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'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 has been working part-time at NGPF since 2014, interning through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, after graduating from college in 2020, he joined the team to work full time with a focus on teacher onboarding. He is also the editor of the NGPF podcast and makes sure it is accessible to teachers on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world and try out new brewing methods, even though personal finance gurus tend to caution against buying a cup of joe.
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