Lois Center-Shabazz says: "Brokers are out to make a commission, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you understand what their commissions are."
Center-Shabazz worked 15 years as a dentist in San Diego, CA, while pursuing her interest in investment and financial research. After she decided to sell her practice and move to Virginia, her newfound freedom allowed her to fully develop the investment education program she had started many years prior.
What she discovered in her financial research fueled her energy to educate others. "I have to retrain people to not blindly trust [brokers]," says Center-Shabazz. She was angered to learn that the professionals in the financial industry were often misleading and uninformed after her own experiences with many. She says that many people believe that financial specialists work to increase their clients' wealth; but to the contrary, many of them are out to stuff their own pockets at their clients' expense. Center-Shabazz tells what's really going on in the business of finance through her Web site, book, and seminars.
Center-Shabazz says there are ways to invest your money without paying astronomical fees and ridiculous costs, but brokers don't suggest any of them because it doesn't make them a commission, she says: "Do you really think a broker is going to tell you about a low-cost, no-load mutual fund?"
Center-Shabazz says she geared her book toward women because women's lives tend to be more interrupted financially by pregnancies, relocating to support a husband's career, and also through the experience of death and divorce. "Women need to understand that they must have their own financial security, they cannot depend on their husband's pension or believe that he will always be around."
When Center-Shabazz conducted her financial research she says she was overwhelmed in her reading because many financial books often dealt with one subject either investing or budgeting or debt-reduction. To fill a niche, she says, "I wanted to put everything in a book that was user-friendly and combined both creative budgeting and investing while appealing to a wide range of readers. My book is liked by men also; a substantial number of book sales comes from men.'"
In addition, the North American Book Dealers Exchange (NABE) awarded her book the 2002 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Self-Help, an honor that only 12 books achieve annually from the thousands from which the NABE makes their selection.
She says that she finds her full-time career teaching investments and personal finances to be very gratifying and yearns to show that managing money doesn't have to be difficult. "You have to know it for yourself. Just look at the thousands of media reports where intelligent citizens are robbed of their life savings by licensed professionals."