WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster’s Jenny Investment Club (JIC) finds itself in exclusive company as it ranks among the top-25 largest student-managed investment funds, according to a recent survey conducted by The Center for Investment Research.
JIC’s investment portfolio was verified at $5.54 million as of Dec. 31, 2018, which puts it on the same list as the likes of The University of Texas at Austin ($28.1 million), University of Virginia ($16.3 million), University of Notre Dame ($12.68 million), and Northwestern University ($8.3 million). The only other private liberal arts colleges among the top-25 were Washington & Lee University ($10.25 million) and Trinity (Texas) University ($6.59 million).
“(We’re) definitely honored to have those opportunities presented at a liberal arts college that doesn’t have a lot of directly finance-, investment-related courses that a lot of business schools have. I definitely feel the responsibility and motivation to carry this further,” reflected senior Yuxuan Ke, current president of JIC following two years as trustee for the student organization.
Ke, who is majoring in business economics with a minor in East Asian studies, noted that JIC is welcome to any student with an interest in financial markets, thus it is a very inclusive student organization. “(We’re) very different than a lot of business school investment clubs, but that’s one of our strengths. It’s applying the research skills you learn in class to an actual life case,” she said.
Current faculty advisor Amyaz Moledina, an associate professor of business economics, economics, and global and international studies, echoed those sentiments. “Students do the research on their own and they teach each other how to evaluate different companies and industries, according to our investment policy. So, it’s clear that Wooster’s focus on mentored undergraduate research helps students. Of course, students end up taking some of our courses to become better portfolio managers, but this is usually after exposure to the club,” he commented.
JIC’s decisions are guided by a “very specific investment guideline” that includes primarily small- and mid-cap growth stocks in the U.S. domestic market and a diverse portfolio, and changes are only made by a two-thirds majority vote of a proposed action, according to Ke.
Having beaten national benchmarks year-in and year-out, JIC’s success allows it to give back to fellow Wooster students in the form of scholarships. “The club votes on a payout for international students scholarship. It’s very much in keeping with (one of) Wooster’s ethos, (which is) we are motivated to grow our common wealth in the service of others,” explained Moledina.
Also of note, JIC, founded in 1955, is the longest running student-managed investment portfolio on the top-25 list. “This process has evolved over time. We have to credit the historical leaders and advisors of the club for bringing us here,” stated Moledina. “When we do this work, we need to recognize that markets change, so we too must learn and evolve, if necessary.”