I was barely a year out of college working as the sole IT guy for one of the nation's most pre-eminent investment advisers. I was the sole IT guy because no one else wanted to do it. I was the sole IT guy because, despite a degree from a prestigious Ivy League school, it was the only job I could get (it being at the height of the 1981-82 recession. I was the sole IT guy because – they absolutely trusted mind ability to "make magic" when it came to these complicated behemoths of electronic wizardry. They'd constantly ask, "How did you know that?" and I would just innocently shrug my shoulders and coyly answer, "I dunno. I guess it was pretty obvious." Then I regaled them with the story about building my first computer with a box of spare parts from Radio Shack (OK, it was a kit) when I was a sophomore in High School.

I never let them really know how I knew what I knew. But, now some 30+ years distant, I think it's safe to reveal the answer to you. After all, most folks took today off, but you didn't. And for that, you deserve a bonus.

Here it is: I knew all that computer stuff for one simple reason and one simple reason only. It wasn't because I was some sort of whiz-kid genius. It was because I majored in the subject. It wasn't because I had elves come and cobble together everything in the wee hours of the morning after I had fallen asleep at my desk. No. It was because I read the manual.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).