To start, what is your name and position with the Investment Club student group?
Gabriel Ambutong: My name is Gabriel Ambutong, and I am the president.
Alem Tesfay: My name is Alem Pessay, and I am the vice president.
Jesyka Chorney: My name is Jesyka Chorney, and I’m the secretary of administration.
Are you the original founders, or was this group established before you?
GA: It was established last year. It is a very young group, but we are not the actual founders. We were just appointed this year.
What was the purpose behind starting the investment student group?
AT: I think the idea was just to have a group where people could network and learn about personal finance.
GA: For me, it is just the idea that at a young age, a lot of people aren’t financially literate. It’s not something you’re taught in school.
JC: The Investment Club was created to ensure all students were fluent in financial literacy and capable of managing their personal finances to achieve financial freedom.
What kind of events does the group hold for its members?
GA: The networking conference was one that we did last year. It was also a fundraising event to try to plan for trips, which is something that happened last year because it is a new club, so it is hard to get financing. But we are looking into ways to try to fundraise for this semester and next semester, and by the time the pandemic is a lot less inhibiting we will be able to find places we can go to with great learning opportunities.
JC: In the group, we dive heavily into the stock market and how to analyze different stocks and what to look for, so that members can read patterns and graphs and invest on their own. Last year, we had the 2020 networking conference with the keynote speaker Tim Pinkoski. He was the director of Richardson GMP.
Considering the restrictions we have this year, what are you hoping to do in the group?
JC: If classes were to resume and everything went back to a semi-normal, I’m sure we would go back to organizing some type of event, and we could have a speaker from an investment firm come in and give a presentation to everyone. Right now, we are just holding our group meetings through Google Meet all online. We are hoping to do some collaborations with some other student groups related to finance, and we are looking to have some presenters who have experience in investment and are in our age group.
Is this group specific to students in the finance study area, or is it open to all students?
AT: It’s open to all students. I think the skills you take away from the Investment Club can be applied to anyone.
GA: I definitely agree, it is open to anyone. It’s about learning how to be better at spending your money and saving and knowing where your money is going.
JC: The original founder wanted it open to anyone and wanted to see students from all programs join because it is not just for business students. Anyone can apply what they learn here.
What is one thing that you really want potential members to know about joining the group?
JC: I think it is never too late to start investing, and I think everyone should know that even if your investing $10 every week or every month, that’s still going to make a difference in the long run, and you don’t need to start with $5,000 you can start with five dollars or $10 and that can add up.
AT: It doesn’t matter what knowledge you go into it with. There is always something you can take away from it. We focus on everyone being at almost the same level in terms of basic knowledge, and then we all learn and go from there.
GA: I would say that personally for me, although it might seem daunting at first, just putting yourself out there. Not being hesitant and learning something new is never a bad thing.
Edited for length and clarity.