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Alumni Share Best Practices for First-time Investors

With a focus on first-time investors, alumni spanning over six decades along with past parents tuned into the most recent Alumni Information Series to learn more about the basics of investing.

“This presentation by alumni was very helpful and insightful to me as I am a new grad with interests in investments,” says Peter Hutchinson ’20, a first-time attendee.

SMCS Alumni Information Series on the basics of investing

On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, industry expert Chris Smith ’06 joined Matt Montemurro ’05 to discuss ‘The Basics of Investing and Insurance’, the first of a three-part series offered by the St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) Alumni Association.

“Investing and financial literacy can be overwhelming for many and it’s difficult to know where to start. Having the opportunity to come together with people you share something in common with, in this case the St. Mike’s community, can give you a bit more comfort in doing something uncomfortable,” says Smith. “Helping people with financial literacy and investing is what I do every day and to be able to provide a space for alumni to learn and ask questions is something very important. St. Mike’s has a great alumni network and I’ve always wanted to get more involved and give back to a school that gave a lot to me.”

With over 10 years of experience working for banks, asset managers, and insurers, Smith now owns his own wealth management business, Smith Financial Solutions.

SMCS Alumni Information Series on the basics of investing

“I came to this information session hoping to gain a clearer understanding of what products are available, and I was not disappointed! Chris gave a detailed presentation that was organized and informative,” shares Dr. Alison Day, a past parent. “His approach was thoughtful and encouraging for someone like me who is new to investing. I will definitely attend the two follow-up presentations! Thank you for making this opportunity available to the SMCS community.”

The 90-minute session was packed full of information, beginning with Smith explaining the types of accounts available from registered retirement savings plans (RRSP), tax-free savings accounts (TFSA), registered education savings plans (RESP) to pensions, along with the benefits of each, how they’re typically used, and offered valuable advice. The series concluded with a discussion on the fees associated with various types of accounts and investments and details on the value of advisors and what to look for when considering one.

SMCS Alumni Information Series on the basics of investing

“I hope that we broke things down and did a good job of explaining a complicated topic in a way that was a bit easier to digest,” shares Smith. “I also hope we highlighted that it is okay to have a lot of questions, that there are a lot of people who are willing to sit down and answer those questions for you, help you get a better understanding of your investments, and advise you on where to start.

“We were grateful to have such an engaged audience, even though we ran a little long, everyone stayed on and asked a ton of questions! I’m looking forward to the next two sessions.”

In late summer, part two of the financial literacy chapter will focus on where to invest, risk tolerance, as well as financial planning and goal setting. Part three of the series will be held in the fall and will look at insurance. Stay tuned for more information.

If you missed the first installment of the Alumni Information Series on financial literacy, watch it below:

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