How a Chronically Ill Person Does Money

When I was 13, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract, and from that point on nearly all of my major life choices have been made with it in mind, including picking a college major that would result in a job with health insurance.

Figuring Out a Career While Being Married to an Academic

Brooke is 27 and lives in a major city in the Southeastern region of the U.S.

The Hustle of a Game Maker in Seattle

Ian is 24 and lives in Seattle, Wash.

How a Wealth Manager Does (Other People’s) Money

As part of my journey to understand this situation better, I've been talking to people at all levels of wealth. One major goal is to find out how professional, active money management differs from the administration of the average middle class nest egg. To that end, I recently talked with a wealth manager for a large bank. Let's call him Tom.

How David Shapiro, Creator of Pitchfork Reviews Reviews, Does Money

David Shapiro is the pen name of a writer who created a Tumblr blog called Pitchfork Reviews Reviews. He then wrote a novel (You’re Not Much Use to Anyone, out now) about a character named David who created a Tumblr blog called Pitchfork Reviews Reviews. We talked about his career and his money.

What do you do?

I work as a summer associate at a white-shoe law firm. I hope to get an offer to come back to my firm after I graduate law school next year, meaning I would start full-time around September, 2015. I also write a little bit at The Wall Street Journal (in the paper) and The New Yorker (online). And I also wrote this book, obviously, the reason we’re here.

What does white-shoe mean?

It generally refers to old, large, well-respected law firms. Like, my firm has about 1,000 lawyers. It’s peculiar—in America, in general, the biggest corporations are the best at one particular thing. ExxonMobil is the biggest/best at producing oil and gas. Pfizer is the biggest/best at making pharmaceuticals. In other parts of the world, it’s different—Samsung, the biggest/best corporation in South Korea, makes toilet seats, phones, coffee machines, cars. They own an amusement park. In May, when the CEO of Samsung had a heart attack, they took him to Samsung Hospital. But law firms in America, the biggest ones (which are generally the best ones), can provide any kind of legal service that you need—much closer to the Samsung model than the Pfizer model.

So that’s what I do, this summer. I work in the private equity group.

Is your real name David Shapiro?

No. My legal name isn’t David Shapiro. I’m a lawyer and law student under my legal name, and I write under the name David Shapiro. I picked it because it’s like the John Smith of Jewish names. It’s hard to Google. I wanted to separate my writing life from my legal life because when I was 22, me and my friend wrote a Village Voice story about heroin dealer/addicts and I thought no employer would ever hire me if they knew I had spent time with heroin addicts. That seems naive now (I didn’t actually do the heroin with them), but I felt paranoid about it then.

But being David Shapiro has some definite upsides—someone on Tumblr the other day reblogged my post announcing my book, and he said, “I’m so psyched about this book, I loved his scholarship on the Shakespeare author debate, I’m definitely going to order this,” and I was like, “Sick!” There is David Shapiro the poet, David Shapiro the party photographer, there was a David Shapiro in the index of my constitutional law textbook.

My publisher was not excited that I had chosen this name because it does indeed make my work very difficult to find through Google, which makes the marketing department’s job harder. I used David Shapiro, Jr. for a while, which is the opposite of David Shapiro, because among Jews, it’s untoward to name someone after a living person, so there are almost no David Shapiro’s, Jr. There is one, actually—I think he is about 14 and he may or may not have frosted tips [in his hair]. But then I switched back because it sounded really stupid. So now I’m David Shapiro again.

How a Critical Care Nurse Does Money

Linda is a 33-year-old ICU nurse who works at one of the nation's top 10 children's hospitals in Denver.

Quitting 1 Career at 57 to Start Another

Bill Robson is 57 and lives in Sammamish, Washington. Last year, he quit his career in computer engineering to write a book and start a business. We spoke recently about his transition.
art

Chatting With Artist Darren Bader About His Donation Boxes at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, Cats and Money

I interviewed artist Darren Bader over email as he prepared for his next exhibit at the Andrew Kreps Gallery, where he'll have a show opening in the middle of May. We talked about his work, his current piece at the Whitney, and how a person makes money as a conceptual artist. We also talked about cats.

Interview With a Person Who Paid Off $48,000 in Student Loans in Four Years

Marnie Gallowy! The Internets told me that last week—eight years after you graduated from our ol' alma mater—that you paid off the last of your $48,000 in student loan debt. IS THAT TRUE? Are you a wizard?

How a 26-Year-Old Singaporean Does Money

Jillian Wong, is a 26-year-old Singaporean who works for a design website. Not too long ago, she visited New York and asked to meet with me so we could talk about the culture of money in Singapore.