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About Jane Bryant Quinn

Posted By Miranda Marquit On 06/03/2013 @ 7:29 am In Personal Finance | 2 Comments

When one thinks of Top Money Gurus [3], sometimes those with the big personalities get a lot of the spotlight. However, there has been one financial journalist who has been around for quite some time — and who has long provided consumers with practical advice.

Jane Bryant Quinn is one of the most well-known financial journalists, writing a biweekly column for Newsweek for 30 years and offering thoughtful advice in her Washington Post Writers Group “Staying Ahead” column, which ran for 27 years.

She is also one of the old guard of personal finance and consumer writing. She was born in Niagara Falls, New York, in 1939. She has been writing for decades, and is one of the most trusted names in money. Her first job was with Look, which hired her to cover money. She began learning about money through a subscription to American Banker. After Look folded, she was asked to write a newsletter for McGraw-Hill. Some of her credits include hosting shows on PBS, as well as working for CBS (including with Dan Rather).

This profile is part of our Top Money Guru poll. For the next two weeks we’ll be highlighting ten personal finance experts for our first ever Top Money Guru poll – you can vote for your favorite guru here [3]. It takes less than a minute and you could win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Poll ends June 10th.

Jane Bryant Quinn’s first book, Everyone’s Money Book, was published in 1978, and designed to help ordinary people learn the basics of financial management. One of the most popular boost she has written is Making the Most of Your Money, which was published in 1991. The third edition of the book was published in 2009, and remains one of the staples of personal finance reading.

The main thrust of most of the advice offered by Quinn is that most consumers do fine if as long as they reduce their exposure to risk. While Quinn’s advice isn’t often surprising or controversial, and it’s delivered without flair, it is often solid and simple. Right now, she writes for the AARP Bulletin, and little else.

Awards Won By Jane Bryant Quinn

Because Jane Bryant Quinn has a journalism background, she has had the opportunity win a number of awards. She has won the National Press Club Consumer Journalism Award three times, as well as winning an Emmy. She has twice won the John Hancock Award for Excellence in Business and Financial Journalism, and she has won a number of awards from consumer organizations.

Daily Voice and Other Involvement

Quinn started Main Street Connect with her third husband, Carll Tucker. The site is now Daily Voice, and it is designed to bring hyperlocal news to communities in New York and Connecticut. The site has been generally well-received, and helps consumers keep up with what they consider most important in their communities.

While Quinn has retired a number of the columns that made her famous, she still weighs in from time to time on financial subjects. In the past, Quinn has served on the board at the Harvad School of Public Health and on the board of the Jerome Levy Economics Institute at Bard College. Her credentials also include serving as a director of Bloomberg L.P.

Even though Jane Bryant Quinn has slowed down somewhat, she is still one of the most recognized names in personal finance, and someone that many of the most recent sensations in the financial world have read.

Five Questions with Jane Bryant Quinn

1. How did you get started writing about personal finance?
I got a job at a consumer newsletter published by the late Look Magazine [4]. Several consumer money issues were coming up in Congress and no one on the newsletter wanted to cover them. I was the new person. The editor said ‘you.” I said I didn’t know anything about the issue. The editor said ‘learn.’ So I did.

2. What do you consider your greatest contribution to personal finance?
Knowing how important these issues were going to be to the general public, as financial deregulation progress and people had to take charge of their financial futures. They were clearly going to need impartial information about financial products, from someone on their side. At the time I started, most info came from salespeople. In fact, it still does – but fortunately, the personal finance field as grown so there are many more sources of advice today.

3. What do you consider your biggest money mistake or regret?
A couple of crummy investments, best not mentioned!

4. Which of these superlatives (Most Accessible, Entertaining, Helpful, Respected, Trustworthy) resonates the most with you and why?
All of these adjectives are important to financial planning advice. If you’re not at least minimally entertaining, no one will read you. If you don’t write clearly, no one will understand what you’ve said. If you aren’t trustworthy – giving well-researched and impartial information – you don’t belong in the business.

5. Who is your favorite guru (in the world) and why?
Jack Bogle. He changed the investing world for individuals, giving them a chance against the Wall Street sharks.

Guru Vitals:

  • Twitter Followers: ~2,900
  • Facebook Fans: ~315
  • # of Books: 6

You can find her on Twitter @JaneBryantQuinn [5] or through her website JaneBryantQuinn.com [6].

What do you think about Jane Bryant Quinn?


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[3] Top Money Gurus: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/1st-annual-personal-finance-expert-awards.html

[4] Look Magazine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Look_(American_magazine)

[5] @JaneBryantQuinn: https://twitter.com/JaneBryantQuinn

[6] JaneBryantQuinn.com: http://janebryantquinn.com/

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