Students with the Black Hills State University Investment Club worked under guidance of the BHSU Foundation to invest $25,000 of Foundation funds in long-term stocks, bonds, and mutual funds this spring.
Each year, the Foundation will donate a portion of the investment profits to deserving Investment Club students in the form of scholarships. The remainder of the profits will remain with the Foundation.
Cayley Schmitt, a business administration – economics and finance major from Tea, said the Club continually presents their portfolio’s progress to the Foundation, whose mission is to provide private gift support for BHSU.
“We have crafted the portfolio to be a diversified, low-cost, long-term investment. We re-balance and update the portfolio on an ongoing basis,” said Schmitt.
Ron Meeker, a financial planner and member of the BHSU Foundation Board of Directors, said providing money for the students to invest with professional guidance helps the students learn about markets functionality.
“It’s exciting to see the students give investment reports and have success,” said Meeker. “They’re learning from the ups and downs of the market and the importance of long-term investment.”
Ty Hill, a business administration – entrepreneurial studies major from Hot Springs, said the students worked diligently to obtain all the right documentation for the club to start an account and invest funds. Meeker said the students follow the same guidelines and policies as the Foundation regarding how much risk to take and due diligence.
Hill believes many students share his same interest in gaining more knowledge in personal finance and avoiding financial mistakes.
“We want to gain more knowledge in ways we can all make, spend, and save our money in the best possible ways,” said Ty. “There are many teachers, faculty, and alumni around BHSU that are willing to help students. The Investment Club has done well because of the opportunities BHSU and the Foundation members have given us.”
In addition to investing with real funds, the Club meets with local financial advisers and presents their own research on investment strategies at weekly meetings. Schmitt said the Club has a group chat where they share market and portfolio updates and fun finance memes on a daily basis.
“I am excited to see what the Club can contribute to BHSU and the local community this year. We have ambitious goals for the upcoming semesters,” said Schmitt. “Most of all, we will focus on effectively managing our portfolio and learning about the strategies and uses of investing. Investments are an important part of being financially healthy, so we aim to encourage our peers to get involved.”