/stories/2019/08/the-money-talks-series-offers-free-personal-finance-education

The ‘Money Talks’ series offers free personal finance education

Chris Magnan, financial advisor, will host Money Talk series throughtout the fall semester. Photo: Chris Magnan/University of Miami
By Ashley A. Williams

Chris Magnan, financial advisor, will host Money Talk series throughtout the fall semester. Photo: Chris Magnan/University of Miami

The ‘Money Talks’ series offers free personal finance education

By Ashley A. Williams
The University of Miami new Money Management Program is aimed at complementing existing financial wellness resources.

As new and returning students settle into their home-away-from-home, personal finance may not be at the top of the list of priorities.

But Chris Magnan wants to change that. As manager of the University of Miami’s Money Management Program, Magnan has developed a new, semester-long series titled “Money Talks” that aims to cover topics including budgeting as a student, managing your credit, investing, and financial planning for the short- and long-term.

Whether you’re a first-year student or graduating senior, Magnan wants to ensure that this free personal finance education program helps all members of the University community – including faculty and staff – make informed decisions for the future.

“Our ultimate goal is to give students the tools they need to be personally financially successful,” said Magnan. “I really hope that I can help people and reach them before they make the same mistakes that I made.”

The importance of basic personal money management is critical to Magnan. Growing up, he didn’t have anyone to teach him the ins-and-outs of investing young or saving for retirement. He grew up in a large family and watched his dad work hard to make ends meet. Money Talks is meant to empower its participants to achieve financial freedom so they can achieve their professional and personal goals.

Now a father of a college student, Magnan looks forward to reaching faculty, staff, and students on-campus through this series. He said he hopes to impart tips and knowledge that they previously may not have been aware of as “personal finance is a critical part of anyone’s future financial success beyond the education they get in the classroom.”

“I’m truly just teaching the options,” he said. “I’m not telling anybody what to do with their money but just educating those on the resources available. There’s a lack of knowledge in the home and there are a lot of things that aren’t taught in the classroom. I have parents wanting to come now. It’s open to all.”

In the near future, Magnan plans to integrate the Money Talks series into classrooms across the Coral Gables campus—much like the UM Miller School of Medicine’s highly successful educational debt management program, which has made it a requirement to participate prior to graduation. Led by Lori Giese, the director of financial assistance, the program is designed to inform medical students on how to borrow responsibly and repay responsibly after they graduate and move into their residencies.

“Our goal is to provide them that information and learning about it for four years to feel confident about how they are going to tackle and manage debt,” said Giese. “I’m hoping to work with Chris in the future as I’m always trying to improve and find better ways to make the program grow.”

Sponsored by the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment, the first workshop, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?,” takes place at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Undergraduate Admission Presentation Room.

The Money Talks workshops cover a wide range of topics, like creating strategies to balance school, life, and finances to understanding the consequences of not paying off credit card debt month-to-month. Visit miami.edu/moneymgmt for the full Money Talks series schedule. All sessions will be held at 5 p.m. in the Undergraduate Admission Presentation Room on the first floor of the Whitten University Center.