The King's Financial Services Club Launches New Investment Initiatives
An interview with Vice-president Trevor Baier
The King’s College Financial Services Club is one of the most ambitious and fastest growing student organizations at The King's College today. With over a dozen members, the organization trains students in the principles of finance and investment. The following is an interview with Trevor Baier (left), the current Vice-president of the club.~~~~~
Q. Who started the Financial Services Club, and why was it started?
A. The club was originally conceived by former student Jason Craig and was founded by Jason, Andrew Aran Jr., Peter Flemming, Trevor Baier, and former student Drayton Neely. The King’s College Financial Services Club was founded to teach students principles of finance and investment through investment simulations. As a part of the club, students of any major can learn from each other as they make investment decisions together. This hands-on approach to the study of finance and investment will give students a working knowledge of the financial world and allow them to find if they're called to take on finance as a profession.
In addition to teaching students about the world of finance and investment, The King’s College Financial Services Club provides networking opportunities for its members. The club attends events with business professionals across New York City. The challenges students face in their simulations provide talking-points as they interact with those working in the world of finance. Meeting Christian business-people through the club also provides mentorship opportunities and beneficial connections.
Q. Tell me a little bit about your first year: what were the highlights?
A. The most exciting part of our first year was creating several online trading profiles on Investopedia.com and Marketwatch.com and actually trying our hand at trial-and-error trading. We started at the very bottom and were meeting consistently to go over charts and discuss articles and books that we had been reading about finance and day trading. We also hosted guest speakers like David Bahsen who is a wonderful Christian and a Senior Vice-president at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. He spoke to us about what he does at MSSB and about integrating our Christian life into our work. We also had Mike Digioia, owner of Affinity Trading speak to us about day trading strategy and how it is an art and science—and not for the faint of heart.
I also enjoyed seeing the progress that we had made from the beginning of the year. We went from casually gathering to talk about business and careers to meeting twice a week, analyzing stocks on both technicals and fundamentals, and gathering more than a dozen fellow students who were interested in becoming a part of the club.
Q. What is your long term vision for the club?
A. Our long-term vision for the club has developed since last year to include three main things: the fund, the board, and the endowment.
The fund is being set up with E*Trade now and we will make our first trade soon with $6,800 in principle of our own money. The goal of the fund is to grow the principle, be able to generate income from it, and eventually to be able to open it up to students and faculty so that they can have a chance to grow their principle investments as well. We wanted to begin with our own money and develop a track record of 6-9 months of investment with documented investment decisions and growth so that we can, with integrity and full honesty, go to students and faculty with the results and give them a clear picture of the risk they might be taking if they invest with us. Most people see us as amateurs, and so we are. But I know the guys in this club and I know we will be successful. The important part is that in a year's time, we hope to have a $30,000 fund that is completely run by students who are learning the art of trading in the stock market.
The board is an institutional goal. AJ, Peter, and I will eventually graduate and we want the club to continue long after we're gone. However, it is both unhelpful and unwise to simply turn the reigns over to the next generation and leave them to their own devices. Therefore, just as in a corporation, we would like to form and maintain a student board of graduated, professional students who have served in the FSC to advise the club going forward on future investments, strategic decisions, and expansions. I personally want to see this club rival the investment clubs of Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and Stanford within my lifetime.
The endowment is a long-term goal of the club that we will begin work on after our current projects are completed. Eventually, we want to start an endowment and reach out to possible donors donate to the endowment. This money will be managed in sync with our fund with the goal of growing and compounding the principle. Within a few decades, I hope to see this fund prosper through responsible stewardship and eventually be able to give back to the students. Ivy League schools can afford to give full-ride scholarships to incredibly talented students who might otherwise come to King's, if given equal opportunity. The goal of the endowment, started by business majors, would be to provide for scholarships, subsidize the cost of tuition and housing, and give to clubs and organizations so that all students of all majors can benefit from it. Along with our investment club, I believe we can create an endowment that could begin to approach that of the Ivy Leagues.
Q. Are there any hot sectors or stocks you are looking at right now?
A. Looking forward to the holiday season, we like stocks like FeEx and UPS as well as makers of common gifts such at Mattel. Currently, we're seriously looking into small-cap pharmaceutical and tech stocks with somewhat high volatility so that we can take on a little more risk and trade them on a technical basis.
Q. How has King's helped prepare you for this opportunity?
A. The King's education has developed our group into individuals who think critically about every aspect of a problem and work toward the best possible solution. Our courses in accounting from Professor Torino and Corporate Finance from Professor Chin have enabled us to grow accustomed to seeing balance sheets, stocks, bonds, commodities, and determining the strength of companies and the economic factors that might play a role in directing our investments in the future. In Business Communications with Professor Brenberg, we learned how to effectively and professionally communicate with each other in presentations and even at social events and job interviews. I have seen my peers land internships and jobs as a direct result of our preparation in these areas, and I think these things directly translate into our ability to organize this club, run it smoothly, and invest successfully.
To contact Trevor, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in New York City.
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