SUNY Oswego has long distinguished itself as a center for hands-on learning. That tradition continues as the School of Business and the Oswego College Foundation are providing $100,000 for the student-run Investment Club to purchase S&P 500 securities.
It’s an adventurous endeavor for a school of Oswego’s size, one undertaken with a portion of the generous gift of Gordon A. Lenz ’58. The longtime insurance executive endowed a fund to begin the SUNY Oswego Investment Club.
The roughly 20-member club plans to put forth 10 to 12 investment proposals this coming semester, incoming President Matt Hausman ’13 said. The club was finalizing its structure and by-laws for most of 2011-12, its first full year of operation.
The club, sponsored by the School of Business and using funds provided via the Oswego College Foundation, includes a faculty advisor, the school dean and an advisory board with two seats reserved for experts, preferably alumni.
“The alumni give us a lot of different perspectives,” Hausman said. “They’re able to guide us in the right directions.”
“I think just getting familiar with what the stock market is all about is a big benefit of the program,” Lenz said. “They’re learning what to stay away from and what to invest in.
“It’s not easy to make money,” he added, a lesson that club members will be able to learn with minimized risk.
“Learning those lessons early is going to help them in their lives,”
Lenz said. “As long as you learn from your mistakes, it’s OK to make [them] . . . as long as you don’t make the same mistake twice.”
In addition to the advisory board and heavy faculty involvement, the operating agreement includes
safeguards that help reduce the risk of loss. For example, no one investment can exceed 4 percent of the total investment fund.
“A lot of other schools have funds set up or use foundation money to invest,” Hausman said. “I don’t think a lot of people had the chance to build it from the ground up like we did.”
Hausman, who hopes to grow the group to 40 members in its second year, said the club brings priceless real world experience that gives students the edge in competitive industries. The intangibles have great value as well.
“We have full faculty involvement,” he said. “It’s not like they’re standing in the classroom speaking to us, they’re sitting among us … It’s like they are each one of the members.
“We’re both showing the effort and we’re all in it together.”
Based upon the Oswego College Foundation’s spending policy, a percentage of annual income will go to support the School of Business’s Finance, Insurance and Risk Management program and any remainder will be reinvested.