Great Returns Come for Student Investment Club

McGraw School of Business club gives students “hands on” opportunities in financial markets.

Over the past few years the Student Investment Club at Olivet Nazarene University has grown in terms of student participation as well as the very positive performance of the club’s investments. 

In the spring of 2017, two donors gave an initial investment of $250,000 to the Mick McGraw School of Business for students to actively manage in the financial markets. Since then, the club has been given a total of $620,000. 

There is a two-pronged approach to the purpose of a student investment club – investment education and financial literacy. Students get a grounded understanding of the differences between stocks and bonds, but even more importantly, they learn about why investing is important. 

Professor Doug Nielsen '09/'12 MBA, who teaches courses in finance and business statistics, has given leadership to the club for five years as the faculty advisor. During weekly meetings, students pitch stocks to the group by providing an overview of funds and what current economic events or trends might have an impact on the performance. Club members have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the pitch and then vote on whether or not to change investments or the allocation to various types of securities. 

Jonah Posthumus, is the vice president of the club. As a senior pursuing a triple major in accounting, finance, and business administration, he has found the experience to be incredibly enlightening. 

“I have learned how to pick and value stocks that have potential to outperform the market through extensive research and a review performed by the various club members. I have also learned that time in the market is far more important than timing the market. In our portfolio, the goal is not to swing trade stocks to make a quick buck. Our goal is to find strong companies that are worth holding onto for the next 5-10 years.”

Emma Hayes, a junior with majors in actuarial science and accounting, has been involved in the club since her freshman year. Currently she serves as the secretary, working to inform members of relevant information as well as reporting to the school and people outside of the club.

“I have learned a good amount about how to evaluate whether a security is a good investment opportunity, how to present that information, and also how to build a portfolio. We were blessed with one of the longest bull markets in U.S history up until the coronavirus pandemic. This taught that the markets can take a turn at any time and that, as investors and stewards, we need to be ready.”

The principle investment in the club, is $757,000, meaning that in less than three years, strategic investments have yielded a positive return of $137,000. In addition to giving students real-time investment experience, this principle investment allows for the club to support student scholarships for the School of Business and to draw fees for club competitions. 

The club frequently hosts guest speakers to talk about their professional experiences in the market. Recent Olivet graduates who return to share about their careers often mention that they have been able to apply concepts they learned through the Student Investment Club to their real-world jobs. 
While Jonah has appreciated his participation in the club as positive for his professional growth, he is quick to stress that the club is open to everyone who is interested in financial markets, not just business majors.

“Everyone at some point in their life will set aside money for the future. Whether that be for retirement or a vacation home, that money is better put in the market than sitting in a shoe box in your closet. Taking part in Investment Club today can help provide insight into exactly how that works. Financial security is great foundation to build your life on. I can't think of a better place to start than among friends while still in college with your whole professional career ahead of you.”

For more information about the McGraw School of Business, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Published: 10/29/2020
LB