John A. Zinno, Jr., CPA '85, a BlumShapiro partner, gave a presentation on his professional life and personal fiscal responsibility to students from the Personal Finance, Accounting, Advanced Accounting, Intro to Business and English 10 Honors classes. Many of his comments echoed the lessons taught in Holy Cross's Personal Finance Class.
"It was so nice to have him here," said Patricia O'Loughlin '83. "Personal Finance is a life skills class. I tell my students on their first day that this is the most important class they will ever take. It's also a class that they will not get at the higher education level, even if they are finance majors."
Mr. Zinno shared some eye-opening statistics to his student audience. One in five United States teens has basic personal finance skills. Another study states that the United States ranks seventh out of fifteen participating countries on personal finance skills.
"There is a need for finance classes," he said. "You are fortunate to have them at Holy Cross. Not many schools do."
Throughout his presentation, Mr. Zinno gave some advice regarding personal finance including:
- Open a checking account and reconcile it on a regular basis.
- Get a summer job and start looking for it now.
- If you can't find a job, become a self-starter. Become a baby sitter or a tutor.
- Start savings habits now. That discipline will carry on through your life.
- Build up a nest egg and save for a rainy day. You'll never know when something unexpected comes up.
- Write down your needs and wants and review them on a regular basis. Prioritize!
- Cash is always king. Get a debit card and stay away from credit cards.
- Give back! Give generously of your time and money. Become a part of something bigger than yourself.
- Learn from your mistakes.
Mr. Zinno provides consulting, accounting, auditing, corporate and personal tax services to a wide range of privately held businesses and their owners in the professional services, hospitality, real estate, law, manufacturing and construction industries. He also serves as the Director of Services to Educational Institutions. He works closely with the management and boards of independent school clients. In addition to overseeing our audit and tax engagements, he advises education clients on emerging and relevant issues. Mr. Zinno served on BlumShapiro's Executive Committee from 2004 to 2008, and as head of the firm's finance department from 2008 through 2010. John served as the Office Managing Partner of the Shelton, Connecticut office.
When commenting on his professional career, Mr. Zinno said to the students that "he has no regrets. I came from a blue collar family in Waterbury. My father worked hard to put me through Assumption College. I never thought I would be where I am today."