Helen Lambiase’s Background
• Passed Level III of the Chartered Financial Analyst Exams
• Master of Science in Finance degree from Northeastern University
• Bachelor of Fine Arts from SUNY University at Buffalo
• CFA Institute
• Providence Society of Financial Analysts
• American Association of Individual Investors
Current Volunteer Activity
• SCORE mentor
The Long Version
My path to developing an interest in investments and economics was unexpected.
I never heard much about investing growing up. I developed an interest in art and majored in Fine Arts at the SUNY University at Buffalo. Basically, as a young adult, I had more interest in color than the color of money. Well, I have to admit, I did enjoy spending it.
After college, any encounter with the subject of stocks and bonds was considered unfortunate. However, after I was engaged, I had a conversation with my future father-and mother-in-law. I was an underpaid sign painter and my fiancée was just about to graduate from medical school. I expressed concern about paying for student loans, etc. on our budget, which was expected to be very lean in the early years. My father-in-law gave me a personal finance book by Sylvia Porter that I found very helpful. Much to my surprise, it also sparked my interest. I started reading more books and listening to a personal finance show on the radio.
While living in San Diego in the 1980s, I decided to take a three-credit course at a community college on investments and paid a grand total of ten dollars for the tuition. Boomers—Can you imagine paying ten dollars for a college course for your child?
As life went on, I kept reading and learning as the usual financial challenges came up. Saving up for a down payment on a house, investing for the kids’ education, conserving for retirement, and so on.
I wanted to fully understand the technical terms I was reading. So, at the age of forty, when my youngest entered first grade, I started a graduate business program at Northeastern University. I did expect to be older than a lot of the students. The big surprise was that I was older than many of the professors.
After graduating with a Master of Science in Finance degree, upon the encouragement of my professors, I decided to take the CFA exams. While I was studying, I did some investment research part-time for some portfolio managers.
While my husband focused on his career, my career was raising our children and building and securing our financial future. I still avidly follow the markets and attend professional meetings. The focus for me has shifted to preparing for our retirement and ensuring we will have enough financial resources for our older years.
Quality of life will become an increasing challenge in the upcoming decades for boomers. I am confident we can share all kinds of helpful information on how to make the most of life during these years. My hope is that you will read and contribute to this blog.