Magazine July 21, 2014, Issue

Official Transcript: Your Money Matters

Syndicated radio call-in show with the Clintons

Hillary Clinton: “Hi, is the caller there?”

Caller: “Hi, Hillary. Can I call you ‘Hillary’?”

Hillary Clinton: “Of course! I’m just an ordinary American grandmother!”

Caller: “Oh, great! Can I call you ‘Grandma’?”

Hillary Clinton: “What’s your question, caller?”

Caller: “Well, I work two jobs right now, but have to pay for child care. I’m also trying to get out from under a lot of credit-card debt. I have some savings, not much, and I’m thinking about investing it more aggressively for growth. What do you think I should do, pick specific stocks or invest in an index-type fund?”

Hillary Clinton: “Well, this is a really interesting question and it hits home. As most of you know, it wasn’t too long ago that the Clinton family was dead broke. We had massive bills to pay and no way to pay them. What we did, though, was have a family meeting and really thought through the options.”

Bill Clinton: “If I can interject here. Just a couple of thoughts. I think you need to sit down at the kitchen table, like we did, like a lot of American families do — ”

Hillary Clinton: “A lot of broke American families — ”

Bill Clinton: “Thanks, Hillary. Right. Just sit down and make a list of your assets. How many homes you have. How many book contracts you have. How many speaking engagements you have on the calendar — ”

Hillary Clinton: “Confirmed ones, though, not just the kind where they call your agent and ask about your availability. Make sure you’re booked solid and they understand the kill fee.”

Bill Clinton: “Right. So, when you’ve got that list, think about your personal connections. Do you know any supermarket magnates? Do you know any chairmen of any private-equity shops?”

Caller: “I don’t.”

Hillary Clinton: “That’s what I thought, too. But you’ll probably be surprised at the range of your connections. I know we were.”

Caller: “So, stocks, mutual funds . . . ?”

Bill Clinton: “Honestly, I think you’re better off as a limited partner at a venture fund, or maybe make a private-equity play.”

Hillary Clinton: “Or books. Do you have a book contract?”

Bill Clinton: “Hello?”

Hillary Clinton: “Hello?”

Bill Clinton: “I guess we got cut off.”

Hillary Clinton: “Next caller! Hello!”

Caller: “Hi! This is so amazing! You guys, I love your show. But this is a question for Chelsea. Hi, Chelsea!”

Chelsea Clinton: “Hi there.”

Caller: “I’m a young person like you and I’m just starting out in my career and I’ve been offered a terrific opportunity as an unpaid intern and I’m wondering how I can make that work.”

Chelsea Clinton: “That’s a great question. Internships are a really great way to get exposed to a lot of different careers and possibilities, and I’ve found that the unpaid ones, actually, are even more useful. The first thing you’re going to need is a bunch of work-appropriate outfits. Then, because you want to project a professional image, I’d invest in a really nice leather case. Don’t forget shoes — shoes really say ‘I’m all grown up,’ so assemble some really basic, classic shoes of excellent quality. And good luck!”

Caller: “Um, okay. Yeah, see, what I was asking was, how do I make it work financially? I have some student loans and I really can’t afford to work for free.”

Chelsea Clinton: “Not following you.”

Caller: “I mean, I can’t ask my parents to pay my rent in the city while I work for free. They barely have enough right now for themselves.”

Chelsea Clinton: “Really? That’s weird. Even when my parents were broke they still had lots of money. Maybe it’s the same with your parents. Are they broke but have several million dollars?”

Caller: “No.”

Chelsea Clinton: “That’s really weird.”

Caller: “The problem is, it’s a great opportunity but I can’t afford to take it. I mean, I don’t even know what I’d do for food.”

Chelsea Clinton: “Well, I can help you there. Most television networks — I had an unpaid internship at one of them — have really well-stocked kitchens and pantries in the office. Muffins, cookies, what have you. And I’m told that the fashion magazines have the same kind of deal. When I was an unpaid intern at a large investment bank, though, most of my lunches and client dinners were paid for, so that helped. Where’s your internship?”

Caller: “City traffic planning.”

Chelsea Clinton: “Cool!”

Caller: “I guess. I mean, it’s not investment banking.”

Chelsea Clinton: “No, right, it’s not. But in a lot of ways it’s better. You know, I did all of that stuff and then I suddenly realized — I think it was when Mom and I were on an amazing trip through India, and I was sitting on an elephant and I just had this realization. I just didn’t care that much about money. I just don’t care about it. It’s not something I even think about.”

Caller: “I think about it all the time.”

Chelsea Clinton: “Oh, you’ve really got to stop doing that.”

Bill Clinton: “Yeah, that’s not a great lifestyle choice.”

Hillary Clinton: “Totally agree. Don’t make money the center of your life.”

Chelsea Clinton: “Coming up next at the top of the hour! Simple household products you can make yourself! Stay with us!”

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