I never really set out to be a personal finance expert. My dad and his subscriptions to Barron's and Money magazine, his Friday night dinner viewings of Wall St. Week with Louis Roukyser, and my solo checking account at 15 probably made it inevitable.
But as a young editor at Money magazine many years later, I wasn't thrilled with the personal finance advice out there. Much had become dry, obsessed with day trading (late '90's), gimmicky, or just plain dull and inapplicable to regular, busy, smart people who don't have tens of thousands of dollars in the stock market.
Many folks, especially young adults, are trying to make ends meet, stay clear of too much debt, save for their first home, or are worried about a first child, etc. They want and need straightforward, clear, and even fun to read information on how to deal day-to-day with their hard-earned money.
Let's not even get started talking about debt-college loans, credit card debt, home equity loans, mortgages, etc. We are a culture of consumers and a society where it is now nearly vital to get a college degree to compete in the workplace. And those degrees are more expensive now than ever. Student loans are the norm for nearly all graduates.
And who's talking to them? At parties, when I get asked what I'm up to and I talk about the book, I get an inkling of what doctors feel like at parties. "You know, I have this store credit card and they're driving me crazy-I just can't get rid of it." Or, "I'm trying to save up to buy my first place and this is what I have so far-how long is it going to take me?"
After a quick primer, I'm glad to have one place to send people-my book. I wanted to deliver personal finance information not just in a quasi-entertaining package, but to deliver only what you need to know. No extras-no long tangents on the structure of index funds or schpeels on economic indexes.
But what I had the most fun with is sneaking in tidbits about my own experiences with money and debt. And book-ending the how-to chapters with some 'meat' on how and why things are the way they are and what can be done to make things better. What a great platform to have and my motivation was to elucidate, inform, and trumpet some advocacy. Rile up some troops and get the blood flowing. I hope it helps make the medicine go down.
Because when it comes to your own money, without motivation, the only way it tends to move is out#