A Financial Planning Discussion with Ric Edelman

Ric Edelman presented at Mount St. Mary’s University on Oct. 24 in Knott Auditorium to discuss the how students can begin to plan financially for investment, career and retirement plans.

Edelman is a nationally known financial planner, author and radio show host. He has been named one of the top ten financial planners in the United States for the past ten years and rated by Barron’s as the number one financial planner for the past three years. Edelman and his wife, Jean, created the Edelman Financial Services firm in 1987 after a poor experience with a corrupt financial planner. The couple was inspired to create a service that would help keep people safe from corrupt financial advisors, such as those seen on Wall Street. Ric Edelman has since expanded his career to further educate others about money through hosting a syndicated radio show that broadcasts in over fifty cities in the country, performing on the PBS show The Truth About Retirement, sending a monthly newsletter to subscribers of Inside Personal Finance, writing nine books on financial planning, and presenting over 600 seminars from just this past year.

Edelman’s presentation focused on how college students should start to plan for the future as soon as possible. “Time is your biggest ally, your biggest tool, and your primary weapon to achieve great financial success,” stated Edelman. “If you don’t take advantage of today, you’ll have wasted it forever.” He advises college students to devote time and attention to their finances, show self-initiative to begin accumulating wealth, and act cautiously with spending money. “College is the biggest financial investment you will ever make. We need to make to make sure that you’re maximizing the opportunity that is in front of you.”

Attendees were highly engaged during the Q&A portion of the presentation, asking questions that hold great relevance to college students. Edelman gave advice on the stock market, life insurance, credit scores, and student loans. One student in particular sparked conversation when he asked the question, “Should you buy or lease a car after college?” Edelman stated that his most practical advice for graduated students who are interested in owning a car is to buy a used car and keep it for ten years. He believes that the situation does depend on the individual. If a person drives 15,000 miles or less and will keep the vehicle for less than four years, then he or she should lease it. If the person drives over 15,000 miles and plans to keep the vehicle for over four years, then the individual should buy it. He stated that an individual should not spend more than 15% of his or her pay on total monthly cost of transportation. Edelman jokingly added, “Just call Uber and never buy a car.”

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