|WittInvest students, Zach Brumfield, Matt Wigton
and Ashley Manson, review the club's portfolio.
Founded in 2000 through a grant from the Jim and Vanita Oelschlager Foundation, WittInvest, as it is known today, has increased its returns by more than 50 percent in eight years while the S&P 500 declined more than 13 percent. Today, 20 students participate in WittInvest, and the club's assets now stand at $75,000.
How did they do it? The club manages a real stock portfolio that typically invests in large-cap stocks, which are more familiar to students. They can only select stocks that are listed on the NASDAQ or Dow Jones Industrial Average, and all investment decisions require a 2/3 majority vote.
The goal of the club—which is open to all students—is to make quality investments while teaching solid investment skills that students can use throughout the course of their lives. Though the club emphasizes learning over portfolio performance, they have produced positive returns which, in turn, have benefited Wittenberg academics and students: Every year, five percent of the portfolio is set aside to be invested in Wittenberg University. Over the years, those earnings have helped fund a new investment library for students, new conference tables and chairs in the Wittenberg Center for Applied Management (WittCAM), and a flat-panel television that displays market data.
"Our primary objective has always been to provide a good learning experience for students," said Lowell Stockstill, professor of management and WittInvest adviser. "The fact that they have now been recognized by a widely published service like TheStreet.com is exciting. The students were thrilled."
WittInvest hopes to build on its past success as it begins a new year. The club holds weekly meetings to discuss current holdings, scrutinize past choices and make suggestions based on research conducted by each member. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on Thursdays in Carnegie Hall. For more information, contact Stockstill by e-mail.
Written By: Gabrielle Antoniadis
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