Lunch and Learn teaches students about investing


GVL / Lauren Seymour

Steven Lawrence, Staff Writer

On March 18, the Economics Club and Department of Economics at Grand Valley State University held the latest session of their bi-weekly Lunch and Learn series over Zoom. These meetings are hosted by various guest speakers and are focused on teaching students how to handle money and save for their future.

“For about the last year, we have held different events with topics that included saving, funding for college and even some about how to save and obtain money during COVID,” said professor and faculty advisor Sonia Dalmia. 

This week’s event was titled “Investing 101” and the guest speaker was professor Dalmia’s husband, Arun Dalmia. Dalmia is the founder of Active Inspection, an artificial intelligence and automation company. He hasn’t received formal business education, but he is self-taught in investing and shared with the group what has worked best for him over the years.

“One thing that people expect, based on movies and television, when they get into investing is that they’ll invest all their money into something and just make more money,” Dalmia said. “When, in reality, anybody who’s really into investing will say there are times they invested in something and lost all their money.”

Dalmia’s points of wisdom covered vital investing principles, like how to know when it’s a good time to invest. He also discussed investing in one’s future, such as retirement or buying a home, and how to budget for situations that are impossible to plan for like a sudden family emergency or medical expenses. Dr. Dalmia then talked about how the emergency fund should be something that goes into a savings account and builds up overtime. 

“Definitely invest in retirement, you should always plan for funds for your future,” Dalmia said. 

Another point that was made by Dalmia to help stress the importance of investing money for the future is that the Social Security program could run out by 2035. If this happens, it’ll leave many people without a reliable source of income after they retire. 

“Many years ago people could live off of social security until they died,” Dalmia said. “However, the average lifespan of a person wasn’t as big as it is now. So, someone could retire at 60 and only live to be till 67, but now people can retire at 60 and live until their late 70s or 80s.” 

Dalmia concluded his discussion by saying that even though it can be beneficial to prepare for the future and that young investors still need to play it safe and try their best not to lose all their money. He stressed that being cautious about investing habits is necessary to avoid entering a new deal of financial trouble. 

Students interested in learning more about different ways to invest their money or picking up more general financial tips can visit the next Lunch and Learn session on April 1. The topic for that discussion is titled “What College Students Should Know Before They Graduate,” and the speaker will be Sonia Dalmia.