- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

About Liz Pulliam Weston

If you are looking for personal finance advice, chances are that you have read something written by Liz Pulliam Weston. According to Nielson/NetRatings, Weston is the most-read personal finance columnist online and easily the most prolific of the Top Money Gurus [3].

Not only is she widely read, but she has also won awards for her personal finance writing. Many readers identify with Weston’s easy-to-understand writing style, and her no-nonsense approach to money.

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.

Liz Pulliam Weston’s Credentials and Books

Many financial gurus have little to no “official” financial training; no matter how good their advice sounds, there is often a degree of skepticism about how effective it will be, or whether or not it can be trusted. Liz Pulliam Weston is a little different in that regard. She graduated from the certified financial planner training program at the University of California, Irvine.

Weston has also won awards for her efforts. She won a Clarion Award, as well as a team Gerald Loeb Award. Her award credentials also include a Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service (team award). She has been a reporter for a number of newspapers and is currently a personal finance columnist with MSN Money. Weston also has a popular syndicated column, “Money Talk,” that appears in newspapers around the country.

Among her areas of specialty are debt management and credit scoring. Indeed, Your Credit Score remains the most popular book on credit scoring and is in its fourth edition. Weston also wrote The 10 Commandments of Money and the ebook There Are No Dumb Questions About Money [4]. Her books are straightforward, and contain advice that almost anyone can follow to build wealth for the long-term.

She has appeared on a number of respected money shows, including “Marketplace Money,” “All Things Considered,” and “Talk of the Nation” on NPR, as well as on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” She has also been on “The Dr. Phil Show.” Liz Pulliam Weston has also appeared on other shows and been an expert commentator for a number of news programs.

Many find it comforting that Weston has journalism chops as well as financial planning training.

Managing Your Credit

Liz Pulliam Weston is most recognized for her efforts on educating consumers about credit scoring [5]. She breaks down the basics of credit scoring, and shares what consumers can do to improve their scores and save money over time. She has made a great deal of effort to educate consumers about how the credit scoring industry works, and the steps that need to be taken to build a good credit history and maintain a good credit score.

Many of Weston’s columns deal with this subject. However, she also writes on several other financial subjects, including debt management and building wealth. Her writing on debt management is designed to help consumers get rid of debt permanently, and her wealth building advice focuses on simple actions designed to establish a firm financial base.

She has built up her own wealth over time, and many consider her a credible and down to earth source of information.

Five Questions with Liz Weston

1. How did you get started writing about personal finance?
I wrote a few money stories as a cub reporter for the Seattle Times, but it didn’t become a full-time gig until the early 1990s when I was a reporter at the Orange County Register. I had been covering politics and was sick of it. I wanted to write about something where I might actually make a difference in someone’s life.

2. What do you consider your greatest contribution to personal finance?
Because I went through the Certified Financial Planner training program, I can bring the principles of comprehensive financial planning to people who might not ever be able to afford a good advisor—or who might not realize they need one.

3. What do you consider your biggest money mistake or regret?
I don’t have a lot of regrets, since every experience can teach you something. But the mistakes I remember are usually about what I didn’t do, rather than what I did. Sometimes my younger self was too cheap. One example: my university named me one of its top 100 graduates, and I didn’t go to the ceremony because I was trying to save money at the time. Dumb. Managing money is all about balance, and experiences matter.

4. Which of these superlatives (Most Accessible, Entertaining, Helpful, Respected, Trustworthy) resonates the most with you and why?
I’m flattered by all of them, but the most important to me is trustworthy. I don’t want to give people bad or half-thought-through advice. I do my research, check in with the smartest sources I can find and try to give people sound advice rooted in solid financial planning principles.

5. Who is your favorite guru (in the world) and why?
That word “guru” kind of gives me hives, because it implies a kind of unquestioning acceptance that I don’t think anyone deserves. But Jane Bryant Quinn [6] is one of my favorite money writers. She set a high bar for the rest of us with the quality of her reporting and research. Kathy Kristof [7] is awesome, as well.

Guru Vitals:

You can find her on Twitter @LizWeston [8] or through her website AskLizWeston.com [9].

What do you think about Liz Pulliam Weston?