investment Fund, which he founded to help students become financially savvy. He prioritizes equipping financial literacy skills in older children, but Rick believes that the government should implement the best education system lest, in future, people will be out of jobs. Rick's father closed his company when technology took over, and the business executive foresees such a scenario in some professions such as truck driving when self-driven cars will flood the market.
8. His advice to investors
When Rick talked to Market Watch, he disclosed that traditional investors fail to make money in their investments because they focus on a firm's profit growth trend instead of its cash flow. As a result, since profits fluctuate, only those companies with good cash flow have survived the coronavirus pandemic. He takes pride in BlackRock's 9.9% return since March 2020 considering that the competing funds are recording losses as much as 1.1%. He, therefore, advised investors to buy more stocks from tech and healthcare firms.
9. He is an avid fan of New Jersey Devils
Growing up, Rick was a fan of basketball, and he even hoped that one day he would have enough money to improve the courts. Now in his adulthood, he loves ice hockey, and the New Jersey Devils are his favorite team. It could be his love for the game that influenced his daughter to take up a position as the social media coordinator for the team. On the other hand, his interaction with Jeff, his former boss at Lehman Brothers, could have pushed him to fall in love with ice hockey. Jeff owned the team for ten years but sold his stake in 2013.
10. When he learned to mask his emotions
In his first years on Wall Street, Rick failed to utilize the rumor he heard; that for a trader to be successful, he must learn how to mask emotions regardless of the wins or losses. During the first week at his job, Rick destroyed an electronic phone system that had been newly installed, and he must not have handled it well. His boss noticed and asked him to pay, which enabled Rick to quickly learn the importance of wearing a poker face in his job.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee