Speakers Gallery: Finance Aficionados

With the U.S. government narrowly avoiding the "fiscal cliff" earlier this year, and the economy still teetering on a monetary precipice, the topics of personal and global finance continue to pique our interest - and anxiety. Here are five economic experts who can help.

Jeff Thredgold
The only economist in the world to have received the international designation of CSP, or Certified Speaking Professional, Jeff Thredgold has been "cutting through the fluff" with his slightly irreverent humor while educating audiences on the economy, financial markets, education, and government for more than three decades. As president of Thredgold Economic Associates, an economic consulting and professional speaking company based in Salt Lake City, Thredgold is also the author of numerous articles and books. His most recent book, EconAmerica, details what he sees as the four key factors that will drive the American economy through the future. He is a frequent guest on CNBC and CNN, and contributes monthly to Blue Chip Financial Forecasts and quarterly to USA Today economic forecast surveys. Thredgold is also the monthly economic columnist for Business Issues, one of Asia's newest business publications. High Five Speakers Bureau, (435) 750-0062, www.high5speakersbureau.com

Andrew Friedman
Andrew Friedman, a former senior partner with the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Covington & Burling, is a Wall Street tax expert and pundit on political affairs. Friedman is widely known for accurately predicting the outcomes of Washington deliberations and presenting investment strategies in simple layman's terms based on the changing landscape. He has served as tax counsel to the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball. He also appears on CNBC's Squawk Box as "Wall Street's Tax Expert." Friedman is included in Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most highly respected peer-review guide to the legal profession, and Chambers' America's Leading Lawyers for Business. High Five Speakers Bureau, (435) 750-0062,

Terry Savage
Terry Savage is a financial-knowledge powerhouse with years of real-life experience under her belt. Having started her career as a stockbroker, Savage became a founding member - and the first female trader - of the Chicago Board Options Exchange and a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's International Monetary Market. She's a regular commentator on CNN, CNBC, PBS, and NBC, and a nationally syndicated columnist on personal finance for the Chicago Sun-Times. Author of the best-selling book The Savage Truth on Money, as well as The Savage Number: How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?, Savage is praised for her ability to translate personal finance issues into plain speak. Having won numerous awards for her writing and two Emmys for her TV work, she is a talented keynoter who can speak expertly on the topics of personal finance, retirement planning, long-term care insurance, debt relief, interest rates, and mutual funds. BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, (805) 965-1400, www.bigspeak.com

Todd Buchholz
Former White House senior economic adviser, hedge fund managing director, and best-selling author Todd Buchholz is a political and economic guru. A lively speaker and professor of economics at Harvard University, Buchholz is a frequent guest on ABC News, PBS, and CBS, and recently hosted his own special on CNBC. He's the author of numerous books on global economics, including the best-selling New Ideas from Dead Economists, as well as Lasting Lessons from the Corner Office, Why You Need and Love the Rat Race (named by Publishers Weekly as a "Top Ten" book for 2011), and Market Shock: 9 Economic and Social Upheavals That Will Shake Our Financial Future. He's also written articles for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, and Reader's Digest, and is a co-producer of the Broadway smash hit "Jersey Boys." SpeakInc, (800) 677-3324, www.speakinc.com

Marci Rossell, Ph.D.
The former chief economist for CNBC in the months immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, Marci Rossell is a dynamic, media-savvy expert on the topics of economics, politics, and culture. An animated presenter, Rossell prides herself on contextualizing complex economic issues and making them relatable to the general public. Prior to her work at CNBC, she served as corporate economist and investment spokesperson for OppenheimerFunds, one of the nation's largest mutual fund companies, and as an expert witness on economic issues for consulting company Deloitte & Touche. She began her career as an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. SpeakInc, (800) 677-3324, www.speakinc.com