Let Me Share My Experience with You ...

Translate This Page

Financial Writing Samples

VALIC was the retirement services division of American General. The company has now been bought by American International Group (AIG).

With no financial industry experience, but with 20 years of publications' experience and bootstrap credentials, Sandy was hired to write and manage seven quarterly financial publications with millions of readers and a budget to match. She managed one writer and interfaced with writing, graphic design and printing vendors. All publications were four color print projects.

During her time at AG, she revamped the publications, created more investor-friendly formats and migrated several print publications to websites to provide more current personal financial data.

Sandy single-handedly cut the publications budget by $50,000 in one year while increasing circulation and reader acceptance and response. She developed and managed consumer feedback programs to guide the redesign of the visuals and content.

AGRS VISION . Employee Newsletter

AGRS VISION did not exist when Sandy was hired, but based on executive discussions about their goals for an employee targeted publication, she put together a compelling concept, designed and art directed the cover and layout, wrote most of the articles, and managed the production, including press checks. Sample pages and Sandy's sample articles below ...

Core of the Vision - Presidential Interview (interviewed, wrote, art directed)

Fish, Biking and Employment Involvement
(wrote & art directed)

Movin Up - Employee Promotions (wrote/edited)

People are Talking - Employee Comments
(editing & layout)

The News is Out There - Remote Office Input (wrote/edited)

Employee Retirement Planning

Investment Digest
Retirement Investing Quarterly

(Redesigned, art directed, wrote, edited other writers, managed production and distribution)

When Sandy began managing Investment Digest, it was black and white, no articles, minimal information and uninteresting visuals presenting the financial data. It was badly in need of a change. A survey of clients revealed they were not reading the magazine.

Client participation was increased by featuring cover artwork submitted by artists who were also clients/investors. This was Sandy's idea.

Feedback after the redesign was that clients had never seen Investment Digest before, or if they had, they hadn't read it. It was a big hit. Later, Sandy migrated the publication to the internet to provide current data specific to each client.

Investment Digest Article Samples
written by Sandy...

Welcome to Retirement Planning
(Introducing the redesign, wrote)

Dazed and Confused
(retirement investing article, wrote, art directed layout)

Municipal Bond Fund Investing
(researched, edited)

Founders Growth Fund
(researched, edited)

Read Sandy's case study article on the transformation of VALIC's publications: "How Sandy Serves a Company and Its Clients."

Web Content Writing

Most of Sandy's web writing has been in conjunction with building websites or teaching clients to build their own.


You can also learn more about Sandy Penny's web writing at

Always feel free to email Sandy with
questions about your projects.

Newspaper Writing

Sandy has been writing ever since she learned the alphabet. In high school she won three levels of a statewide essay contest on power generation, winning stock in the Illinois Power Company.

Her writing career began in Houston writing ad copy for Dresser Industries as a secretary in the advertising department.

In 1979, she published her own metaphysical monthly journal, The Rising Sun, the first of its kind in Houston, TX, thereby earning her first bootstrap credential that translated into the corporate world. It was the predecessor of The Indigo Sun.

She was the hired by Distribution International, an industrial insulation marketing company, as their Publications Manager where she established their marketing communications department from the ground up. She created and wrote an award winning industry trade magazine, strengthening her corporate credentials.

Then came her monthly magazine providing local events and resources for kids and parents, Family & Friends, interviewing local and national celebrities.

After a few years of travel and freelance writing, she was hired as publicatons manager for VALIC, American General's retirement division (see samples on the left). She also wrote the Sanctuary column for the Indigo Sun magazine for three years.

The New Era Times

2011-Present: Sandy Penny writes the Traveler's Dream column for The New Era Times. Click the logo to read her spiritual journey articles.

After moving to Taos, NM, she began writing for both local newspapers (see below). All along the way, synchronicity, vision and intuition guided her to new ventures.


Sandy Penny was managing an art gallery in Taos, and felt she was done and needed to make a change. The next day the owner came in and told her he was closing the gallery. She needed some work, but decided to take a little time off. A few days later, she got a phone call from the copy editor at the Taos News. Virginia said, "I had a note on my computer that you called and you are a freelance writer looking for work." Sandy replied, "Yes, I am." The editor told her to bring samples by and talk to her. Sandy had not called and left that message, but somehow a note with her phone number had ended up on the editor's computer. Mysterious synchronicity. After reviewing Sandy's samples, Virginia gave Sandy a dozen articles to write. Pdfs of those articles are below.

Taos News Special Edition Feature Stories

Summer Guide: 4 Taos Features

Enchanted Homes Magazine:
Cover Story & two additional features

Business Success Features

University of New Mexico-Taos

Truancy Prevention

Habitat for Humanity-Taos

Yaxche School

NNMC - Solar Center

NNMC - Continuing Education

Millicent Rogers Museum

Sears, Little Store, Big Plans

When Sandy first arrived in Taos in 2006, she contacted the Horse Fly News as a writer and proposed a healing arts section called the ButterFly. The owner, Bill Whaley, was hesitant at the time, but showed some interest. In 2008 when she had just stopped writing for the Taos News, she was in the DragonFly Restaurant when Bill walked in. Sandy perceived all the converging fly energy as auspicious, so she repeated her offer to create a section, sell the advertising, and write the content. He agreed, and the articles below resulted. She eventually began working in the office, editing articles by other authors, proofing the final layout, and helping with the layout when needed. 

Butterfly Section Archives (pdf files)

October 2009: The Picture of Happiness,
Success & Health

September 2009: Is Feedback Important?

August 2009: What Do You Want?

July 2009: Leap of Faith

June 2009: Rainbow Life

May 2009: Making Peace

Apr. 2009: The Forgotten Path to Abundance

Mar. 2009: What is Your Life Telling You?

Feb. 2009: Gifts of Love

Jan. 2009: An Ounce of Prevention or
a Pound of Cure?

Dec. 2008: Skin, Beautiful Skin

Nov. 2008: Massage as a Personal Experience

HorseFly Features by Sandy Penny

Love of the Deal (pdf)

The Importance of Advertising (doc)

Book Review: Epiphanea (doc)

Align the Spine (doc)

Notes on Skin Care (doc)

World Peace Week (doc)

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."  ~Sandy Penny