An Expert's Take - Kyle Baidas

Recently, we interviewed Kyle Baidas, a second-year student at the University of North Florida studying Finance and Financial Planning, to ask him about his take on the current focus on financial education. Kyle is currently interning at an investment advisory firm called Farther Finance. At UNF, Kyle holds several leadership positions within the Coggin College of Business, such as the President of the Finance & Investment Society, President of the Osprey Sales Club, and Executive Board Member of UNF’s Financial Planning Association. Kyle developed a passion for investing when he was 17 years old and has enjoyed the financial markets ever since. Along with that, he loves providing others the opportunity to learn more about personal finance. Kyle plans to work in wealth management so he can do what he loves most.


Why did you want to go into finance?

"I discovered the world of business and finance when I was a junior in high school. Through some educational podcasts, I began to learn about markets, investment choices, building credit, as well as many other financial topics. After I began to broaden my understanding of the financial world, I decided that I wanted to pursue a degree in Finance and Financial Planning. I thoroughly enjoy investing in financial markets, and I love helping others broaden their horizons by learning more about finance. There are many opportunities out there in the labor market right now for young people, and I would highly advise majoring in relevant subjects that have a broad access to jobs in the real world. At UNF, we have a very strong finance program. The major is highly quantitative, so that is something to keep in mind if you consider majoring in something like finance. You must love it, or it will be a tough 4 years. I will mention however, that I am double majoring in finance and financial planning- UNF’s financial planning program was ranked 5th in the entire country in 2019 by Wealth Management magazine. That is another wonderful opportunity for anyone looking to work in wealth management down the road. All in all, I have really enjoyed UNF’s finance programs so far, and I am looking forward to the next 2 years of learning."


In your opinion, what is financial literacy and why is it important?

"To me, financial literacy is essentially the ability to manage your money and make effective, smart choices when it comes to making financial decisions. For example, understanding what the terminology “compound interest” is would be a great start to becoming more financially literate. Once you build your understanding of personal finance, and of course, act, the rewards can be tremendous. For example, those who start investing their money at a younger age generally end up with more money when they get older. This of course, depends on your investment choice, but we can assume you are investing in broad-market mutual funds. $100 invested at age 20 at 10% annually will be worth $8,834 at age 65. Versus, $100 invested at age 30 at 10% annually will only be worth $3,263 at age 65. Being financially literate at a young age can pay off immensely! Financial literacy is so important because “money makes the world go round.” Whether you like it or not, understanding how money works can help you make better choices throughout your life. Lots of folks in our country struggle financially and having a fundamental knowledge of personal finance can help prevent you from being in the same situation."


Does the education system discuss a substantial amount of personal finance?

"The education system in the United States of America does not require most students to ever take a personal finance class in middle school, high school, or college. I would venture to think that teaching students the concepts of budgeting, saving, investing, credit, and how to make overall better financial choices would tremendously help our society improve. The United States is the financial center of the world, and yet we still do not provide the basic knowledge to our students on what it means to handle their money."


How can we as a society improve the lack of financial literacy?

"The simplest way to improve the lack of financial literacy in our society, in my opinion, would be to make “personal finance” a required class for all high school seniors to take before graduation. The complexity of the class would not have to be severe either. For example, we just need to provide the basic principles of managing money to the future leaders of our country."

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