Paul Singh was the honorary speaker at the last meeting of The Business Club. Paul Singh is a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley who had made his fortune by investing in startup companies. It was quite an interesting experience because it is not common for a venture capitalist to visit the Midwest region of the country. This session was of particular interest to me because I am an Economics and Business major with an emphasis on Finance. I have always sought mentors so that I can learn from their experiences and emulate their financial success.
Paul was an eloquent speaker with a calm demeanor. He explained startup companies often lack the financial resources to turn their ideas into reality and this is where venture capitalists step in. he explain venture capitalism is not akin to throwing blind darts but rather a systematic approach to investing otherwise it would not be much different from gambling. Venture capitalists consider a number of factors such as the future prospects of the business, its competencies, its sources of differentiation, the size of the market, and the number and nature of existing players if there are any. Venture capitalists also try to forecast the potential performance of the competition in the near future. Similarly, they conduct the financial analysis to make sure they will be able to earn a positive return that is greater than the alternatives. Paul emphasized the importance of doing proper work because lack of homework severely diminishes the prospects of generating a positive return on the investment. He cautioned against being influenced by emotional factors.

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Paul advised the audience to save as much as possible as well as avoid debt. His advice resonated with students many of whom worry about student debt. Paul’s speech inspired me a lit and I bought three investment books online that I plan to read during summer. I hope to achieve financial freedom while I am still young so that I can enjoy life. Money may not buy happiness but it does buy us things we love including pizza.