About the Authors

Course Progress:

It’s not necessary for you to know anything about me for this course to work for you, so if you feel like skipping this part, feel free. But I think it makes sense for you to know the person you’re getting advice from, so here’s the abbreviated version of how I came to be your humble guide.

Ever notice how practically all self-help books start out with the author revealing some sort of emotional catharsis that suddenly caused them to see the light? You know, stuff like, “There I was, 45 years old, living on the street and eating from a dumpster, when suddenly inspiration struck like a divine lightning bolt! All I had to do was follow the Seven Magic Steps and I’d become rich beyond my wildest dreams! And sure enough, it’s happened! Now, I have a mansion in Malibu, my own helicopter, and I party at the Playboy mansion!”

Nearly every famous “guru” tells a story like this. What they’re leaving out, however, is that they didn’t get that Malibu mansion by actually following the Seven Magic Steps.

They got their mansion by selling the Magic Steps to people like you. This, by definition, means you can’t get your mansion the same way they did.

In short, if that fabulously successful person you’re following online or on TV got rich by selling their advice rather than living their advice, they’re a fraud.

So here’s your first lesson. Being famous doesn’t make you smart. Claiming you’re an expert doesn’t make you one. Being rich doesn’t equate to being wise. Admitting to stupid mistakes doesn’t make them less stupid.

If you’re going to put your trust in someone, put it first in those who have academic and professional credentials, a long track record and a history of saying and doing things that are logical and successful.

There’s your yardstick. And here’s how I measure up.

I’m a CPA and spent 10 years working as a Wall Street investment adviser. I’ve earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, life insurance, real estate and securities supervisory. I’ve been awarded two Emmys and published three books through major publishers: “Life or Debt,” “Money Made Simple” and “Life or Debt 2010.”

For more than 30 years, I’ve been producing personal finance print and video content seen by millions of Americans daily.

The Money Talks TV news series has appeared within the local news of more than 80 network affiliates nationwide since 1991, making it the longest-running and most-watched personal finance news series.

The Money Talks News website is one of the web’s most popular personal finance sites, with more than a half million subscribers. (Become one here free.)

I’m a millionaire several times over. I got where I am today the same way I expect you to: combining one hard-fought paycheck at a time together with sound planning and a growing understanding that, if I was going to have a retirement at all, I’d have to learn to live within my means.

While I personally wrote a lot of what you’re about to read, some of it was written by our talented team of writers and editors. We’ve got some of the most experienced personal finance journalists anywhere; most of us have been doing this for decades.