The First Lady of Finance

Most people can’t recall how it was they learned about money and savings, or the exchange of goods for cold, hard cash. It’s not that shocking, however, that Maria Bartiromo, aka The Money Honey, the woman whom Vanity Fair refers to as the Barbara Walters of business news, does recall. “When I was a kid, one of my earliest memories was when the ice cream truck would come down the block when I was five or six years old. I would say to my mother, ‘Mom, can I have an ice cream cone?’ and she would say, ‘You can have it, but how are you going to pay for it? Do you have any money to pay for it?’” It inspired the young Maria to begin saving her funds in a jar to purchase those cool treats, and it was a lesson that shaped her life path, and subsequently, the lives of millions who turn to her for their financial business news.

Haute Living met up with Maria at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, where she posed for our cameras with the ease of a professional familiar with the spotlight. She was in full make-up with flawless hair, because immediately after our shoot, it was back to the studio to get in front of the cameras for Closing Bell. She was on-air that day from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., as she is every Monday through Friday as the anchor of CNBC’s Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo, where she covers up-to-the-minute news on all aspects of the business and financial world—certainly a 24-hour-a-day job for the past year as the world stayed glued to the news channel watching the stock market first plummet and then begin to slowly climb again. During the two hours she is on-air each day, she may conduct as many as seven interviews on topics ranging from oil prices and interest rates to housing stats and earnings reports. Her long days are spent preparing, researching, and keeping up with the market, while trying to balance her personal ventures with professional obligations. On any given weekday, viewers might also spy her friendly face on Morning Joe or the Today Show. Then, of course, she is the host and managing editor of Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo, which airs every weekend and recently was rated the most watched financial news program in America.

Surprisingly, being in front of the camera wasn’t her original career choice. She began her college path with a focus in finance, but on her mother’s advice, she turned her attention to journalism. It is fitting that she had such a strong female role model in her life, seeing as she is one of the few female faces—and quite a beautiful one at that—in a male-dominated industry.

Thus, the New York tabloids slapped her with the moniker “The Money Honey” early on in her career—not that you will hear her complain about it. The business-savvy Maria knows a good marketing opportunity when she sees one, thus the term has been trademarked and branded.