Interview with a Finance Expert: Barbara Friedberg

The world of personal finance can be a tricky one for many. How should one wisely invest their money or build their wealth? For sage advice, people can always turn to finance expert, Barbara Friedberg. With more than 30 years experience, Barbara offers great tips for becoming financially stable. Read on for our interview with this expert!

Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance offers advice on saving, investing, and building wealth. What was the inspiration behind starting the site?

There were two reasons behind the launch of BarbaraFriedbergPersonalFinance.com: one was to create a personal finance legacy of trustworthy information for my daughter. The second was to teach savvy professionals how to invest and build wealth.

In the “My Story” section of your site, you talk about being influenced by your parents’ hard work. What was the number one most important lesson you learned from them that you think everyone could benefit from?

Wow, this is a tough one. My parents were extremely influential in my life. Their number one lesson was to live beneath your means. That way there is always money left over for saving and investing.

You also talk about understanding the importance of saving money - something you’ve credited to learning from getting an allowance when you were young. Why do you think it’s so difficult for some people to focus on saving instead of spending money?

Models, values, and habits are key in saving. Many people have no “saving role model.” Others don’t value deferring gratification in order to create more long term wealth. Finally, as simple as it sounds, there are some people who haven’t created a “saving” habit.

You have an MBA degree and have worked as a portfolio manager. How has this background influenced how you manage your own money?

I have three decades of investing experience and have studied the field for years. I know the research-supported ways to invest. In fact, I offer my readers a window into the proven investing methods in this free promo, How to Invest and Outperform Most Mutual Fund Managers.

Your book, “How to Get Rich Without Winning the Lottery,” offers tips on becoming a millionaire on an average salary. What’s the single most important step someone can take to obtain financial security?

Start young by diverting part of your savings every month into a workplace retirement account or Roth IRA. Invest those funds into a few index funds and continue every month, without fail. Small amounts can compound into hundreds of thousands of dollars over time.

You have been featured on many well-known sites, including Bankrate, Yahoo! Finance, and AARP. What sources do you rely on for financial advice?

I look to the academic experts and Nobel prize winners in economics for financial advice: Robert Shiller, Burton Malkiel, Charles Ellis, Eugene Fama, and Richard Thaler. I also read younger researchers such as Michael Kitces. I’m a regular reader of The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and other business publications.

Your site includes many articles about investing. How can someone get educated about the stock market before they start investing their money?

My favorite investing book is The Elements of Investing by Malkiel and Ellis. I’m also working on what I expect to be an excellent research supported investing blueprint. It will be out during Winter 2015.

Many millennials are faced with the challenge of becoming financially independent in a shaky economy. What advice would you offer individuals trying to step away from the Bank of Mom and Dad?

Focus on getting a job in line with your skills, interest, and abilities. Get the education needed (keeping debt to a minimum). Network and make contacts and ask for help. Live conservatively. Begin contributing to a retirement account as soon as you have an income.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions! Any last words of wisdom for our CouponPal readers?

Small daily savings offer long term benefits. Saving strategies such as buying generic and using coupons can drastically cut expenses.

Like this interview? Check out the rest of our Interview with an Expert series. Have a question for an expert or someone you want to see interviewed? Tweet your suggestions with #Experts to @CouponPal!

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