Students learn financial planning from investment expert

Steve Renault, author of Mid-Life Crisis Retirement, was a guest speaker in Professor Joe Morrissey’s Business Entities class in the fall. Renault, who helped build one of the most successful brokerage firms in Canada, took time to share ideas on investing and personal finances with Professor Morrissey’s students.

Author Steve Renault.

Author Steve Renault.

“As a 20-something, the idea of retirement seems far removed,” said student Stephanie Pletcher. “Finances are one of the major stressors in people’s lives, and no one really enjoys talking about it. However, understanding investing and creating a financial plan are two elements to a successful and happy life.”

Renault advised the class that markets are cyclical and investors should pay attention to those cycles to try to take profits when markets are up for sustained periods of time, keep their money in cash or money markets, and then reinvest when markets hit relative lows. Renault shared that he is laser focused on making sure that investors are investing in index funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs), funds that have very low fees, some as low as 0.2 percent.

“I think Steve gave an excellent explanation of the market, especially how it functions in cyclical trends and how to maximize your investments over the course of your lifetime,” said student Abbey A. George.

Early in his career, Renault struggled financially. He realized he needed to do something to take control of his finances. So, he and his wife created a household family budget and put aside enough cash to cover expenses. As Renault moved along in his career, he carefully watched the market cycles, made smart investments, and quickly became financially independent.

Renault told Morrissey’s class that he decided to retire when he realized that he was working too much and not spending enough time with his family. He decided he had achieved enough professionally and financially to make a dramatic change. Renault retired shortly before his 40th birthday, moved his family and three young boys into an RV, and traveled out West.

Renault recently launched a business with his wife in life coaching and investment consulting.

“Anyone can give financial advice,” said Pletcher. “Having someone who is capable of giving financial advice, but also giving advice on how you want to live—that is unique.”