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SHERIDAN — A group of approximately 60 Sheridan entrepreneurs were treated to a crash course in Wall Street economics and investments Thursday night by one of Wyoming’s leading experts in the field.
This week’s “Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur” seminar presented by the University of Wyoming’s Technology Business Center and the Wyoming Business Council featured investment CEO and UW College of Business instructor Patrick Flemming.
“If you’re doing anything, you’ve got to know the rules of the game,” Flemming began, establishing that many Americans are suffering from a knowledge deficit when it comes to managing money.
“I think it’s the fault of the U.S. school system,” Flemming said. “All of you are intelligent individuals, but how many of you have taken any personal finance classes? We have 78 million baby boomers retiring who do not know much about personal finance because we don’t teach them.”
Flemming said it’s up to individual citizens to learn how to manage their money, and that doing so makes them less vulnerable and more likely to succeed financially.
“As Warren Buffett said, ‘If you’re playing poker, and after 30 minutes, you don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.’” Flemming said.
With that, he launched into an introduction to capital structure, economics and the stock market.
He discussed stocks, which are percentages of ownership in a corporation, and bonds, which are representative of corporate debt. Flemming also went over a glossary of economic lingo and touched on the function of Individual Retirement Accounts, the stock market and trading practices.
In addition to understanding how investments and compound interest, Flemming emphasized the importance of vetting a financial advisor.
“A good advisor is worth their weight in gold,” Flemming said, indicating historical performance, how an advisor gets paid and their understanding of the market are key indicators to consider when evaluating a money manager.
Flemming said discipline is a key component of investing because most financial growth via compounded interest occurs over a decade or longer.
“Find something you can feel comfortable with,” Flemming advised. “I can quantify these numbers and say that over a 10-year period, I can feel pretty good that this projection is going to be somewhere in this area.”
E2E presentations are community gatherings staged to promote networking and business knowledge for local economies.
Flemming, who graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in economics, resides in Laramie.