Journalist Q&A: Nicole Lapin, Nothing But Gold

Nicole Lapin, CEO of Nothing But Gold Productions, contributor on Dr. Drew's Lifechangers TV show, and former CNN and CNBC anchor, talks to Lindsay Stein about her venture to educate young women about finance.

Journalist Q&A: Nicole Lapin, Nothing But Gold

Name: Nicole Lapin
Title: CEO
Outlet: Nothing But Gold
Preferred contact:

Nicole Lapin, CEO of Nothing But Gold Productions, contributor on Dr. Drew's Lifechangers TV show, and former CNN and CNBC anchor, talks to Lindsay Stein about her venture to educate young women about finance. 

Why did you decide to focus on financial issues when you founded Nothing But Gold Productions?
I was reporting from the thick of the financial crisis at CNN and CNBC and it was coming to viewers so fast and furious.

When I was interviewing CEOs and politicians about the woes of the economy, I said to myself, "I'm 27 years old and all my friends are asking me very simple questions about the economy. They're very concerned about it."

I felt the urgency to take the financial content I was reporting on day in and day out and democratize it and make that financial news. I wanted to make that information more accessible to my generation, which is unfortunately being dubbed a lost generation without a lot of advocates and peers to help navigate these really murky economic times.

What's your goal with the new company?
I wanted to create a Rosetta Stone for Wall Street. I loved financial news, but I didn't understand it at all when I was growing up. It made me nervous to even look at the pink hue of the Financial Times. To look at The Economist, I almost broke out into hives. I wanted to be able to teach what I've learned and make that understandable without a dictionary.

I started young as a financial reporter on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and then throughout CNN and CNBC. I thought, "Hold on, this is not that serious. Once you get into it, Wall Street is just a language like anything else."

Are you targeting a specific demographic?
I'm really focusing on putting financial content in a party dress for ladies. There's a void right now in helping young women understand financial news in a way that is not only in English, but in English that we speak every day.

For example, a stock equity and a security are exactly the same thing. I focus on typical financial terms or pieces of advice that we hear over and over again pounded in our heads, such as "Don't buy that latte." No, buy that latte. That's not the answer to your financial freedom. That's a little indulgence that's going to get you to work early. Focus on the bigger things, like not buying a house. Rent a house, rethink your 401K, or rethink diversification.

At one time my head was spinning, so I needed to be honest about that. I wanted to help other young women navigate that, as well.

Why is it important for women to learn about financial issues?
Finance is not an old man's game. It's something you shouldn't just smile and nod about at a cocktail party. I had a boyfriend who said he wanted to be a hedge-fund manager and I just smiled and nodded. I had no idea what that was, but now I do.

I want to help other women not smile and nod all the time. I am so excited by the opportunity of helping young women in a really non-judgmental way because that's something our generation was missing.

Tell me about "Rock Your Résumé."
When the financial crisis originally hit in 2008/2009, CNN would use sites in a circuitous way to help people get their résumés together. I thought, "Why can't you just have a 'plug-and-chug tool' for young people and job-seekers to make it easy to build a résumé."

It was a very simple idea and it's one of many things we're embarking on at our site. It's part of a bigger initiative to try and help young people get it together. Hopefully, it will be ready before 2012.

"Recessionista" content. Could you define that?
We have a couple of different sections to help women, rich or poor, feel fabulous during the recession. It's about deals and steals, secret sales, or ways to save money. It's also debunking common financial myths or telling them about women who are fun - employed because entrepreneur-ship for women is winning this recession.

It is also telling them stories about mothers and daughters or husbands and wives who are working together, something in which we've seen a big proliferation. And we're talking about secrets of recessionistas - that uncommon job of being an eBay seller, an artisan, an app tester, or a brand ambassador.

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