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Obama gets personal with personal finance journalists

Daniel Ray

Facing 25 online personal finance journalists, President Obama got personal, giving a glimpse into his own financial history — including the money advice his grandmother gave him and why the $125,000 in student loans he and his wife Michelle racked up was a good investment.

The president was an unscheduled drop-in guest at the Personal Finance Online Summit, an event held Wednesday at the White House. During it, high-level administration economic officials gave an afternoon of on- and off-the-record briefings to an assorted group of online personal finance editors, myself included. The idea for the summit came because, presidential message adviser Stephanie Cutter said, “Americans are looking to take charge of their personal finance issues … and they’re looking to online sources to get it done.”

No major news was broken, which is why I’m writing a blog item rather than a news story, but the event had some fascinating moments, leading off with the president’s salute to his grandmother’s common-sense money advice — and why in one case it was smart to ignore it.

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