Armed with $5, I skipped down to the local bank to open a savings account. The bank manager gladly accepted my money. I was just 10. It was my first foray into the world of personal finance. The experience empowered and taught me that I can be in control of my money – and it’s a philosophy I’ve carried my whole life. Money should never control you. But for many people, young or old, poor or wealthy, and educated or not, money is their overlord. Most are ill-prepared to make the right choices about their finances. That’s why CentSai’s mission to promote financial literacy is so crucial. As CentSai’s first columnist, I’m here to demystify the complex world of financial products and services, while providing simple, easy-to-understand tips, tools, strategies and solutions to help you be the master of your money. My love of all-things personal finance is backed by decades of journalism experience in broadcast, digital, newswires and print. I spent the bulk of my career with the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal as a reporter, editor and manager. In my free time, I enjoy playing my Telecaster loudly as well as biking and hiking with my wife and two young boys.