Hi, I'm Matt Schulz
. A huge number of people I know in the world of personal finance got into it because of how badly they'd screwed things up previously.
I, unfortunately, am no exception.
Nearly 20 years before I became VP of Content at InvestingAnswers.com, I was just a recent college graduate from the University of Texas with a journalism degree and more than $10,000 in credit card debt. I spent way too much on bootleg CDS -- back when people still bought CDS -- nice Italian dinners and the occasional trip with my girlfriend and ended up spending my mid-20s digging out of that hole.
But once I did, I vowed to never be there again if I could help it. And through Investing Answers, I hope to help others avoid making the same mistakes I made.
Before coming to Investing Answers, I was Managing Editor at CreditCards.com. While I was there, I was on a team that won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers award for coverage of the Credit CARD Act. I even got to work with the White House on an online town hall on credit card reform.
I've also led online news teams for a TV station, a newspaper, a college sports website and more. And long ago, I was a freelance sportswriter, writing about college and pro sports for the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Associated Press and more.
When I'm not working, I spend as much time with my son as possible, while squeezing in date nights with my wife, trying to finish a novel that I've been working on for way too long and obsessing over Texas Longhorn football.
What is the best investment you've made in your life, so far?
In 1996, at a Barnes and Noble in Austin, Texas, I bought a book from the bargain rack to teach myself HTML. A college friend of mine had invited me to work for him on a college sports website he was helping start. "You don't know the web," he said, "but you know sports, and I trust that you'll pick up the rest."
I struggled at first, but dove into it with a passion, learning about <P> tags and tables and other aspects of web coding. Sixteen years later, I haven't looked back. Professionally, taking that job was the best thing that ever happened to me. But nothing might have come of it if not for that one bargain-bin book.
What is the worst investment you've made in your life, so far?
Like so many Generation Xers, I spent a lot of money on all things collectible -- baseball cards, comic books and so on -- thinking that they'd be worth a fortune in the future.
And while some of the collectibles are still worth something, most of their value is sentimental. But that's OK.
On the plus side, the collectibles business gave me my first real-world economics lesson: No matter how great the baseball player, his rookie card won't be worth very much if every kid owns it. That's just basic supply and demand.
What is the biggest thing you look forward to in retirement?
More time to do the things I've wanted to do and see the places I've wanted to see.
What is your perfect "Saturday"?
Laughing with my wife and son as we visit some place that we've only ever read about in books.