John F. Wasik

Author, Speaker, Journalist

About John

John Wasik As an award-winning author/journalist who’s written 17 books, I’ve spoken all across North America from the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street to Seattle investment clubs.

As a journalist, I’ve written more than 1,000 pieces over more than three decades that have focused on business, investing, retirement and investor protection. My “Bamboozlement” blog tries to protect investors from financial scams. I’ve also contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and and have been a columnist with Bloomberg and Reuters.

Lately, though, science, technology and creativity have stirred my soul. My latest book Lightning Strikes: Timeless Lessons in Creativity from the Life and Work of Nikola Tesla explores the intersection between disruptive technology and what it means to be human.

I’ve also been a magazine editor, newspaper reporter, publisher, poet, theatrical producer, non-profit organizer and musician. As a multimedia commentator, I’ve appeared on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, NPR and PBS and radio stations from Australia to Israel.

As an investor advocate, I go deep on issues like behavioral finance. My Keynes’s Way to Wealth: Timeless Investment Lessons from the Great Economist has been translated into Chinese, German and Japanese. My CBS Moneywatch column explores college financing, which is based on my book The Debt-Free Degree.

In summary, I look for challenging, engaging projects that replenish reservoirs of essential knowledge. And it’s the journey that rocks. Want more on me? Google me or check out my author’s page.

Links to published pieces and books I feel good about (still):

My books include:

Contact information: 847/223-9814


List of awards for my writing:

My Latest Book

Order the book here.

Lightening Strikes

Lightning Strikes: Timeless Lessons in Creativity from the Life and Work of Nikola Tesla

I will use the life and inventions of the inventor Nikola Tesla as a lens to show how we can spark our own creativity and innovation. I will tell the compelling story of how Tesla created radio, the modern electrical grid, robotics and wireless/remote control. For those who are fans of the Tesla car, Google or drones, this is an exciting journey of inspiration and discovery. I’ll also venture into future technologies and Tesla’s vision for global, clean energy.

See John Wasik talking about his new book "Lightning Strikes."

On Youtube (Barrington Area Library)

WBEZ (NPR) Podcast

John on WGN Radio talking about Tesla...

About the Book (from

“Seventy years after his death, Nikola Tesla has become a rock star. Lightning Strikes examines his complete life and legacy, including Tesla’s profound influence on everything from systems integration to drone warfare.

Engineers, entrepreneurs, academics and lovers of creativity and innovation will find it invaluable not only for the never-before-published interviews and archives, but also for the creative principles that visionaries like Larry Page and Elon Musk have used to build iconic brands and groundbreaking inventions.

The book also reveals why the government and business leaders wanted to shut down Tesla’s bold experiments, and how hundreds of his ideas are now being implemented globally—including clean power, robotics, alternating current motors, and wireless transmission of power and information.”

I will tell the compelling story of how Tesla created radio, the modern electrical grid, robotics and wireless/remote control. For those who are fans of the Tesla car, Google or drones, this is an exciting journey of inspiration and discovery.

I’ll also venture into future technologies and Tesla’s vision for global, clean energy. This motivational talk is suitable for all audiences, but particularly those who need to optimize their creativity in a global economy.

Reviews (all Five Star/from amazon)

“The topic -- Tesla, the man and his work -- is intrinsically interesting, enigmatic, and baffling, but your organization of the material and your style of delivery made your presentation (sans notes and visual aids!) wonderfully entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking.”

By Sarah Gawle

"I admit ignorance in the face of knowing what Tesla's actual accomplishments are compared to what Edison took credit for. Fortunately this book exists, which remedied that in a day or two-the time it took to read it. On the inside, it's even got supplementary material that you can download; there's a Nikola Tesla app you can get that when you use over certain pages plays video and adds to the reading experience. That's SUCH a Tesla thing to do, I absolutely adore this book even just for that. I got to know not only Tesla The Figure but also Tesla the Man. It was a complete guide to knowing what Tesla's enormous dreams are (like transmitting not only information but power WORLDWIDE wirelessly) and how he got so close to accomplishing them all. In some cases he actually did get there! For example, his AC motor is one of the most well-known and useful leaps in technology Tesla ever produced. Also fun fact: Tesla's grand experiments and dreams of grandeur inspired H.G. Wells to write War of the Worlds, and as an English Major I just think that's fantastic.""

By Amazon Customer

"Excellent book. I liked how Wasik wove together the existing information on Tesla, with his own life experience, to tell the story of how this genius became a genius. The book wisely does not get bogged down in the details of the inventor's life, which has been well covered elsewhere. What also struck me, at least on the hardcover edition I had, as the production of this book. The text was combined with solid graphics, well researched photos, and a unique use of augmented reality. You can see and interact with several of Tesla's machines on your phone. Very clever. The book, I think, would be particularly interesting for young adults considering a life in the sciences or creative arts. Well done."

By Richard W. Mathias

"I am very impressed with John Wasik's book on Nikola Tesla - Lightning Strikes. It is very informative and interesting. I have read many books on Tesla and feel that John's book is very accurate and captures the essense of Tesla's legacy."


Founder and President
Tesla Coil Museum Exhibit Program

I'm also available to speak on this subject, offering a motivational talk to all audiences with demonstrations of technology cited within the book. For more information, email me at

My Previous Book

Debt Free

The Debt-Free Degree: An eBook From Forbes A diploma without debt is well within your reach. Strategize a plan to defeat student loans now.

The $1.2 trillion in student loans hobbling more than 40 million Americans is nothing less than an immoral act of our government and banks, writes John Wasik in his new ebook The Debt-Free Degree: How to Eliminate College Debt at Every Step (Forbes Signature Series).

After researching the subject for more than a year and uncovering myriad abuses, Wasik wrote a guide that treats college loans as an enemy that can be conquered. He tells readers how to avoid debt before, during and after college, including:

The new ebook is available for download on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Google Play and Kobo. The cover price is $4.99.

My Previous Book

Keynes's Way to Wealth: Timeless Lessons from a Great Economist

Keynes Way to Wealth

New York Times praises my new book.

John was talking about his book on

John talking at Lake Forest College on his new book.

JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES indelibly made his mark on global economics...

Few people know, however, that he was also a daring, steel-nerved investor who built a multimilliondollar fortune in the stock market while providing financial counsel to the likes of Winston Churchill and FDR. Now, you can learn from-and imitate- Keynes's success by examining the story of his life and investment strategies, masterfully told by award-winning author John F. Wasik.

Order here.

Read Howard Gold's Wall Street Journal Marketwatch column.

Read US News on Keynes's Way to Wealth

Listen to an interview with John.

See John talking about "Keynes's Way to Wealth" on CCTV.

"Wasik has done a wonderful job showing how Keynes made the transition from trader to a buy-and-hold value investor -- who would have made Graham, Dodd, Buffett and John Bogle proud -- and shows you the path to follow in his footsteps."

-- Larry Swedroe, principal and the director of research for the BAM Alliance and author of Think, Act, and Invest Like Warren Buffett

"John Wasik does a fantastic job of linking economist John Maynard Keynes’s economic thoughts to the decisions he made handling wealth on a day-to-day basis. In simple and easy to understand language, Keynes’ Way to Wealth elucidates how Keynes thought about money in the most real way of all and offers valuable incites into his evolution as a writer, economist and investor."

-- Helaine Olen, author of Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry (Portfolio, 2012)

"Richard Nixon once said that we are all Keynesians now. But when it comes to our personal investing, only people like Warren Buffett are. Read this wonderful book by John Wasik explaining how Keynes made and protected his own fortune. If we follow the Keynesian investing program set out in this book, we are far more likely to secure the economic future of our grandchildren.

-- Thomas Geoghegan, attorney, author, Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why Our Country Needs to Snap Out of It and Have a New Kind of Labor Movement.

"John Wasik has written a fascinating account of Keynes as an expert investor in commodities, stocks, and bonds. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Keynes or in investing."

-- Zvi Bodie, professor of Management at Boston Unversity and co-author of Risk Less and Prosper More (Wiley, 2012)

"John's book is a must read. It provides timeless investment principles through a profile of one of the most fascinating economists in world history. The book provides lessons and advice every investor must know and pragmatic, time-tested ways to build and almost as importantly, maintain wealth. It's a must-read for every novice as well as highly seasoned investor."

-- Andrew Stoltmann, Chicago attorney and investor advocate

"Keynes's Way to Wealth does for economics what The Intelligent Investor did for picking stocks. Wasik allows us to stand on the shoulders of the most important financial thinker of the last 100 years. Then he goes one step beyond. You learn the story of the man himself. What were his mistakes and successes that sparked great thoughts. Wasik breathes new life into the most important figure in finance, ever. Keynes was more than economic thinker – he was a man that that experienced first hand the agony and ecstasy of financial markets.

-- Lee Munson CFA, CFP ®, Chief Investment Officer, Portfolio, LLC

"John Wasik does it again! Keynes’s Ways to Wealth gives new insights into how the world’s most famous economist invested. It was revealing to discover that he was not only an innovative money manager, but one who became wealthy guiding several portfolios using what would become value-based principles later used by Warren Buffett and others."

-- Tom Lydon, publisher, ETF Trends

"John Wasik surprises us with the story of a money manager and unexpected capitalist: John Maynard Keynes."

-- Susan Antilla, Financial writer and author, Tales From the Boom-Boom Room: The Landmark Legal Battles that Exposed Wall Street's Shocking Culture of Sexual Harassment

"Economist John Maynard Keynes, who died in 1946, remains a political lightning rod on the left and right. Wasik reveals a Keynes we don't know. He was a man who through trial and error and, as Wasik says, "a lot of gumption" devised a sensible strategy for all investors, whether they watch Fox or MSNBC."

-- Bill Barnhart, former Chicago Tribune financial columnist

"The author of this book sets out to fill a gap in the vast literature on Keynes, namely his investment philosophy analyzed in the context of his life, work and legacy. It is a creditable endeavor, offering a very readable account which will doubtless appeal to the non-specialist, but also to scholars who may not be as knowledgeable about Keynes's investments as the author of this book."

-- Prof. Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"

"In his latest book, Keynes's Ways to Wealth, John Wasik pens an exceptionally well-researched and compelling treatise of an often overlooked aspect of John Maynard Keynes; that he was a risk-averse speculator who bet his own, and other people's money, on commodities, currencies, stocks and bonds, during a time that proceeded the existence of traditional institutional hedge fund or money-managers. In this fascinating account, and without wading into weighty economic discourse best left to theoreticians, Wasik shows how Keynes' role as a successful value-investor capitalist during war and Depression, as much, or perhaps more so than his academic background, provided the foundation upon which his economic theories and financial practices were formulated."

-- Nomi Prins, author All the President's Bankers and former managing director, Goldman Sachs.

"As I read John Wasik’s manuscript, I quickly realized that I had discovered a true gem—fascinating, carefully researched, and (as one would expect from a skilled journalist) snappy and eminently readable. I commend it to you."

-- John C. Bogle, founder, The Vanguard Group, author, The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation (from the foreword)

As you follow Keynes from his early years with the Bloomsbury Group, through two world wars and the Great Depression Keynes's theories and practices come to life by way of the historic and personal events that shaped them. Like today's investors, Keynes faced markets roiled by panic, inflation, deflation, widespread unemployment, and war-and he developed a core set of principles to prosper in every climate. With the individual investor in mind, this straightforward guide makes it easy for investors at all levels to implement the action-oriented strategies presented in each of the 10 chapters and start investing like Keynes today by:

Using the eloquent insight of a seasoned investment writer, author John F. Wasik digs down into what investments Keynes owned, how he bought and sold them, how his theories guided his investments, and vice versa. He illustrates why Keynes's ideas, insights, and portfolio strategies have withstood the test of time, and how they will continue to produce financial gains for dedicated investors. In a nutshell, Wasik delivers a pragmatic guide to the style of portfolio management practiced by such Keynes followers as Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, and Charles Munger.

The smart money gets richer in all types of weather, and so can you by following Keynes's Way to Wealth.

"Intelligent investing ultimately depends on having an intelligent theory of the economy. This story of Keynes's life as an investor illustrates this beautifully."
--ROBERT SHILLER, professor of Economics, Yale University; New York Times columnist; and author of Finance and the Good Society

"The great economist John Maynard Keynes speculated and lost big-time. Out of the ashes, he evolved some great long-term investment strategies that will work for every prudent investor. While picking up tips, you'll also find that this book is a great read."
--JANE BRYANT QUINN, author of Making the Most of Your Money NOW

"I'd always heard Keynes was a talented investor but never knew any of the details. John Wasik's excellent book uncovers that story and reveals Keynes's considerable investing skills. If you enjoy studying great investors, add this book to your list."
--JOE MANSUETO, founder and CEO, Morningstar, Inc.

"With the possible exception of Mark Twain, no one surpasses John Maynard Keynes as a source of pithy financial wisdom and sayings. Keynes's Way to Wealth mines the reasoning and investment experiences behind his quotability, abounty that will simultaneously edify, entertain, and augment your bottom line."
--WILLIAM J. BERNSTEIN, author and principal,

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I'm available for speaking.


“He proved engaging. His interactive style and willingness to answer questions, even from the most youthful in attendance, attest to his commitment to share his knowledge. “

“He presented Tesla in an educated and entertaining way. Connected to audience.”

“He was highly enthusiastic about his subject and drew in audience participation!”

“Dynamic, interesting, used demos to illustrate concepts--very helpful.”

“Very knowledgeable and effective at explaining Tesla's contributions.”

New book on Nikola Tesla combines with augmented reality app


John's speaking engagements for Lightning Strikes and The Debt-Free Degree.


2017 2016

I can ALSO speak about student debt or nearly any personal financial topic.

I'm the author of 17 books, including Keynes’s Way to Wealth: Timeless Investment Lessons from the Great Economist (McGraw-Hill, 2013). I'm also a contributor to The New York Times and other publications and pens the popular “Bamboozlement” blog on I've spoken across North America and has appeared on NBC, CNBC, PBS, NPR and radio stations across the world.

For Speaking or Interview Information Contact John: or 847-223-9814.

My Latest Articles for The New York Times

Want to Know More About Everything From Reverse Mortgages to Student Loans?

Here's Five Years of my "Ecology of Money" columns from All Free!

Recent Blog Posts

Follow the most recent posts on John's "Bamboozlement" blog.

The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome

The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome

After a lifetime of research and observation, an agonizing decline of the housing market, publication delays and collapse of the stock market, my Cul-de-Sac Syndrome has braved all odds to be published.

Why should you care about this book? It's about our homes and communities and how we need to re-invent, re-envision and re-build the American Dream if we want to survive in this contentious century. Economics meets ecology in this radical new look at what we've taken for granted as a birthright.


Hear What the Initial Reviewers Had to Say

"John Wasik's The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome offers enough to chew on for three sets of teeth, enough to digest for three stomachs, and the alerts the mind faster than an approaching siren."

--Ralph Nader, Consumer advocate

"Get ready for a totally original look at the American dream. Wasik delivers the first truly multidisciplinary examination-using planning, law, architecture, and history to focus on working solutions that can keep the dream alive. This is a winner!"

- Paul B. Farrell, JD, PhD. Columnist, and author of The Millionaire Code

"This excellent book takes a ground-level look at the causes of our housing crisis and offers a myriad of ideas on reinventing the concepts of home and community."

-Ilyce R. Glink, syndicated real estate columnist, author of 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask

"A genuine kick to the head, showing how our individual quests for the biggest house on the hill is destroying our environment, the economy, and our health. But The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome is no dead end. It offers a new, green, urbanized promised land with real community, more free time, and a higher living standard. It's a masterful blueprint to unpave paradise and restore the world we cherish."

- Laurence Kotlikoff, Co-author of Spend 'Til the End: The Revolutionary Guide to Raising Your Living Standard-Today and When You Retire", and Professor of Economics at Boston University

The Audacity of Help

The Audacity of Help<

The Audacity of Help is a provocative new look at the Obama economic plan. How will it stimulate the worst economy in a generation? Who will gain? Who will lose? What are his plans for reviving public education, small business, the environment, credit reform, health care, homeownership and entitlement programs? Which industries will benefit? What new jobs will be created? I take an incisive look at one of the boldest economic restructuring programs since the New Deal.

When President Obama took office, banks were severly impaired, companies were cutting pensions, and market disruptions and unemployment left more than 45 million people without health insurance or retirement security.

In his new book, THE AUDACITY OF HELP: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America (Bloomberg Press, August 2009), John Wasik presents powerful insights into what our new president has promised and how Congress is reshaping -- and sometimes sidelining -- his ideas to deliver final pieces of economic legislation. Each chapter is clearly structured to show "what Congress passed," and "who benefits most," on issues such as Unemployment Insurance Benefits, COBRA, Home Energy Credits, Early Childhood Education, and more.

Wasik calls the huge agenda that Obama has taken on the "Green Deal," because Obama wants a more ecological sense of shared responsibility - interrelationships within society and the economy and not just the environment. For example, Obama wants to:

While Obama relies on humanistic economics and social capitalism, he may not be able to boost incomes, restore sanity to financial markets, or even make health care affordable and available to all, yet he will surely provide a new agenda for tackling these problems.

Wasik writes that the success of the Obama plan comes down to how much Americans rally behind this renaissance; whether it is sustainably funded over the long term; and whether Congress listens to the electorate instead of the lobbies that still have undue influence on the people's business.

In THE AUDACITY OF HELP, Wasik wraps up his thorough coverage by itemizing what the new economy agenda will look like, industry and employment trends and how it will remake America.

*Note: the Appendix includes a detailed list of the spending in the stimulus plan.

Order here.