Wall Street’s road warriors have spent the past three months grounded. How’s that working out?

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Wall Street’s road warriors have spent the past three months grounded. How’s that working out?

John Mauldin misses the little thrill of being recognized in an airport, while Barry Ritholtz muses on having staggered shifts in his office. What else did ‘lockdown’ mean to finance’s heavyweights?

June 13, 2020 By Andrea Riquier

John Mousseau before the lockdown and during
John Mousseau before the lockdown and during

MarketWatch checked in with a few high-profile financial road warriors to see how they’ve handled having to hunker down, their overnight bags gathering dust. We asked what, if any, shifts in the way financial services operate might be here to stay when things get “back to normal,” if there is such a thing.

John Mousseau is president and CEO of Sarasota, Fla.-based Cumberland Advisors, a fee-based investment advisory firm with about $3 billion in assets. Before the lockdown, Mousseau regularly traveled about one-third of the time.

From his home in Sarasota to Cumberland’s office is about a two-minute drive, and Mousseau says he felt safer creating a “command center” for himself in the office, where he was all alone with multiple computer screens, televisions and phones.

He’s a bit rueful about being stuck at home during Lent, however. “That’s when I try to do something nice for someone every day, you know, just ‘Can I give you a hand with that?’ That fell by the wayside this year. The sad part is unless you’re wearing a mask, that’s something you won’t do in the new normal. To the extent there was any chivalry at all, it’s going to take a big hit.”

MarketWatch: What’s it been like being homebound?

John Mousseau: There’s an upside to this: the solitariness isn’t that bad because I spend most of the day on the phone. There’s never any isolation. There’s been good aspects: you’re not out doing entertaining, being entertained, not eating donuts that people bring in. I’ve been swimming, working out, and while the gym was closed, I would go home and go on a run. I’m down 18 pounds.

The interview continues at MarketWatch’s website: www.marketwatch.com


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