This Monday, the Bowdoin Financial Literacy Club (BFLC) will hold a financial literacy day in order to educate the Bowdoin community about money management. A series of workshops targeting those already in the workforce and students interested in investing will run throughout the afternoon and address a variety of subjects related to personal finance.
David Wu ’17, one of the leaders of the BFLC and organizers of Monday’s event, said that his personal experience building a financial services business inspired him to increase awareness about financial literacy. At 18, Wu started a financial advisory company called World Financial Group. It is now a subsidiary of Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
“Being outside of Bowdoin and working, I realized that so many people are undereducated about their finances, especially personal finances, and that industry doesn’t do a good job in terms of educating their consumers,” Wu said.
He added that this lack of financial education is especially present among Bowdoin students, since Bowdoin does not include personal finance within its curriculum. He noted that students might have trouble finding helpful information on their own.
“There’s so much information out there, you need to find a place where you can learn the whole picture, not just bits here and bits there,” Wu said. “We go online, we’re not lacking information, we’re lacking a comprehensive and condensed version of what you need to know. What’s the whole picture?”
The day will be structured in a series of workshops that will cater to different parts of the community. The first workshop, titled “Reduce Debt; Increase Cash Flow,” will be targeted toward people who have already entered the workforce, such as professors and members of the Brunswick community. The second workshop, “Investment Accumulation,” is targeted toward students who want to learn how to invest efficiently. Finally, “Asset Accumulation” is for the general public and can be helpful to anyone, Wu said.
The workshops will be led by two speakers, Willy Hermanto and Van Ly. Wu met both Hermanto and Ly through his time at Transamerica and considers them close mentors.
Hermanto is currently a senior marketing director at World Financial Group and is an investment advisor representative with Transamerica Financial Advisors. He commonly gives financial literacy seminars at universities, businesses and public organizations. Ly is a certified financial educator with the Heartland Institute for Financial Education, a non-profit organization. She is also one of the top senior trainers at World Financial Group and worked as a certified public accountant for over 30 years.
After the three workshops, Wu will co-lead an information session alongside Ly and Hermanto called “Building a Business in the Financial Services Industry.” Wu said he will draw on his own experience building a small business at a young age.
Wu believes that the skills that students will receive from the workshop will be invaluable to the Bowdoin community.
“I think today, it’s very important that young people learn the basics of money management and start saving earlier,” he said.
Workshops begin at 2:30 p.m. on Monday and run throughout the afternoon. Registration is not necessary.