Financial Literacy - Credit savvy
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Spotlight: Amelia Warren Tyagi

The axiom "like mother, like daughter" certainly holds true in the Warren family.

At a glance
Name: Amelia Warren Tyagi
Hometown: Los Angeles
Education: BA, history, Brown University; MBA, Wharton School
Career highlights:
  • Financial consultant, entrepreneur and co-author with her mother, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, of the best-selling "All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan" and "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke."
  • Co-founder and chief operating officer of Business Talent Group, a Los Angeles-based firm that places senior-level independent consultants in interim executive and consulting positions.
  • Cofounder of HealthAllies, a venture-capital-backed health benefits firm that was acquired by UnitedHealth Group, the nation's second-largest health insurer.
  • Regular commentator on the nationally syndicated radio show "Marketplace."
  • Board member of Demos, a public policy research and advocacy organization.

Not only has Amelia Warren Tyagi followed in the financial footsteps of her high-profile mother -- Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who chairs the congressional panel overseeing the $700 billion economic bailout -- she has carved out her own niche as an entrepreneur, management consultant and regular commentator on the nationally syndicated radio program "Marketplace."

Tyagi earned her own way into the financial ranks. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magnum cum laude from Brown University, holds a master's from the Wharton School and has written for Time, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune on the economy, health care and women and work.

The mother-daughter team has written two no-nonsense best-sellers together, "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-class Parents Are Going Broke" and "All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan."

Tyagi took a tough-love approach to credit when Bankrate contacted her at the Los Angeles-based Business Talent Group, which she co-founded and where she serves as chief operating officer.

q_v2.gifLet's start with the disclaimer: Credit per se is not a bad thing, right?

a_v2.gifThat's certainly too broad a brushstroke, yes. Credit is at the heart of our high homeownership rates and an important tool in seeing millions of people through college.

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q_v2.gifThat said, debt lately has become a ball and chain, particularly for middle-class America. And somehow, there is this misconception that it's the result of lavish spending.

a_v2.gifThere is a lot of sloppy thinking where someone goes to the store and says, "Look, there are outrageously expensive big-screen TVs for sale. Therefore anyone who is in trouble financially, it must be because they bought too many of those expensive TVs." Which, of course, is absurd logic and has no data to back it up.

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