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September 08, 2005 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-09-08

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Smart Money

Financial guru to speak at NCJW opener.

met Chatzky's mother, Elaine Sherman,
when the two women taught at Dewey
Elementary in Oak Park. "Jean comes by
hen the subject is saving
her charm, speaking ability and person-
money, no one is perfect, not
ality naturally.
even Jean Sherman Chatzky.
"My parents always encouraged me to
"There's no such thing as financial
work and save," Chatzky says. "In part, I
perfection," says Chatzky, financial edi-
think that, because my dad was a profes-
tor of NBC's Today Show and editor-at-
sor, he didn't make a huge amount of
large for Money magazine. "Good is
money — but also they wanted us to
always good enough. Do a lit-
know that we could stand on
tle bit every day and you'd be
our own two feet. So I was
amazed at how much progress
baby-sitting by age 11. And
you'll make."
when we went to Disney World
In four books, regular
when I was 13, I brought my
columns for Time and USA
own money for mouse ears.
Weekend magazines and count-
Chatzky remembers growing
less interviews, Chatzky has
up in a succession of small
specialized in bringing finan-
Midwestern towns, where the
cial independence to America's
Jewish population was small
women. According to
but close-knit. She went to
Publishers Weekly her most
Jewish summer camps, prima-
recent book,. Pay It Down — From Debt
rily Camp Livingston, run by the
to Wealth on $10 a Day (Portfolio,
Cincinnati Jewish Community Center.
$19.95), is "that rare book that has the
After majoring in English at the
genuine ability to improve many lives."
University of Pennsylvania, her first job
was at Working Woman magazine.
"Its power lies in its simplicity and
focus, and in Chatzky's caring and thor-
"I was fortunate enough to work with
ough but no-nonsense approach. It seems the business editor and really liked that
that even a financial naif can follow
kind of reporting," she says, adding that
Chatzky's advice and turn night into day."
she'd had "a head for math" ever since
high school.
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Chatzky
comes to suburban Detroit as featured
"So when I 'graduated' from Working
speaker at the National Council of
Woman, I actively looked for a job at a
Jewish Women Greater Detroit Section's
business magazine — even spending a
opening event at Congregation Shaarey
few years on Wall Street in the interim."
Zedek in Southfield. The luncheon
Chatzky became a reporter/researcher
at Forbes magazine in 1991, and moved
meeting, which is open to the public,
also honors Michigan Board of
to the Dow Jones/Hearst start-up
SmartMoney in 1992, rising from staff
Education member Kathleen Straus for
her many years of community activism.
writer to senior editor. She's also written
for Parents, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and
Along with holiday boutiques, copies
New York magazines.
of Chatzky's books will be available for
sale and signing by the author.
Now married with two children,
It's a homecoming of sorts for Chatzky, Chatzky lives what she terms "a very tra-
born in Detroit more than 40 years ago.
ditional" Jewish life in Westchester, N.Y.
"My folks were in Detroit so that my
At the Sept. 14 meeting, Chatzky will
dad could get his Ph.D. in communica-
speak on "Comfort, Happiness and
tions from Wayne State University," she
Financial Security on Your Own Terms."
says. "They left when he got a teaching
"It also includes a message on giving
job at the University of Wisconsin. I was that I think is especially appropriate,"
2 years old."
she says. P1
Her father, Charles Sherman, eventu-
ally became chair of the communica-
Jean Chatzky will speak at the
tions department at Indiana University.
NCJW event at 10 a.m.
From there, he became executive V.P. of
Wednesday, Sept 14, at
the National Association of Broadcasters
Congregation Shaarey Zedek in
and led its Educational Foundation.
For information, call
"They were the kind of family that
ext. 220.
made lifetime friends wherever they
went," says Donna Phillips, who first

Special to the Jewish News


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