Wealth Building Series kicks off discussing basics, crypto

Erich Schweitzer, News Reporter

Over the course of the spring semester, Winona State University will be offering events focused on educating students on various financial avenues to build their personal wealth via programming through the Wealth Building Series.

The Wealth Building Series is made up of six sessions and will cover: basics of building one’s wealth, credit, how to invest your money, paying off debt, how to budget and entrepreneurship. The series will also feature a variety of Winona State professors and faculty as speakers.

Wealth Building Series promo poster.
Wealth Building Series promo poster.

The first seminar in the Wealth Building Series, held via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 31, was about financial basics, led by Associate Vice President of the Office of Equity & Inclusive Excellence, Dr. Jonathan Locust. In the hour the event lasted, Locust focused on teaching attendees the basics of investing in the stock market as well as other topics, such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Locust spent most of the seminar speaking on the stock market and various ways students could try to predict when the best time to enter the market is. One important tip Locust shared with the audience was to search for upcoming IPOs–Initial Public Offering(s). In other words, when a company goes public, so people can buy stocks in it.

Locust also expressed interest in cryptocurrency and NFTs. According to Locust, a cryptocurrency is a “digital currency that no single person/group has control over.” He described it as being a more efficient way to send money to people overseas. Locust described NFTs as a form of digital collectibles that are sold in scarce supply. He believes there is a growing market for NFTs, specifically among those who enjoy collecting sports memorabilia.

At the beginning of the seminar, Locust expressed how the series could be beneficial for students of color specifically.

He discussed how Black people and Hispanics earn less than the average white person. According to Locust, white people earn “16 times more wealth” than Black people, who also have the highest percentage of home loan debts. Locust went on to discuss how Black and Hispanic women earn even less money on average as well.

Overall, the Wealth Building Series aims to be a helpful resource in financial basics for the entire student body, but also specifically for students of color and female students to get a leg up money-wise.

At the end of the seminar, Locust opened the floor to questions from the audience, which will continue to be the structure of each series session.

The next event in the series will be on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 4:30 p.m. with Dr. Robert Wolf, associate professor of finance, focusing on investing. Remaining events will be held on March 14, March 30 and April 12 with both Zoom and in-person attendance options available.