When Gary Belsky took a job at a business journal, he didn’t know the difference between a stock and a bond. Now, Belsky is an editor of a major publication and authored several books on behavioral finance.

“I’m self taught in behavioral finance. I was interested in how people make financial decisions. It relies more on emotion that people think it does because we see money as a resource. People waste money like they waste time,” Belsky said.

Belsky, who was on campus as part of the 2011 Behavioral Finance Symposium Galtere Institute: Finance for the Future Initiative at UTC College of Business, is currently the editor at large of ESPN The Magazine, where he has worked since 1998. The author of several books, Belsky lectures frequently on the psychology of decision-making to business and consumer groups around the world.  He’s made appearances on Good Morning America, CNN, and Oprah.

Belsky credits his success to his strong ethical background. “My theory is always to tell the truth. If you can tell the truth confidently, you’ll end up a great leader,” he said.

He also gave advice to UTC students who are on the job hunt. “Think of work like you think about dating. You wouldn’t date someone who you don’t respect and doesn’t like who you are. It’s the same for a job. Choose a place of work where there’s an alignment between who you are and who they are. There has to be a mutual attraction and similar values,” Belsky said.

“When trying to find a job, figure out what’s keeping you from getting a job. Think of the things you can do to make yourself more marketable. That way, the search becomes less insurmountable,” he continued.

UTC business student Ashleigh Bowen enjoyed the presentation. “I am very interested in how the mind affects financial decision making. Like Belsky said, we don’t always think rationally when it comes to money,” she said.

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