How Smart is the Average Investor?
How smart is the average investor? Inquiring minds at the SEC want to know. One of the mandates of the Dodd-Frank bill is to improve the timing, content, and format of disclosures to investors regarding financial intermediaries, investment products, and investment services. While that all seems important and even necessary, one shouldn't lose sight of the fact that there needs to be a focus on reminding investors that investing is a risk, and all the best practices in the world aren't going to change that.
We live in a finger-pointing society, and Dodd-Frank follows in that grand tradition, not only hoping to educate investors, but perhaps setting up opportunities to give investors someone to blame when their investments go sour. I'm keeping fingers crossed that we're not headed in this direction.
Perry is a CPA and a former senior tax accountant with Big Four firm Deloitte. She maintains a small tax practice, she is a personal finance instructor, and the author of thirty books, including Surviving Financial Downsizing: A Practical Guide to Living Well on Less Income (Adams Media); QuickBooks on Demand (Que); Excel 2007 Macros Made Easy (McGraw Hill); The Complete Idiot's Guide to Doing Your Income Taxes (Alpha/MacMillan); and, most recently, Mint.com for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons). In addition, she is a former columnist for the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis News daily newspapers.
Perry is a nationally recognized speaker who advises public accountants on using Internet tools to improve their accounting practices. She also taught a college-level introductory accounting class and was on staff at the Indiana CPA Society as a computer applications instructor. For five years, she was a contributing editor for Accounting Today magazine before taking over the helm at AccountingWEB.
Perry is a graduate of Indiana University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She returned to school to study accounting at Illinois State University, passed the CPA exam (in one sitting!), and worked for Deloitte in the Chicago tax department.
Gail has been named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor magazine and the American Society of Women Accountants.