After a thorough review of the many submissions, we’ve been able to select a second round of speakers for FinCon12. I’m excited to have these folks on board for the conference. Their presentations, panels, and workshops (yes, workshops!) are going to provide great value to the community over the weekend.
Laura Adams – Laura is host of the Money Girl podcast, a top-10 business show on iTunes with over 500,000 downloads per month that she writes and produces each week. She is also the author of Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Grow Rich (St. Martin’s Press) which won the 2011 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Award. Laura is also a personal finance blogger, contributor, freelance writer, and MBA who is frequently quoted as an expert and featured in media like FOX News, HuffPost Money, USA Today, US News & World Report, Time, Consumer Reports, and All You Magazine.
Shannyn Allan – Shannyn started out blogging on Frugalbeautiful.com but has since expanded to TheFrugalPreneur.com and BeautifulGiveaways.com to capture her various interests. She has been notoriously dubbed “The Giveaway Queen,” and will be speaking this year on how to partner up with companies for sponsorships, reviews and giveaways without selling your soul (and have a lot of fun getting free stuff!).
Andrea Amir – Andrea is the President of SmartMoneyChicks.com, a financial coaching and education company teaching women and business owners how to make personal finance and small business rewarding, manageable, and profitable. She is also the Founder of Worth It! The Money Conference for Women and Organizer of the largest Meetup group on the topic of Women’s Personal Finance in the Region. Andrea has over 15 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry including positions as a Mortgage Banker and Certified Financial Educator.
Rob Bennett – Rob writes the “A Rich Life” blog. He developed the Valuation-Informed Indexing investing strategy, which updates the Buy-and-Hold strategy to reflect the research of Yale Economics Professor Robert Shiller. The new strategy calls for investors to increase their stock allocations when valuations are low and to decrease them when valuations are high. The academic research shows that Rob’s approach would permit millions of middle-class people to earn far higher returns while taking on dramatically reduced risk. Rob believes that the Personal Finance Blogosphere can repeat in the investing realm the huge success it has had promoting effective saving and frugality strategies.
Will Chen – Will is the co-founder and marketing director for the award-winning blog Wise Bread and the Top Personal Finance Blogs Chart—a leaderboard that showcases the best personal finance blogs. He has shared his blog marketing experience at conferences such as SXSW, Blog World EXPO, and the New York Times Small Business Summit; his blogging and business insights have also been featured and quoted by Forbes, USA Today, Nielsen’s Media, among others. In his free time Will enjoys sharing viral news on social media sites such as Reddit and Digg (where he was a top 30 contributor).
Ben Edwards – Ben has been addicted to personal finance since he was 12 years old. After asking for shares of Wal-Mart stock for birthday gifts as a kid, it was inevitable he’d end up running the personal finance site Money Smart Life. Ben’s a software engineer by day and a money nut by night, so Money Smart Life turned out to be the perfect place to share his personal finance adventures and work his programming magic behind the scenes.
Tracie Fobes, mom to 3 kids ( ages 3 – 8 ) is the Mom behind Penny Pinchin’ Mom. She and her husband began their journey to financial independence in November 2007. Together with her husband, they eradicated more than $37,000 in debt in 27 months. As she began paying down their debts, she found ways to save money and began to share her tips with family and friends. After much encouragement, she branched out and started her website to help families save on everything from groceries to tires. Not only does she share money saving tips, she helps her readers learn how they can eliminate their own debt through her annual Debt Free Challenge. In just 15 months, her readers have eliminated more than $350,000 in debt. Not only does she share her money saving tips on her site, but she is featured weekly on her local CBS affiliate in Kansas City.
Donna Freedman – Donna is an award-winning journalist who writes MSN Money’s frugality/intentional living site, Frugal Cool. She is also a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly and has her own site, Surviving and Thriving. She has been a college dropout, a single mom, a newspaper reporter in Chicago and Alaska, and a late-in-life university student. She has also picked tomatoes, worked on a chicken farm, managed an apartment building, inspected and packed bottles in a glass factory, babysat, cleaned houses, mystery-shopped, set type, and sold doughnuts, movie tickets, fresh Jersey produce and, when things got bad, her own blood. Donna has freelanced for numerous magazines and newspapers. Her work has won awards from organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Women’s Sports Foundation, the Association for Women in Communications and the Society of American Travel Writers.
Greg Go – Greg is the co-founder and CTO of Wise Bread and its industry-leading Top Personal Finance Blog Chart. His team develops and implements technical solutions in support of Wise Bread’s mission. Greg served as the About.com Guide to Online Business in ‘07-08, covering e-commerce, SEM/SEO, and social media. His business insights have been featured by US News and World Report, MSN, Web Pro News, and Blogworld Expo. Prior to Wise Bread, Greg was a systems administrator for two-time Academy-Award winning visual effects firm Rhythm & Hues Studios (LOTR, X-Men, Narnia). For fun, Greg practices “financially responsible gambling”. Ask him what it’s like to make a World Series of Poker final table.
Ryan Guina – Ryan is an Air Force veteran and the founder of Cash Money Life and The Military Wallet. He has traveled to over 30 countries, served as a consultant to the Department of Defense, and loves helping people make better financial decisions. His writing has been featured in US News & World Report and Yahoo Finance, and his websites have been mentioned in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MSN News, and more.
Jeff from Sustainable Life Blog – Jeff started writing Sustainable Life Blog in 2009, and has been writing about helping readers improve their health, their finances and their earth ever since. Jeff has been a member of the Yakezie network since its inception and has learned a great deal about blogging, network building and finances from the Yakezie. Being one of the original members of the network has given Jeff a front row seat to many of the benefits and challenges of the Yakezie network, for both new and established bloggers. In the non-blogging world, Jeff enjoys spending time with his fiancee and their dog in the mountains.
Linsey Knerl – Linsey is a homeschooling mom of 5, the founder of Knerl Family Media, and a full-time freelance blogger, social media consultant, and writer. In addition to her work past work as the Community Manager for Wise Bread, she has had formal brand partnerships with companies like Walmart, ConAgra, MegaBloks, Energizer, and Sharpie. You can find her tips for creating work-at-home success for women at 1099Mom.com.
Alex Matjanic – Alex’ mission is to help bridge the gap between financial institutions and the emerging needs of younger consumers.. In 2008, Alex and his team developed MyBankTracker.com — a banking-information portal aimed at young adults. Combining a clutter-free, easy-to-read interface with social integration, including peer bank ratings, reviews and a community Q&A forum, MyBankTracker.com marries consumers’ desire for transparency with informative data and insightful writing. The core belief of MyBankTracker is that young consumers and entrepreneurs, empowered by information, can transform finance.
Jesse Michelsen – Jesse blogs at Personal Finance Firewall and is the Community Manager for Money Crashers. He’s a serial entrepreneurial with way too many interests to count. His online ventures include businesses in Technical Service, SaaS, Social Networks and blogging/copy writing to name a few. He approaches life like a kid does a candy store and just can’t get enough.
Mr. Money Mustache – Mr. Money Mustache is a new financial blogger who retired, financially independent, from an average engineering job shortly after turning 30 in order to start a family. With no punches pulled, he attacks the mindless consumerism that defines America’s middle-class today, while re-teaching the traditional values of hard work and honesty as they apply to becoming wealthy in the modern world. His goal is nothing short of a complete revolution of society, although continuing to run his growing blog is an acceptable substitute for now.
Melanie Nelson – If you want to know how to build community around your business using Facebook, Melanie’s your gal. She literally wrote the book on it: Facebook All-In-One for Dummies is available in stores now. Melanie has been working with business websites since 1995 (it’s true — she remembers Mosaic). And, although she wrote HTML in Notepad before CSS was a twinkle in your eye, now she focuses on social media strategy and implementation. Melanie also owns Blogging Basics 101 which was listed in Hubspot’s list of “10 Amazing Blogs About Blogging to Start Reading NOW.”
Kylie Ofiu set herself a goal to be a millionaire by 30 and decided to blog about what she was doing to make and save money at KylieOfiu.Com. This decision changed her life. She went from being a hairdressing mum of 2 to an author, blogger, freelance writer, international public speaker and creating a variety of income streams both online and off.
Paula Pant – Paula is an award-winning multimedia journalist and the founder of Afford Anything, a site dedicated to the idea that smart money moves can fuel your wildest dreams. She started the site after she traveled to 27 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Europe on a shoestring budget. She is the former deputy news editor of a daily newspaper in Colorado, where her work won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and her writing is now featured on personal finance websites such as MSN Money’s Smart Spending blog and the Motley Fool Blog Network. She is also the Guide to Budgeting and Personal Finance for About.com, a site owned by the New York Times. She lives in Atlanta and owns three rental properties.
Len Penzo – At his eponymous off-beat personal finance blog, Len Penzo definitely marches to the beat of his own drummer. Len covers a broad array of money topics in a uniquely irreverent and highly-entertaining style, usually with a clever twist, and always with an emphasis on personal responsibility. Political Calculations remarked that “Reading Len is like reading what Dave Barry might be able to achieve if Dave Barry wrote about personal finance.” Len Penzo dot Com has been twice-honored as a top money blog by Kiplinger, and Len’s articles have been featured on MSN, Yahoo! and other major financial websites.
Travis Pizel – In 2009, after 13 years of financial irresponsibility, Travis and his family found themselves with over $100,000 of credit card debt and on the brink of financial disaster. He found blogging as an outlet to help cope with the stress of completely changing his family’s lifestyle while learning to live within their means. As a compensated customer blogger for CareOne Debt Relief ServicesSM, contributing to their Our Journey Out of Debt blog since 2010, he shares his family’s experiences, struggles and successes as they fight their way to financial freedom. As a father and husband he also provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family through his personal blog, Our Journey To Zero.
Justin Premick – Justin is an award-winning email and content marketer and Director of Education Marketing for AWeber, the leading small business email marketing software. Tens of thousands of businesses have learned how to increase sales, profits and retention by reading Justin’s articles or by watching his presentations. His advice on email marketing has been featured by INC, BtoB, Target Marketing and numerous other business and marketing publications. Justin’s strength lies in ensuring that his teachings “have practical relevancy to the busy marketer and go into the necessary detail that many information sources do not or will not cover,” according to Mark Brownlow of email-marketing-reports.com. (source: LinkedIn) For more email marketing advice from Justin, read the AWeber blog. You can also connect with Justin via LinkedIn and Twitter.
Jason Price – Jason started blogging in 2009 when he created his personal finance blog, One Money Design, to share practical financial tips and his perspective on money management with others. Since then it has grown into a group of writers with unique personalities and a common goal of helping people make progress along their financial journeys. Jason is an IT project manager by day, but you’ll find him blogging about personal finance and exploring web entrepreneurship late at night and the early hours of the morning. He’s also actively involved in a financial coaching ministry in his community where he shares principles of biblical stewardship and helps people learn to manage their money wisely. Jason enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife and two awesome children and lives in north Dallas.
Carrie Rocha – In June 2006 Carrie Rocha and her husband, Marco, made a decision to get out of debt and to stay out of debt forever. In 2 ½ years they accomplished their first goal by paying off more than $50,000 in debts (they are still working on their mortgage, their only remaining debt). Radical change happened as they revamped their attitude toward money, organized their finances and reduced expenses in a million creative ways. Carrie launched PocketYourDollars.com in March 2009 to share money-saving tips with others. Ten months after launching her blog, Pocket Your Dollars became her full-time vocation with affiliate marketing, advertising and public speaking as her business model. She’s been featured on Wall Street Journal Radio, Yahoo! Finance, MSN.com, Ladies Home Journal and more. She’s currently working on her first book which will be released in January 2013.
Jeff Rose – Jeff is a Certified Financial Planner™ recently founding his own investment advisory firm Alliance Wealth Management, LLC. He is the founder of Good Financial Cents (a top 25 finance blog according to Wisebread) and Soldier of Finance – his upcoming book project that combines his military background with his financial planning knowledge. He currently writes for US News and Equifax and has been featured in major sites such as Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Kiplingers, and Fox Business. In his free time, he loves hanging with his family, tortures himself with Crossit workouts, and daydreams frequently when he can chow down on an In-N-Out Burger again.
Jason Steele – Jason Steele read that you can’t make a living writing online about personal finance and said, “Yeah, we’ll see about that.” Since 2008, Jason has been breaking new ground as freelancer extraordinaire specializing in credit cards and loyalty travel programs. He is a regular contributor to many of the top personal finance sites, including Money Talks News, Wise Bread, Money Crashers and his work has been carried at mainstream sites such as MSN, Yahoo, and The Consumerist. Read more about Jason’s latest work.
Kasey Steinbrinck – After seven years working as a TV news producer and newspaper reporter, Kasey left the world of daily deadlines behind and now enjoys the freedom of creating web content for CheckAdvantage. He blogs on personal finances, economic news and consumer tips at the CheckAdvantage Blog. Featuring free content that people can use has helped CheckAdvantage sales grow more than 50% each year since Kasey joined the marketing team. He still uses the news to create compelling stories that drive traffic and boost rankings.
Crystal Stemberger – Crystal started blogging in February 2010 with Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. She thought she had simply found the perfect hobby for a personal finance geek like herself, but then it grew. A couple of hours a day turned into a second full time job. It only got busier in April 2011 when she started running the advertising for other bloggers along with her own sites. By July 2011, Crystal was able to make the leap to full time self employment. In January 2012, her husband made the leap too. Crystal now spends her week days working on the ad business and her weekends catching up with the blog that started it all.
Todd Tresidder – Todd came from the financial side of the business as a former hedge fund manager who “retired” at age 35 (16 years ago). He launched FinancialMentor.Com to provide a resource for quality financial advice that is separate from (and unbiased by) investment product sales. His unconventional writing on traditional financial topics is analytical, lengthy, detailed, infrequent, and basically violates every rule of traditional blogging. He is the author of several books including How Much Money Do I Need To Retire?, The Smart Consumer’s Guide To Variable Annuities, and The Smart Consumer’s Guide To Money Coaching and Financial Education.
Lynn Truong – Lynn left the corporate ladder behind in search for a shorter commute and more creative atmosphere. She co-founded Wise Bread in 2007. Being a co-founder, she wears different hats for the company. As editor-in-chief she manages an editorial staff of over 70 writers and editors for Wise Bread’s main site as well as off-site campaigns such as OPEN Forum. As sales director, she manages all aspects of sales and advertising for the site, drawing on her years of agency experience at CBS/King World where she created national ad campaigns for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy. She has spoken at blogging conferences like BlogHer and Blog World Expo, and has appeared on CNN, ABC News, and KGO.
David Weliver – David founded Money Under 30 in 2006 at the age of 25 as he struggled to conquer post-college debt on entry level paychecks. Today, Money Under 30 helps over 150,000 monthly readers jump start their financial lives with free resources like Richer By The Week, a five-day workbook designed to uncover users’ values and prioritize financial goals accordingly.
Kelly Whalen – Kelly is the author of The Centsible Life, a blog designed to help you live the life of your dreams on a budget. She started her blog 4 years ago, and has since become both a well known mom blogger and a respected voice in the personal finance realm. Kelly and her blog have been featured on The Today Show, local networks in Philadelphia, and she has been featured in magazines and print in both national and local publications including Money magazine, Kiplinger’s, and Women’s Day. Kelly is a mom to 4, and loves that she can stay at home with her kids, and still pursue her passions for writing, personal finance, and social media. Kelly is also a founding member of the Splash Creative Media team, a digital marketing agency.
Jim Yih – Jim Yih is a successful entrepreneur that started in the financial industry 20 years ago as an investment marketing manager for one of the biggest insurance companies in Canada. He quickly realized he did not like the bureaucracy of a large company and followed his entrepreneurial spirit by starting a retirement planning practice. He grew this practice to over $100 million in assets in 10 years and sold the business in 2007 at the age of 37. Today Jim is busy applying his strong business principles by growing new businesses to new successes including his Retire Happy Blog, which was recently awarded the distinction of being the BEST Personal Finance Blog in Canada by the Globe and Mail. Jim believes that the principles of business success are universal to any business and is showing this to be true with his blogging endeavors. Jim is excited to share with you his insights on growing a business to success.
Jim Wang – Jim is the creator of Bargaineering.com, a personal finance site that he created in 2005 to help him navigate the confusing and complex world of personal finance.
Again, I’m so excited to have these fine people on-board. We will select a third and final round of speakers within the week.