Money Matters: CMC Alum Shares Finance Strategies That College Students Need to Know

College students were able to learn how to manage money and make smart choices with the help of CMC alum and Certified Financial Planner, Mari Adam (CMC ’80). Adam has worked at several wealth management firms specializing in financial planning and portfolio management, and she founded and ran her own comprehensive wealth management firm in Boca Raton, Florida, for 25 years. Adam recently sold the firm to become part of Mercer Advisors, a leading national investment advisor with 50 offices across the US and over $27 billion under management. Adam joined the Berger institute on Friday morning to present “10 Things Your Parents Never Taught You About Money”, a presentation with 10 tips to help college students, especially women, who are often left out of conversations regarding money, lacking financial literacy and confidence with money, learn how to manage their money.

Some takeaways from the presentation include making sure to get started on saving right away, taking charge of your finances, spending in balance, making sure to invest what you save, and having confidence in yourself. Adam showcased that there are gaps between saving in women and men—women aged 16-25 are 50% less likely than men to have investment accounts; yet 95% of women will also be solely responsible for their own or their family’s finances at some point in their life. Thus, women are often responsible for money but are less likely to know how to manage it, as they are often not taught about money management growing up.

Adam also made sure to really highlight the importance of making a plan and being the CEO of your own money; “money is all about having choices, if you are not in control of your money it is difficult to make your own choices” she said. If you write this plan down, you are more confident about it in the future, and are likely to save two to three times as much money. She also suggested putting your savings on autopilot and opening a Roth IRA or 401k so that you have financial wellness when you retire. Overall, Adam says, have confidence and make the money decisions that are right for you.

Try testing your own financial literacy! Adam suggests taking the GFLEC three questions test:

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