Financial Literacy for the Next Generation
By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
Alumnus returns to campus to teach the power of compounding to Grades 5–12 and adults.
LJCDS lifer Greg Hirshman ’07 shared his expertise in finance and investments in three age-appropriate financial literacy seminars for students and adults focusing on the power of compounding and the Rule of 72.
How long does it take to double your money? The Rule of 72 is a simple way to calculate how long it will take for an investment to double, given a fixed annual rate of return. Through an excel spreadsheet projected at the front of the room, Greg provided a visual of how invested money can compound interest over the years.
Greg tested students on their mental math skills in the Upper School session—and the students did not disappoint. During the Middle School session, students created a spreadsheet on their laptops with the formulas and tested different percentages and years. In both sessions, Greg showed students how beneficial investing is and how starting just a few years earlier can have exponential results.
“I signed up for the seminar because I was interested in learning more about investing in order to set myself up for success,” shares Ben Chodorow ’26. “I learned how investing earlier in life can lead to lots of financial freedom in our later years. I was surprised that just a small amount of money can turn into hundreds just by letting it compound.”
When Greg asked the parents, guardians, faculty and staff in the third and final session of the day why they came, the overwhelming response was that they had never had a formal education in financial literacy. They want to help their children learn about investments. Greg’s goal was to show attendees how to make their money work for them. He stressed the importance of staying in the market and not reacting when the market dives. In time, he reassured the market trends upward. He also touched on stocks, bonds, S&P 500, dividends and the Federal reserve.
Greg has been a hedge fund analyst at Meritage Group LP, a family office with assets under management above $10 billion in San Francisco for over seven years. He primarily focuses on public markets investing, though he has worked on credit and private investments. Before Meritage Group, Greg worked as a private equity associate at Bain Capital and an analyst at McKinsey. He is a Stanford graduate with degrees in mathematics and economics. Greg also has a master's in finance and private equity from the London School of Economics.
“As an LJCDS lifer, I am so grateful for how much I learned at LJCDS that set me up for my wonderful career,” shares Greg. “I wanted to give back to the LJCDS community, and I thought that teaching financial literacy would be a great way to do so since many people don’t have much of a financial background. My goal was to introduce students and adults to what is arguably the most powerful concept of accumulating wealth. I hope the seminars helped attendees jumpstart their thinking about ideas that can transform their financial lives if they can put them into action.”