Stacy Johnson President/Journalist
Here's a little bit about me, my background, what I do and why I do it. I'm a 50-something married guy living in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, FL, the yachting capital of the world. I live in a modest house on a canal off the Intracoastal Waterway and have a boat or two behind my house. I love riding motorcycles (Softail Custom) sailing, fishing, traveling and laughing out loud as often as possible.
As far as credentials go, I've got more than most. I've been a CPA since 1980 and have also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options, mutual funds, life insurance and real estate. I spent 10 years working for three Wall Street firms (EF Hutton, Shearson and Prudential) and have been investing in both stocks and real estate for about 30 years.
For the last 20 years, I've written, produced and distributed Money Talks News, a consumer/personal finance TV news feature that airs in about 80 cities nationwide as well as around the web. I've now done close to 3,000 personal finance news stories. I've also written a few books, including what I modestly consider to be the best how-to-get-out-of-debt book in the universe, Life or Debt.
While I'm certainly not rich in the Palm Beach/Central Park West sense, I'm financially independent, meaning I work because I want to and not because I have to. I didn't get here by selling books, tapes or seminars. I did it the same way I expect you to: one hard-fought paycheck at a time.
My philosophy is simple: as you go through life, you have the opportunity to either look rich or be rich. But you probably won't live long enough to accomplish both. So make a decision. If you want to look rich, you don't need me. Just do what the commercials tell you. If you want to be rich, however, I can help.
Consider this: if you can save just 5 bucks a day every day for 30 years, and earn 10% on it, you'll end up with $343,693. That's enough to change your life and the lives of those you love. And I'll assist by hooking you up with savings, both big and small, so you'll find that 5 bucks. And I'll give you investing advice so your money works as hard for you as you do for it.
So if you'd like to make more, spend less, avoid being ripped off and better understand money, keep coming back. We'll leave the lights on for you!
Posts by Stacy Johnson
Feb 22, 2010 - Thanks to the CARD Act, you're going to have new rights, credit card companies will have fewer, and it's all going to be spelled out in language that's a lot easier to understand.
Feb 19, 2010 - In 2008 the average American family spent $6,100 on food. But if that average family had used these tips, they might've saved 10% or $600.
Feb 19, 2010 - Everybody makes mistakes. But one place you should really try to avoid them is when you do your income taxes. You may think that using software will eliminate any chance for error; if only life were that simple! Before you seal that envelope or hit "send" to file electronically, read/watch this story.
Feb 18, 2010 - According to his suicide note, Joseph Andrew Stack crashed a small plane into an Austin IRS office today because he was frustrated by a lack of work and an unfair tax system.
Feb 18, 2010 - Don't ever be persuaded to pay past due accounts without getting an agreement from the creditor or collection agency to remove any negatives from your credit history!
Feb 17, 2010 - Most people know more about shopping for groceries than shopping insurance. And that's a shame, since you probably spend more insuring your family than feeding it. Here's what you need to know to understand, organize and save on car insurance.
Feb 15, 2010 - Most people don't realize it, but when you're unable to pay your bills, you've got more to worry about than damage to your credit score. Because your creditor's not the only one involved when you avoid repaying part or all of a debt through debt settlement, foreclosure or any other sort of forgiveness. You've also got Uncle Sam to worry about.
Feb 14, 2010 - According to a recent survey, the vast majority of Americans pay a tax professional to do their taxes for them. Since this is a job that you can do yourself in minutes with cheap software, I believe a lot of people are wasting a lot of money. But if you're going to pay a pro, at least try to find the right one and harness their expertise so they're worth the extra money.
Feb 12, 2010 - Just because the name is national, the people are friendly and the decor is nice doesn't mean you can trust your tax preparation service to do the right thing. The rates many preparers charge on refund anticipation loans makes them little more than loan sharks. If you don't use these loans, you know someone that does. So check out this story, then share it.
Feb 10, 2010 - Most people negotiate on super-expensive things like cars and houses. But for many, that's where the haggling stops. It shouldn't. Negotiating for better deals on everything from cable bills to doctor visits isn't just rewarding: it can be fun. Check out this story on how to do it right.
Feb 09, 2010 - If you're a woman, this post is my Valentine's Day gift to you: Forward it to your beau with a note like "Came across this article; thought you'd be interested."If you’re a guy faced with jewelry shopping this Valentine's Day, I feel your pain. Jewelry shopping is bad on so many levels: First, you might end up at someplace like a mall. Then you'll be expected to spend a lot for what looks so little. So let's see if we can make the process a little less painful by arming you with a few quick tips to make it less stressful and less expensive.
Feb 08, 2010 - Virtually everyone in the United States is eligible for some sort of free tax preparation help, from free in-person preparation and electronic filing to filing free forms online. Here's how to find out what you qualify for.
Feb 04, 2010 - This reader has $40,000 of credit card debt and having trouble making payments. If you're in a similar situation or know someone who is, take a look at the 5 options to deal with debt. Warning: None are painless, and all will result in varying degrees of hassle and heartache.
Feb 02, 2010 - Most of the money I suggest harnessing for debt destruction comes in dribs and drabs from doing things like smart shopping and avoiding dumb deals.But sometimes there's something big you can do. This is one of those times.
Feb 02, 2010 - It's a question I've been hearing for 30 years: Can I earn more than risk-free investments are paying... without taking any risk or tying my money up?