Business School Sophomores to Invest 100k as Part of Class Curriculum

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The students, who are all partaking in the Student Managed Investment Fund Class, will have to research 12 different industries, from finance to energy to healthcare – to find the best investment choices for this experiential learning fund that has been set-up by the College.

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This real life experience and responsibility is a way for us to give our students a leg up.

Among the many things 20 Mercy College sophomores will do this semester, they can now add investing 100k to their list. The students, who are all partaking in the Student Managed Investment Fund Class, will have to research 12 different industries, from finance to energy to healthcare – to find the best investment choices for this experiential learning fund that has been set-up by the College.

School of Business Dean Dr. Ed Weis said the project helps each student develop the professional temperament needed to be a successful investor. “This real life experience and responsibility is a way for us to give our students a leg up. The discipline to deal with the short-term anxiety and excitement of investing only comes when you are dealing with real money,” said Weis. While the students won’t actually be buying or selling stocks directly, they will be making recommendations to an advisory council comprised of faculty, staff and investing professionals, who will make the final decisions. The trades will then be executed by the College’s CFO.

In order to promote a long-term approach, Weis said students will not fail or pass the class based on short-term stock performance, but instead they will be graded on the quality of their research. Money that is earned above a standard benchmark will be used to fund scholarships for future business students. Each successive class that inherits the fund will either have the full 100k to invest or a lower amount if there were losses in a previous class. The 20 Mercy sophomores are banking on starting strong and possibly being able to help provide scholarship dollars to some deserving students.

Student John Flickinger ’18 said: “This learning experience sets us apart from other individuals by creating an atmosphere of real world application. The course is one of the most applicable to our careers.”

Student Michael Kaladjian ’18 said: “The class is one of the most incredible classes I have ever taken. It is an amazing opportunity we have been given to not only be able to learn about finance, but apply our learning to the real world immediately. This combination of firsthand knowledge and real world application is unlike any other college course and it is a truly unique experience that we are lucky to have.”

The class is being taught by Adjunct Brett Harriss. Harriss, who is an analyst at Gabelli and Company in Rye, New York by day, said: “This class was designed to use a hands-on and project-based approach to teach investing. We challenge students to apply academic investment theory in order to make real-world recommendations to a group of professional money managers. We expect the class to develop both a basic understanding of asset management as well as the professionalism required to excel in today’s highly competitive financial services industry.”

Vice President and Chief Financial and Planning Officer Donald Aungst said: “I am pleased that Mercy is able to give our students the real world investment experience while putting in place the appropriate safeguards you would find in a typical investment process.”

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Catherine Cioffi
Mercy College
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