Stetson University Students Unveil New Indices: Investments in Amazon, cannabis top the list

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Stetson University’s Roland George Investments Program (RGIP) recently launched a new stock index “Cannabis” during the annual public trustee meeting.

Students in Stetson University's pioneering Roland George Investments Program manage a real portfolio made up of $3.5 million in stocks and bonds.

“The stocks in the Cannabis Index will benefit mainly from the forthcoming legalization of the remaining 23 [US] states which will generate more than 10-fold industry revenue for the medical use of cannabis,” said K.C. Ma, Ph.D.

Stetson University's Roland George Investments Program (RGIP) recently launched a new stock index “Cannabis” during the annual public trustee meeting which opened to a full house of students, faculty, and community members on March 20.

Five Stetson University RGIP seniors spent months researching, vetting, analyzing and, ultimately pitching, a total of 10 stocks to a board comprised of faculty and student trustees. The proposals included two indices titled “Chill” and “Cannabis,” each with three publicly traded stocks, as well as four single stocks that capitalized on e-commerce, fast casual food, automobiles and beauty products.

Stetson University student Michael Goldman pitched the idea that growth drivers indicate that the cannabis industry is poised to benefit from recent legislation.

“The cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing industries and when you acknowledge the medical value, shift in public sentiment and the fact that this field is in the early stage of a monopolistic industry, it is an obvious choice for an index,” said Michael Goldman during his presentation for the Cannabis Index.

He asked the board to invest $100,000 from the RGIP Growth Fund and with a vote of 6-2 they agreed.

“The stocks in the Cannabis Index will benefit mainly from the forthcoming legalization of the remaining 23 [US] states which will generate more than 10-fold industry revenue for the medical use of cannabis,” said K.C. Ma, Ph.D., C.F.A., director of Stetson's George Investments Institute and the Roland and Sarah George Chair of Applied Investments for RGIP.

Trustees also heard from Stetson University student Leonardo Valle, who began his pitch by discussing the largest e-commerce retailer: Amazon.

“Amazon has revolutionized the way we shop,” Valle explained.

He then discussed the key growth drivers of this stock including Amazon Web Services (AWS) which is the fastest growing segment of the company. Valle continued to make his case by pointing out the company’s plans to expand into India and their improvements on delivery systems via Prime Air.

He asked the board to invest $100,000 from the RGIP Growth Fund and with a vote of 6-2 the investment was approved.

“E-commerce is the inevitable future,” said Ma. “The stock is based on its exponential growth potential, as it is inevitable that future retail transactions will be mainly conducted via internet.”

The new indices join the Drones9, Virtual Reality 4 and the Cloud 4 indices successfully launched in previous years by RGIP students. The stocks in those indices have outperformed the market by 35 percent for the past five years, further solidifying the RGIP performance record.

“This is real-world investing,” said Ma. “RGIP students are able to jump start their money management experience in their senior year at Stetson, giving them experience equal to five years of hands-on work experience, and outpacing the competition in the job market.”

The Stetson University School of Business Administration RGIP is known for having one of the nation’s oldest and best market performances, and is directed entirely by Stetson University students. The pioneering program empowers top students majoring in finance and business to manage a real portfolio comprising $3.5 million in stocks and bonds. They use fundamental research tools and leading data services such as Bloomberg, Reuters, Morningstar and Baseline to find and defend investment recommendations to students and trustees of the investments committee.

Since 2001, based on the actual portfolio performances, RGIP students have won 16 championships and six second-place wins in the national R.I.S.E. (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) and G.A.M.E. (Global Asset Management Education) competitions.

Monday night's event was live-streamed by Stetson Broadcast Productions.

Personal investors who want information on these indices can contact Ma directly at kcma@stetson.edu or 386-822-7496.

Disclaimer: The Roland George Investments Program, or students affiliated with the program, are not Registered Investment Advisors. As a result, any information contained herein or presented at an RGIP event should not be construed as investment advice.   

About Stetson University
Founded in 1883, Stetson University is the oldest private university in Florida, providing a transforming education in the liberal arts tradition. Stetson stresses academic excellence and community-engaged learning, and consistently earns high marks in national rankings. Stetson encourages its students to go beyond success to significance in their lives, the lives of others and their communities. Stay connected with Stetson on social media.

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Marie Dinklage
Stetson University
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