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Student-Managed Investment Fund Gives $1,869 gift on College’s 150th Anniversary

The Ursinus College Investment Management Company (UCIMCO) celebrated Ursinus College’s 150th anniversary with an $1,869 contribution to the college’s general fund as part of #Giving2UCDay on Dec. 3, 2019.
The fund was started three years ago by members of the college’s student investment club with an initial $5,000 gift from the late Rev. Dr. Harold C. Smith (’55). It is now the focus of a one-credit course open to students of all majors – from first-year students to seniors.

The contribution builds on the student-managed investment fund’s first transfer of $250 to the general fund on last year’s #Giving2UCDay. Thanks to $29,500 in donations and about $3,500 in student-managed investment returns, the fund has grown in value from $35,000 in November 2018 to about $68,000 today. The growth enables UCIMCO to increase its drawdown of funds to support the college and its own operations. After receiving operating support in its early phases from the Ursinus Business and Economics Department, the Marcon Fund, and donors, UCIMCO has also begun this year to cover the some of the costs of its research, field trips, and semi-annual presentation dinners.

“As our fund continues to illustrate strong potential to donors and alumni, we have increased our fund’s position and it has allowed us to stretch our group’s capabilities. Donating a portion of our portfolio to the school allows UCIMCO to take a small step in reaching our overarching goal of maintaining the intergenerational wealth of Ursinus” said UCIMCO’s Chief Investment Officer @Parker Wolf (’20), a senior applied economics major who helped get the fund off the ground during his first year at Ursinus.
The fund manages two portfolios. One fund, managed by more experienced students, seeks stable returns through a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and real estate investment trusts (REITs) from around the world. A second fund provides training to beginners through the selection of three to five common stocks per semester. Students also create a newsletter, prospectus, and website; make presentations about their work; and take a field trip each semester.
The fund is part of a set of offerings for students at Ursinus who want a liberal arts education while gaining valuable background for careers in finance. These offerings include the opportunity to concentrate in finance and accounting within the applied economics major, a minor in finance and accounting, and the Finance Scholars program. Finance Scholars can engage in additional study that helps them prepare for a variety of paths in the financial world, including the first round of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. UCIMCO co-founder @Johnathan Myers (’19) passed the first round of the CFA exam on his first try shortly after graduation this past summer.
The fund has benefitted from the support of a wide swath of the Ursinus community, including the Board of Trustees, the college’s business office, the Business and Economics Department, alumni, parents, and the college’s investment advisor, @Hirtle Callaghan & Co.
“The Finance Scholars program has given me exposure to technical skills that will help me excel in a professional environment. UCIMCO has exposed me to skills in portfolio management and investment philosophies. The combination of both offerings is unique to Ursinus, and I have hopes that the growth and structure escalates in the future to create an even more holistic finance program at Ursinus” Wolf said.