Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Why Most Twentysomethings Don't Understand Personal Finance
By: MIA SAINI (OC), HARBUS Board of Directors & Section Representative
Planning a wedding? Worried about how to pay off your student loans? Debating if you want to buy or rent an apartment next year after graduation? These are all decisions that can be made if one has a command of his or her personal finances and financial goals, both in the short-term and long-term.
As a personal finance junkie, I am often asked how I developed my knowledge on personal finance when I never had formal training during all my years of being schooled or even while I was working at Goldman Sachs. My knowledge of personal finance was built by various encounters with really smart financial experts I met after I graduated from college and was about to enter the "real world." Because there were very few fun resources out there to teach me this stuff, I found learning the information to be very boring but nevertheless extremely useful to how I planned to live my one wild and precious life.
When I found out one of our classmates, Alexa von Tobel, decided to take a leave of absence from HBS to pursue her dream of launching a website to make personal finance fun and exciting, I was thrilled for future generations of smart twentysomethings to have the ability to finally develop a mastery over their finances.
Right before Alexa graduated from Harvard College in 2006, she was sitting around a table with a group of friends, discussing how ridiculous it was she had never had a single class on personal finance. Ironically, Alexa was going to work as a trader at a hedge fund and had just deferred Harvard Business School for two years. Similar to me, Alexa realized the dearth of her personal finance knowledge was extremely apparent. After scouring various resources, she kept finding herself dissatisfied with what was readily available. She found that most personal finance education tools rarely began with the basics and that none spoke directly to her.
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Posted By: Amy Nightingale