If you are looking to get a glimpse into the world of finance and are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the complexity of the stock market, join the Student Managed Investment Fund. Better known as SMIF, the club allows students to gain hands-on financial experience while getting a feel to what a career in finance would be like following graduation.
With supervision from faculty and alumni, club members are responsible for managing $300,000 of Geneseo’s endowment fund and investing it in either individual stocks or equity funds. The goal for students who participate in the club is to learn how the stock market works, while intending to make a return on their investments.
The organization was founded in 2008 during the peak of the Great Recession, a critical time for the United States stock market. The club started off small in size but has grown immensely since its start. Currently, the club’s portfolio consists of 30 companies including Apple, Paychex and Under Armour.
Economics major senior James Anania is the president of SMIF and runs all meetings and decides what participants of the club do.
“Students break into sectors based on industries,” Anania said. “Sector leaders head these sectors supported by freshmen and sophomore financial analyst.”
The club researches companies in various sectors, finds one that makes sense, then makes their research project a presentation to pitch to the investment committee, according to Anania. The investment committee make the choices; if they decide they like the idea, then it is added to the portfolio.
The SMIF is open to students of all majors, but a steep learning curve exists due to it being based on complicated subject matter. An educational program was implemented last year, making the learning curve less burdensome. Older members teach new members critical information they should know, which allows them to succeed as a member.
A highlight of the club is an annual presentation that is held in front of the advisory council of the SMIF. The advisory committee consists of President Denise Battles, Dean of the School of Business Mary Ellen Zuckerman and various influential alumni. The presentation allows students to display SMIF’s performance for the given year, as well as where they invested the money delegated to them.
The SMIF hosts one professional development event annually. The event is led by the president and vice president of the club and is called “Introduction to Investing in the Stock Market.” The event has a great turnout every year as it teaches students the basics of the stock market, asset management and investing.
In the past couple of years, the club has invited guest speakers. The guests are often alumni who work in the investment field. The guests have not only presented and spoken at club meetings but have served as mentors to members of the club. Guests help members of the club do research on their assigned company while answering any questions they may have.
“My participation in SMIF is the cornerstone of my Geneseo experience, it is the highlight of my resume,” Anania said. “The SMIF looks good on a resume; it gives you a certain amount of accountability and responsibility and provides you with a lot of leadership skills. As students we are managing real money—the school money—there is a certain amount of due diligence that has to go into it.”