April 17, 2015

Actor-turned-financial guru publishes first book on finance


PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Millennial expert, actress, author and entrepreneur Stefanie O’Connell published her first book in January. “The Broke and Beautiful Life” is based on her blog of the same name, which chronicles her experience as a struggling actor who needed to supplement her income with “survival jobs.”

In speaking with The Weekly via e-mail, Ms. O’Connell stated:

“I wrote ‘The Broke and Beautiful Life’ to share my perspective as a young person going through the unique challenges of establishing financial independence at a time where financial realities are grim. There’s a lot of personal finance advice out there, but not a whole lot of financial literacy, and I think it’s because people have trouble connecting to numbers and stats. Instead of just throwing out information, I try to tell stories, stories that will resonate with people and prompt them to make meaningful changes in their financial behavior for the better.”

“Everyone has their own challenges – student loan debt is a big one for Millennials while insufficient retirement savings is a huge stress for Baby Boomers. For me, the challenge has been navigating the realities of low income while managing big city living costs. I find responses to financial challenges can go one of two ways – ignore the problem as it gets worse or self-educate and find strategies for conquering them – I took the latter and stumbled upon a new career path.”

When asked how it is to be a voice for the “broke and the beautiful,” Ms. O’Connell said: “It’s hugely rewarding. I get e-mails and phone calls from people all the time sharing their latest money ‘win’ – whether it’s negotiating a better deal on their cable or opening an IRA – either way, they’re excited about and engaged with their money.”

A professional actor in musical theater, graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Ms. O’Connell has written for other blog sites and publications such as Yahoo Finance, U.S. News and World Report and others.

In promoting her blog (brokeandbeautifullife.com) and book, she is making the rounds on a public speaking tour, with her interviews being broadcast on radio and on television in Boston, Miami and New York. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and U.S.A. Today also featured Ms. O’Connell’s work, her webinars and consulting services.

She described her book/speaking tour as “wonderful,” adding: “I spoke to a group of seniors at Adelphi University earlier this week. My first question was ‘how do you feel about money?’ Every response was negative – anxious, nervous, overwhelmed, etc. By the end the two-hour class, the students were smiling, excited and empowered. It’s amazing how quickly you can change your money mindset when you take the right approach.”

“The Broke and Beautiful Life” (200 pages, ISBN: 978-0692321300, 2015) is available for $14.99 from amazon.com and Barnes & Noble retailers, and is published by Coventry House Publishing.

A graduate of St. George Academy in New York, and a member of the Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization, Ms. O’Connell lives in New York and can often be found in the Hunter, N.Y., area or at Soyuzivka.

For more information about Ms. O’Connell, or to schedule a presentation, readers may contact her via her website www.stefanieoconnell.com.