Starting Wednesday, all Yale students will be able to seek answers to their questions about financial life after college using a new website called “LIT,” developed by Tara Falcone ’11, a certified financial planner and former hedge fund analyst.
LIT, a play on “financial literacy,” is a digital platform that features roughly seven-minute-long videos and related resources covering topics like budgeting, insurance and retirement. Students will have the option to follow a weekly syllabus devised by Falcone to digest the content more easily.
The platform will be available to Yalies through the Save Well page of the Yale Well initiative. University Secretary and Vice President for Student Life Kimberly Goff-Crews, who works on the initiative, said that she was pleased that more students will have access to financial literacy resources through the platform.
Falcone — who attended college as a first-generation, low-income student — said she created the platform to address the lack of financial literacy among college-going students.
“College is a huge personal and professional transition period,” Falcone said. “You move from being dependent on your parents to relative independency, and then Yale spits you out into the world and you don’t really know what to do with your money. While working on Wall Street, I realized that these concepts aren’t really that difficult, there was just no dedicated source to go to for that information.”
Aside from the videos, the platform features book suggestions, exercises and a comment section in which students will be able to interact with Falcone and each other. The platform is already officially available at three other colleges and Falcone plans to expand it to five to 10 other schools this academic year.
Falcone also plans to host live webinars and on-campus events focused on more “trendy” topics like cryptocurrency. She said she will also run an Instagram page where she’ll post key takeaways from a given week’s videos so that students can learn something even if they do not spend much time on the platform.
Falcone said she decided to work on LIT after attending her fifth class reunion in 2016 and meeting John Caserta ’01 and Stephen Blum ’74, the senior director for strategic initiatives for the Association of Yale Alumni, who had both been making the rounds conducting financial literacy workshops on campus.
Falcone founded the platform as part of a larger startup called ReisUP, which she launched two years ago to teach people about money in simple terms. After spending four years on Wall Street, she said, she wanted to do something more meaningful with her life.
Blum has been leading 90-minute on-campus workshops titled “Financial Life After Yale” since 2013. He told the News that LIT “is a wonderful addition” to the workshops he will continue to hold at Yale College.
Echoing Falcone’s concerns about a general lack of financial literacy among students, he said Americans in general “infamously undersave and invest too conservatively.” It’s important to address financial literacy among students early, as a failure to learn those skills can hinder financial stability later in life, he added.
More than 4,000 Yalies have attended “Financial Life After Yale” since the program launched.
Anastasiia Posnova | firstname.lastname@example.org