The Power of Investing: Financial Literacy and the Miracle of Compound Interest

Albert Einstein is famously credited with saying, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.” To continue that thought, the miracle of compounding can be more clearly described as the seemingly small, incremental positive changes that make an outsized impact over a long duration. This can be seen quite clearly through investment returns, but the laws of compounding apply more broadly. People and companies have a moral obligation to consider the long-term impact of their decisions. As investors, we need to exercise our critical thinking skills to understand how our portfolio decisions can be optimized for both financial return and global impact.

In order to invest for change, we must first understand the basics of financial literacy and the role it plays in accumulating assets. By crafting a lifelong financial plan, students will learn about the fundamentals of finance and the tools of wealth creation. Topics include investing inside and outside retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and tax considerations. The goal is to ensure your financial security, so you can select the career of your choice, help those in need, and support important social causes.

This seminar is sponsored by and in partnership with the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing.

Academic Directors

Carl Ackermann

Carl Ackermann

Carl Ackermann teaches financial management and personal finance to University of Notre Dame undergraduates. He crusades against excessive fees in the investment industry, redirecting them to fight poverty and despair.  

Ackermann has received over a dozen major awards for his teaching and service. Nationwide, he is a favorite professor according to Bloomberg Businessweek and Poets & Quants. Despite teaching a sophomore class, he is a multiple-time recipient of the Senior Class Fellow Award, for the member of the Notre Dame community who has made the most positive and lasting impression on the senior class. He has also received the University's Grenville Clark Award, for the faculty member or administrator whose voluntary activities have advanced the causes of peace and human rights.

Ackermann is active in several University service projects and mentoring programs, and participates in athletic recruiting. He holds an A.B. from Amherst College, and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mark Dumich

Mark Dumich

Mark Dumich has been the Associate Director of the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing (NDIGI) since June of 2019. At NDIGI, his work focuses on: increasing experiential learning opportunities, expanding the Institute’s global presence, creating more career discernment opportunities for students, and building inclusion programs aimed at increasing diversity across the investment management industry. 

In addition to his responsibilities within the Institute, he also serves as a Term Assistant Teaching Professor in the Finance Department. Mark joined NDIGI from the Notre Dame Development Office, where he managed the Strategic Analytics and Prospect Management teams. In that role, he was very involved in organizing the many events that engage alumni and parents working on Wall Street.

Before his time in Development, Mark spent eight years at M&N Trading in Chicago, where he primarily focused on spread trading across the U.S. Treasury yield curve.

Mark received a BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA from the University of Illinois Gies College of Business, and is a CFA Charterholder. 

He lives with his wife, Carrie, and their five children.