On April 22nd we were blessed to have Peter Dietrich, head of Wealth Indexes at Morningstar, share his experience, strength and hope with the EYE class. Samantha (pictured: senior, full ride to UW Madison) introduced him, and students asked him some great questions about life and markets. Here are his answers… enjoy!
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Growing up with parents who were immigrants, and with very little money, I would see families with more. It was very hard for me to picture myself as that person, or see that success for myself. I was lucky because I had a sports scholarship.
What was your drive to succeed?
It’s so much easier to not make it out. One of my friends actually in high school became a drug dealer. He got shot and killed when we were seniors, but before that I’d told him — I just can’t hang out with you any more. There are so many things that you look at and see, and you might just have to decide, “I want to do something DIFFERENT.”
How did you stay motivated?
Make sure you really value the people who support you. Your mentors, your teachers, actually measure their success by not just what you end up doing but by the type of person you become. I went to Asia and totally rewrote my story so I’d say, get comfortable being uncomfortable.
What advice would you have for someone starting college?
Wherever you come from, they are freaked out just like you. Even if they’re from a better school or a richer area, doesn’t matter. Even playing field. So take the opportunity to just meet new people — you have a LOT to give. You have so much value! For me, I taught an investment game to 8th grade students to get out of my comfort zone because I wanted to give back. My family fought about money when I was a kid, as many do, and I wanted to explain what that was about.
What are your thoughts on crypto currency?
Sure. Who has a phone? (All hands go up). Nice, so who uses Apple Pay or cash app? (Most hands go up). So it’s the same concept — you have the idea of an exchange of value — you give me some Bitcoin, I give you something in return. The interesting thing is if it actually become less risky and more reliable, THEN you have a man investment story.
How do you meet people?
A big part of that now is actually virtual. So LinkedIn for example is like your digital front door. Do you want your front door to look like you were out partying with your friends or like you’re prepared and ready for a big meeting? So having a great first impression is big.