Virginia Tech student Ben Jones, 21, said he has made many financial mistakes in the past. His grandmother once gave him a gift of $200. He spent it all in a day.
“If I had put in the savings account … I’d be better off today,” Jones said.
Now an intern at the Richmond-based investment firm Dorsey Wright and Associates, Jones and his fellow interns are reaching out to college students in a series of low-budget web videos to get 20-somethings to think about managing their money.
“What we are trying to do is reach out to the millennial generation,” Jones said, “because we don’t know enough about saving and investing, especially in this market right now.”
Jones said he would like to work as a money manager or day trader after college.
So far the interns have covered managing personal finances and investing in exchange-traded funds, but Jones said they plan to produce five to 10 more videos in the next two weeks.
The videos are made in the production room at Dorsey Wright. The company has a green screen, which allows the interns to conduct their financial discussions in front of different backgrounds, including a picture of the New York Stock Exchange.
Company co-owner Tom Dorsey starting doing webcasts for his clients after appearances on Fox News and CNBC inspired him to produce his own content.
“I sat there one day and asked myself, ‘Why don’t we just do our own media?’” Dorsey said. “We have no sponsors, we have no axe to grind, and we can say whatever we want to say.”
This year, Dorsey decided to get his interns involved. He said he hopes to encourage young adults to start investing now instead of waiting until after they are married with children.
“College kids don’t want to hear from a gray-haired guy what they should do with the portfolio. They want to hear from people their own age,” Dorsey said.
The videos are posted on YouTube and feature interns from Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia.