On Tuesday April 22, 2014, Investor Advocacy Clinic student interns Thomas Abrahamson, Timothy Guilmette and Nataliya Nemtseva presented “Take Charge of Your Financial Future” to a group of Georgia State University ROTC cadets. The early morning session began with Lt. Col. William J. Brooks, PhD, describing the risk of fraud that members of the military face, the importance of the topic and introducing the interns.
After Colonel Brooks turned the presentation over to the clinic interns, Timothy Guilmette recounted his own twelve year military career and discussed the importance of financial readiness. Nataliya Nemtseva provided an overview of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation 2012 National Capability Study’s findings concerning military members and financial preparedness. According to Nemtseva’s review of the study, nearly 50% of military members break even or spend more than they earn, 50% do not invest outside of military retirement and 43% do not have emergency funds. Thomas Abrahamson then discussed the importance of budgeting and taught the cadets where to start. Guilmette provided an overview of a Leave and Earning Statement (LES) to help cadets begin budgeting and provide them with the skills to counsel the soldiers they will soon lead. The interns also provided practical tips for managing and getting out of debt and setting up an emergency fund. The formal session concluded with a discussion of the importance of planning and investing now. Cadets asked several questions concerning budgeting, saving and investing.
At the conclusion of the presentation, clinic interns provided the cadets with additional educational materials to learn more about this important topic, including SaveandInvest.org’s excellent publication Money & Mobility: For Military Personnel and Families.
Colonel Brooks thanked the clinic interns by presenting them with the unit’s coin.
The Investor Advocacy Clinic thanks Colonel Brooks and the Georgia State University ROTC for the opportunity to meet with these future leaders. We look forward to continuing to collaborate in the future.