Mississippi College

Investment Club Builds Real World Experiences for MC Business Students

January 23, 2013

Mississippi College business students in the university’s Investment Club will soon gain valuable experiences managing money in a real portfolio.

Organizers say they seek to equip the students with the tools and resources that will make them more confident as they reach important investment decisions amid a tough USA economy.

Helping oversee a university endowment of $61.1 million, the MC Foundation recently gave permission for the student club to invest $100,000 starting in 2013. Until then, the students tackled stock market simulations, but wanted to get their hands on real dollars.

“I have been told by other professors that having real money to invest makes all the difference in the process for students,” said MC business professor Nancy Anderson, the club’s advisor.

 “They will learn how to spot good investments,” added Anderson, a Clinton resident and small business owner. “They will learn about investment performance and stock market fluctuations. I’m sure they will experience a few hard knocks along the way.”

School of Business Dean Marcelo Eduardo, Anderson, and MC student Brandon Cervenka, the club’s first president, did their homework before the organization got off the ground.

Across USA campuses, there are more than 200 student-managed funds. Some are multi-million dollar accounts such as the University of Dayton’s $14 million fund and the $5.7 million fund at Michigan State University.

Most are in the range of $100,000 to $300,000. Other schools in the South with students managing investment funds from endowments include the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Southern Methodist University, Baylor, William & Mary, the University of Georgia, Centenary College of Louisiana and Henderson State of Arkansas.

The University of Dayton sponsors an annual competition that recognizes the best performing funds. Winning funds’ returns are typically between 9 percent and 21 percent, reports say.

Now that the cash is in hand for the MC investment club, students go to work.

Students will begin meetings the week of January 22, and choose investments for the account. There will be an advisory council of business professors and financial professionals overseeing the process every step of the way.

Anderson expressed her appreciation to Dean Eduardo, President Lee Royce and Foundation Board members for “believing in our students. This experience will greatly add to their education in the field of investments.”

With the School of Business in Self Hall home to a bright group of students, “I am expecting them to knock the socks off the professionals” says Anderson, a weekly guest on the “Money Talks” radio program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

MC business administration major William Bettis of Ridgeland, the club’s president, says the organization has strengthened his understanding of the business world.

“I have realized that nearly everything we do is an investment, with good investments producing good returns and bad investments doing the opposite – something essential for all majors,” Bettis said. “As an investment club, it has always been our goal to manage a real portfolio. Getting an opportunity to do so is absolutely a dream come true.”

After being taught by a superb group of business professors, the MC junior says, “this is a chance to put preparation and philosophies into practice.”

For additional details, contact professor Nancy Anderson at 601.925.7094 or nanderso@mc.edu.

Photo: Nancy Anderson

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