Alt Goes Mainstream
Alt Goes Mainstream
🎙Ritholtz Wealth Management's Michael Batnick - real talk on private markets

🎙Ritholtz Wealth Management's Michael Batnick - real talk on private markets

Ep. 95 with Michael Batnick, Managing Partner at Ritholtz Wealth Management

Welcome back to the Alt Goes Mainstream podcast.

On today’s show, we turned the tables. We welcomed famed podcast co-host of Animal Spirits and The Compound and Friends and writer at The Irrelevant Investor, and Managing Partner and Director of Research at $4B AUM Ritholtz Wealth Management Michael Batnick to come on the show to share a wealth manager’s perspective on private markets.

Michael’s career has taken a number of fascinating turns. He started selling insurance, before a chance meeting on the platform of the subway station with Josh Brown of Ritholtz Wealth Management after a New York Knicks loss led to a job offer to work with Josh at RWM. At Ritholtz, Michael has been an integral part of the team that has helped to drive the firm’s growth, leading with content and education. Each of the firm’s Partners have built impressive content platforms across blogs, books, and podcasts. Their thoughtful approaches to investing come through in their work — and it’s translated to how they think about private markets. Michael provided interesting viewpoints on why alternatives have yet to be adopted by many advisors and the challenges with adopting alternatives products.

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Michael and I had a fascinating discussion at the intersection of wealth and alts. Michael and I covered:

  • His journey into wealth management and the lessons he has learned along the way.

  • The importance of education and networking in the wealth management industry.

  • How he thinks about risk in public and private markets.

  • The evolution of wealth management as a business.

  • Why alternatives products are still sold and not bought.

  • The importance of staying focused on fundamentals and long-term investing.

  • The workflow challenges that alternative investments have for a wealth management firm.

  • How and why content can develop views, educate, and build brand in wealth management and private markets.

Thanks Michael for coming on the show to share your thoughts and wisdom on investing.

A word from AGM podcast sponsor, Ultimus Fund Solutions

This episode of Alt Goes Mainstream is brought to you by Ultimus Fund Solutions, a leading full-service fund administrator for asset managers in private and public markets. As private markets continue to move into the mainstream, the industry requires infrastructure solutions that help funds and investors keep pace. In an increasingly sophisticated financial marketplace, investment managers must navigate a growing array of challenges: elaborate fund structures, specialized strategies, evolving compliance requirements, a growing need for sophisticated reporting, and intensifying demands for transparency.

To assist with these challenging opportunities, more and more fund sponsors and asset managers are turning to Ultimus, a leading service provider that blends high tech and high touch in unique and customized fund administration and middle office solutions for a diverse and growing universe of over 450 clients and 1,800 funds, representing $500 billion assets under administration, all handled by a team of over 1,000 professionals. Ultimus offers a wide range of capabilities across registered funds, private funds and public plans, as well as outsourced middle office services. Delivering operational excellence, Ultimus helps firms manage the ever-changing regulatory environment while meeting the needs of their institutional and retail investors. Ultimus provides comprehensive operational support and fund governance services to help managers successfully launch retail alternative products.

Visit to learn more about Ultimus’ technology enhanced services and solutions or contact Ultimus Executive Vice President of Business Development Gary Harris on email at

We thank Ultimus for their support of alts going mainstream.

Learn more about Ultimus

Clip #1: How did a Knicks loss lead to Michael’s career in wealth management?

Clip #2: “Who’s saying we need to invest in privates?”

Clip #3: Why are advisors afraid of private markets?

Clip #4: Public markets vs. private markets tension and “calling it what it is.”

Show Notes

02:03 Introduction to Alt Goes Mainstream

02:43 Guest Introduction: Michael Batnick

03:00 Michael's Early Career and Challenges

07:26 Meeting Josh Brown and Career Breakthrough

08:35 Lessons from the Insurance World

09:20 Creating Content and Building a Brand

10:58 Investing Philosophy and Market Insights

14:27 Young Investors and Market Psychology

19:13 Public vs. Private Markets

29:25 Advisors and Private Investments

34:21 Customization and Differentiation in Private Markets

34:50 Challenges in Pitching Investments to Clients

35:09 Operational Hurdles in Alternative Investments

35:34 The Role of Relationship Managers

36:16 Building and Managing Alts Portfolios

43:04 Market Dynamics and Investment Strategies

53:43 Content Creation in Wealth Management

58:53 The Future of Wealth Management with AI

01:01:46 Quick Fire Round: Market Predictions and Insights

01:05:19 Conclusion and Final Thoughts

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Alt Goes Mainstream
Alt Goes Mainstream
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