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February 27, 2012

Investment Guru Burton Malkiel:
Timeless Lessons—and Timely Ones, Too

1NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Burton Malkiel, author of the highly regarded and widely read investment tome “A Random Walk Down Wall Street,” will share investment lessons with a gathering at Smith College next week in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the college’s pioneering Center for Women & Financial Independence.

Malkiel, the Chemical Bank Chairman’s Professor of Economics Emeritus and Princeton University senior economist, will address an audience in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, through video conferencing from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6. He will also take questions from those in attendance.

The talk is free and open to the public.

“Burt Malkiel's talk on timeless and timely investment lessons provides us a critical opportunity to learn about investing and organizing our financial lives,” said Mahnaz Mahdavi, the Ann F. Kaplan Director of the Center for Women & Financial Independence (WFI).

As part of his talk, Malkiel will describe several “timeless” investment lessons – such as dollar cost averaging, diversification and rebalancing, and minimizing investment costs – that can significantly improve results for individual investors.

He will also discuss two strategies for investors in 2012, an age of "financial repression" – those concerning bond markets and emerging market equities.

The 10th edition of Malkiel’s “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” was published last year. The book has played an important role in encouraging the use of “index funds” by institutional and individual investors.

Malkiel has served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, president of the American Finance Association and dean of the Yale School of Management. He also spent 28 years as a director of the Vanguard Group, an American investment management company.

Throughout the past decade, WFI has designed programs that provide students with the knowledge and confidence to address financial matters.

The WFI courses cover a range of topics, including the following:

Financing Life and the Principles of Investing
This course introduces students to the essentials of personal finance and what you need to know to take charge of your money. Topics will include credit and debt management, student loans, saving for retirement and tax planning.

Backpack to Briefcase
This workshop is offered to graduating members of the senior class as a refresher "boot camp" in the basics of personal finance and financial planning soon-to-be-alumnae will need in order to make sound financial decisions once out in the "real world."

Interpreting Financial News
This series covers timely and relevant global finance topics related to the stock market, employment and the economy, healthcare, technology, philanthropy and more.

Dollars & $ense
Designed for incoming students, this course covers managing a budget as well as the benefits and perils of credit and debit cards.

In addition to the courses, Mahdavi spearheaded two research investigations during the past decade.

The first, an examination of credit card use by college students, found that students were financing their education with plastic to an alarming degree. Researchers emphasized that institutions of higher education need to pay attention to the critical area of financial education.

The second investigation, a survey of more than 4,500 Smith alumnae, assessed women’s financial knowledge, behavior and attitudes toward money. The findings address why women are worried about their financial security regardless of their income level.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190

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