By Rebecca Barrett
Ryan Hogan remembers being fascinated by his dad’s collection of finance and investment-themed books when he was growing up.
One book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, formed a foundation for his understanding of personal finance. When he became a teen, Hogan convinced his dad to open a custodial brokerage account with his savings from mowing lawns, doing chores and collecting change.
“Since I was only 13, his name had to be on the account,” Hogan said.
Every day since, he’s learned a little more about the world of finance. As he completes a finance degree with a minor in computer science from Oregon State, one lesson stands out.
“Consistency, not dramatic changes, is what counts in investing and life,” Hogan said.
Hogan’s involvement with student-led investing groups and his drive to acquire programming skills exemplify what today’s finance students are learning. And he is eager to begin his career at JP Morgan in Dallas.
“I am looking forward to this next journey and feel ready,” he said.
The evolution of a finance major
Hogan grew up in Clackamas and knew he wanted to study finance. But he was also interested in computer science. That made his college decision easy.
“Oregon State University has a great business program and a great engineering program,” he said.
When he arrived, he only knew the basics of spreadsheets and had no programming experience. A friend recommended he learn code, which would open doors into programming. He pursued a minor in computer science and started building projects. As he learned something new, he applied it to creating a new application, each one a little more complex than the last.
“This helped me overcome the learning curve of many different concepts in computer science,” Hogan said.
He has several projects on Github, a hosting service for software developers. He and a friend built an open-source financial dashboard now used by OSIG, the Oregon State Investment Group.
The hardest thing he overcame was getting started. But consistency always paid off.
“The best time to learn something new is yesterday. And the second-best time is today,” he said.
Experiences made college meaningful
College was a busy time for Hogan as he balanced working as a waiter at a local restaurant with his studies and extra learning opportunities.
OSIG gave him a good understanding of the basics of valuation and accelerated his learning about modeling publicly traded stocks.
He met like-minded students and traveled to New York City to meet with alumni and other financial professionals.
“I got to work with and learn alongside some of the smartest and most clever people,” he said. “It was one of the best experiences I had in college.”
Hogan also joined the Finance Club and served as an officer, assisting with events and club affairs.
“It was a great venue for open discussions about career goals, financial trends and great guest speakers,” he said.
In the summer of 2022, Hogan interned at a volatility-based hedge fund, Orbital Capital, where he built analytical tools, edited code and attended an event for the Seattle Alternative Investment Association.
“I learned more about financial markets over the summer than I had in the last nine years of personal investing,” Hogan said.
Hogan is grateful for his computer science professors who pushed him to learn concepts he didn’t believe he would be able to grasp. He also appreciates the guidance of finance instructor, Jonathan Leong.
“His advice and willingness to have a chat helped me understand financial markets better,” Hogan said. “He provided an outlet for my ideas and gave me great confidence for my next chapter in life.”