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50 Over 50

The 'Influentials' Who Help Us Save Money

Whether we know it or not, they shape our spending habits

Suze Orman, 61


Snookered by a sleazy broker when she was 29, Orman decided to turn that big mistake into big money: She went on to learn all she could about the markets. Now she’s all over the airwaves chiding us to spend smartly — and to save, save, save.

Ida Mae Astute/ABC/Getty Images

Abigail Johnson, 50

PRESIDENT, Fidelity Investments

We all want the biggest bang for our 401(k) bucks, and Johnson (her own net worth said to be $12 billion) seems like a good bet to make them grow. As head of the investment company, she’s mother hen to more than $1 trillion in 401(k) nest eggs.

Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Richard Cordray, 53

CHIEF, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Fighting for Ohio residents as the state’s attorney general, he recovered more than $2 billion for retirees and investors. As the new federal agency's first director, he keeps the little guy from being hoodwinked by unscrupulous lenders. 

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Roger W. Ferguson Jr., 61


He heads the company that manages the vast pool of retirement assets for workers in the nonprofit world. Plus, he’s a trusted economic adviser to President Obama.

Jennifer S. Altman/Contour/Getty Images

Joe Baker, 51

PRESIDENT, Medicare Rights Center

Navigating the arcane rules of Medicare can be like getting lost in a corn maze, only a lot less fun. As head of this patient education organization, Baker is dedicated to making the sometimes byzantine-seeming federal program more consumer-friendly.

Ben Hider/Getty Images

Warren Buffett, 82

CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

The Oracle of Omaha is considered the most successful investor in the modern world. In recent years he’s also been a loud proponent of higher taxes for the rich, so he may want to watch his back at the next neighborhood Billionaire’s Barbecue. 

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Craig Newmark, 59

FOUNDER, Craigslist

Seventeen years ago he created Craigslist as a platform for free advertising. Not only did he change the way we buy and sell stuff  — some say he’s the Angel of Death to the newspaper business, once dependent on classified ads.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

James A. Guest, 71

CEO, Consumers Union

Generations of smart shoppers have consulted product evaluations in the CU's magazine, Consumer Reports, before spending a dime for a new cooktop or car. The organization has world’s most successful subscription-based website.

Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP Photo

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