Aug 02, 2019

NGPF Podcast: Don Dutkowsky, Professor of Economics at Syracuse University

Don Dutkowsky has lots of great insights to share after nearly four decades in the classroom as a college Economics Professor with a keen interest in personal finance. In this wide-ranging conversation, Don discusses his passion for financial education, how he incorporates personal finance concepts into his economics work and his work with high school teachers in New York state. He's also a master storyteller and clearly knows how to bring personal finance to life for his students. Enjoy! 


  • 0:00~2:41 Introduction
  • 2:41~4:40 Early money lessons
  • 4:40~11:38 Source of passion for personal finance
  • 11:38~14:50  Economics classes versus personal finance classes
  • 14:50~16:33 Working with high school students
  • 16:33~19:58 Challenges for educators to teach advanced classes
  • 19:58~23:06 Learning from selling a car
  • 23:06~23:32 A word from NGPF
  • 23:32~28:00 Learning from getting into a car accident
  • 28:00~29:07 Branch banks versus online banks
  • 29:07~31:02 What do teachers like to teach
  • 31:02~32:48 Hard topics to teach
  • 32:48~36:47 Important investing concepts
  • 36:47~40:53 Recommended books 
  • 40:53~42:26 Thoughts for the future 
  • 42:26~44:36 Conclusion





  • “It’s kind of like coaching basketball, you learn your fundamentals, you learn what you need to do, you know how you are going to guard people, you may have to call time-out during the game, but play, go out and play or go out and live.”

  • “I really have a burn for personal finance, I have seen how it works in my life and is certainly one of the reasons that I am retiring because I can retire.”

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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