Tag Archives: Personal finance coverage

Lauren Young

Young switches to personal finance for Reuters.com


Lauren Young, who had been the wealth management editor at Reuters, sent out the following change in her job:

Beth Pinsker and I have joined Reuters.com – again – to boost money/personal finance coverage on our website.

We will continue to create actionable content that’s valuable to our media and professional clients. And yes, those stories about retirement, saving for college and all the other stuff you’ve come to rely on will move through the copy desk and appear on the Reuters newswire. (Don’t worry: Linda will continue to write her popular Stern Advice personal finance column every other week, although she will no longer edit personal finance copy.)

I now report to Dan Colarusso, and Beth reports to me.

Personal finance is a top priority for the digital team in 2014. We’ve already made some changes to our page on Reuters.com, so please check it out: http://www.reuters.com/finance/personal-finance

On the Wealth front, Linda Stern will take sole charge of the wealth management team in Reuters News, reporting directly to Paritosh Bansal.

Motley Fool logo

How the Motley Fool cultivates loyal employees


Laura Garnett of Inc. magazine recently spoke to Lee Burbage, chief people officer at The Motley Fool, to learn more about how the personal finance news company fosters an environment that creates a loyal workforce.

Here is an excerpt:

What are some of the fun perks that you provide at The Motley Fool and how have they impacted the employees lives and added to the culture of trust?

We have very low turnover. We believe strongly that this is the last job anyone is going to want to have. It’s freeing when you think in terms of a long term. One area that we are huge on is wellness. When you work here and think of working here for your entire career, we want you to be healthy. We have a full-time wellness coach to help choose healthy foods. We have healthy snacks. Fruit and vegetables are available at all times. Autonomy is also huge for us. We have no vacation policy — we have done that for 20 years. We let people decide when they come to work and how much time they take off. It’s kind of ridiculous that companies trust people with millions of dollars but not their vacation. We also offer manicures and haircuts. And when you join the company, you get $1,000 to invest and you are taught by experts in house.

So how much vacation time do people end up taking?

We get asked this a lot. We don’t have any idea, because we don’ttrack it. We have lost the ability to track it. I don’t think it’s realistic to track. We are transparent and we have a monthly meeting where we go through all our financials. Our goal is for you to know everything all the time. One of the fun things we do is at the end of the meeting is draw a name out of the hat. The number of years you have been in the company determines the number of times your name is in the hat. If chosen, you have to take two weeks off in the next month. This is our way of making people know we are serious about people taking time off.

Read more here.


Nerdwallet.com bringing new voice to personal finance reporting


Nerdwallet.com, a three-year-old personal finance website, wants to be a force in personal finance journalism.

The San Francisco-based company has hired eight journalists in the past few months to produce personal finance content for its website, and it wants to hire at least another dozen full-timers and a couple of dozen student journalists. In October, it hired CNN senior editor Maggie Leung to oversee that expansion.

“The key thing for us is that journalists are a whole new addition to the company,” said Leung, director of content strategy and development, in a telephone interview with Talking Biz News on Wednesday. “It’s a company that is made up of a lot of nerdy people. We have a lot of people who came from Wall Street and see things in a data driven way. But they are not writers. They tried to write, and they made a good effort, but they are not journalists.”

Among her hires is former San Jose Mercury News assistant business editor Steve Zuckerman. Steve has also worked for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is a graduate of Boston University.

Other hires include:

  • editor Chris Hutchison, formerly of the San Jose Mercury and ESPN;
  • editor Sharon Yep, formerly of The Motley Fool;
  • writer Hal Bundrick, a certified financial planner turned full-time writer;
  • writer Kevin Voigt, formerly of CNN.com in Hong Kong and The Wall Street Journal Asia;
  • writer Maggie Clark, formerly of Stateline, a unit of the Pew Charitable Trusts;
  • writer Patricia Caspers, formerly of the Contra Costa Times;
  • writer Lindsay Meredith, formerly a NerdWallet freelancer.

Leung’s staff includes journalists who are telecommuting as well as those working out of the NerdWallet office. She prefers to hire reporters who already know how to cover personal finance topics, but she’s also looking for journalism students who can write hyperlocal articles for $150 each.

“It’s all money related,” said Leung about the site’s content. “It’s insurance, health care, shopping, credit cards…. Pretty much anything that revolves around money…. I don’t have time to teach personal finance. For people who already know that, I automatically pay more. It’s very hard to find people that understand the intricacies of investing and can write about it in a user-friendly way, for instance.”

Leung said there is no mandate to produce a certain number of stories for the NerdWallet site each day. Instead, she wants to focus on stories and topics that can help people make informed decisions with their money.

“At this point, we are not talking about quantity. We are talking about quality. If we wanted quantity, we could go hire a lot more freelancers,” said Leung, who has also worked for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

The founders of NerdWallet are a former hedge fund analyst and a JP Morgan Chase derivatives trader.

To apply for an editorial job at NerdWallet, go here. Experienced journalists can apply here and here.


Ignore biz journalists when it comes to investing advice


Suzanne McGee of The Guardian writes about the dangers of taking financial advice from business journalists.

McGee writes, “Financial reporters have access to smart people who do a great job explaining complicated topics. A lot of other people, less intelligent or more unscrupulous, want to use us to get access to you, our readers. Our job is not to offer personalized financial or investment advice; nor is it to serve as a conduit for pundits.

“Rather, it’s to identify which folks are credible, and whom has more to offer our readers than a soundbite or a stock pick. If it sounds like we’re dishing up what some onlookers have dubbed ‘investment pornography’, it’s time to turn the page, click to the next story, or go watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. That’s more enriching than any stock hype.

“It’s tempting to believe that someone out there has inside knowledge and that if we could find that person, and share in that knowledge, then the American dream would be ours. It’s also tempting, in the midst of a world so awash in products, options and strategies, each enthusiastically promoted, that someone out there is wise enough to hand you a shortlist of the half-dozen best ideas.

“I doubt anyone can do such a thing, and if anyone can, it’s probably not going to be a financial journalist.”

Read more here.

Marketwatch logo

Marketwatch.com seeks personal finance/real estate reporter


MarketWatch seeks an aggressive, Web-savvy reporter who can help filter the news of the day through a single question: “What does this mean for me and my money?”

It’s what readers of every news story wonder on some level, but this reporter will focus primarily on the single biggest financial decision most people make in their lives: buying or selling a home. Every aspect of real estate is fraught with confusion, anxiety, and sometimes outright shadiness, so this reporter will need to become an expert on everything from mortgages and real estate brokers to home builders and contractors.

The ideal candidate should have at least six story ideas before breakfast, and be able to produce quick, smart analyses on both economic data releases and the latest home design trends. This is a premier beat with opportunities for major exposure, including frequent TV appearances and radio interviews. The position requires at least three years news journalism experience, experience in online publishing, strong writing skills, an interest in personal finance journalism, and a keen understanding of how to engage audiences on social media.

Please attach a resume, cover letter and three to five published clips to your online application.

To apply, go here.


Marketplace seeks senior producer for personal finance


This is personal finance like you’ve never seen it.

At “Marketplace,” we believe personal finance coverage should go beyond the broccoli about how to save for retirement, whether to chose a Roth or regular IRA, and how to finance a college education. It’s about how people live money – across cultures, within families and regardless of income brackets.

We are looking for an experienced and innovative individual who, working closely with personal finance expert Carmen Wong Ulrich, will define Marketplace’s coverage of money news and issues across all platforms and shows, culminating in the hour long weekend radio program “Marketplace Money.”

This individual must be entrepreneurial, embody the smarts and personality of the “Marketplace” portfolio and an understanding of how to marry personal and finance.

To apply, go here.

George Goodman

Goodman, former host of “Adam Smith’s Money World,” dies at 83


George Goodman, who hosted the personal finance show “Adam Smith’s Money World” in the 1980s and 1990s, died Friday in Miami at the age of 83.

David Henry of Bloomberg News writes, “Goodman continued to carve out his niche in business journalism by giving Americans a grounding in economics and finance through his TV series ‘Adam Smith’s Money World,’ which premiered in 1984 on Public Broadcasting Service. Borrowing his nom de plume from the 18th-century Scottish philosopher, Goodman covered one topic per show. The 30-minute documentary series ran for 13 years.

“A contributing editor and vice president of New York magazine, he began using a pseudonym to keep his revelations of Wall Street anonymous. Goodman, who went by ‘Jerry’ among his friends, became an editorial-board member at the New York Times in 1977, was executive editor of Esquire magazine for three years, and editorial chairman of N.J. Monthly during the late 1970s.

“‘He changed the way we think about financial journalism,’ Peter Landau, who succeeded Goodman as editor of Institutional Investor, said in a profile on TJFR Group/MasterCard’s Business News Luminaries website. ‘Instead of being told that the Dow Jones Industrials declined two points or something equally boring, all of a sudden we were awakened to the fact that exciting things happen on Wall Street.’”

Read more here.

Brent Hunsberger

Oregonian losing personal finance columnist


Personal finance reporter and columnist Brent Hunsberger will be leaving The Oregonian on Dec. 31 to become a financial planner at Silver Oak Advisory Group in Portland.

He’ll continue to freelance his weekly “It’s Only Money” column, which he started in November 2008, for the newspaper.

“He is a talented guy and a first-rate person,” said Peter Bhatia, the editor of The Oregonian, in an email to Talking Biz News. “No doubt he’ll be successful in his new endeavor and we’re happy he will still write for our audience.”

For the past two-and-a-half years, Hunsberger had been dipping his toe into the financial planning business as a part-time advisor for New Outlook Financial, a fee-only financial planning firm in Portland, according to his LinkedIn page. He had been providing part-time comprehensive planning and advice on saving, budgeting, retirement, investing and insurance. He also helped coordinate tax and estate planning.

Hunsberger has been at the Portland paper since August 1996. He’s worked on The Oregonian’s business team since 2001, covering the economy, workplace issues and Nike. Before that, he covered the environment, urban growth and Clackamas County.

In 1999, he was a key contributor to the newspaper coverage of the New Carissa shipwreck, which was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news.

Before The Oregonion, Hunsberger worked four years for the Albquerque Tribune. He is an Indiana University graduate.

Jean Chatzky

Chatzky begins writing column for Fortune


Personal finance journalist Jean Chatzky will begin writing a regular column for Fortune.com called  “Money Sense From Jean Chatzky.”

The first column, about financial bullies, can be found here.

Chatzky’s column will run weekly online — but she will be contributing to all platforms — so her column could appear in the print magazine at times and she could do video content for Fortune down the line as well. She will also work in Fortune’s conference business, such as its Most Powerful Women conference.

“Jean is someone I have known for a long time, just in the biz,” said Andy Serwer, the magazine’s managing editor, in a phone conversation with Talking Biz News. “I have a lot of respect for the kind of stuff that she does. Personal finance is very appealing, both toward men and women, but maybe more toward women. And she has built up a brand for herself.”

Chatzky is the author of at least eight personal finance books. She has worked at Forbes and SmartMoney and was eventually brought on as the financial editor of “Today” on NBC. She has also written a column for the New York Daily News. Chatzky has also contributed to a number of other magazines, including Money, O Magazine, and More.

In 2009, the Consumer Federation of America awarded Chatzky the Betty Furness Consumer Media Service Award for her nearly two decades of pioneering personal finance education. She has also received the Clarion Award for magazine columns from the Association of Woman in Communications and a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television Inc. The Chicago Tribune named Chatzky one of the country’s best magazine columnists.



Kiplinger’s hires Bigda as contributing editor


Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and Kiplinger.com have hired Carolyn Bigda, longtime Money magazine reporter, as contributing editor.

At Money, Bigda wrote investing pieces on market trends, individual stocks, ETFs and mutual funds for feature and cover stories. Prior to covering the investing beat, she focused on banking, cash investments, consumer credit and debt management for monthly columns and feature stories. She also introduced “The Frugal Connoisseur,” a series about luxury goods for less and has appeared regularly on radio and television to offer investing insights and consumer advice.

“Carolyn is a highly respected journalist who brings a wealth of knowledge that will greatly benefit our readers and expand the breadth of our editorial staff,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, in a statement. “We are excited to incorporate her expertise into our investing coverage and welcome her to the Kiplinger team.”

Bigda has also written the Chicago Tribune’s Getting Started column, which appears weekly in the Tribune and in other Tribune Media outlets. She has degrees from Northwestern University and New York University.

“I am honored to join such a renowned personal finance publication,” said Bigda. “I’ve been fortunate to develop a following of loyal readers and look forward to engaging a whole new audience as part of the Kiplinger’s team.”