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Podcast 169: Helaine Olen, Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry

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The Consumerism Commentary Podcast is no longer on a regular schedule, but I plan to produce new episodes throughout the year as the opportunities arise.

Today’s guest on the podcast is Helaine Olen, author of Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry. Helaine is a New York-based journalist, contributing to Forbes, and notably wrote and edited the “Money Makeover” feature for the Los Angeles Times.

You can find Pound Foolish, available in book form as well as for the Kindle, where ever books are sold. The book takes a critical eye at the media-driven personal finance industry, from self-help gurus like Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, David Bach, and Dave Ramsey, to commission-based salespeople and lesser-known money coaches who host free-lunch seminars with the intent of selling low-quality products.

In addition to the state of personal finance today, in the podcast, we talk about how personal finance journalism has changed since its emergence during the Great Depression.

[00:00] Introduction from Luke Landes
[00:30] Interview with Helaine Olen
[00:42] Roots of personal finance journalism, Sylvia Porter
[04:00] Changes in personal finance since the Great Depression
[05:50] Complexity of personal finance products
[06:52] Marketing driving personal financial advice, Suze Orman
[11:28] Robert Kiyosaki, wealth guru
[14:33] Corporate sponsorship of financial literacy programs
[15:50] Does financial literacy even work?
[17:50] Modeling financial behavior for children
[19:30] Solutions other than financial literacy
[21:25] Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and regulators
[22:07] What can individuals do to eliminate “gotcha products?”
[25:59] End

Here are all episodes of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. You can also subscribe using iTunes or RSS.

Episode 169 credits:
Produced and hosted by Luke Landes
Guest: Helaine Olen
Edited and mixed by Jay Frosting
Music by Mindcube

Updated April 13, 2016 and originally published January 13, 2013.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

Enjoyed the podcast Luke! I might have to go dig through the archives now!

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avatar 2 Luke Landes

Glad you liked it, Lance!

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