Move over Maira Bartiromo... here comes Hoofy the bull.For a generation that grew up with animated characters and videogames, the insatiable attraction to interaction with animated avatars now extends to learning about investments and monitoring portfolios. More than 2,000 sophisticated investors get daily market commentary from a cartoon bull named Hoofy, one of several characters dreamed up by Todd Harrison, a former hedge-fund manager who in 2002 created the investor education Web site Minyanville.com. Boo the bear supplies healthy skepticism. In addition, Snapper the turtle appears during snapback rallies. This is not light fare-- Harrison enlists seasoned investors to write for him, including hedge-fund manager John Succo and options specialist Jon “Dr. J.” Najarian .
Even a cartoon spokesbull might not alleviate post-boom skepticism for the business model. “These guys have a tough row to hoe,” says Forrester research analyst Bill Doyle, citing struggles at other paid investing sites such as TheStreet.com.
Nevertheless, the site has drawn a following of unusually loyal readers. They recently presented Minyanville with an electric guitar signed by Warren Buffett, George Soros, Bill Gross and other investing legends. It will be auctioned off for charity.
From Business Week