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Endowment investment group grows

By Kevin Hong

Wall Street has come to Grinnell.

Before this year, the Student Endowment Investment Group (SEIG) had to pick a promising stock, and hold on to it for at least a year. Now, they can buy and sell stocks like Gordon Gekko.

“We can buy a stock on Monday morning and sell it on Monday afternoon and make a profit,” said Nate Hoch ’11, one of the current leaders of the group.

Nate Hoch ’11 updates the rest of the Student Endowment Investment Group on the most recent stock prices on Monday night, initiating a conversation as to whether or not to keep a stock that has taken a large hit over the past week. Photo taken by Aaron Barker.

It’s a large shift that allows the group more freedom to invest and gain profit, according to Hoch. “We are not bound by that one-year time restriction anymore, which really helped us. We made $20,000 since the beginning of the last fall semester.”

“[The profit] is a big story,” said Greg Fox ’12, another organizer of the group. We had a lot of run-ups in the last few years and we’ve been doing it really well. Four years ago the fund was $77,000 but now it is $120,000,”

At the creation of the group in November 2000, the board of trustees granted Student Endowment Investment Group $100,000 dollars to manage in the stock market. Four years ago,there were only three people in the group. Since then, the group has grown to 25 people, ranging from first-years to fourth-years.

This group, as Hoch pointed out, is mostly an educational experience.

“It’s basically me taking what I learned from professional companies and trying to teach new members,” he said. “The freshmen, hopefully, when they get their internships, they can turn around and teach the incoming members.”

Hoch said that most of the people in SEIG are pursuing investment related careers, and that they take part in the group to get actual experience, while other people just want to glean some personal finance advice.

“We tell people what they are going to be doing if they choose this kind of profession. You will be looking at much more than just throwing it in and just wait for a year and see what happens,” he said. “We are constantly reviewing what we have, always looking at what we hold and re-evaluate everything on a weekly basis.”

The group serves a harsh lesson about the market that the typical economics class doesn’t cover.
“My experience here has been very educated but intense,” said Francisco Reveriano ’13. “Before, you just see the market as one simple piece, but with this club, you see it is very complex. There are many different parts, and you understand what is necessary in order to succeed in this career.”
Even though Fox and Hoch organize educational lectures and decide meeting times, the entire group makes the final decisions.

They are also developing a website, which is currently under construction, and it will be on the Department of Economics page of Grinnell College website.

Right now the group has two companies that have doubled value in the last year, which is no small achievement.

“If you look at the last couple of years, the recession, we’ve been really, really outperforming the market,” Hoch said.

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    Nate HochMar 8, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    If you are interested in joining SEIG email us at [invest].