Where Do Americans Get Their Money Advice? Top News Columns

Goodboy Picture Company / Getty Images

Goodboy Picture Company / Getty Images

Today, “media” might mean Facebook or Twitter, YouTube, Google News or any number of 24/7 cable news channels. Before all that — before podcasts, before the internet, before television and even before radio — Americans turned to their trusted local newspaper columnist for advice. An editorialized break from the hard news covered within a newspaper, columns analyze politics, express opinions on the issues of the day and dole out advice. 

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The advice dished out by some of the most successful columnists in newspaper history has dealt in money, careers, investing and personal finance. 

Discover: See the Full List of Money’s Most Influential and More

Despite all the changes, all the new technologies, all the new options for consumers to consider, old-school news columnists are still some of the most trusted financial advisors in the country. Using a variety of sources, GOBankingRates identified the 66 money experts who Americans trust most for their financial advice. Eight of them are news columnists who are carrying an old and important journalistic tradition into the modern era.

Last updated: April 20, 2021

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©Dani Werner

Chris Farrell: ‘Your Money’

  • Other media project titles: Marketplace (senior economics contributor, radio); “Conversations on the Creative Economy” (host, radio); “Purpose and a Paycheck” (book); “Unretirement” (book); “The New Frugality” (book); “Deflation” (book); “Right on the Money” (book)
  • Accolades: Star Tribune (#7 newspaper) key columnist
  • Twitter followers: 3,266
  • Twitter handle: @cfarrellecon
  • Instagram followers: n/a
  • Instagram handle: n/a
  • Bio: Currently the senior economics contributor at “Marketplace,” American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio business and economic program, Chris Farrell is an economics commentator for Minnesota Public Radio and the host of its series “Conversations on the Creative Economy.” He’s also a columnist for PBS Next Avenue and the Star Tribune. He has published five books on personal finance and the economy.

See: Suze Orman’s Top 26 Tips That Will Save You From Financial Disaster

©Wikimedia Commons

David Lazarus: Los Angeles Times Column

  • Other media project titles: KTLA (reporter, television)
  • Accolades: Los Angeles Times (#5 newspaper) key columnist
  • Twitter followers: 20,100
  • Twitter handle: @Davidlaz
  • Instagram followers: n/a
  • Instagram handle: n/a
  • Bio: David Lazarus is an award-winning business columnist for the Los Angeles Times, focusing on consumer affairs. He also appears daily on KTLA-TV Channel 5 and is a part-time radio host. His work appears in newspapers across the country and has resulted in a variety of laws protecting consumers.

Discover More: Best Money Experts for Each Generation

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ChicagoTribune.com / ChicagoTribune.com

Gail MarksJarvis: Chicago Tribune Column

  • Other media project titles: “Marketplace” (former reporter, radio); “CLTV” (weekly guest, television); “Saving for Retirement Without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery” (book)
  • Accolades: Chicago Tribune (#9 newspaper) key columnist
  • Twitter followers: 6,176
  • Twitter handle: @gailmarksjervis
  • Instagram followers: n/a
  • Instagram handle: n/a
  • Bio: Gail MarksJarvis is one of the nation’s most respected personal finance columnists. Her Chicago Tribune columns reach millions of readers in leading metropolitan newspapers throughout the U.S. She has been named “Best Financial Columnist” by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and has received 17 other journalism awards for her work, including a National Clarion Award for human rights reporting. In addition to writing weekly columns, Gail delivers advice on personal finance, investing, business and financial markets in speeches and on television and radio.

Read: Where Do Americans Get Their Money Advice? Top TV Shows

Newsday.com / Newsday.com

Jamie Herzlich: Small Business Column

  • Other media project titles: Newsday (former business reporter, newspaper)
  • Accolades: Newsday (No. 8 newspaper) key columnist
  • Twitter followers: 847
  • Twitter handle: @JamieHerzlich
  • Instagram followers: N/A
  • Instagram handle: N/A
  • Bio: Jamie Herzlich has covered business for more than 22 years in areas including economic development, incubators, innovation, professional services, small business, trade and tourism. Her work has appeared in various media outlets including Newsday, Newsday.com, latimes.com, Long Island Business News, Long Island Magazine and Family Magazine. A freelance writer, she’s the weekly small business columnist for Newsday, one of the nation’s top daily newspapers.

See: 10 Financial Books That Will Change Your Life (and Finances)

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©Jason Zweig

Jason Zweig: ‘The Intelligent Investor’

  • Other media project titles: “The Intelligent Investor” (editor of revised edition, book); “Your Money and Your Brain” (book); “The Devil’s Financial Dictionary” (book); “JasonZweig.com” (blog)
  • Accolades: Wall Street Journal (#2 newspaper) key columnist
  • Twitter followers: 194,300
  • Twitter handle: @jasonzweigwsj
  • Instagram followers: 315
  • Instagram handle: jasonzweig
  • Bio: Jason Zweig became a personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal in 2008. Zweig is also the editor of the revised edition of Benjamin Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor,” the classic text that Warren Buffett has described as “by far the best book about investing ever written.” He is the author of “Your Money and Your Brain,” one of the first books to explore the neuroscience of investing, and “The Devil’s Financial Dictionary,” a satirical glossary of Wall Street.

See: Where Do Americans Get Their Money Advice? Top Blogs and Websites


Michael Hiltzik: Los Angeles Times Column

  • Other media project titles: “Iron Empires” (book); “Dealers of Lightning” (book); “The New Deal: A Modern History” (book); “Big Science” (book); “Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century” (book); “The Plot Against Social Security” (book); “A Death in Kenya” (book)
  • Accolades: Los Angeles Times (#5 newspaper) key columnist
  • Twitter followers: 18,100
  • Twitter handle: @hiltzikm
  • Instagram followers: n/a
  • Instagram handle: n/a
  • Bio: Hiltzik has written for the Los Angeles Times for more than 30 years as an award-winning financial and political writer, foreign correspondent in Africa and Russia, investigative reporter and technology editor. He is currently the Times’ business columnist.

Read: Real Estate Investing Guru Mindy Jensen Says To Avoid These Types of Properties

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©Michelle Singletary

Michelle Singletary: ‘The Color of Money’

  • Other media project titles: “The 21 Day Financial Fast” (book); “Spend Well, Live Rich” (book); “Your Money and Your Man” (book)
  • Accolades: The Washington Post (#6 newspaper) key columnist
  • Twitter followers: 34,800
  • Twitter handle: @SingletaryM
  • Instagram followers: 5,424
  • Instagram handle: singletarym
  • Bio: Singletary writes the nationally syndicated personal finance column “The Color of Money,” which appears in The Washington Post on Wednesday and Sunday. Her award-winning column is syndicated by The Washington Post Writers Group and is carried in dozens of newspapers nationwide.

More: 25 Things You Should Never Do With Your Money


Ron Lieber: ‘Your Money’

  • Other media project titles: “The Opposite of Spoiled” (book); “The Price You Pay for College” (book); Green Thumb (former WSJ column); “Taking Time Off” (co-author, book); “Upstart Start-Ups” (book)
  • Accolades: New York Times (#3 newspaper) key columnist
  • Twitter followers: 34,500
  • Twitter handle: @ronlieber
  • Instagram followers: 1,404
  • Instagram handle: ronlieber
  • Bio: Ron Lieber is the author of “The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart About Money,” which was an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller when it was released in 2015. “The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Roadmap for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make,” was published by HarperCollins in January 2021. Lieber has been the “Your Money” columnist for The New York Times since 2008.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates reviewed the following rankings to identify the experts that America is getting its money advice from:

  1. NYT Bestsellers on the Monthly Business List for 2/2021
  2. Amazon Bestsellers in the Personal Finance category as of 2/9/2021
  3. Spotify Top Shows in the Business and Technology category as of 2/9/2021
  4. Apple Podcasts Top Shows in the Business category as of 2/9/2021
  5. Talkers 2020 Heavy Hundred – Top Ten
  6. FOX Business Network top-rated programs of 2020
  7. CNBC Popular Shows
  8. TIME ranked Best Finance Podcasts of 2021
  9. TIME’s 10 Financial Experts to Follow
  10. NYMag’s Best Personal Finance Books According to Money Experts

Additionally, to account for prominent voices in print media, GOBankingRates identified key columnists for seven of the nine most widely circulated daily newspapers in the U.S. according to 2019 data from Alliance for Audited Media and made available by Cision. For each expert with a work that received one of the above accolades, GOBankingRates found information on their other media projects, their Twitter handle and follower count, their Instagram handle and follower count and a professional summary. GOBankingRates maintained our roundups focus on personal finance, so some works in the above rankings were excluded due to being broadly about habits, health, mindset, etc.

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