Norm Champ has welcomed many challenges in his years as a hedge fund and private equity lawyer, Securities and Exchange Commission official and now as a partner at the global law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. But as his latest book demonstrates, his greatest passion might be helping people gain control of their finances to pursue the American dream.
In his new book: "Mastering Money: How to Beat Debt, Build Wealth, and Be Prepared for Any Financial Crisis," Mr. Champ shares a lifelong interest in investing that began during his St. Louis childhood.
After a stint as executive vice president and general counsel at hedge fund firm Chilton Investment Co., Mr. Champ joined the SEC in perhaps its most tumultuous period, after the Great Recession, Bernie Madoff and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
He was deputy director of examinations before taking over the investment management division. While there, he tried to get SEC officials to interact more with the regulated community, and for agency divisions to collaborate more. Successes and frustrations led to his first book in 2016, "Going Public: My Adventures Inside the SEC and How to Prevent the Next Devastating Crisis." Since 2008, he has also taught investment management at Harvard Law School, where he stresses to tomorrow's securities lawyers the importance of protecting investors.
His latest book, published by McGraw-Hill, aims for a much wider audience: ordinary Americans, who he feels "are facing a crisis of financial and illiteracy and instability," and need to take control of their own financial destiny.
"I wrote this book because I want to help Americans learn the fundamentals of getting their finances in order and beginning to invest in the future," he said. The government and Washington policymakers are not going to help ordinary citizens and often get in the way, said Mr. Champ, who blames the government for wanting Americans "to be a nation of bored shoppers, not savers."
The good news is it is never too late to start and be better prepared for whatever happens, Mr. Champ writes. "Financial peace of mind is closer than you think."— Hazel Bradford