Investment Club at CU Achieves Impressive Return
Athens, W.Va. – Students in Concord University’s Investment Club are gaining invaluable experience in money-handling. They recently prepared a year-end report for their achievements in stock investments throughout 2006, and according to John Fazio, faculty advisor to the club, the results were phenomenal.
“The students received a return of 30.53 percent and outperformed the majority of professional money managers,” Fazio said. In their portfolio report, student members of the club wrote that their return “is better than most of the portfolio mangers of Wall Street. The Standard & Poor’s 500, the most commonly used gauge for professional money managers, returned 15.8 percent in 2006.”
Mayank Jain, president of the Investment Club, reported in a recent meeting that the club began the year 2006 with $4,100 and ended with $5,400. Just before January 2007, they invested another $500. The stocks purchased by the club include Microsoft, Toyota Motors, Sony, and Genentech Inc., among others.
Jain, a native of Kolkanta, India, stressed the importance of having a global view of business and investing. “We need to start looking at investing in companies around the world, such as in London, India, and Brazil,” he said. Jain’s advice came from the club’s experience this past year, as they invested in a Brazilian mining and metal company, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, and gained the second highest return from this business out of all six business in which they invested. Jain said that in the year 2007, they hope to expand their investments to more than seven companies.
Jain said he thinks the main factors in the club’s success are the positive thinking of the students and the in-depth research that members conduct before investing. “The members research the stocks completely before buying them,” said Jain, “and we go for the best stocks and the most successful companies. Choosing the right stocks is the main thing.” Jain also mentioned that the members perform “technical periodical analysis,” in which they analyze stocks for trends in fluctuation and then buy them when the charts are low, because a downward fluctuation is usually a sign that the stock is about to rise again.
Bryan Gibbs, vice president of the Investment Club, said that he agrees with Jain about the club’s reasons for success in the large return. He said that club members must perform a certain amount of research and a general analysis of the company before buying the stocks. “As much as I hate to say it, I think there is always a little bit of luck involved too,” Gibbs added, “but by carefully researching companies and getting input from all members, I think the club was able to look at companies from many different perspectives, which aided in our investing decisions.”
The Investment Club, which has been in existence for only a year, already has a fairly large and growing membership with approximately 20 students and faculty members, including the Division of Business at Concord. Although the club has two faculty members serving as advisors, Mr. John Fazio and Dr. Muhammad Islam, the club is totally student-run. The advisors are available to give suggestions and advice to students, but their role is mainly a passive one.
Fazio reported that the students achieved such an exceptional return because they focused on companies that have historically been at the top of their industries and companies that have excellent reputations. Students in the club identified a select few of such companies with the most attractive stock prices.
Members in the club are not required to make investments, but if they do, the investments must be in increments of at least $100. All student members receive one hour of class credit. The students in the club come from all backgrounds and majors – from traditional majors like business and marketing to other majors such as English and biology, but all are interested in learning more about stocks and investments. As the Investment Club’s Constitution asserts in its purpose statement, the club exists to teach students “the fundamentals of stock market investing and to provide the opportunity to gain real work experience in applying these principles.”
PHOTO: Students in the Investment Club at Concord include the following: Bradley Ryan, Oak Hill; Kevin Smith, Matewan; Daniel Adongo, Kisumu, Kenya; Mayank Jain, Kolkanta, India; Amanda Williams, Prosperity; Heather Hawkins, White Sulphur Springs; Bryan Gibbs, Princeton; Wannis Bowen, White Sulphur Springs; and Thayne Carper, Spencer.
Corrie McKee, a junior majoring in English and journalism, wrote this news release. Her hometown is Nitro.