Learning to invest money properly is an investment in the future, and California Baptist University offers an introduction to the world of finance through the CBU Investment Club.
Mason Steele, sophomore finance major and president of the CBU Investment Club, explained the purpose of the club.
“The Investment Club here at CBU is really a place of learning,” Steele said. “Our objective is for anyone who attends our meeting to leave with applicable knowledge that they can actually use in the real world. Investing is a skill, just like a sport, that requires determination and a willingness to learn, but anyone can become proficient at it if they have those two traits.”
Dr. Adele Harrison, professor of finance and the adviser for the CBU Investment Club, discussed the founding of the club.
“The club was started over 10 years ago with the goal to give all students access to understand what investing is all about, so they gain (a higher) comfort level and will be willing to (invest) and understand more,” Harrison said.
The investment club closed for a while, but was started up again in 2015.
“When I got here in 2015, one of the students who had been a freshman probably when it stopped came back and said, ‘Hey, can we start up again?’” Harrison said. “So it has been going since the fall 2015, and our main objectives are to spend the fall semester getting students comfortable with terminology and concepts around investing. Then, in the spring, we usually focus on having a portfolio competition where they actually create. It’s fake money, but they get to practice trading without losing their real money.”
One of the biggest activities the Investment Club does is their portfolio competition.
“The portfolio competition is something my predecessor started,” Steele said. “(The portfolio competition is) creating a paper trading group in which the club members can create their own portfolio and act as if they are participating in the market.”
Steele said because they are not using real money in this, it is an excellent way to learn about the stock market and understand what it is like to participate in this without the risk of losing their money when they are learning.
Steele said he enjoys the meetings the most, during which he gets to meet new people and introduce them to the world of investing.
“The meetings are my favorite part,” Steele said. “I get to see and meet all the new people who attend and are just like me, love investing and want to learn more about it. We have free pizza at 5:30 and then I lead a discussion and lecture on the topic for that day. Usually, I’ll incorporate a game for a few minutes as well.”
Zachary Nelson, senior finance major and secretary of the CBU Investment Club, described the kind of games they play at their meetings that demonstrate the process of investing.
“We did a game that shows how different things that go on in the world impact prices of stocks and bonds and cash,” Nelson said. “Like, if there’s a big flood, how would that affect the US stock market?”
Harrison went into more detail about the game.
“One of the games we play is we give them X amount of money and — we make it simple, obviously — they begin with cash, bonds or stocks,” Harrison said. “After you’ve described what bonds and stocks are, then they put their money in. Then we came up with world events that could happen, some serious, but mostly silly. Then we have this spinning wheel that chooses, maybe, positive for stocks or negative for bonds, then people see how their portfolio could react based on what’s going on in the world.”
Steele said he encourages students to join the club if they want to learn about investing.
“My advice to anyone who wants to learn is to come to the club,” Steele said. “Investing is a practice that is extremely difficult to master and gaining a strong foundation is the best way to start, which is what we provide.”
The CBU Investment Club meets twice a month, every first and third Tuesday of the month in Room 103 of the
Business Building from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Investing is an important life skill that anyone could use, and every student is invited and encouraged to join the CBU Investment Club at any of its biweekly meetings. The CBU Investment leadership say are always open to more students joining their meetings.