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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Getting To Know.....Ali Velshi

1. When is your book, GET RICH, SLEEP WELL: Making Money in Good Times & In Bad, going to be released?
Velshi: I’m hoping to have it released this fall. Maybe toward Christmas. I won’t sleep well until its done. But since I hardly sleep, anyway…

2. From the title, it sounds like the book is recession proof. How is this book going to help someone in their 20s compared to someone in their 50s?
Velshi: Recession-proof investing - that’s the idea behind the book – that people can invest their money without worrying about it. There’s no way to eliminate risk in investments, but there is a way to take on an amount of risk that is suited to your age and personality. That’s what I’m aiming to help people with.

3. With all the work that you do for CNN- Your $$$$, American Morning, your podcast.... when did you find the time to write a book?
Velshi: I don’t, really. There are children graduating from kindergarten who weren’t born when I first started writing it.

4. Where do you get your great sense of style? Do you have a favorite designer?
Velshi: I have a definite sense of what I like – I’m not sure it’s a style with mass appeal (can you imagine what New York City would look like with all those stripes?). So I tend to start with shirts – I have them made by a tailor. Then I pick ties – I have more ties by Zegna than by anyone else. Suits, I choose last (also from the same tailor.). Think of all the money I save not having to go to a hairdresser.

5. What's on your iPod? What's in your Netflix queue? What was the last book you read (or the one that you're currently reading)?
Velshi: I’m glad you raised this issue. I’m thinking of giving up Netflix. I’m on the 2-movie-a-month plan, and I never actually watch two movies in a month. Some titles from my queue (“A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash”, “Wall Street”, “Million Dollar Baby”) Sensing a theme here?

6. Please tell us a little about the off camera Ali. Your family, hobbies, favorite authors, favorite episodic television, things in your life that you are the most proud of, etc.
Velshi: My parents live in Toronto, where I grew up. When I have some free time, I ride a motorcycle (1400cc cruiser), enjoying traveling to out-of-the way, exotic places. I watch a lot of dramatic series on TV (Rome, Tudors, John Adams), plus “House” and all the “CSI” versions.

7. What are the essentials when traveling to cover a story?
Velshi: I have one bag with every electronic gadget one could ever need. And that bag will fit under the seat of a commuter airplane. In it: my slow-as-molasses company-issued laptop, Ipod, an iGo power thingy with every adapter conceivable to charge my stuff, an inflatable airplane pillow (and eyemask, but don’t tell anyone), basic toiletries, various forms of toothpaste, mouthwash, and scientifically enhanced breath fresheners (I’m a little obsessed), Ambien (I’m the world’s WORST sleeper), some kind of crunch power cereal in a pouch and this little packet of artificially sweetened powder that you can empty into a water bottle (like, at a hotel) so you can get some nourishment if a donut store isn’t nearby. Oh, and a reporter notebook and a cross pen.

8. When did you decide that you wanted to be a journalist? What attracted you to this professional? If journalism wasn't your initial career goal, what was?
Velshi: I studied religion. And I decided very late in my university career that I wanted to be a geological engineer. Clearly there was nothing behind Doors 1 OR 2.

9. What's your favorite must have gadget?
Velshi: Blackberry. And the next 4 on the list are blackberry. Nothing else even comes close. I can go WEEKS without touching my iPod. Can go minutes without my Blackberry.

10. Live television can be unpredictable- can you tell us about an on air moment that didn't go quite as planned or went awry?
Velshi: Years ago I was reporting on record low mortgage rates. I was in Chicago, right in front of the Chicago River by the Tribune Building. I was standing on two camera cases while delivering my report. I was gesticulating and suddenly the top box just slipped out from under me and I literally dropped right out of the shot while live on TV. I’m told that the director was laughing so hard he didn’t actually switch the shot back to the anchor, so when you watch the video, you can actually see me re-appearing in the frame while the anchors ask if I am okay. When I stood up again, I was about a foot shorter.

11. What is your guilty pleasure?
Velshi: Food. I eat like every day is the last day eating is allowed. Its not a good thing when you like to wear vests. Getting dressed these days is like stuffing a sausage.

And to the hairless profit of doom we offer our thanks, gratitute and this little tribute.
Until next week. ~ Phebe


If you want to read more of our 'Getting to Know' posts just click the link on the left sidebar. There are interviews with TJ Holmes, Kyra Phillips and Rick Sanchez. Also included is a question & answer with Phil Kent from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.


Em said...

Love Ali and LOVE the video...thanks phebe!

Sapphire said...

Awesome Q&A with Ali.....I love my fellow Canadian. So nice of Ali to do a Q&A with us

Ms. Phebe....terrific video, just perfect. Mr. Velshi surely is a sharp dressed man and something about him swaying his hips is hypnotizing :)

Anonymous said...

I find it quite odd that with only two posts here you failed to post my rebuke of Gerri Willis. It was on topic and timely. I did compliment your interview with Ali
even though I could find little praise for Geri Willis. While you may not agree with me my comments might have enlightened others who prefer MSNBC for the fine financial reporting.

Phebe said...

@anonymous, we try not to post comments that are hurtful to anyone, be it blog team member, commentators or CNN personalities. Your description of Ms. Willis crossed the line, in our opinion.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for featuring Ali Velshi. He's such a cutie, smart and down to earth and this q&a proves it!!!

Madame Lefty said...

I just found this blog. I love Ali Velshi. I agree with anonymous, he is really cute and intelligent. How often do you see that? :D

Anonymous said...

On the Economy,
Does history repeat itself?

Marriner S. Eccles, was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1934 1948

In his 1951 memoir Beckoning Frontiers, Eccles detailed what he believed caused the Great Depression.
Our current situation is eerily similar.

Eccles wrote:

"As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption, mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth — not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced — to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nations economic machinery.

Instead of achieving that kind of distribution, a giant suction pump had by 1929-30 drawn into a few hands an increasing portion of currently produced wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence, as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped.

Anonymous said...

For Ali Velshi..I really appreciate your graphic, instructional approach to explaining complex economic issues. Events have and will have a defocusing effect on the President's target of getting money to "shovel ready" projects, schools-in-need as well as the business sector. Your national map, peppered with tiny icons showing where known crisis points are and the actual arrival of recovery funds going to work would be a nice periodic check. Mike- PA