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Monday, March 2nd, 2015


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Inside the Mind of a Student Investor

Name: Darin R. Shebesta

Age: 22

College: Graduating Class of 2006, Arizona State University

Major/Minor: Finance

Next Step: Pursuing a life passion in fixed income portfolio management with Templeton Financial Services

Favorite Book: "Rich Dad" series

Favorite Movie: The Secret

Financial Mission Statement: I will not allow money to hinder decision making in my life.

Saving doesn’t have to be a burdensome obligation, as recent Arizona State University graduate Darin Shebesta describes to Kathy Schanno of the ShareBuilder Corporation, an online brokerage focused on empowering young adults to start investing (sharebuilder.com/learntoinvest ). Shebesta has been a ShareBuilder customer for two and a half years and shares his thoughts below on the concept of saving and investing.

How do you define success? To me, success in the investing world involves allocating money to investing, giving away a portion, and living on the remainder. Success in life has to do with accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself. Write them down and they will happen.

What are your savings goals? As far as the short term goals, I will set sail on a Smooth Jazz cruise to the islands with my lady. For the longer term, I will acquire another home and rent out my current residence.

How are you currently investing today? I have been making the maximum contribution to my Roth IRA, maintaining three to six months worth of expenses in a liquid account, paying myself first with automatic withdrawals, as well as getting paid to use credit cards, to name a few.

How did you get started? I sat down with a financial advisor who was also a personal friend. We discussed my situation and he recommended I open a Roth IRA to start building wealth in a tax-efficient manner. My mom instilled the saving mechanism in my mind and I developed the investing mindset entering college.

Do you view saving as a burden, obligation or something you simply like to do? Why? Saving is simply something I enjoy doing. The concept is about not indulging in the luxuries of today in knowing the joys of tomorrow will be greater. It’s the power of compound interest.

Did you find it difficult to save while in college? I knew which items put money in my pocket and which took money out of my pocket. Peer pressure is a hindrance, but I managed to put away a fair amount of money by minimizing expenses since I wasn’t making much in the form of pay.

Are there any unique disciplines or cost-cutting measures you came up with in college to save more? I made my lunch the majority of the time, saving about $25 a week because of this. I bought retail items at a discount. The bottom line is everything is negotiable. I didn’t try to create a façade with material items and be someone I wasn’t.

Describe a typical day, week or month and how the concept of saving and investing fits in? A budget is crucial in determining your financial future. This also makes you aware of your daily habits. I figure out how much I make from my profession and make sure I do not spend more than this on daily activities. I pay myself first by using saving as an expense. It is taken out before I have "play" money.

Do you have friends who are doing the same? Many are indulging in their first full-time jobs and the salaries they bring. Those who picked up key budgeting concepts in college have handled the transition well. Those who have not will have to learn sometime. If not now, then when?

How do you go about selecting the companies you want to invest in? Research is very important. This is what you can do to become more in control of the situation. The majority of my research is done through the Internet, the vast portal of information. I also utilize newspapers and magazines for supplemental data.

Do you buy and hold or are you more of an active trader? I used to trade often, but I realized the "buy and hold" concept is what works for me. I do not take the time to analyze every aspect of each company, so I find other viable options such as ETFs, index funds, and mutual funds. It is easier for me to get diversification with these funds rather than to go out and create my own blend of securities.

What attracted you the most to the ShareBuilder program? There are several significant reasons I was attracted to the program. I liked the low costs of automatic investing, not having account minimums, user friendly platform, and the ability to fund directly from the checking account. The most intriguing piece of ShareBuilder is the asset allocation tool, which showed me the different risk-based investing options.


While this is a true experience of an actual ShareBuilder customer, ShareBuilder does not represent or imply that every consumer has had or will have a similar experience. Results can vary because of many factors, including an individual’s investment knowledge, financial objectives, stock selections, and changing market conditions. Sharing an investing experience should not in any way be considered investment or tax advice, nor a recommendation by ShareBuilder

ShareBuilder Securities Corporation, a registered broker dealer, is a subsidiary of ShareBuilder Corporation and Member NASD/SIPC. ShareBuilder is not affiliated with Young Money.

© 2008, Young Money Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

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