Hatching Viking Investment Partners

Richard Jove, Op-Ed Writer

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I was first introduced to basic investments at the age of six when my father opened an account for me on an online trading site. Since the beginning the idea that money, invested wisely, could generate more money was exciting. Though, since then I have learned that investing can be risky if one does not know the fundamentals of the financial markets. Obviously, there is more to making financial investments than the age-old adage ‘buy low sell high’. My passion for investing manifested itself last year when I founded the Investment Club at King with the goal of sharing my passion for investing and with the hope of improving financial literacy among our students. What I did not realize at the beginning of this journey was that so many other King students shared a similar passion for this topic.

Last year, our first meetings consisted of short lectures from the AP Economics teacher, Peter Smith. Together we outlined topics that we thought were essential for the club members to understand in an effort to make more prudent investments. For example, Mr. Smith focused on discussing the different types of securities such as: stocks, ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds. In addition, he broke down some investment terms such as the price to earnings ratio, earnings per share ratio, revenue, and the return on assets. We felt that after these introductory lessons, our members were much better prepared for operating the online investment simulator that we utilized. Our goal was to teach club members how to effectively pinpoint companies that should be strong buys because of their price or growth potential. Finally at the end of the year, we used all of our acquired knowledge to compete in an investment trade floor simulation where one King team placed third in the whole competition.

So far this year has been a year of growth and planning of topics to discuss at our meetings. With the continued support from my faculty advisor Mr. Smith and my Vice President JD Hock, the club has steadily grown to over 40 members. We have worked together to restructure our approach since last year. We now operate the club as an investment board and have renamed it “Viking Investment Partners.” We treat our members as ‘board members’ and ask that for each club meeting, two members create quick presentations for the securities that they want our group to invest in. After the presentations and a Q & A session, the board votes on whether to invest in the company or not. JD and I wanted to challenge our members’ analytical skills and prove to them that a quick Google search is not satisfactory when making financial decisions. In addition to this approach, we have been working closely with Ben Hoke, King’s Director of Institutional Advancement, to create a speaker series that consists of King parents and alumni that work in the investment field. We have scheduled meetings with 12 different professionals, some at King and others at a specific trade floor in New York City. These individuals will describe what they do and why they do it. My goal in bringing these speakers to King is to show that the investment field is not two-dimensional; there are a myriad of financial professions that fit into the category I have described above.

I look forward to an exciting year of pursuing knowledge about the financial world. If anybody has any recommendations about things that they think would benefit the Investment club please comment below or come talk to me!

 

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