An Interview with Susan Laubach 

Susan Laubach

Susan Laubach, PhD has had a distinguished career as an author, playwright, actress and educator. She has written nine books, including The Whole Kitt & Caboodle: A Painless Journey to Investment Enlightenment, which was called “the best basic book on investing available” by the National Association of Investment Clubs, and endorsed by Economics America, as well as the National Council on Economic Education. Her plays have been performed throughout the Northeast, including at venues such as Women at Work, MamaDrama, and EAT’s Sola Voce Festival. As a member of the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the League of Professional Theatre Women (LTTW), and Dramatists Guild Fund treasurer and board member, she has appeared in many plays, television and film. She has also been a popular guest on CNN-FM and CNBC’s Morning Business Show, and The Money Club.

A mother of five children, including two sets of twins, she later rose through the ranks to become the first female vice president at the oldest investment bank in the U.S., Alex, Brown & Sons – but not before her fifteen-year stint teaching investing to over a thousand students. She earned her doctorate from the University of Virginia, and later taught at the College of Notre Dame.

1. Why did you write the book? What was your motivation behind it?

I wrote the book as a series of cautionary tales because I saw a great need for them among potential and even long-time investors. My motivation was to address that need in a way that would encourage confidence and enable readers to remember the “rules” because of the story structure.

2. Who do you see as your main audience for this book and what do you hope they will get from reading your book?

My main audience is the cohort of folks who want to invest but aren’t sure if they should. This includes people who find themselves with money from an inheritance or divorce but are scared to get started investing for fear of losing $$. as well as all Gens, X, Y, Z who think trading or penny stocks will make them rich overnight. Wrong.

3. How do you see this book being relevant today?

With so many opportunities to lose money in flaky securities or overpriced securities, this book is more relevant than ever. It is, however, “wintergreen” in that the “rules” will never be irrelevant.

4. Why do you think you the right person to write this book? How do you think your qualifications or experience make this a better book?

Because of my many years as a stockbroker and simultaneously, nearly as many as an investment educator, I saw too many instances of investors failing to ask the pertinent questions (“what can go wrong?” “Is this price too high,” etc.) because they didn’t know the questions to ask. Consider me an investor’s advocate, arming readers with the most basic of ways to build confidence and knowledge about the Stockmarket. Being both an author and a playwright, I’m uniquely qualified to write readable and memorable stories which I hope will also amuse.

5. How did you come up with the idea for the book?

I came up with the idea for this book because I wanted a way for readers to remember these important “rules” and embedding them in re-told fairy tales seemed an effective way to do this.

6. Can you share a little bit about the process of writing the book? Did you keep writing once you sat down?

Once I hit on the idea of embedding investment rules in silly fairy tales, it was challenging and fun to match the rules with appropriate stories. Having been a teacher of Creative Dramatics, I also felt that kids would have a good time while learning important investment lessons if they acted out each story. This enabled me to make sure each “rules’” story had plenty of action. And yes, once I saw down, I kept on writing. No blogging and no writers’ block.

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