Better Know… Sean from One Smart Dollar

Better Know A Blogger - Sean from One Smart Dollar

This is our seventh“Better Know A Blogger” interview. We’ll be posting two per day, except on Saturdays and Sundays, leading up to the 2012 Financial Blogger Conference next month. The purpose of this series is to introduce you to some excellent bloggers from all across the web who are able to shed light on topics ranging from debt to saving money to investing. (Each interview is conducted via e-mail and then published here)

Today’s interviewee is Sean from OneSmartDollar.com. Enjoy!

Sean Bryant from One Smart DollarYou have experience working at a brokerage firm and an investment research company, which is rare for a financial blogger. How does that shape your vision for your blog and your writing?

Most of my professional work experience has been with more complicated areas of finance such as futures trading and collateralized debt obligation (CDO) portfolios. I like to think that my experience gives me credibility which will allow people to want me to be a go-to source.

Do you ever see advice being given out that doesn’t match what you know to be true based on experience? Also, given the bad rep that CDOs have now, I just have to ask what it was like working with them and whether you have any interesting anecdotes or insights about the roots of the 2008 financial meltdown?

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Honestly most of the bloggers I follow are pretty stand-up people and their advice is awesome whether it’s from knowledge or personal experience.

Working with CDO’s was definitely a challenge because they are pretty complicated investments. My group handled portfolios that consisted mostly of corporate bank loans and not mortgage backed securities. There was definitely early indication that a problem was on the horizon when subprime mortgages started to default.

Many of our readers are working to get out of debt. Based on everything you know, what advice would you give them to help pay it off as quickly as possible?

Use 0% balance transfer credit cards to your advantage on any high interest debt. Now your payments will be going entirely to principal and your debt will be eliminated faster.

Those can be quite helpful. But you definitely need to stay alert when using those offers, because if you make late payments or carry debt past the introductory period you can incur lots of interest charges. Do you remember when you first became interested in finances? Was it something you always were drawn to, or were there specific life events that made you want to learn more about it?

You are very right. You need to be strict with yourself and not use the 0% as a crutch, but instead to use it for your benefit.

My parents received the Wall Street Journal when I was growing up and I would read through it. I believe that was where I got my love for finance. From day one of college I knew that business was the route I was going to take.

Ah, very nice! I think a subscription to the Wall Street Journal is a great way to learn about financial issues. You live in Denver, which is the site of this year’s Financial Blogger Conference – any tourist tips for those of us who will be visiting the city?

You’re going to love it. Downtown Denver is full of sports, art, theater and craft beer. Make sure you take a walk down the 16th Street pedestrian mall and check out the lights covering Larimer Square. If you get a chance to stay for an extra day or two, rent a car and head to the mountains.

Sounds great! Last question: Did you go to FinCon last year, and if so, what was most memorable? Also, what are you most looking forward to this year?

I did not make it last year. I am really excited to meet all of the bloggers and contacts I have met recently. A lot of the panels sound really interesting and I am going to try and take in as much knowledge as possible.

Wonderful, I’m looking forward to seeing you there. Thanks again for taking the time to talk with me.

Have questions for Sean? Post them in the comments below.

Also be sure to come back and check out Sean’s guest post for our Smart Money Debate next Wednesday!

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