On a recent episode of Newman University’s official podcast, “The Newman Bond,” Associate Professor of Business Larry Straub shared a crash course on “Investing 101.”
Straub is uniquely qualified to speak on the topic because he served as CEO and CFO of his family’s successful million-dollar business for nearly 30 years. When the family business sold, he wasn’t ready to retire. Instead, his 35 years of adjunct teaching experience inspired him to seek out a full-time higher education career, which led him to Newman.
Straub is the author of the 2022 book, “The 6ixth Evolution: Managing Lives and Careers Through Convulsive Times.” Folks in the Wichita area who tune into KAKE or KSN news stations may have also noticed that Straub is often called upon as an expert to weigh in on current events in the business and economics world.
In the podcast episode, Straub discussed why investing is an important thing for recent graduates, and even students, to do.
“The first piece of advice I’d have for everybody is to stay up on financing,” Straub said. “There’s tons of stuff out on the web, like the Motley Fool. There are any number of websites out there that can help bring you up to speed on finance and investment strategies. I really implore everybody to be a student of that and stay up with it. It’s very easy to do.”
Straub shared that for recent graduates who are launching their careers, it’s important to determine their comfort level for risk. He told the story of a couple he knows who were very risk-averse early on, so they focused more on saving and watching their spending. Then they used CDs as a way to invest, which, Straub explained, are very safe investment tools.
“That is a legitimate strategy,” he said. “Now, a lot of people look down their nose on it. A lot of people scoff at it because you do kind of leave a lot of money on the table if you do that over decades, which they did. I’m sure they could probably have at least double to triple the money they’ve got right now, but they didn’t like the idea of risking it.”
Straub continued that especially when people are younger and have more time to recover, it’s smart to look at more aggressive investment strategies.
“You do have the time to recover from the gyrations and the ups and downs of the markets, so that’s a very good strategy,” he said. “If you’re going to do that, traditionally you’re going to probably get into the stock markets. You’re going to start getting into what’s referred to as equities, where you’re investing in actual businesses and getting equity in them.”
When it comes to stocks, Straub refers to the wise words of Warren Buffet, who tells people, “It’s a fool’s errand to pick and choose them.” Instead, he advises that they should work with a professional financial advisor or invest in the S&P Index Fund.
“It’s not always going to be up and forward, but you’re going to have one of the safest, most predictable mechanisms that you’ll ever have right there,” he said.
Straub advises people to not look at their investments every day or put all their money in at one time of the year. He also shared that in his opinion, it’s wise to stay away from crypto, which he sees as a big scheme.
Some other bits of advice Straub talked about in the podcast were starting to invest as early as possible, maxing out employer-matched 401Ks, and avoiding falling into the trap of living an outsized life that is so often shown on social media.
“Always know where you want to be five years from now, 10 years from now,” he said. “If you’re married, make sure that your spouse is also involved in that and that you’re in sync. Try not to fall into the pressures.”
Ultimately, Straub believes that for recent graduates, focusing on a successful career is most important.
“When you’re building your career early on, you want to focus on that because that’s going to be your goose that lays the golden egg,” he said. “That’s going to be the thing that funds you and your investments for the rest of your life. So specifically for the first five to 10 years, you really want to get focused on your career, grow your career, grow your prospects with your career, and maybe even continue to grow your education.”
‘The Newman Bond’ podcast
Episodes of “The Newman Bond” feature topics like photography, sports icons, the art of costuming, studying abroad and more.