Posted Thursday, September 8, 2022 12:00 am
By Shaun Ryan
For many people, the world of business, finance, economics and entrepreneurship is something of a mystery — understood by those with the relevant education or experience but opaque to nearly everyone else. That is particularly true of youth, for whom financial literacy often exists in its most rudimentary state, if at all.
Now, a new website offers free lessons, articles and even classes that prepare young people for financial success in the future.
The content is informative and useful and, by all indications, the work of a seasoned professional. But howtofinance.org is actually the creation of a Nease High School senior and two friends.
Aryaman Bansal discovered an interest in the subject when he was still in the eighth grade. So he signed up for one of the few available classes that satisfied that interest: Advanced Placement microeconomics.
“I had fun,” he said. “I learned more and more about business.”
He took another class in macroeconomics, but he wanted to learn more than what school had to offer. So, he has followed up with some summer programs. One focused on investment portfolio management. Last summer, he took a course offered by Cornell University: Economics for Leaders.
And a few months ago, he partnered with a student-led nonprofit called Bored of Boredom, which provides free educational enrichment online. He teaches a finance class there.
In fact, Aryaman is driven to educate others. Thus, his website.
“I felt like the community deserves to understand the basics of financial literacy a bit more, so that’s why I decided to start this initiative,” he said.
In this mission, he is joined by friends Akhil Vallabh and Miles Moerman.
Aryaman said he found inspiration at the link, the business hub and community centerpiece that opened in Nocatee in 2021. In fact, he has volunteered at the link, helping with its summer camps.
Finding an interest in the basics of business among the children there, he ran an entrepreneurship camp where the campers set up a profitable lemonade stand.
“We worked through just the logistics of it,” Aryaman said. “Like, what do we need to make a lemonade stand? How much profit do we need? What would we do with the money?”
They took a field trip to nearby Publix to purchase what they needed to sell their product. And in the end, they made about $60.
“I was really happy to run that,” Aryaman said. “Just because that’s what I’m trying to do with this website. To inspire people to learn more about finances and just be financially literate.”
As he looks forward to college, he expects to major in finance or business and perhaps go into financial advisory one day.
“I feel like financial advisory is a career to get into, especially considering how rapidly developing our world is and how confusing things may be for some people — or a lot of people,” he said.
In the meantime, he tries to keep up with business news and continues to educate the community on financial issues via howtofinance.org.