Damn. Profiles are way harder than I thought (how you can help)

Ramit Sethi

Hey everyone, the profiles on female iwillteachyoutoberich readers that I’ve been working on are a lot harder than I thought. I’ve spoken to a bunch of young women on the phone in the last few days, collecting their stories and learning about what they have to say. But as I’m writing them up, I’m just not satisfied with how they’re turning out — especially in light of the many comments with different views about how I should approach this.

So these are taking a little longer than expected. I hope to start these profiles next week. If you have some time, here’s how you can help:

  • Help with the profiles. If you have experience writing profiles or interviews, help turn my raw interview notes into easy-to-read profiles
  • Research / statistics. Add a comment here with research on women and money. That way, it can be less about Ramit’s handwavy theories and more about actual real research on women and money (e.g., here)
  • Write a guest post with your thoughts! Leave a comment with your idea and if it’s good, I’ll get in touch

Thanks for being patient. I want to get this right, so I hope it’s ok that I’m taking a little longer than usual to get these profiles out.

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  1. sfordinarygirl

    I’d be happy to try and turn your raw notes into profiles. My freelance work is interviewing artists and writing them into engaging profiles for people to read.

    Once you have the hook and the angle you want to frame the profile as, the rest falls into place – most of the time.

  2. Dan Meehan

    I have a sneaking suspicion you’re just doing this to get women’s numbers.

    And I was trying to look for an article I read dealing with how women are viewed as the “earning less, but somehow spending more” group with some statistics, but alas, i have not found it. Good luck anyway.

  3. Christy

    I guess it depends what you want to do here. If you’ve already got an angle in mind you’re trying to skew the article towards, it could be difficult. If you just want to tell our stories, good or bad, then that’s all you’ve got to do. It’s just a series of case studies after all, limited to the women who reached out to you. We’re not representative of all women in that age range, and I’m sure (or hope) your readers understand that.

  4. Jennifer Lynn

    Hi Ramit –

    Just some quick rambling thoughts; Why limit this ‘women and finance’ idea to one week only? It seems like you’re trying to incorporate something into the site which can’t be bundled up neatly. Why not actively talk with women about money, and continue to have ongoing profiles featured (both male and female), even past this week? Perhaps a biweekly feature? Or monthly, if too cumbersome?

    As far as writing engaging profiles – I believe the individual has to bring their own voice into it. If you’re trying to interview a mass amount of people in a short time span, this may be lost in the process.

    Financing is psychological, personal, and extremely unique to each individual. Let each female bring her own vision to you – and then display it for your readers.

  5. Julie Poland

    I can’t be considered a young woman at this point but my perspective on women and money relates to their attitudes about themselves as it relates to men.

    Some women of my generation (I’m a VERY YOUNG Boomer) are still thinking that a knight on a white charger is going to ride up and save them from the evil dragon, or stepmother, or a negative balance in their checkbook. That underlying attitude influences how they manage their money and how seriously they take a look at the long term.

  6. Andy K

    Hey Ramit,

    Could you send me an email with an example of your raw material? I wrote many profiles on people in a past life – everyone from high school students to multi-millionaires. Usually a theme emerges from the fragment and you can craft the story around that central idea.

    – Andy

  7. Kimber

    Why don’t you start with interviews
    with female financial coaches, advisors, bloggers, etc?
    That’ll ground you in the major issues
    and give you pro tips on how to deal with them.
    Learn from the doctors,
    not from the patients.

    I know that you aren’t a fan of financial advisors
    but women use them way more often than men
    (I use one).

  8. anonymous

    I used to really like this blog, but it has really gone downhill. When is the last time you have posted anything substantive? It’s been months. You either:

    1) Run a survey to see what readers want to read about (I think you’ve done this a couple of times already)

    2) Talk about some giveaway or contest

    3) Talk about what you are planning to write about

    4) Ask for help in developing the idea


  9. Liz K

    Jennifer — That’s a good suggestion, but it’s always a toss-up on how readers will respond. As a young woman who’s just entered the working world, I’d be much more easily compelled to give an interview than write an essay.

    What’s on my mind when it comes to money? It still shocks me when I hear about peers (male or female) who spend recklessly. They know they’re not handling their money well, but they’re not interested in learning how to plan their finances. The basic to-dos are easy to grasp… but if you weren’t in the right peer or family environment, I’m not sure where you would _begin_ to have an interest in learning the basics!

    I’ve been fortunate to run with a crowd of young women who have always been pretty smart about money, and I have a father who began forwarding Motley Fool articles to me when I turned 16. It’s not always obvious who is or isn’t educating themselves on money, or where the interest/drive originates.

  10. Melani Ward

    Hi Ramit,

    I’d be happy to help you with your profiles. I have been writing, academically and for the web for 15+ years and do this type of work all the time. I am a career and interview coach and have a lot of experience turning interviews into stories. Let me know how I can help.

  11. Starving Artist

    i think the premise of your series invites controversy; meaning that you, as a man, are creating personal finance articles for woman. you can’t escape stepping on toes. i think you should continue forward, but you’ll get some ugly comments and maybe a bit of hate mail. ah, the price of fame! keep it as fair and ballanced as possible, don’t give in to stereotypes. good luck!

  12. Sarah Hurst

    Hi Ramit, I’d love to help you with some of your profiles. I’m currently looking to expand my freelancing efforts, and this would fit the bill quite well. I graduated with a journalism degree in 2004 and have done a nice bit of freelance editing since then. I’ll happily fill in more details if you’re interested in having my assistance. Thanks!

  13. Luke

    This was one of my first PF blogs I checked out and I don’t mean to sound like a jerk here, but when are you going to get posting useful tips?

    It seems like the last few months have been about the future of what is coming, but when is it coming?

  14. S

    QUOTE FROM Dan Meehan:
    “I have a sneaking suspicion you’re just doing this to get women’s numbers.”

    HA HA I was one who fell for it! 😉 At least I think the e-mail went through.


    I think women benefit the most from good quality investment content – no matter who it comes from. I think good content will lead to good comments – that we all can benefit from. Also, it would be interesting to know how many women visit investment sites. My investment sites are primarily male, but most of the newsletter sign-ups on my travel sites are mostly from women. It has been interesting to search my databases to find trends such as this.

  16. Golbguru

    Just sent you an email with reference to a post on women and investing. I can send some more data along your way if you are interested in the subject .

  17. O

    I agree with others, I found this site through the yahoo article and have been checking less and less… post something of substance already!

  18. Addy

    Wanda’s comment on the last post led me to many great young womens’ financial blogs, which actually led me to start my own (Thank you Wanda!). In the course of my reading and thinking about starting up with my own writing, I noticed a few things that girls’ financial blogs seem to have in common that guys’ ones simply do not. The finances and ideas aren’t different, but the topics of discussion often are. Here are a few that I saw coming up again and again:
    1. Girls focus more on personal stories.
    2. Girls often talk about how their finances affect relationships – whether romantic, family, or just friendships.
    3. Girls talk about their emotions with respect to money.
    I thought you might be able to glean some material from that… one way would be to choose one of these topics that seems to be more often covered by women and offer the male perspective. I’m sure there are many other angles to take on this though. I’d be happy to share more of my ideas if you’re interested.

  19. Flint

    Hey Ramit,

    Here’s a link to a free e-book written by the Heinz Family Philanthropies to help women plan their financial futures. It was released recently and I think that it’s a good resource to pass along:

    Cheers, Flint

  20. Millionaire Mommy Next Door

    I am a woman; a mommy; and a self-made millionaire. At age 30 I decided I wanted financial freedom. Just ten years later, at age 40, I was completely debt-free and I had a million dollars in the bank.

    I’m so excited to have stumbled on your women and money segment. I am passionate about empowering women to learn more about money, and in fact, I’m hoping to serve as a helpful role model or mentor. With this purpose in mind, I recently launched a personal finance blog targeting women and families.

    Ramit, please take a peek at my blog ( If you think my story might interest your readers, I’d be happy to accept an interview.

    ~Millionaire Mommy Next Door