Teenager shows advisors how it’s done

Advisors beware: Rai Goyal is coming to take your spot.

Teenager shows advisors how it’s done
Advisors beware: Rai Goyal is coming to take your spot.

Goyal, a local high student in Victoria, is leading a program at the Greater Victoria Public Library and will teach youth from 13 to 25 the nuances of the financial industry, advising them on spending and saving, debt management, the stock market and investing.

The 15-year-old has taken it upon himself to reach students of his generation and educate them about financial literacy in an effort to make sure they are better prepared for the realities of life after school.

“Older (advisors) can’t really relate to students and young people and I thought it would be good to teach students my age,” he said in an interview with WP.

“My mom is a financial advisor and when I look at some of her clients, they’d have been so much better off if they knew about the financial industry in their younger years as opposed to learning it in your 30s and 40s. So I want to help fellow students and get them thinking about their financial future.”

His fervor to educate students his age began with the help of Google Finance. Goyal began to learn about financial terms four years ago after he took an interest in learning about stocks and other financial terms.

His mother is also a financial advisor and helped to foster his knowledge, he said in an interview with the CBC.
“What is a stock market, why are people scared of it, what purpose does it have? A few of friends have just gotten jobs and are beginning to realize the value of money in the real world. They realize that they have to spend more of university one day, move out of their parent’s house and start their own life so it’s going to be a big change for some people,” he added.

Goyal has even took to managing his parent’s portfolio and deals with financial issues of all kind, thus the workshops will focus on three main topics: saving and spending, debt, and types of investments.

Alyssa Polinsky, communications director at the Greater Victoria Public Library, said that she’s excited for the opportunities the workshop will create and commended Goyal for his initiative in wanting teach the class.

“He came to the library and pitched the class to us,” she said in an interview with WP. “We were really excited about it and it’s a great way to get teens excited about financial literacy. Adults aren’t always relatable to young people so when a teenager like Rai does it, it has an impact and resonates more with them.”

The news of the workshop received praise from one advisor, who said young kids taking on financial literacy is a good sign for a new generation that is expected to face some serious challenges in the near future and in saving for retirement.

“(Young people) make a lot of assumptions about what’ll be like 40 years from now but they’re dealing with so many more challenges than boomers have to face and as an advisor, I find it extremely challenging to get them thinking about real situations,” Paul Shelestowsky, a wealth advisor with the Meridian Credit Union.

“So it’s great to have a young student who is passionate about being an advisor and teaching kids.”