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Financial Well-Being: Michael Liebman '18
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
“It’s much better to make decisions out of education than fear,” he says. “Being financially literate adds a level of reasoning behind savings and investment choices.”
Enter LearnLux.com, which Liebman and his sister founded to help people — especially millennials — navigate the often-overwhelming world of personal finance.
“My generation needs to understand that time is one of our biggest assets,” says the Finance major. “Investing when you’re young can make a huge difference given the power of compounding.”
The company is a “lifelong financial planning tool” that includes easy-to-understand online financial lessons, goal setting, action plans, and even direct connections to financial partners.
“Our job is to educate, build confidence, and ultimately restore trust,” says Liebman, noting a disconnect between young people and big financial institutions.
His own passion for finance started early, with birthday wish lists that included coin counters and cash registers. At 15, he was a student teller for a community bank housed in his high school and, two years later, co-wrote a blog on topics such as 529 and IRA plans.
Today, his finance education continues through two student-run ventures, the Bentley Investment Group and the Microfinance Group. The latter, for example, improved his ability to read and connect with different types of people.
Another lesson he applies when negotiating contracts between LearnLux and financial partners (some of them big names): “When someone pauses during a meeting, it doesn’t mean you have to jump in. They could just be thinking.”
And thinking is what Liebman wants LearnLux clients to do. “The metric we like most is whether someone made a decision out of education. Then we know people are improving their way of life.”
When Brenden Botelho ‘20 and Jonny Boains ‘18 took internships in the Mass. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, what was the biggest community problem to tackle? Adapting to climate change.