BTE Student Stories


As part of the customized professional development and learning opportunities available throughout the year, each spring Pathway to Success participants come together for an online forum targeting areas of interest or growth. This spring, FHI 360 partnered with LifeFinanceEd to implement a financial literacy forum that introduced them to investing for beginners.

On June 1, 2024, Pathways participants from the BTE Bound Brook, Norristown, Trenton, New Brunswick, Franklin Township, Lancaster, and Warsaw alumni cohorts joined LifeFinanceEd’s professional development workshop. Many of these participants have spent the last few months preparing, planning, and applying for full-time professional roles and/or summer internships. Having received previous learning on budgeting, establishing and maintaining credit, and other financial literacy workshops, this year participants expressed their interest in learning the ins and outs of investing and planning for retirement. Founder and President of LifeFinanceEd, Kevin Morgan, designed a custom curriculum that explores fundamental investing concepts while also teaching the importance of financial psychology.

“Investing is not the study of finance, it’s the study of how people behave with money”- Morgan Housel

During the forum, three main takeaways included:

  • Understanding fundamental investing concepts including types of investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs, along with the role each can play in building an investment portfolio
  • Exploring the principles of diversification and risk management and how these strategies can minimize risk and maximize returns
  • Understanding basic personal investment strategies, taking into account financial goals, time horizon, and the impact of compound interest on long-term investment growth

Throughout the session, students not only explored the different types of investments and had an opportunity to ask clarifying questions, but they also had a chance to explore resources like Bankrate’s 401K Retirement Calculator, where they were able to test mock entries with projected salaries to estimate retirement funds. This exercise allowed them to visualize and conceptualize how small investments can lead to a healthy and robust long-term retirement fund. The session also explored asset allocation, comparisons of online brokers, and how to automate savings. Pathways participants even received a list of book recommendations for summer reading in which they could learn additional strategies and tips for success.

As some participants prepare to enter into professional roles as recent college graduates and others look for healthy ways to manage internship salaries, each walked away from this spring’s Pathways forum with a grounding in investment essentials and is well on their way to building their own successful investment portfolios!