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    Plutus Awards Sponsor Profile: Experian

    One of the great things about FinCon is the ability to network while having fun. This year, we are hosting a Happy Hour after the Plutus Awards and before the FinCon Closing Party. This should be a fun way to relax, and to network with fellow bloggers, journalists, and financial services providers.

    Putting on a Happy Hour is a big job (as planner Athena Lent can tell you), so we’re glad that Experian is generously sponsoring the event. We’ve long been impressed with Experian’s participation in the personal finance blogosphere. Not only does Experian support bloggers, but the company also actively engages us, with the great#CreditChat held each week on Twitter, and through great video interviews with financial bloggers.

    There are few financial bloggers that haven’t had a great experience with Experian’s great team. Experian is great about outreach, and is always willing to share blogger stories on social media, often using the @Experian_USTwitter handle, or sharing via Google Plus. It’s great to have Experian on board with this year’s Plutus Awards, and all the FinCon attendees should be grateful to Experian for sponsoring the Plutus Awards Happy Hour. ;)

    Here is a little more information about Experian:

    Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making.

    The Experian Consumer Services division provides credit monitoring and other information services, such as identity protection, to millions of consumers via the Internet. The organization enables consumers to monitor the accuracy of their credit reports online, check their credit scores and protect against identity theft. Its products include Experian’s ProtectMyID and

    Experian Consumer Services has established integrated, co-branded partnerships with leading online financial destinations that provide consumers with a broad range of comprehensive online financial products and information essential to managing one’s financial life.

    Plutus Awards Sponsor Profile: Fidelity

    Without our great sponsors, the Plutus Awards wouldn’t be possible. This year, we redesigned our web site, and Fidelity made it happen with a generous sponsorship.

    Not only is this the third year that Fidelity has been involved with FinCon, but it is also the second year that Fidelity has helped sponsor the Plutus Awards.

    “Fidelity is committed to supporting the financial blogger community,” says John Sweeney, Executive Vice President of Retirement and Investing Strategies at Fidelity. “When people better understand how to manage their finances and save for the future, it can empower them to live the lives they want.”

    In 2008, Fidelity introduced Viewpoints, which provides easy-to-understand insights from Fidelity. Viewpoints focuses on timely, relevant analysis on the economy and markets, as well as information on personal finance. The resource was introduced in response to consumer interest, and it’s provided helpful guidance since then. Bloggers can also find interesting topics to blog about by visiting the page and seeing the latest.

    Not only that, but Fidelity also commissions surveys and studies to reveal insights on the behaviors and attitudes of individuals. Some of the recent studies include a Couples Retirement Study, a Grandparents and College Savingsstudy, and an Intra-Family Generational Finance study. Fidelity offers other resources that provide insight into financial behaviors.

    Understanding these trends, and being made aware of how they affect your own life, can help you make better decisions about your money.

    Fidelity’s goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective to all people. Fidelity’s efforts span a wide customer base, including 23 million people investing their own life savings and 20,000 businesses that get help managing their employee benefits programs. Additionally, 10,000 advisors make use of Fidelity’s tools as they effectively manage their clients’ money.

    One of the great things about Fidelity is that, with all that they do on their own, the company also acknowledges the role that blogs play in educating consumers about their money and their financial choices.

    “Our customers tell us they read blogs to see how others address finance in their daily lives — whether they are budgeting, saving for retirement, actively investing, or saving for college — so we’re encouraged that such a dedicated group of bloggers have formed a community to share their stories,” Sweeney says.

    Fidelity is a great partner for the Plutus Awards, and we are pleased that the company has been such a great friend to the financial blogging community. You can find out more about Fidelity by visiting, and by following Fidelity on Twitter.

    Introducing This Year’s Blogger Panel

    Now that nominations are under way, things are a lot more “real” for the Plutus Awards team. One of the things that makes the Plutus Awards possible, aside from our awesome sponsors, is the Blogger Panel.

    The Plutus Awards Blogger Panel helps break ties when choosing the finalists, and votes amongst finalists in theawards categories to ratify the Plutus Winners. We like to have a wide variety of bloggers on the panel, since bloggers considered finalists in a category can’t vote in that category. It’s nice to have a large Blogger Panel so that the community is well-represented, and so that having recused bloggers in certain categories doesn’t make as much of an impact.

    All of the members of the “regular” Plutus Awards team are part of the Blogger Panel, and here are the other bloggers making up this’s years Plutus Awards Blogger Panel:

    Behind the Scenes at the Plutus Awards: Meet the Team

    Every year at FinCon, we present the Plutus Awards to recognize the best of the personal finance blogosphere. Personal finance bloggers recognize their peers for their accomplishments. However, this sort of event doesn’t put itself on. We have a team working behind the scenes to make it happen.

    Plutus Awards Executive Committee

    The Executive Committee is made up of Luke Landes, Tom Drake, and Miranda Marquit. Together, the members of the Plutus Awards Executive Committee plan the awards, oversee the voting, and manage sponsors and volunteers.

    Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary, and the creator of the Plutus Awards. Five years ago, Luke asked fellow bloggers to vote on their favorite blogs, as well as on their favorite financial products and services. The Plutus Awards have grown each year, and this promises to be the biggest year yet.

    Luke is the director of the Plutus Awards. He coordinates the Awards, and keeps everything on track.

    Tom Drake is the founder of Canadian Finance Blog, and is the owner or partner of several other blogging properties. He handles most of the backend portions of the Plutus Awards, working on the code of the web site, and developing voting forms and other forms. Tom also has a program that tabulates votes to help us understand how many nominations each blog has received to help determine finalists (actual winners are determined by the Blogger Panel) and tabulate votes for the People’s Choice Award (which is determined by popular vote).

    Tom was also instrumental in hiring Forest Parks for the Plutus Awards web site redesign.

    Miranda Marquit is the writer behind Planting Money Seeds. She writes for several financial web sites and blogs. Miranda is the point of contact for Plutus Awards sponsorships, from coordinating who sponsors the Happy Hour to the companies providing swag for the Plutus Awards Winner Gift Bags. (There are still opportunities to sponsor; email [email protected] for more information.)

    Plutus Awards Planning Committee Members

    There are also great volunteers helping to plan the events surrounding the Plutus Awards. Here are the rest of the people that make the Plutus Awards possible:

    Athena Lent is the founder of According to Athena, a blog about living fabulously on less. Athena is a great events organizer, and is planning the Happy Hour, which will take place following the Plutus Awards ceremony on Saturday, August 20, 2014. In addition to the work required to arrange all aspects of the Happy Hour, Athena is also managing the Plutus Awards Twitter account andFacebook page, handling all social media for the event.

    Ashley Jacobs is part of the team at Wise Bread. She is in charge of the ceremony itself. After witnessing her rap skillz at last year’s Plutus Awards ceremony, we asked her to emcee. She’s putting together a fantastic show.

    Matt Giovanisci is one of the founders of the Listen, Money Matters podcast. He is known for his humor and quick wit — and his ability with technology. He’s created a great parody song for this year’s Award’s ceremony, and is in charge of audio/visual for the awards.

    In addition to those listed above, the Plutus Awards ceremony and everything surrounding the entire season wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers throughout the community. At the awards ceremony, a corps of volunteers helps as awards presenters, ushers, stage hands, property managers, stage managers, audio/video technicians, and social media associates, and we all work together to produce a fantastic show that exceeds everyone’s expectations every year.

    We’re grateful to all of those who help out with the Plutus Awards, since our team is what makes this production possible.