GU Reaches Out to Combat Economic Fears
November 3, 2008 – Financial experts at the McDonough School of Business (MSB) are teaming up with the Office of Faculty and Staff Benefits and the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action (IDEAA) to help members of the Georgetown community gain a better understanding of the recent financial turbulence in the country.
The faculty and staff sessions have touched on issues including the record plunges in the Dow Jones industrial average and a $700 billion federal bailout, and they have included discussions with finance professors Reena Aggarwal, James Angel, Sandeep Dahiya and Lee Pinkowitz as well as William Droms, the John J. Powers Jr. Professor of Finance.
“The credit crisis has affected a lot of things -- including Georgetown,” Angel said during an Oct. 20 session, “Understanding the Financial Crisis: Its Causes, Solutions and Implications for You.”
More than 60 faculty and staff listened to Angel and his colleagues during the session.
“One of these debacles hits every 10 years, and we really have to make our own mistakes with investing,” he said. “But when you’re young, you can recover from them.”
He said older people really shouldn’t change anything and that the worst thing investors can do is act on emotions.
A benefit for the community
“We just knew -- in these most volatile of times -- that information like this would go a long way,” said DeSantis, associate vice president and chief benefits officer. “This is just one offering benefits has sought for the community during these hard economic times.”
He noted that information sessions have been set up for each of the three retirement plan vendors -- Fidelity, TIAA-CREF and Vanguard -- to consult with clients about investment distributions. They have also established a GUAdvantage program that gives faculty and staff discounts on local and national services, retail outlets and restaurants. This will be available later this month.
“All of this leads up to our financial fitness fair in April,” DeSantis said. “And depending on how the economic climate continues those sessions will be needed more than ever.”
Faculty and staff members said they hope the information sessions and town halls and counseling are beneficial and that they really see sharing their expertise as a voluntary responsibility.
“I think this outreach really shows the caring nature of the Georgetown community,” Angel said. “That really is one of university’s greatest strengths."