Money Talks

Finance student dabbles in investing, radio

In eighth grade, Matt Garofalo talked his social studies teacher into letting him teach a weekly investing and economics class to his fellow students. So it should come as no surprise that Garofalo is now majoring in finance and speaking to a new audience of students as co-host of ”The Boiler Room,“ a political talk show broadcast on WCCR, Cary Quad radio.

Matt Garofalo

Krannert sophomore Matt Garofalo is co-host of "The Boiler Room" a political talk show broadcast on WCCR, Cary Quad radio. (Photo by Mark Simons)

“I chose to major in finance because I’ve been fascinated with the stock market and investing since I was a kid. I began investing in the sixth grade, through my father’s brokerage account, using money from birthdays, mowing lawns and pet sitting,” Garofalo says.

The radio show grew out of frequent political discussions that Garofalo, now a sophomore, had with fellow Cary Quad resident Frank Radochonski, a student in the College of Health and Human Sciences. “Sometimes we would agree and sometimes we would get wrapped up in a heated debate, especially during the 2012 election,” Garofalo recalls.

He saw an ad for callouts at WCCR and mentioned the idea of hosting a political talk show to Radochonski. “He loved the idea,” Garofalo says. “All we’d have to do is just discuss different events, question political decisions and crack a few jokes. From there, ’The Boiler Room‘ was created.”

Radochonski is currently studying in China, so two other students will take turns as Garofalo’s co-host this fall. “We’ll most likely discuss such topics as the Benghazi attack, the IRS scandal, the Edward Snowden affair, and the Martin/Zimmerman case,“ Garofalo says. ”We may also revisit some past topics such as gun control, same-sex marriage, cyber warfare and North Korea.”

After a summer study abroad experience in Italy, Garofalo will bring a new perspective to the show. “I had the chance to use the Italian I learned in class. I also had the chance to see the different types of art and architecture that I was learning about. I was inches away from priceless art and walked through structures that are hundreds of years old. It was also a great experience to interact with another culture and to look at the world from a different perspective.”

In the realm of finance, Garofalo continues refining his investment strategies through the Odin Investment Group for Purdue students. “This year, I’ll be working as the financial director for Odin,” he says. “I’ll be leading discussions concerning the latest economic and political events as well as teaching other members about a variety of financial topics.”

Garofalo says he will be well-prepared for a career upon graduation, preferably on Wall Street. “Hopefully, I’ll be adding something to Purdue and Krannert’s legacy before I leave. I’d hate to spend four years here and not leave my mark.”