At no time in recent history has prudent investing been more important. A group of students in the College of Business Administration will try their hand at the process using real money—thanks to generous donors—and under the guidance of an eleven-person advisory board composed of members of the business community.
“The board will ask tough questions of the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) members and will decide which investments should be made,” said Helen Simon, director, Capital Markets Lab (CML), who also will have a say in the purchases.
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At the end of each year, half the profits will revert to the fund and half will go toward the support of the CML on whose resources—including staff members and financial software—the students rely for their research.
SMIF represents the hard work and dedication of many. As president of the Financial Management Association (FMA), junior finance major Jonathan Nejad approached Joyce J. Elam, executive dean, with the idea, which she enthusiastically endorsed and for which she secured the funding. Faculty members, primarily from the Department of Finance and Real Estate, formed an initial advisory board to shape the policies that govern the group’s activities.
Investment Club provides boot camp training.
Members of the Investment Club—a training ground for SMIF participation—sharpen their abilities by completing weekly analytical reports and presenting them to a four-person student board.
“We see who has committed the most time to the tasks and discern how much they’ve absorbed,” said Investment Club board member and SMIF president Nejad. “Investment Club members learn to apply concepts to real-life scenarios, and demonstrate that they’re showing initiative and can take an analyst’s point of view—all important achievements whether we ultimately invite them to join SMIF or not.”
SMIF offers members additional benefits.
In the Capital Markets Lab, where their research takes place, representatives of the Student Managed Investment Fund explained to current and potential supporters how they will go about preparing to invest.
According to Nejad, “Participation in SMIF shows leadership and dedication, which is good for prospective employers to see. Also, presenting to business practitioners and academics requires us to understand the concepts and polish our presentations.”
Official launch brings current and potential stakeholders together.
On February 18, 2009, the formal launch of SMIF took place in the business complex courtyard. Senior finance major, CML intern, and Investment Club member Frances Robles was in charge of the student volunteers for the event during which SMIF members presented how the fund will work.
The evening also provided a chance to recognize the advisors, introduce the concept to members of the Florida International University and business communities, and expand the CML’s pool of potential sponsors and board members.
Support opportunities continue to exist.
Although the fund has the money it needs, the CML continues to seek donations to enable it to support student efforts. For more information, contact Simon at 305.348.1552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.