The Amherst College Investment Club is a vital resource for students who are passionate about investing in the stock market, and for alumni who wish to connect with them. Managing a fund of $50,000 in the name of Amherst College, members of the Investment Club gain the special knowledge and skills that come from hands-on experience. We make strategic and value oriented investments, utilizing the club’s longer investment horizon. The Investment Club enables students to feed their intellectual curiosity about today’s economics, to learn from their peers, and to practice their love of investing. It provides excellent job preparation, and keeps students connected with the business world while they attain the best liberal arts education in the country.
We engage in a wide array of activities. At the start of each weekly meeting, students present a one page update that contains market, investment, and economic news from the past week, using sources like the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, and The Economist. In teams, students research a stock—a thorough process that often takes several weeks, and involves investigating the SEC filings, Morningstar proprietary research, and accounting statements. If they find the stock appealing, then they present it to the Club for purchase, and as on Wall Street, have to make a persuasive case. Our members are natural skeptics. After a Q&A session, during which the presenting team may be ordered to find additional data about the stock, and a final debate, students vote on whether to purchase the stock. It is a meticulous, professional process.
In the Spring of 2009 the Club proudly released the newest edition of its 73 page investing tutorial, which was written by its own members drawing on over a dozen investment books. All students must read this tutorial and then take an exam to ensure they are sufficiently competent to have voting rights. For fun, the Club sponsors an investing game in which individual members compete against each other. Students also have a summer reading list, that they complete all while being athletes, non-profit interns, writers, and other things from the diverse spectrum of Amherst College, always a cradle for polymaths.
The Club’s activities are fueled by its members’ extraordinary character. Numerous students run their own investment portfolio—a few have done so since high school. Some of them sell short, buy on margin, and trade options and other advanced investment vehicles. For models they follow the great investors: Benjamin Graham, Phillip Fisher, Peter Lynch, Warren Buffet.
All this stokes the embers of potential. Many students from the Amherst College Investment Club now work for the best firms in finance and consulting. It is easy to see why. An interest pursued in one’s free time, without grades or quick reward, is a genuine interest, is a passion. And passions are always performed best.
We have attended networking trips with alumni at Fidelity and Harvard Business School, but would like to incorporate more alumni support and experiential insight. The Amherst College Investment Club is an excellent resource to connect with some of the brightest, most business-oriented and self-starting students of Amherst College, whether for internships or jobs, whether to donate to the fund, or to be a guest speaker and share insights with students from your alma mater. As students, we would enjoy having you involved as much as possible. For your participation shall be precious to all the Investment Club’s students who are involved now, and who will be in the future.
Thank you for your time.
The Amherst College Investment Club