I’m Emily, and I’ve made all kinds of mistakes in my life, things like building up credit card debt, investing in mutual funds with high fees, paying a down payment on a house too low to escape PMI, and just spending carelessly when I could have been saving.
Although I got out of the credit card debt by the time I exited my 20s, I waited until my late 30s to really start improving the rest. I had to marry Jon, my more money-conscious husband, and start learning the money ropes. Now, 10 years later, I find I still have a lot to learn.
And I have to learn it well enough so that I can help my daughter escape the same traps.
There’s a lot of information in the world about our financial options. Business news, investing websites, and even 401K enrollment forms can overload anyone with unfamiliar terms and a lot of numbers. . And we’ve found that as we go through life, those choices become more complex. Saving for retirement versus saving for college. Being concerned about both our kids and our parents.
It’s tough to be in the middle, but we need to get financially fit while we can still lift a checkbook.
The John & Jane Doe Guide to Money & Investing is our journey toward finding the right financial path for us. We invest and budget and try to keep our expenses down through frugal living and Jon’s DIY mindset, and share what we’re doing with our readers. Some of it comes from what we’re doing and some of it comes from what we’re trying to do. We hope you join us on our journey.
Emily Jividen spent a bunch of years with a used book company doing lots of different things, including serving as Finance Director and setting up and administrating a 401K plan. Then she spent 2 years in banking working with financial statements and tax returns. She has been investing in the stock market since the 1990s, and has lots of missed opportunities and hard-won experiences to share. She reads widely, likes taking classes, and thinks the best days include a little swimming.
She has a BA in Politics from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Meredith College, and spent time in the PhD program in political science at Vanderbilt. You can contact her at emily at johnjanedoe.com.
In 2005, Jon went to work for one of the world’s largest financial services companies as a financial planner and adviser. There he wore many hats, helping people with their investment, financial planning and insurance needs.
Before this, he was on an academic track, graduating with a BA from North Carolina State University, an MBA from East Carolina University, and the CFP program at Duke University. He also spent a year in the Finance PhD program at the University of Central Forida, where he taught Investments during the spring of 2000 during the bursting of the “Dot.Com Bubble.”
Jon has also worked for a credit union as an administrative officer handling member information requests and loans; and a manufacturing company forecasting commodity prices. Jon is currently licensed in seven insurance areas. He believes his experience and education have helped him to become a “reasonable investor”: “My head may be in the clouds, but my feet are firmly on the ground.” He is also a gearhead and an enthusiastic sailor. You can contact him at jon at johnjanedoe.com.
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