By Linka Torsleff —
Any Google expedition in search of alumnus David Gaffen, J/MS 1995, will quickly lead you to the 39-year-old’s Twitter account. A financial columnist at Reuters in New York, Gaffen’s area of expertise is the stock market.
His Twitter feed is active, colorful and oftentimes amusing. It represents an important part of Gaffen’s online public presence. He offers a mix of topical commentary, jokes and conversations with peers, as well as opinions and advice on his topics of expertise as a stock market expert. Although his tweets are light and conversational, Gaffen’s tweeting habit is not the leisurely pursuit it may seem to be. He explains that Twitter is something he uses for work, to “highlight other articles written at Reuters and converse with people on that web site.”
He reveals that he has to in fact work hard to “push [himself] to tweet more often, though at the busiest times when people are often most likely to see and watch social media — such as in big market moves, or perhaps during a Presidential debate.”
Indeed, Gaffen is no stranger to the online world of journalism. After J/MS, he entered professional journalism at an exciting time, when the internet was about to make its presence truly felt and journalism itself was about to change forever. In 1998, after moving to New York, Gaffen got a job at web publication TheStreet.com. He remembers the experience proudly, describing it as “really a great incubator” and his colleagues as representing “lots of talent… people who have gone on to become published authors, editors at prominent publications.”
After a stint at a trade publication, Gaffen found himself at the Wall Street Journal Online in 2005.
He was back in the online medium, and so he took the reins and started the MarketBeat blog, which has grown to be one of the world’s best known market blogs. He devoted himself to his creation for three years, describing it as a “fantastic experience,” especially “through the depths of the financial crisis, trying to chronicle just what was going on as the world melted down.”
In 2009, Gaffen settled into his position at Reuters. Last year he wrote a book about stock investment for the everyman, Never Buy Another Stock Again, which advises a more cautious and broad approach to the market. Now he’s working on a fiction novel. Gaffen is happy where he is in his professional and personal life, so don’t expect him to go anywhere soon. Living in Dobbs Ferry, NY, with his wife and two children, Gaffen muses that “home base has been in the same 50-or-so mile radius” for his whole life.
All the while, Rutgers has stayed close to his heart. “Yes, I think Rutgers made a big impression on me — it’s a fond part of my memories,” he explained. Though the thought that it has already been 18 years since his time on campus “scares” Gaffen, J/MS alumni will be pleased to find that Rutgers still receives many a mention in Gaffen’s Twitter feed.