Great Advice for Grads 2021

10 Money Insights From 25 Years of Financial Writing


The importance of money has less to do with affording the newest iPhone or measuring career success, and far more to do with the core of being human: freedom, ego, stress and relationships. Howwe use and think about money — not just accumulating lots of it — literally can determine our happiness during the roughly 30,000 days many of us are privileged to be alive. Those are a few of the big-picture insights I learned in 25 years of writing about money. In 1995, some of the last millennials were being born, a jury said O.J. Simpson was not guilty and “Toy Story” played in theaters. It’s also the year I became business news editor at a daily newspaper in Pennsylvania, where I started editing guest columns written by local financial planners and stock brokers. I quickly became fascinated with the baffling world of personal finance. How could I graduate from college — with a business degree, no less — and still not know the basics of how money works for real people in the real world? Saving, investing, taxes, credit and insurance — it’s almost like personal finance was confusing on purpose. Tl;dr: Sometimes, it is. I had the privilege as a financial journalist to figure out some of it by interviewing smart people about money for the next 25 years — through the dot-com bubble of 2001, the housing bubble of 2008 and the pandemic of 2020.



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