Victoria man teaches how to keep love of money from being the root of all evil
By BY JENNIFER PREYSS - JLPREYSS@VICAD.COM
Jan. 25, 2013 at midnight
Updated Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:26 p.m.
"For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil," 1 Timothy 6:10.
It's one of the most notable passages in the Bible.
But Certified Financial Planner Dave Sather, might argue that the root of all kinds of evil may not be the love of money but rather a person's inability to ethically and sufficiently manage finances.
So for the past 15 years, Sather, who founded Sather Financial Group in Victoria, has lent his professional knowledge to the students of Texas Lutheran University, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in business management more than two decades ago.
"I don't do it for money. I do it on my own time because I enjoy the psychological boost," he said. "I also had a lot of people take an interest in me when I attended school there. This is my way of giving back."
Four years ago, he took his dedication to his alma mater a step further, creating a university-supported Bulldog Investment Co. internship. Select students enroll in the internship program, led by Sather, and are given the rare opportunity to manage and build an investment portfolio funded with real money.
"They're also learning how to recognize a good company from a bad company, what the industry standards are and where they should be," Sather said.
While the Christian-founded school encourages moral and ethical standards on campus, Sather said he, too, draws on his own Lutheran background to guide and encourage his students to make honest and fair business decisions.
"The school is not exclusively Christian, but one of the areas where Texas Lutheran has succeeded is that every business major is required to take business ethics. I like that," he said. "It's a common perspective that business people are out to make a profit, and they don't adhere to ethical behavior. But in business, ethical behavior will actually pay you in huge dividends long term. Faith and ethics go hand in hand."
Uzonna Mkparu, 25, a former Bulldog Investment intern at Texas Lutheran, has continued a professional relationship with Sather since graduating with a pre-med degree two years ago.
Mkparu, who currently lives in Boston, said he decided to couple his medical studies with financial education because doctors are often ill prepared to manage money.
"I've always been interested in business, and studies show that doctors are not the best financial managers," he said. "So, I wanted to combine my MD with an MBA."
Mkparu said the financial knowledge he obtained during Sather's internship was beneficial for many reasons, but he was also challenged to execute solid, Christian-centered business practices.
"We had more ethical discussions than faith discussions. We didn't talk about what Jesus would do, but rather, was this fair, or just or were you being good to your fellow man?" he said. "But we know as Christians, that is what our religion is about."
Philip Bauch, 22, a current Bulldog Investments intern, said he's been involved in the program for more than two years, and when he graduates with a masters in accountancy, he'll be more than three years invested with Sather.
"It's something I've always had a passion for and something I love to do," he said. "And I've learned it's not just about making money, it's about becoming a well-rounded citizen and becoming a well-informed person in the world, so maybe I can help someone out one day."
Bauch, a resident of Houston, said he elected to the internship even without college credit.
"It goes on my resume, but it doesn't count toward college credit. I just enjoy seeing Dave every Friday," he said.
Sather said he enjoys giving back to the students each week, and he knows the earlier youth learn how to prioritize and manage their finances, the happier they'll be later in life.
"The No. 1 reason marriages end is because of money. There's too much debt," he said, mentioning how money mismanagement can be damaging in business relationships as well. "In our world, we teach them to think about the worst case scenario and whether their investments would survive, whether they're students or husbands or just someone managing their finances."