I’m passionate about personal and professional development, which made this week’s Media Movers interview special. Taylor Riggs represents the best of the best: She’s smart, driven and always working to better herself.
The Fox Business team was just as impressed. Taylor was recently hired away from Bloomberg to co-anchor the “The Big Money Show,” which will launch on Jan. 23 a 1 p.m. Viewers will benefit as she speaks with authority based on her CFA — which involves rigorous studying and testing — her master’s in finance and her ongoing studies at the New York Law School.
In an inspiring interview, I talked with Taylor about her new gig, how marathon training (the running kind) benefits her and what the Great Pyramid is like in person.
Dawn Wotapka: Congrats on your new job! Tell me about this new role and how it came about.
Taylor Riggs: I’m so excited for this new opportunity. This new role will be about bringing my financial knowledge and a more institutional-focused background, and working with my two co-anchors, to make finance and economics more accessible to the Fox Business audience. Lauren Petterson has been spearheading really successful roundtable programs. It was a natural fit for me to be a part of a team that believes in having smart roundtable conversations and smart guests on the program.
Dawn: What differentiates “The Big Money Show” from its peer and competitor shows?
Taylor: When I think of Big Money, I think of the big institutional funding on Wall Street that is making money every day. Why can’t Americans have the same access to that, and the same opportunity to grow and build their financial wealth?
“The Big Money Show” focuses on helping everyone achieve financial independence and success. I hope to make it fun and cool to be a little bit of a financial whiz. And we always say that “time in the market” is better than “timing the market.” I hope we can help everyone preserve and grow their capital by investing wisely.
Dawn: What made you decide to leave Bloomberg after nearly a decade?
Taylor: I will always love Bloomberg and appreciate the incredible opportunities it gave me. Moving to Fox Business was an opportunity that came my way that was just too good to pass up. I always believe that for a career, it is important to run to a great new opportunity and that change is always important to spur growth.
Dawn: You started at Bloomberg as a writer, and I know speed matters there. Was going from words to on-air an easy transition?
Taylor: I love that my early career was focused on writing for print publications and taught me rigorously the value of grammar, punctuation, and the importance of every word and structure of a paragraph. It’s a lifelong skill that I’m grateful to have. The transition to on-air was new and challenging but fun in different ways. I have found that speaking face-to-face, the interpersonal connection, and emotion that comes along with it has a much bigger impact on me and the audience than the written word. In that way, I really enjoy on-air interviews.
Dawn: You are currently in law school, which only adds to your list of amazing accomplishments. What do you plan to do with this degree?
Taylor: I got very bored during the pandemic when I couldn’t travel or go to the gym and watched everything I could possible on Netflix. So I took the LSAT after watching one too many episodes of “Suits” and somehow found my way enrolling last fall. Law school has turned into a way to fulfill my constant curiosity about how the world works.
I think great journalists are inherently curious and skeptical and law school teaches me to think through an argument, argue both sides of an issue, and come to a conclusion based on reason and fact. In that way, it feels like a great supplement to my journalistic work. Plus, it’s never a bad thing to learn more about our constitution, criminal law, bankruptcy law and commercial law. These topics all affect businesses and people and financial markets daily without us even realizing it. My husband says he’s happy with me enrolling in law school as long as it means he doesn’t have to watch “Legally Blonde” as many times with me on the couch.
Dawn: Tell me about the CFA designation and how that helps your work.
Taylor: The CFA designation was hands-down the most important educational decision I’ve made. It was grueling but taught me everything I needed to know about how to analyze what a company is worth and be able to read and then understand financial statements. Plus, it empowered me to take control of my own finances and have my financial independence. It also gave me confidence knowing I could interview the smartest CEOs and analysts in the world on TV and go toe-to-toe with them without hesitation.
Dawn: Is this something you’d recommend to other journalists?
Taylor: Yes! Yes! Yes! Just be prepared to give up your life for a few years. I had a wonderful support system of girlfriends who didn’t see me for a few years while I was studying, but they told me we could have all the dinners and parties in the world once I was finished.
Dawn: What helpful advice have you received from other women in your career?
Taylor: Invest in yourself. That’s the biggest piece of advice I can give anyone. People can take away your money or house or car, but they can never take away your knowledge and the time you have spent investing in YOU. Remember, you are worth it.
Someone important to me once asked me how I wanted to look back at the previous five years. Time is going to pass no matter what. Do you want to learn something or do you want to say you spent the last few years watching re-runs? Also, failure is good. Failure means you are trying and growing. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not trying something new.
Dawn: You’re a distance runner training for another marathon. That is incredibly impressive! I know distance running requires a lot of focus, determination and planning. How does that help you in your daily life?
Taylor: My mom always told me to sleep when I was dead, and I’m not sure she thought I would actually take that to heart! So yes, here I am training for my 16th marathon in 10 years. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
And I try to approach that way of thinking in everything I do. Marathon training teaches me the importance of routine, determination, pushing through pain and doing things I don’t always want to do even though I should do them. David Goggins has been a huge inspiration for me. Every time I want to complain about another 20-mile training run, he is out running a 100-mile race and then I realize I can’t really complain about my life, can I? Plus, I am a huge proponent of the mind-body connection. Running is mentally therapeutic and can cure any bad day.
Dawn: Your Instagram feed is full of travel photos. What is your favorite travel memory?
Taylor: My favorite travel memory was running the Athens marathon. I was living in San Francisco at the time. My now-husband flew from New York to San Francisco to pick me up so I wouldn’t have to fly alone. We then jumped on a red-eye flight to Athens on a Friday night, got stuck in the Istanbul Airport after missing our connection, and somehow ran the marathon together on Sunday. We then flew back to San Francisco Monday morning. It taught me how much is actually possible in a weekend — hint: more than you think. You can do anything you set your mind to, and jet-lag is a wild experience while running 26.2 miles.
But it also reminded me how much I love running marathons with my husband and that you should be with someone you can do all of that with and still get along with each other. Bonus: the Athens marathon is the original. Marathon races got the name after a messenger ran 26.2 miles from the city of Marathon to the city of Athens in 490 B.C. to deliver news that the Greeks were victorious in the Battle of Marathon.
Dawn Wotapka is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who loves to read and write. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children. She is a slow runner and an avid Peloton user. To submit tips for her Media Movers column, you can contact her at email@example.com. Be sure to connect with Dawn on LinkedIn.