I was honored to give the Keynote address at the University of Pittsburgh’s Financial Literacy Conference.

As a Pitt alumnus, it was really rewarding to be able to give back to the school that has provided such a great foundation for my career as a financial advisor.

The Financial Literacy Conference was started two years ago by a student, Even Thurman, because he noticed that while many of his peers were preparing themselves academically to join the financial services field, they personally were lacking many of the practical skills they would need for their own for financial wellness. Having recently graduated from Pitt myself, and subsequently having the good fortune to join one of the country’s top financial advisors, I was in a good position to provide insight into both worlds. The conference was held at the University Club, and featured seminars from Pitt alumni Christina Steele, on personal budgeting, and June Thompson, on salary negotiation.

My address focused on the kind of actionable advice I would have benefitted from when I was a student. It included tips on how to stretch your budget while you’re still in school, like using online tools to track your spending and splitting rent and other expenses with roommates, as well as insights I’ve picked up as I developed in my own career at Waldron Private Wealth. One of the main points I wanted to drive home was that learning shouldn’t stop when you graduate. Continuing your education while you are working, studying to become a Certified Financial Planner in my case, or earning a Charted Financial Analyst accreditation which other colleagues at my firm have earned, has proven to be extremely valuable. By continuing to develop as a financial advisor, whether by earning advanced degrees, accreditations or by attending industry seminars – sharpening the saw is essential to your professional development and to providing top tier service to your clients.

Another insight I wanted to share is one from the investment management side of things, which is that time horizons are more important than performance when managing a portfolio. When we are meeting with our younger clients or with clients who are parents and are looking to set their kids up for success, we stress that putting away whatever you can in your 20s instead of waiting until things are more comfortable in your 30s and 40s will have an exponential impact on your nest egg. If you can get started early, and focus on an appropriate allocation, rather than any events in the news and related market swings, a disciplined approach now will pay valuable dividends in the future.

The conference was a great success, and I couldn’t have been happier to be there, and share what I’ve learned as I’ve established my own career as an advisor.

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Maxwell Hine, CFP

Wealth Planning

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