getting to know: a day in the life of founder
If you aren't familiar with @RampCapitalLLC, now's the time to get familiar. We took an inside look at the tools used by the FinTwit personality when it comes to investing, keeping tabs on stocks, getting news updates, and more. Without further ado, here is a day in the life of the elusive and entertaining Ramp Capital founder.
Can you explain who you are and detail the backstory of @RampCapitalLLC?
RampCapitalLLC: Ramp Capital was essentially created as a meme in 2013. A mysterious phenomenon was occurring during the last 30 minutes of trading before the stock market closed for the day. Some investors had started noticing that stocks started magically trading higher (ramping) towards the end of day, in regular occurrence. Hence the name, Ramp Capital LLC.
So when I say I created the account as a meme, I’m referring to how my first tweets as the persona were basically me acting like I was the one responsible for buying stocks at the end of each day, even though no one actually knew who was coming in and buying.
My Twitter account has evolved from joking around (mostly) to working on some serious projects and doing deals behind the scenes. We currently have a weekly Substack that recaps major happenings in the market each week, along with opinion pieces. The weekly newsletter also follows a crowd-sourced portfolio that began in 2020 and is still actively managed.
While investing in the markets (stocks and crypto) is my passion, I also enjoy hitting the links multiple times a week and experimenting in the garden — a few things the pandemic has accelerated my passion for.
I am collaborating with Rhone over the next few months to provide fun and interesting articles on golf, finance, and how those topics intersect. I hope you join me for this ongoing editorial journey. To start, I’ll bring you through a day in the life of Ramp Capital LLC.
When do you typically wake? Once you’re up, what’s the first thing you do to start your day? How long before you check Twitter?
7:30am: I wake up, two kids are crying… Just kidding, it’s typically just one kid that wakes me up. When you have kids (or a pet), you can pretty much stop setting an alarm clock unless you have an important meeting. It’s a madhouse of getting them fed and ready before my daily meetings.
Like any true investor, I make my own coffee at home and plow the daily savings into an S&P 500 index fund. Then, I typically get alerts from the CNBC app when major news breaks. If I have time, I check stocks pre-market to see if there are any big movers.
Then I start scrolling through my Twitter timeline to see if anything exciting happened overnight. Over the years, I’ve tried to distill my timeline to following only the most important market news accounts — with a few meme’ers sprinkled in. Essentially, this provides a steady stream of information that is akin to having my own curated news channel.
After you’ve had your coffee and breakfast, what’s next in your morning? What sites do you hit first for stock market and finance news? What accounts do you check first? Are there any newsletters you religiously read?
9:30am: The first thing I do when I sit down at my computer is a quick scan through my emails to see if I need to put out any fires, metaphorically speaking. If not, I like to read a few market news recaps to prepare me for the day. My favorites are CNBC’s Morning Squawk, Morning Brew, and Bloomberg’s 5 Things to Start Your Day.
The reason I choose these is because—in aggregate—they give me a quick recap of major events happening that day (earnings releases, fed-related events, economic reports, etc.). It only takes me about 15 minutes to skim them quickly.
You’ve mentioned using platforms like thinkorswim (ToS) for buying and selling stocks, Public for WeRamp, TradingView for charting, and YCharts for sourcing other data. Want to expand on how you use those throughout your day, and how regularly you’re checking each?
11:00am: Yes, all of these platforms serve a specific purpose for me. Most of my day-to-day trades or investments are made in my thinkorswim account. While I have many accounts spread out across different brokerages that I typically don’t touch, I have a Roth IRA within ToS that I use as my individual stock portfolio. My 401k and other accounts are holding boring index funds that make up for when I overtrade.
I keep a separate individual account through Public, a Robinhood competitor that exploded onto the scene during the pandemic. They helped sponsor my WeRamp™ crowd-sourced portfolio. Every Friday, I tweet out a poll on Twitter asking which stock to purchase at the market close, then pick the winner. The portfolio is dramatically lagging behind the S&P 500 this year, but it crushed the market last year. Call it a sophomore slump.
My buddies over at TradingView are on top of their game right now. TradingView is one of the best sites out there right now for technical analysis and watching stocks move in real time. This is where I do all of my closet charting and also make watchlists for WeRamp.
YCharts was also a sponsor of my crowd-sourced portfolio. They have been instrumental in helping build out my newsletter, offering a multitude of custom datasets and cool features for anything market-related. I also use their stock screeners and fundamental charts if I want to compare multiple assets visually. These charts are simple and clean and can drive additional conversations on Twitter.
Is there a point in your morning where you get burnt out on Twitter and need a break? Are you toggling back and forth between the day job and #RampLife? How do you find balance between the two?
12:00pm: Since the pandemic began, I’ve transitioned to becoming a remote worker, sitting in my basement all day. To prevent burnout and becoming overstressed, I set up a timer on my internet browser to go off every 30 minutes throughout the workday. When the timer goes off, I get a 5-10 minute break. But during those 30 minutes, I try to do deep work with no distractions. Since my desk is right next to my gym, it’s easy to get in a quick pump. Sometimes, I’ll just take the dog on a quick walk, or go outside and mess around in the garden.
Ramp Capital is just a side business that fills the empty space during my normal workday. It’s become more than I ever thought would be possible, such as having this interview right now. At the end of the day, I’m just having fun on the internet and trying to talk about markets and make people laugh and learn at the same time. So finding the balance between my day-to-day work and my side work has been somewhat difficult. I always prioritize the quality of my work before the quality of my memes.
What do you typically do for lunch? Are you still checking Twitter x socials consistently around this time? Does Twitter and social media activity slow down at all around midday? Is there a lull?
1:30pm: I’m a big leftovers guy. My mission is to assemble together some fancy feast with a mystery basket a la Chopped in the fastest time possible. While I do enjoy eating a variety of foods, I could also eat a plain chicken breast and broccoli every day and survive. Sometimes I view eating as a chore and just another step in my day to keep me energized and moving
forward. My family has been big into the paleo movement for about 7 years now, and I’ve enjoyed the health benefits that have carried through.
If the day has been super busy, I will take lunch time to stuff my face while scrolling through my stocks and Twitter feed. I haven’t noticed a slowdown on Twitter during the day, but it seems to drop off during the night when the markets are closed. I’ve started seeing more action on Twitter at night lately, however, due to some of the crypto accounts I follow. Crypto markets never close, so crypto enthusiasts never shut up online.
After lunch, what’s next for you? Are you swamped in day job work? Do you get a second wind on Twitter? What’s work / #RampLife like for you in the early afternoon on an average day versus a busy day?
3:00pm: I intuitively pay attention to when the stock market closes (4pm EST) in case I want to place any trades during the cash hours. Most of the trades I make occur near the close. Sometimes I’ll place MOC (market-on-close) orders if I spot something throughout
the day that I liked about a certain stock’s price action — this way I can just set it and forget it.
When does your day start to slow down? Is there a transition period where work mellows out and you have to pick up the kids or coordinate family plans for the evening?
5:00pm: I’d say the day doesn’t really start to slow down work-wise until around 5-5:30pm. By that time, the kids are rolling back through the door and are ready to devour all of the food.
What’s dinner like at the Ramp household? Do you cook? Does your family have rules about checking the internet during dinner? Do your kids get any insight into your professional double life? Do you talk about what went down on the web with your family?
7:00pm: Not to pat myself on the back, but I’m actually a pretty decent cook. Growing up, my parents owned a catering service, so I was exposed to food prep at a young age. Currently, my wife and I split the cooking role, depending on whose turn it is. My wife likes
to prepare dishes with elaborate ingredients, while I like to grill various meats and make simple things.
I’ve been trying much harder to be more present when the workday is over. I’ve set timer limits on my phone from 6-9pm as a constant reminder to be present and that the internet can wait until the kids are in bed. Nothing is that urgent — and if it is, someone will call you.
My wife knows about my online dealings. She’s probably more annoyed by it than anyone, so I’ve pretty much stopped talking about it. She doesn’t have the same humor level as I do with regards to what constitutes a good meme or joke. My kids are too young to know about my alter ego. If I had a choice, I would never let them get on social media. I just think it’s a tool that if used properly can turn your life into something amazing. But if used incorrectly, it can turn your brain into mush and create all sorts of mental health issues. I think all kids will need to build an online presence and community in today’s digital landscape, but there are right and wrong ways to accomplish this.
How do you unwind at the end of an average workday? Are you still checking social media at night? Are you a TV person? Any hobbies outside the web?
9:00pm: It can be hard to unwind some nights. It feels like social media is always calling my name. As I mentioned earlier, I try to reduce my screen time at night for a variety of reasons, but also because I’ve noticed my sleep has been affected if I’m on my devices for long periods of time after the sun goes down.
I do enjoy books (science fiction and anything market- or business-related are my favorites), but I struggle with comprehension and focus. So it usually takes me 2-4x longer than someone who doesn’t have a severe case of ADHD.
I’m a pretty big movie buff and love binge-watching shows when I have the time. I deeply miss going to the movie theaters to watch a blockbuster. Looking forward to watching Top Gun and Dune when (if) they come out this fall, once the pandemic settles down again. I’m also a big fan of pretty much anything that HBO Max puts out. The Undoing and Mare of Easttown were some recent mini-series I enjoyed. I think I must have a thing for murder mysteries.
Are you someone who plans in advance? On a typical night, do you have an idea of what your next day will look like? Do you draft tweet ideas or whatnot prior to passing out? How does a good day end?
11:00pm: I’m terrible at planning ahead. I’m literally the person who sees a simple task and says, “That’s tomorrow’s problem.” I will check my schedule to make sure I don’t have any early meetings, but other than that I just regroup every morning and figure it out on the fly.
With regards to drafting tweet ideas, I’ve been doing this for eight years now. Some of my best tweets come to me while I’m in the shower. But typically I riff off of current events or news that I see across my Twitter timeline. Whenever something pops into my head, I just write it down quickly and save it in the drafts. I have hundreds of tweets drafted that have not been shared… yet.
A good day ends after I feel like I don’t have a mountain of work waiting for me the next day. It allows me to be less full of stress, spend more quality time with my family, and enjoy some alone time after the kids go to bed. Then, I dream about my stocks going up the next day... and I wake up in a good mood.