SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - Even though the stock market can rival the scariest roller coasters, the members of Wittenberg University's Oak Associates Investment Club have managed the dips, twists and turns with skill and grace so that future students can benefit from their keen investment strategies. Each year Wittenberg's Investment Club sets aside 5 percent of its portfolio value to use for educational purposes to make Wittenberg a better place to learn and grow.
Using part of those portfolio earnings, the club has purchased a new conference table, six chairs and a presentation display board for departmental use in the Wittenberg Center for Applied Management (WittCAM). The additions now provide the students with a relaxing place to work on projects and a professional setting to meet with clients. In the future, the club would like to send a group of students to investment competitions and seminars.
"The Investment Club grant has been a win-win opportunity because the student members learn investing using real money, and the management department receives equipment for future student projects," said Lowell Stockstill, Wittenberg professor of management and Investment Club adviser.
Wittenberg's Oak Associates Investment Club was founded in January 2000 after the university received a $50,000 grant from the Jim and Vanita Oelschlager Foundation. Jim Oelschlager, who owns Akron-based Oak Associates, began giving such grants to colleges and universities in 1996. Schools receiving grants enter an annual investing competition with one another. Portfolio performances are evaluated at the end of each year, and the top five finishers receive cash prizes.
Clubs are not allowed to hold mutual funds, and faculty members may not participate in the selection of stocks. Those guidelines, set by Oak Associates, allow students to make all investment decisions and allow professors to teach valuable investing lessons. In addition, 5 percent of the original fund, about $2,500, will be used by Wittenberg to promote investment education, according to Stockstill.
During the weekly hour-long meetings, the club members discuss current holdings and make suggestions based upon the research findings compiled once each member shares what he or she has learned after investigating two stocks per week.
Members of Wittenberg's Oak Associates Investment Club team include seniors Sarah Bragdon of Fishers, Ind., Jimmy Johnson of South Charleston, Ohio, and Matt Pullar of Rocky River, Ohio; sophomores Stephen Muller of Brunswick, Ohio, and Ashley Palker of Medina, Ohio; and freshmen Jonathan Stewart of Vincennes, Ind., and Joseph Diani of Mattawan, Mich.
The club meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday evenings in the WittCAM offices located inside Carnegie Hall and is open to any Wittenberg student with an interest in finance or investments, regardless of major. For more information, call (937) 327-7908 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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