By Amanda Richey, Editor-In-Chief
Unlike most clubs seeking official SGA recognition, the Investment Club had years of experience to highlight in their meeting with the council, almost 30 to be exact. The Furman University Investment Club gained SGA approval by a unanimous vote Monday Sept. 12.
The club has been an unofficial resource for students interested in finance since the 1980s.
In 1988 the board of trustees set aside $100,000 from the university endowment for students to gain hands-on experience investing in stocks and managing a portfolio. It has since grown to around $480,000, according to current president Miles Lerner, ‘17. The Investment Club formed around the same time when the money was set aside for students.
“That’s about one-tenth of one percent of the entire endowment,” said Kris Kapoor, Furman’s CFA Chief Investment Officer. Kapoor co-advises the Investment Club with peer Rob Kenney in addition to managing Furman’s entire endowment currently estimated at just over $600 million.
The club’s primary goal is to teach interested students about investment through lessons and guest speakers, as well as more hands-on activities like managing a portfolio of stocks with the endowed fund and playing a trading simulation game called StockTrak. Students can also pitch stock proposals to change what stocks are purchased in the portfolio.
Kapoor, who has advised the club for eight years, says the focus of the club changes annually as the student leadership changes. Some years the club has been more intellectual where students discuss the economy, in other years it has been more hands-on as students change their portfolio, Kapoor said.
“The direction I’m trying to take is to try to make it more educational and more interactive,” Lerner said. “That’s why we started to do the trading simulation game, maybe a few more lessons, a few more debates about companies and discussions.”
The biggest change to come from the SGA approval will be to increase visibility on campus. Now the club is guaranteed a booth at the Student Activities Fair at the beginning of the year. Lerner also hopes to take advantage of OrgSync to connect with students who are not aware of the club.
So far this year the Investment Club has had the highest average turnout in Lerner’s memory. Jackson Buonamia, a senior economics major who has been a member for over three years, agrees.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Buonamia said about the SGA approval. “As far as getting recognition. The club has grown from four members to 25 or 30 consistent members. Anything we can do to get more recognition, more kids involved, is always good.”
The club meets every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Finance and Business Analytics Lab and all students are welcome to attend regardless of major.