Lang investing in his future at FHSU

By Dr. Tisa Mason

I have been intrigued for several years with Ethan Lang, a junior majoring in finance. From his freshman year forward, I have heard parts of his story of entrepreneurialism and strong work ethic. Ethan was introduced as an ambassador of the Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship at the fall RCOBE Awards Ceremony, where he received several scholarships. So I reached out to Ethan to let him know how impressed I have been with his accomplishments and to learn a little more about him.

Dr. Tisa Mason

I was first introduced to Ethan weeks before he began his freshman year as a resident of the Dane G. Hansen Scholarship Hall. At the time, I was involved in conversations around the programming for Hansen Hall, a living and learning community that creates opportunities for residents to travel, compete, win awards, learn from successful entrepreneurs, and develop skills to advance their careers. It was then I learned a new freshman, Ethan Lang, was managing an investment account and had started a popular blog to share information with his peers. I couldn’t wait for this young man to move in and make an impact at FHSU. That is exactly what he has been doing ever since.

Ethan grew up in Hays and chose to continue his education at FHSU because of our outstanding financial planning program – a concentration within the finance major. He was particularly excited to take classes such as retirement planning, insurance planning, and estate planning.

Ethan shared with me that he became interested in personal finance and investing early in high school when his dad opened an investment account for 15-year-old Ethan.

“I started investing in stocks and tried to learn everything I could, and I definitely made mistakes along the way,” Ethan said. “I ended up buying a course about day trading and thought I was going to 'get rich quick'. I thought I was smarter than everyone else, and I'd be retired in my late 20s, sitting on a beach. To say the least, I was widely wrong. I made money on the first few trades, but my luck ran out. I lost over 40 percent of my portfolio in a day on a call option.”

Ethan explained that at the time, his portfolio was $500, so that loss was $200.

“But it was devastating to me, and I knew something had to change,” he explained. “I went back to square one and started educating myself, and this time, the right way. I consumed all of the information I could. I read books, watched YouTube videos, and listened to podcasts about personal finance and investing, trying to learn the right way of doing things. And you know what? I started to figure it out.”

Ethan soon started a blog and an Instagram page to share what he was learning.

“I didn't want anyone to go through what I did, falling into these 'get-rich-quick' schemes,” he said. “I decided to make it a business and call it, ‘Making Cents of Finance.’ To my surprise, people actually loved it.”

Ethan shared with me that his definition of entrepreneurship means helping and bringing value to others.

“I’m going to open up my own financial planning firm in Hays upon graduation, and of course, I’ll charge for my services,” he said. “But I’ll always focus on providing more value to the person on the other side of that table, even if they don’t decide to work with me.”

Last year, Ethan placed first at the Faulkner Challenge, an annual business pitch competition. He won $6,000 which he invested back into his business. Given his passion to share knowledge, part of that money funded the Young Wealth Podcast, where Ethan interviews guests who built wealth at a young age, so Ethan – as well as his listeners – can learn from them.

Ethan’s Instagram account has over 240,000 followers. Along with his Young Wealth Podcast, he manages other platforms such as TikTok and YouTube. All platforms share the goal of educating the next generation about personal finance.

Ethan is a member of the 2021 financial planning team. Recently, the team made the Elite Eight in the National Financial Planning Challenge and finished third overall. By the way, this is the 13th time in 14 years of competition that we have had one of the top teams in the country.

Ethan is also president of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) and is helping create an entrepreneurship club at FHSU to further help more aspiring entrepreneurs. He is a member of the Tiger track and cross country teams, where he is an MIAA league champion, an NCAA Division II All-American, and a three-time school record holder.

Our students inspire me every day. I am encouraged by their caring hearts for helping others, their thirst for knowledge, and their dreams for building a better world.