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Catawba student investment fund hits pay dirt

Catawba College

SALISBURY — Catawba College’s Student Managed Investment Fund hosted a stock market competition and recently announced its two winners. The organization wanted to host the competition to discuss positive trading practices and to give students a practical experience of how to invest their resources.

A total of 27 students participated and were given $500,000 simulation dollars to invest and trade from October 2017 to March 2018  in a competitive format. Tens of thousands of dollars were gained and lost by traders in the name of learning the ropes of the stock market.

Some students had previously taken finance courses, but others had not. To balance the field, all participants had the opportunity to come to SMIF meetings. There, they could receive tips, tricks, and friendly advice on how to handle problems like volatility, reserves, or even how to work the website. It was truly an enriching experience that SMIF hopes to continue next year.

SMIF club president, Amanda Fuller, and SMIF event coordinator, Andrew Romano, interviewed the winners to discuss their tactics and strategies utilized during the competition. Some information they gleaned about these competitors follows:

Griffin Morgan — First place

Griffin Morgan is a senior, majoring in computer science with a minor in mathematics and information systems. He took practical finance during his freshmen year, but had not taken a finance course since then.

“Go Big or Go Home” was the strategy that Griffin said he used throughout the competition period. He started the competition by investing most of his money, with only $10 in reserves. He stayed mostly in the technology industry, investing in companies such as Tesla and Amazon. Amazon was his big money market winner.

Before investing, Griffin would look at the pipeline of each company to see what that business had coming up in the market. This type of strategy let him gauge which companies’ earning per shares were to increase or decrease, which allowed him to decide which company had the best return for his “money.”

Prior to the stock market competition, Griffin had no experience with the stock market. He shares that there was an addiction factor to the competition which had him checking at least 10 times a day on how well his money was doing in the stocks he invested.

“If I had something like this earlier, I would have invested my own money sooner and could have possibly saved money before getting out of college,” he said.

Griffin said with the experience he gained during the SMIF stock market competition, he now feels ready to invest money in the real stock market.

Ethan Chirico – Second place

Ethan Chirico is a senior, with an individualized major in international affairs and economics and a minor in history. He took practical finance, managerial and capital markets prior to the stock market competition. His strategy for the SMIF stock market competition was to look at the industry itself — not the product line, the industries held or the management of the company.

He started out the competition by investing all his money in the market. He looked at the stock history of each industry and company he invested in, concluding that the bigger companies are likely to nudge up and down consistently.

“The market might not always be super profitable, but it will always be there,” he said.

Therefore, he invested in the larger companies that had a greater hold. Ethan played long, and did not sell hardly any of the stocks he initially invested in.

Ethan claims he played the competition like it was his savings account. He invested his money into certain stocks, then left it there and did not touch it, checking it at least once a week. Like Griffin, Ethan says he looks forward to investing his own money into the market, crediting SMIF’s stock market competition for the preparation and confidence he gained.

For more information about the Student Managed Investment Fund, please contact the faculty advisors, Dr. Eric Hake or Dr. Mahsa Khoshnoud.

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