Financial Services club starts investment fund
The Financial Services club has long-term aspirations to form an endowment for the college, which could provide another source of housing or tuition scholarships. The formation of the investment fund aligns with the group’s entrepreneurial spirit and desire to counter finance’s negative image.
The club will conduct trades through E-Trade, an online brokerage firm. It hopes to invest primarily in equities, but are also considering mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds, which all trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Last year club members simulated trading and investments on Updown and Investipedia.
Investing money that belongs to other people treads on “tricky legal ground,” Trevor Baier ('14) said. As a group committed to integrity, they decided to deal with their own money initially, which is riskier but also has more potential for higher returns.
The group comprises Baier, Peter Flemming (’14), AJ Aran (’14), Caleb Ely (’14), Nick Willeke (’15), Grant Olson (’14), Charlie Durham (’14), John Lile (’15), Sterling Clay (’14) and Matt Sanchez (’15). They plan to pilot the fund for about six months before opening it to the public in order to establish a track record and work out legal ramifications.
The Financial Services club conducted a poll on the student body Facebook group to determine how to price shares if it opened the fund to King’s students. The majority of respondents reported that they’d be willing to invest $50-$100.
Other King’s students are “apprehensive” about joining the fund, preferring to invest independently or wishing to know more specifics about how the Financial Services club will make investments. Caroline Schuemann (’14) said, “It would be a cool experiment,” but that she’d invest $10 maximum.
For students interested in learning more about the workings of business and finance, the Financial Services club gathers on Thursdays at 12:15 pm in classroom 516, where members are currently leading an “Understanding Wall Street” series. The club also meets Wednesdays at noon in classroom 627 for members only.
“Some people play video games in their free time. Some people play Ultimate Frisbee,” Baier said. “We study finance.”