Todd Harrison has reduced market complexities to cartoon level — literally.
Minyanville, an imaginary landscape located at www.minyanville.com, is designed to explain stock and bond market concepts to the general public using cartoon characters. Mr. Harrison started the site in 2002 when he was still president of the $400 million hedge fund firm Cramer Berkowitz & Co. and a columnist at TheStreet.com's RealMoney.com subsidiary. In the ensuing two years, the project has become so all-consuming that he quit both day jobs to concentrate on expanding it.
Mr. Harrison has recruited 20 other financial professionals to provide additional investment insight and commentary. The site's two newest columnists are Bernie Schaeffer, chairman and chief executive officer of Schaeffer's Investment Research Inc., and Jeff Macke, founder and president of Macke Asset Management LLC, which runs the Buckshot Capital hedge fund.
The site attracts 11 million hits per month, and there's even talk of creating an animated film based on Minyanville with the assistance of various Hollywood producers, said spokeswoman Mary Kaye Daniels.
Minyanville also hosts charity events and online auctions to benefit the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education, which is managed by Mr. Harrison and named for his grandfather, who died last year. The latest online auction offering is a guitar signed by investment industry luminaries such as Paul Tudor Jones, George Soros and Peter Lynch. Last year, Minyanville visitors contributed almost $250,000, which was distributed to various children's music education charities.