Five financial experts people in their forties should follow

Forty is the new twenty, but hopefully with better finances. These financial experts are perfectly geared toward people in the prime of their lives.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Alan Wardyga, a certified financial planner, holds the questionnaire he gave to the Powells as part of his financial analysis. 9/18/2000

I'm not quite 40 yet, but it is definitely creeping up on me. Fortunately, I've been listening to the sage advice of experts in the personal financial realm, and hearing good guidance for those approaching midlife. But which of these experts are best plugged-in to the needs of Gen X-ers?

We've got a list of the top experts for people in their 40s — all with wisdom that those in the prime of their life should follow:

1. William J. Bernstein

This expert comes highly recommended by Larry Ludwig of Investor Junkie (who is actually an expert in his own right). And why not? Mr. Bernstein has written many solid books on investing and the not-really-that-elusive "asset allocation" concept. He has a background as a medical doctor, but made a name for himself as a the author of The Four Pillars of Investing — a staple for anyone looking for the best books on financial matters. DIY investors really should check out William's work.

Favorite quote: "Risk, like pornography, is difficult to define, but we think we know it when we see it."

2. Mohamed El-Erian

This highly-respected commentator, fund manager, and former PIMCO head was put on my radar by Doug Bagwell of DB Advisers. Mohamed is probably best known for his bestselling book When Markets Collide, which earned numerous awards and is probably one of the reasons his columns are everywhere (including Bloomberg). If investment thinking outside national borders is your thing, you'll appreciate the big picture education you'll get from El-Erian's work.

Favorite quote: "The best and most sustainable love story for markets is one based on a healthy and dynamic real economy that creates jobs and opportunities for many more people."

3. Farnoosh Torabi

I'm probably biased on this expert, because I've met her a few times, and I think she really believes what she ways. I'm also just so completely in love with the message presented in her book When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women, a very practical guide to handling the life challenges that come when the woman in a relationship outearns her partner. Many Gen X and older couples are finally realizing that the man may never get out of the "temporary" situation of under-employment brought about over the past 10 years, and that's really okay. Farnoosh's practical advice for overcoming and creating a new normal are pretty spot-on for couples in their 40s, no matter who brings home the bacon.

Favorite quote: "If you want to have both a rich life and harmony in your life, it is crucial that you master your finances AND your emotional connections to money."

4. Carl Richards

Author and blogger at Behavior Gap, Carl is also known as "The Sketch Guy." For anyone who has ever come to appreciate a good Murdoch Mystery, you can appreciate how writing your ideas on a blackboard (or napkin) can make for better understanding. Carl uses his gift of sketch to illustrate complex money concepts in a way that makes you feel like you've read a good comic — and not just received an education in financial planning. Be sure to check out his book Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things With Money, as well; it takes a look at all those dumb mistakes you've been making with your money, laying out the why and how in perfect black and white doodles.

Favorite quote: "History is so important. It has been said that the three most important words in the English language are 'Remember, remember, remember.'"

5. Gary Foreman

Sometimes, life experience (and being a former CFP) is what makes someone the best expert, and that's why Gary of The Dollar Stretcher makes this list. His newsletter, which debuted in 1996, is still going strong in the form of a blog, email list, and thriving online community. The topics, including frugality, financial planning, and simply living life to the fullest, are popular with readers from every walk of life. Those over 40 should take particular interest in the fact that Gary is one of the few bloggers to specifically address issues of the Baby Boomer generation and certain end-of-life issues. As Gen X-ers find themselves caring for their Boomer parents, this advice will become increasingly important, especially as it relates to the finances of both parent and child.

Favorite quote: "Change is what I make of it. I can look for danger or opportunity. My job is to find the opportunity and take steps to make that the reality."

This article is from Linsey Knerl of Wise Bread, an award-winning personal finance and credit card comparison website.

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