The Shippensburg University Investment Club hit a record return of 26 percent last year and has grown their investment to more than $20,000.
The return was the highest the club has ever seen and means that they received 26 percent of their original investment. Club Vice President Jose Polanco said the return was so high because of the bull market in 2017. The club made good stock selections and beat the Standard & Poor’s 500.
The club beat its benchmark, which is what any portfolio manager aims to do in order to see how well he or she is doing. The S&P 500 is what people often compete against. The investment club beat the S&P 500 benchmark by almost 10 percent, which means members did well and selected good securities, according to club President Andrew Crum.
The investment club is student-run and helps students understand the stock market, and leads discussions on what is happening in the economy and how that will affect certain indicators with sectors and industries in the stock market. The club has its own portfolio with real money that members use to make investments, according to Crum.
“Students do presentations and we vote. If [the] majority votes ‘yes’ then we pass it and we go ahead and buy the selected company,” Polanco said.
The money comes from the Shippensburg University Foundation, and is a donation that has grown over time. The original investment was $2,000 and has now grown to about $20,000, according to Crum.
The club is helpful for finance students because it also allows them to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. The Investment Management Program (IMP) is a class that selects 15 top seniors to manage a portfolio of nearly $200,000. Polanco and Crum were both in the investment club and are now in the IMP and said the investment club is a gateway into the program.
“The biggest goal for the investment club, especially now that the IMP class is starting to become more competitive, is to get these students to understand how to manage the money at a younger freshman or sophomore level so then by junior year they are able to go to the IMP class and run the endowment fund for the college of business,” Crum said.
The endowment fund from the class helps give scholarships for students. It starts off as donations and the goal is to create scholarships from the investments, according to Crum.
The club places donations into a portfolio as a school-run scholarship program. People such as alumni donate toward the fund and students run it. They give about $1,250 to four students in need every semester. Although it may not seem like much, Polanco and Crum agreed that the scholarship made the class matter even more.
“I would say the most important part of the class is the fact that we provide scholarships from the money that we make in the stock market to finance students that are in need, which is a great benefit to have,” Polanco said.
Students with all different majors from the college of business are currently in the club, but they are interested in growing the diversity of students.
“I think it’s really a good opportunity for people to understand how to manage money,” Crum said. “The biggest thing too [that] we found is a lot of people that have kind of diverse backgrounds and understand things, not just the finance side of it, really help, too.”
The club meets every Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the stock room on the second floor of Grove Hall.