This is week four in the eight-week online International Center for Journalists course on financial reporting, funded by McGraw Hill. When I was awarded a spot in the program, well, immediately everything changed. And, yes, for the better.
To begin with, gone was that self consciousness about being an aging Baby Boomer. After all, I did get in. And the topic I proposed for the end-of-the-course article is about the financial issues of that invisible demographic 66+. In my mind's eye I am already being interviewed on "Today" about life in Geezerville.
Secondly, I was forced to learn about complex financial matters such as the ins and outs of disability insurance, what happens to our credit card debt when we die, and the reasons why most people can't afford as much house as they want.
Third, shock, many people around the world don't define "wealth" in terms of material assets. Essentially the centenarians on the island of Ikaria, described by Dan Buettner in THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, see wealth as sitting around the kitchen table with friends. Does that mean not being a billionaire isn't a crime against America?
And, fourth, the confidence seeped in to apply for several contract positions writing about personal finance. Now I have two new clients. They like what I am submitting to them. And there could be a third one, post-Black Friday.
During Week Six we learn about how to compare the value of companies, including in their stock prices. Who knows, maybe a hedge fund in Greenwich, Connecticut, not far from my home office, will beg me to parachute in and help with their reports. By then, though, my dance card may be full (yes, a Baby Boomer turn of phrase).