Nicole Lapin: The Voice of Finance for a New Generation

Nicole Lapin

Entrepreneurs are the winners of this recession.

Nicole Lapin, Nothing But Gold Productions

The economy is the biggest story of our time - the story of our generation - an observation not lost on Nicole Lapin, the founder and CEO of Nothing But Gold Productions, a multimedia production company focused on creating accessible financial content for 20 and 30-somethings across multiple platforms. The former anchor of "Worldwide Exchange" on CNBC, and a regular contributor on MSNBC she has served as a personal finance expert on NBC’s "Today Show," with regular opinion pieces in the Huffington Post and USA Today. (Oh, and she's the daughter of a former Nobel Prize nominee and a beauty queen, in case you're wondering where she gets her moxie.)

Nicole left her job at CNBC last year to launch Nothing But Gold Productions, where the goal is to help financial topics make sense to the rest of us. One of her new sites, Recessionista, is already live, while Rich Bitch, "The only non-judgey place to get your financial life together," is launching soon.

A recent new addition to the Say 100 Business channel curated by Dan Frommer, we caught up with her to find out why she's so passionate about finance, what's been missing when talking about money and the economy for the iGeneration, and why entrepreneurs are the winners in this recession.

You've covered some amazing events as a TV anchor (the death of Osama bin Laden, presidential debates, the Virginia tech shootings) – so why the fascination with finance? I always knew I wanted to work in news, but I did not feel the same way about finance. I didn’t grow up in a house where we read The Wall Street Journal; in fact, we would talk about pretty much everything else around the dinner table except for money. But after serving as a business reporter at First Business Network in Chicago, I started learning more about business and finance. That knowledge is empowering, and gave me a new appreciation for that world.  I felt privileged to be able to report on the economy for CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg. Every story goes back to money and once I realized that, I could cover those amazing stories but from an economic focus. 

You're a finance voice for a new generation and self-professed Bloomberg geek. What's been missing until now when it comes to talking about money to 20 and 30 somethings? With the economy in the you-know-what-er yet again, I felt an urgent need to provide accessible financial content to young people who want to save, but still aspire to more, even during a recession. It’s the sensibility of The Economist but as fun to read as US Weekly — and no one else was offering that to a younger generation.

One of your first projects is Recessionista — what was the genesis of that and how's it going? Women don’t want to be preached at, especially when it comes to their finances. I saw a lack of accessible, actionable financial content delivered in a way that was both useful and fun to read, and set out to create a community that could provide those things in one place.

Entrepreneurs are the winners of this recession, and I’ve seen that proven by some of the amazing women we’ve featured on our site. I’m intrigued by celebs like Jessica Simpson, who have capitalized on their fame to create business empires and long-lasting careers, as well as ordinary women like Dera Enochson, who turned being laid off into a major blessing by following her dreams and starting her own beauty line. These women are scrappy and demonstrate what it is to be a true Recessionista.

What's your media diet like? Where do you go for financial advice? Well my DVR is, of course, set to Bloomberg. I read The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist on the go … Vanity Fair, Fast Company ...

You're a role model to young women with your campaigns like "Being Smart is Cool" and charities like Lost Girls. Who or what inspires you? Giving a voice to people who don’t have one has always been the driving force behind everything I do. It started by giving a voice to the wrongfully accused and the battered mothers through investigative reporting and local news, and then at CNN and CNBC on a national and international level. Now, it’s helping young people who are part of this "Lost Generation" — who are marginalized and unemployed — to find their own voice and knowledge about business and finance.

What do you want your legacy to be? I'm 28 — shouldn't I have until I'm 30 to think of a legacy?!

What's next? Coffee! 

Follow Nicole on Twitter @NicoleLapin

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