The Investment Club began in 2003 with a donation of $100,000 from a generous benefactor. The main goals and objectives of the club are as follows:
- To provide a “hands on” laboratory experience for students from all majors and academic disciplines.
- To create an income stream (a percentage of each year’s investment income) from which to provide funding for student organizations.
The Club, with oversight from a faculty advisor, Professor Safer (Finance Professor), maintains a successful student-run investment portfolio that began with the $100,000 initial donation. As of January 2021, the portfolio has grown to $460,000, consistently outperforming the overall market and generating substantial returns over the last eight years. In order to ensure that quality stocks with beneficial risk-reward characteristics are purchased for the portfolio, investment club members perform in-depth research and analysis of a company's financial performance and then present it to the rest of the club. They look for mid-to-long term growth stocks with the expectation of a minimum one year holding period. Other financial considerations are based on the quality of the firm's financial statements, financial and operating leverage, growth in earnings, cash flows, dividends (if applicable) and analysts' assessments of the firm's future prospects. The Investment Club also seeks to diversify its portfolio to include all eleven economic sectors as defined by the Global Industrial Classification Standard (GICS), so special consideration is given to companies in industries the portfolio is not heavily invested in.
Additionally, the club looks at the practices of the company and considers whether or not it adheres to an ethical business model and is in alignment with biblical principles. The risk profile of the portfolio is managed by limiting the initial investment in any security to less than 10% of the total portfolio value. In addition to managing the portfolio, the Investment Club also focuses on a number of other ways to broaden member's understanding of investing, the financial markets and the global economy. This includes bringing in guest speakers and professionals from the field of finance, organizing trips to stockholders meetings and financial institutions, as well as educating the campus community through things like Personal Finance classes.
The club also organizes the campus-wide Investment Club game in the fall, in which members of the club receive $100,000 fake dollars in an online stock simulator and have the opportunity to attempt to grow that portfolio as much as possible over the academic year. At the end of the game the three people with the highest valued portfolios will be awarded monetary rewards.
Anyone interested in joining the investment club can contact Professor Safer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.