Welcome to wealth

Welcome back to school, Privateers! And welcome to a new Driftwood column devoted to elements of building personal, financial wealth. You might not realize it, but all of you have already made one of the most significant investments of your life by pursuing higher education.

What I hope to accomplish with this weekly piece is to open up a world of opportunities for my fellow students who might previously have been uninformed or uninterested in wealth management. I’ll touch upon the different aspects of money allocation, such as investing in the market via stocks, bonds, etc., to loan repayments, and how credit scores and interest rates can affect your debt, to tips on budgeting and saving, and finally, to the most exciting and highly encouraged investment strategy: saving toward retirement in the form of IRA’s, 401Ks, and mutual funds!

We invest money for tuition, housing, and books, but we also invest years of our time and effort by attending class, studying, participating in organizations and deferring current compensation in hopes of a greater salary when we graduate. The opportunity cost here is significant, but just like any worthy investment, the risk-reward ratio is in your favor if you understand what you’re dealing with and how to maximize your potential for growth.

While the academics of finance courses might not pique the interest of the collective student body, money, as a subject, has a fundamental importance on our everyday well being. Currency is a universal means of exchange and a transaction that each party can benefit from. For incoming Freshmen, the last thing on your mind is probably discussing finances, but it’s vital to understand one notion: it’s never too early to start allocating your money appropriately.

Whether it’s by saving for a car, travel, housing, emergencies, or by saving in an interest-bearing account, such as a Certificate of Deposit (CD) or by investing in a long-term security, such as an index fund, or by trading in the stock market, it’s a habit that can open many doors toward long-term wealth.

Financial security can be a frightening concept, and the impending adult world with entry-level wages and potential loan repayments, among other expenses, doesn’t make students eager to get out there. If you’re interested in an in-depth technical how-to of finance, then, Finance 2302: Intro to Investing, which has no prerequisites, might be a wise usage of an elective credit.

For now, here’s a list of affordable news outlet subscriptions that provide substantial information and access, not just to investments, but also world news, current trends and politics, all of which can likely affect your financial health. If this column is your initial exposure to this financial world, then these outlets will serve as invaluable educational resources for further advancement.

I look forward to helping the student body of the University of New Orleans create wealth for a prosperous financial future!

The Wall Street Journal – Digital and Print: $15 for 15 week student price (renewable)

The Economist – Digital and Print: $12 for 12 weeks

Barron’s – Digital and Print: $12 for 12, $26 for 26, or $52 for 52