SnoQap Financial is a community of writers that explore topics in economics, political science, and finance, founded and run entirely by college students. We hope to foster a greater understanding and encourage curiosity in these topics.
Why We’re Doing This
There is a lack of financial literacy in this country. A study conducted by the National Financial Educators Council found that 51.5% of young adults stated that money management would have been the most beneficial course in high school, had their school offered it. Of those between the ages of 35 to 54, it was found that 26.3% of those surveyed had an employer conduct a credit history or financial background test on the respondent as a criterion for a promotion. Historical scores for basic financial literacy tests have been near 60% since 2012. This is not how we foster financial independence in the 21st century.
- 56% of people in the United States have no “rainy day funds” in case of emergencies.
- 39% of millennials worry about their financial future “at least once a week”.
- 46% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.
- Student loan debt currently exceeds $1.1 trillion.
We believe this is the result of predatory financial institutions looking to make a buck, complimented by a lack of financial education in high-schools and college. The facts above demonstrate that financial education may not be the most popular subject out there, but it is clearly the most important.
SnoQap Financial has the potential to touch millennials before they get their first jobs, before they start saving for their future, and potentially making the same mistakes that many of our parents did.
We are going to accomplish this mission by starting at the grassroots level. We’re asking writers who want to learn more about finance, economics, accounting, and politics to write articles that will interest their peers. We believe that students can be the conduit for this information better than classrooms, government policy makers, credit card companies, and other financial institutions.
Alex Warfel founded the website in June of 2016. The site is named after the Snoqualmie Mountain Pass just east of Seattle, Washington, where Alex grew up.
Alex read an article about Sabrina Pasterski, a 14 year old physics student at MIT. Physics is dominated by the idea that the universe is becoming more chaotic than ordered. Pasterski explained her passion of “spotting elegance within the chaos.” It made sense to adopt this line for the motto of SnoQap, since a large part of finance is finding value within a complex and chaotic system. Pasterski further proves students have the ability to add these new, valuable ideas to academia.
Snoqualmie Pass – 1991
A few weeks after Alex created the blog, he asked Timos Pietris to write because of his ability to break down complex topics and his passion for teaching. Timos and Alex began writing articles once per week, enjoying the research that it took to come up with topics for the site. Bernadette Hogan, the editor-in-chief of the Marist College student newspaper, quickly recognized the value of the project and asked if Alex and Timos would be interested in writing a weekly column. They decided to take it a step further and wake up around 6 a.m. every morning to publish futures prices and a short synopsis of what happened in the markets for the previous day for the Circle.
Andrew Montalti, who was studying abroad at the London School of Economics at the time, quickly signed on to write about economics and politics. As time went on, a friend of Timos’s who was going to school at Azusa Pacific University in California wanted to get involved and reached out to join as a writer. Nick Colletta signed on in December and has passionately worked to write articles to break down trade strategy. The team was getting positive feedback and continued to grow in readership.
In February of 2017, Katy Zielinski reached out to Alex and Andrew after spotting grammar and syntax errors in the articles. She then came aboard as a copy editor to check each article and improve the content. Alex began looking for a graphic designer to get logos for the website and make it more visually appealing. Bernadette recommended Tara Guaimano, a freshman from Marist College, who now designs weekly for the website.