Interview with Dana Anspach

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Atlas Shrugged, The Power of Now, Conversations With God, The Hobbit and... Four Pillars of investing. I had to throw one finance book in there, didn't I?
What do you read for pleasure?
I'll confess, I've read the entire Twilight Series as well as all the Harry Potter books. I grew up on SciFi with the Dune series being one of my all time favorites.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPad.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
The best marketing technique I've found is to write a darn good book. Word of mouth has by far been the best marketing tool I have - because the books are good. If they weren't good or didn't provide valuable information I wouldn't expect people to talk about them.
Describe your desk
Messy. About once a month I clean it. Then I have trouble finding everything. After four weeks it is quite messy again. It's a never-ending cycle.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Iowa City, then lived in Cedar Rapids, then St Louis, then St Cloud, Florida. I'm not sure how this influenced me. I feel like it wasn't the places as much as the people in my life that have influenced me. Both my mom and dad are avid readers so I grew up with a love for books.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing as long as I can remember. In high school I won a national essay contest for writing "Good Credit, Key to Your Financial Future". I received a $500 savings bond that I used for college expenses.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Most of the time I find ebooks to read because someone I know mentions a book they recently read, or I see a Facebook post or some other online mention. I check it out and if it looks interesting I'll buy it!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is about Social Security. Oh boy, exciting, huh? I can assure you I never set out as a child to write a book on Social Security. But in my practice as a financial planner I see people make poor choices about how and when they begin benefits. Recently the laws about Social Security changed and many couples have a small window of time to act in order to boost their benefit amount. I wanted to get the word out quickly.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Words are magic to me. When you use the right words in the right situation people walk away knowing something they didn't know before. I love the quietness of writing. And I love the ability to share my knowledge with others. In an entire lifetime I couldn't reach the number of people that a book can reach.
How old are you?
This may seem a strange question to answer, but because of the online writing I do I can see the search queries that people type in that lead them to some of my articles or bio pages. When I started contributing to MarketWatch a few years ago I couldn't believe the number of people who queried Google to ask "How old is Dana Anspach?" Funny. It is public information because I own a registered investment advisory firm and in our disclosure document we are required to list our year of birth. So if you must know you can find it online - but I'm not handing the info out - you'll have to dig deeper on our own!
What do your fans mean to you?
I've had fans write me Happy Thanksgiving emails simply to let me know they are grateful for my work. It is heart-warming. There would be no point in writing if it weren't for fans. They inspire me as much as I inspire them.
Published 2015-12-04.
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Books by This Author

Social Security Sense
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 21,260. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Personal finance / retirement planning
Social Security Sense provides practical knowledge on the Social Security claiming options and rules you must know before you file to begin benefits. This is a book everyone age 55 or older should read before they begin their benefits - and it covers all the new rules that became law on Nov. 2, 2015.