The Problem

Harvard undergraduates frequently expressed anxiety over a lack of knowledge on fundamental personal finance topics; however, Harvard University did not have a centralized, coordinated offering to teach students about personal finance. 

More than 70% of surveyed Harvard students self-rated their knowledge of Personal Credit, Taxes, Insurance, and Investing as either “Poor” or “Below Average”

-- Survey of registered students for Personal Financial Management Workshop

The Solution

Shahar collaborated with the Harvard University Employees Credit Union and Harvard University to launch an innovative financial education program. The offering provides undergraduates with practical life skills around personal money management and sets them up for financial success while in school and after-graduation. 

The 3-day workshop tackled:

  • Financial planning

  • Psychology of money

  • Credit

  • Taxes

  • Insurance

  • Investing

  • Retirement

Program elements included:

  • Expert guest speakers

  • Interactive case discussions

  • Engaging video clips

  • Recent graduate panel discussion

Shahar - Teaching at Harvard.jpg

The Results

Now in its eight year, the Personal Financial Management program has become one of the most popular Wintersession offerings at Harvard

recommend to a friend score

students registered each year

overall workshop score

years since program launched


From Educators

"It’s rare to encounter a standout talent, like Shahar Ziv. Across the financial services industry, I’ve found Shahar to be among the most knowledgeable and passionate advocates for financial education. 

As one of the founders of the personal finance course taught every year at Harvard, I’ve come to respect and admire Shahar’s breadth of talent. From delivering interactive lectures to writing compelling case studies, Shahar is an invaluable, trustworthy resource for developing practical strategies towards a lifetime of personal financial management. 

I would recommend working with Shahar without hesitation. His sense of humor and enthusiasm, coupled with his practical knowledge position him to become the next great financial consultant."
- Laura Buso, Program Coordinator -  Harvard University Employees Credit Union

Shahar’s passion for personal finance is reflected by his wealth of energy and a tireless focus on helping individuals develop skills that result in life changing improvements to financial health.   The programs he develops are built upon academic research and use material that is tailored to the unique needs and experiences of the class he is leading.   As a result, Shahar delivers presentations that feature relevant information and strategies targeted to the situations and the life stage of participants.   

Shahar’s drive for financial education was the catalyst in the creation of Harvard College’s Wintersession Personal Financial Management six years ago.  His knowledge of personal finance and his skills in pedagogy were influential in the design, development, and execution of the personal finance program, which some Harvard students called, “one of the best and most practical programs at Harvard College.”

- Tom Murphy, Former SVP of Consumer Lending & Student Services - Harvard University Employees Credit Union

From Students

"It's engaging and extremely informative. You will feel significantly more confident walking out of the class that you can take care of your own finances after college."
- Harvard Undergraduate

"This program has had a profound impact on how I now view and treat my money.  I am more informed on how to strategically put away money now to allow "future me" to live more comfortably later.  This is probably the most impactful course I've taken at Harvard so far."
- Harvard Undergraduate

"Must take! The practical benefits of this program cannot be overstated."
- Harvard Undergraduate

"I learned a lot in my short three days and that can be attributed to you and your team who made this program so incredible. Before this program, I was very nervous and uncomfortable with my personal finance but after going through this program, I am happy to say that I am more confident and know more about my personal finance. All of the topics discussed was relevant and presented in a very clear way so I was able to learn a lot."
- Harvard Undergraduate

"It should be required for every college student! I feel much more confident to go into the real world and handle my money."
- Harvard Undergraduate


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