Business lecturer provides tips about saving money for future

By Erin Kelley

Kevin Waspi allows his teenage son to spend half the money he makes mowing lawns and the other half, Waspi places in a savings account, hoping to instill money management skills. Waspi said starting a savings account is one of the ways students at the University can invest the money they will receive.

“There are as many way to invest as there are dollars to invest,” he said.

Most people will be receiving their tax refunds within a month of when they filed, according to the Internal Revenue Service’s Web site. While the idea of having some extra cash is appealing, Waspi, lecturer in Business, suggests students put their money to better use.

The first way the money should be spent is paying off any debt, especially those with high interest, he said. Any debt will usually carry a high interest and that will always overshadow any money people have made. If students do not have any debt to worry about, he said that students should consider putting their money in a savings account.

“It’s always wise to form good habit when (you are) young,” Waspi said.

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By putting money in a savings account on a routine basis, students will start saving for the future and be rewarded throughout their life. Interest rates are small compared to some other avenues for investing, but Waspi said that the rate of return for a savings account is a sure thing when other investments are not.

The best way to invest is to think about it like you would a fruit salad, Waspi said. It is important to put your money in a variety of investments much like one would put a variety of fruit into their salad.

Today it is easy for people to have a wide range of investments because so many mutual funds are well diversified, he said. Fidelity is the nation’s largest mutual fund company and VanGuard is the second largest, he said.

There are articles online at that will help any person interested in investing, said David Sinow, professor in Business.

For people not majoring in business, Sinow recommended the survey course LAS 199 or Finance 199, to help them learn about their investment opportunities. The eight-week course open to juniors and seniors is taught during the spring semester by John Micetich, owner of Kensington Financial and an adjunct lecturer of finance. There are other finance courses but most are only available to students in business.

Sharin Valia, junior in Business, said that every semester the Finance Club, a Registered Student Organization that concentrates on finance and investing, has an investment challenge online, which gives students the opportunity to invest fake money. Some of the students become interested and invest their money after the exercise. It is important for students to know how to invest and save money so once they start working, they have a good base to start with and can build on it, he said.

“The best way to learn is to actually do it,” Valia said.

Waspi said the most important thing to remember is to never follow your emotions when investing.

“Love, hate, fear and greed should be kept out of investing,” he said.

When people allow their emotions to control how they spend their money, they tend to sell low and buy high. The money people invest does increase over time but the path that it takes to get there consists of many highs and lows, Waspi said. When people watch the value drop, they become scared and sell their stock. Soon after they do, the market price increases. People will then buy when the prices are high because the markets are doing well and not long after they do, the price drops again.

Waspi suggested people invest on a routine basis much like they should put money in saving accounts. When a person continually invests money, no matter what the price, they will be much happier in the end.

The most important thing for students to remember is to invest only if the money is not needed in the foreseeable future, Waspi said. Not everyone can afford investing in college because there is risk involved. The best thing for students to do is set aside some of their paychecks in a savings account for the future and invest once they are in the workforce.

“It takes money to make money,” he said.