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May 8, 2017 Reading Time: 2 minutes

On Monday, May 1, I was a featured speaker at a Berkshire Business and Professional Women meeting in Pittsfield, Mass. It was wonderful to connect with the organization, whose mission is “to promote full participation, equity, and economic self-sufficiency for America’s working women. Since 1965, the Berkshire chapter of BPW has been honoring local women in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, recognizing the achievements of outstanding women, developing awareness of issues important to working women and awarding career advancement scholarships.”

While preparing for the event, I could not stop thinking that AIER’s education programs in general, and the award-winning Money School program in particular, promote economic self-sufficiency by providing information on current economic concepts and issues and relating them to people’s daily decisions.

The BBPW asked me to talk about credit scores and savings decisions. In our Money School curriculum, these topics are covered in chapters 2 and 3, respectively. The focus of my presentation was to build understanding of what affects a person’s credit score and share some strategies to improve it. We had an interesting discussion with women sharing their stories and their ideas.

For the savings topic, I concentrated on the five factors affecting compound interest accumulation. We looked at charts that show how size of principal, interest rate, credit instruments’ duration, frequency of compounding, and additions to one’s account allow one’s savings (or retirement fund) to grow. The takeaway from this short exposition was that people must pay close attention to those variables when selecting investment vehicles.

Overall, the evening was engaging and uplifting. Thirty-seven women in attendance welcomed me and were enthusiastic to learn about AIER and its education programs. It is especially satisfying to present at events like this because they bring me to realize that at AIER we are making a difference in our local community.

 

Picture: Natalia Smirnova of AIER at the Berkshire Business and Professional Women meeting on May 1, 2017 in Pittsfield, Mass. Photo by Barbara Schmick, Berkshire Visions.

 

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Natalia Smirnova, PhD

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