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Learn 2 Earn and Fjordi Mulla ’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on May 1, 2017

Name: Fjordi Mulla

Major: International Relations

Q1: What are you involved in on campus?

Current: Colgate Finance Club (President), Career Services Center (Investment Studies Program Fellow), Men’s Club Soccer (Member), Modern Greek (Tutor), and French Club (Member)

Past: Spring 2016 Theatre Production Actor, Puerto Rico Extended Study Course, India Extended Study Course, Business Ethics Participant, General Assembly Business Accelerator, Envestnet Institute on Campus, and Harvard Business School | HBX Program

Future: Spring 2018 Geneva Study Group Semester Abroad

Q2: I heard you are working on a new project called Learn 2 Earn! What is your project about?

The central goal of Learn 2 Earn is to provide college students with the chance to learn, practice, and understand how to budget, invest, and grow their money. We do this by incorporating tools and existing resources to draw on the importance of investing early and making financially healthy decisions in order to create a long-term plan for students’ personal and professional goals. It runs for two hours on two consecutive days – the first day is on budgeting and saving, and the second day is on investing and setting up an account.

Q3: What inspired you to do this project?

It is important to note that I did not “do” this project. Mike Sciola from Career Services has been the originator and idea creator, I have only supplemented his vision by providing my resources and external knowledge in any way I can. During the second semester of my senior year in high school, I took a class on Personal Finance with my, at the time, academic advisor Mr. Clifford. The class was a blast: I learned about stocks, bonds, the stock market, how to invest, the importance of diversifying, and many more concepts I never thought I had to know. My family never invested money. After taking the class, I decided to start investing for them. What is the point of taking a class when you cannot apply it to real life? I set up a 401K account through their employer and picked the asset classes – now, the account self-invests any profits created. That is the key to continuous wealth building – add more money as the years go buy. The more money you invest, the more money you make.

Well, what’s the point of all of this? Isn’t it just money? It sure is. But considering that my parents come from a lower-middle class, their social security and savings may not be enough for retirement. Learn 2 Earn and smart investing is not supposed to be quick and spontaneous. It requires personal reflection, risk assessment, and realistic expectations. The point of long-term investing is to have sustainable funds you can draw from when you retire. When you retire, you will not receive an income from your employer (duh), so where will you receive your income from? Social Security? That will probably be eradicated by the time we are in our 60s and 70s. Investing now, I thought, is the best way for me to secure my future after retirement. I know, it is a long way down the road, but considering how I want my lifestyle to be, I want to have a safe nest egg. And I want others to have one too. Money itself is not important. Using it to fulfill your goals and dreams – that’s more like it.

Q4: What are your long-term goals for the project?

I want as many people on campus to open up an investment account and put whatever money they can into it and start investing! They can even put $1 in one. The whole point is not to put a lot of money in right away – it is to build it slowly. I want the OUS and First Gen students to especially open up accounts and contribute to them regularly. We all have different passions and goals in life, but truth be told, some pay better than others. I believe a person can still do whatever he wants, without feeling financially unhealthy. The key is to discipline oneself and consider financial health just like you would think of your physical health. How do you ensure your kid will go to college with the cost of tuition skyrocketing more and more every year? How do you ensure you will buy a house in New York City with the ever-growing prices of the real estate market? Wealth building is important for everyone; teachers, artists, politicians, construction workers, entrepreneurs, presidents. We all need it because we all have goals. And those goals often come at costs. Well, investing and starting early is key – especially for us younger students who have never been exposed to investing.

Q5: What is the best way to get in contact with you if people are interested in this project as well?

Please feel free to contact me by email (fmulla@colgate.edu). Look out for an email next fall (September) – I will be sending out invitations so anyone from all grades, majors, and career interests. Everyone can apply to the two-day event and learn how to make millions by starting with just a single dollar.

Fjordi Mulla


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