Saint Louis University hosted top business leaders Steve Forbes and John Schlifske on Monday, April 22 for their talk on “The Power of the Game Plan,” regarding financial security in the future.
Aiming to educate younger generations on the economy and planning for the future, Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, and Schlifske, chairman and CEO of Northwestern Mutual, shared their wisdom.
“People spend more time planning their Disney vacations than they do their financial plans and security,” Schlifske said.
The two executives have partnered up to educate audiences on the importance of financial planning.
“Events often dominate you more than you dominate them, but how you handle [these things] is what sets you apart,” Forbes said.
Their talk stressed three main components to being financially secure: saving regularly, working with a trusted advisor and packaging your goals and objectives into a financial plan.
“What it’s all about is putting money away on a periodic basis every month and letting that money compound,” Schlifske said.
Schlifske stated that, in regards to economic issues, he has “seen it all” and is therefore “short-term cautious, but long-term optimistic.” He believes that things will get better with the economy and job market. Forbes agreed with this sentiment of future economic improvement and said history has shown us this before.
“[History] is about people, how they respond and create, the mistakes they make, the economics…” Forbes said. “You don’t learn blueprints from the past, because times and circumstances change, but human nature does not change.”
Forbes also stressed the importance of free markets in our economy, saying, “If you allow free markets to operate, they always turn scarcity into abundance.”
Both executives said that the economy today is infinitely bigger and provides students with many more opportunities.
Schlifske, who studied economics during undergrad, said that it was the philosophy courses he took in college that enabled him the most to do the level of critical thinking required for getting ahead.
“At the end of the day, the real people who drive change are the ones who can think critically about issues and make change,” Schlifske said.
Neither man implied that life after college was easy.
“When you come out of school, brace yourself,” Forbes said. “It’s an entirely new world.”