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Personal Finance Club Hosts Guest Speakers, Prepares to Start Investment Competition

Club president David McNally said he believes the club would be of interest to students who want to develop their personal networks, learn about careers in Certified Financial Planning (CFP), and expand their knowledge of personal finance.

“The turnout at the meetings has been encouraging thus far, indicating that the student population is interested in learning more about personal finance and that the club has great potential for the future,” he said.

The club members and officers are currently planning to hold an investment competition. McNally said it will involve “students working individually with a fixed dollar amount of hypothetical money. They will buy and sell stocks in whatever quantities they wish within the given limit. Short sales and options will not be included, to make the game less complicated. Details regarding the rules of the game will be forthcoming in a few weeks.”

The club also plans to help students prepare for their future careers by “offering sound financial advice for those just entering the workforce,” McNally said. “It is important that students appreciate the importance of investing early and making sound financial decisions early in life. Guest speakers share this knowledge with students.”

The first such sharing of knowledge took place at the club’s September 15 meeting, when Allison Berger and Chad Smith with Raleigh-based Financial Symmetry, Inc, spoke with the students about how they started their careers as certified financial planners (CFP) and offered a little career advice as well. Berger and Smith are also NC State College of Management alumni. Both received bachelor’s degrees in business administration with concentrations in finance, Berger in 2004; Smith, in 2000.

Berger talked with students about how to manage their own personal finances, noting that this was especially pertinent to students preparing to graduate and find their first jobs in the midst of a difficult economic situation. She also gave some advice about finding jobs.

“Be creative,” she said. “Everyone has to start somewhere. If you are interested in a specific field, be open to taking an internship or part-time position if you are not able to find full-time work. This could always lead to a more permanent situation or provide you with skills that make you a more attractive candidate to other employers.”

Berger and Smith also discussed “the importance of budgeting and living within your means.” Summarizing their presentation in an interview later, Berger said, “We talked about starting your 401k plan at work. Recent college graduates have time on their side and can take advantage of the time value of money and compound interest. Starting a saving and investment plan early in your career can help you accumulate wealth more easily than someone who doesn’t start saving until their 30s or 40s.”

McNally said the club expects to “hold two to three more meetings this fall with expert guest speakers, and we are in the process of determining how the personal finance club can make a positive impact on the community through local service events. More meetings will be held to get opinions from the other members.”

The club members also look forward to recruiting new members. They plan to recruit at future club meetings, send out mass emails to College of Management students, and put up a bulletin board in the college to “further market the club.”


Allison Berger and Chad Smith, left; David McNally, Personal Finance Club president; Bill Sloan, faculty advisor.

Dig Deeper

  • The Personal Finance Club is led by David McNally, president; Alison Chilton, vice president; Debbie Carroll, secretary; Linh Nguyen, treasurer; and Bill Sloan, faculty advisor.