Conversations: EPISODE 10

Jared Dillian – Financial Trader, Analyst, Author, Radio Show Host

May 26, 2020

“I try to be cynical, but it’s hard to keep up.”

For this episode of Conversations, we venture into the world of finance and speak with Jared Dillian.

Jared is truly a fascinating guy with incredible insights into the world. 

I first came across his insights after reading an expose about him in the NY Times back in 2011. 

Jared worked as a trader at Lehman Brothers starting back in 2001–just weeks before the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He started with Lehman as an index arbitrage trader and then as head of the ETF (or exchange traded fund) desk. During this time, he routinely traded over $1 billion a day in volume. 

His tenure lasted 7 years and ended with a front row seat into the financial industry’s collapse and Lehman Brothers shocking bankruptcy.

After the financial collapse, instead of seeking a new position with one of the big financial firms, Jared started his own financial publishing business, the Daily Dirtnap

And it is from the Daily Dirtnap that I’ve come to know Jared so well. 

The Daily Dirtnap is a 3-page newsletter that is delivered to me by email each morning and has helped shape my beliefs not just about finance, but life in general. Honestly, it is pure gold.

In fact, other than reading the NY Times every morning since 1996, there is nothing I’ve read more consistently or with more anticipation than Dillian’s The Daily Dirtnap. 

He’s been described as one of the industry’s most original, entertaining, and contrarian voices and referred to as “the Dr. House of trading.”

His readership is wide ranging from casual investors to professional traders and hedge fund managers.

But wait, there’s more. 

Dillian also publishes the publication the 10th Man—which has the motto “it is a duty of the 10th man to disagree”—which takes a very different spin on the financial markets. It is also one of my favorite publications and one that I encourage you to try out, especially because it is free. 

Other newsletter publications of Dillian’s include ETF 20/20 and Streak Freak.

Beyond newsletter publications, Dillian has also authored two books, 

His first, Streak Freak: Money and Madness at Lehman Brothers, was described by Bloomberg as a disturbingly candid memoir about a poor kid who quit the U.S. Coast Guard to chase his dream of becoming a trader. 

And Publisher Weekly said Dillian offers a candid look at the demise of a corporate behemoth.

Dillian’s second book, All the Evils in the World,” has been described as a riveting tale of a high-stakes options trade gone bad—or good—depending on each of his many memorable characters’ perspectives. This novel is a finely wrought study of the people who pull the levers behind the curtain of the markets.

Even after all this, I have one more endorsement of Dillian’s work. Jared started a Personal Finance talk show on Smart Talk Radio and WCGO called The Jared Dillian Show.

If you are a Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman fan, I’ve got to tell you that Dillian blows these guys out of the water. 

You can listen and even call in live Monday through Friday from 4 pm to 6 pm Eastern time.

As you can see, Jared truly has the rare ability that combines sheer volume of writing with crisp, intelligent, and interesting ideas. 

His work never lets me down and always keeps me thoroughly engaged.

So without further ado, here is my conversation with Jared Dillian

By Adam Rosh

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