YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University students learning about investing don’t use play money; they play with real money.
The student investment fund keeps growing and just made a significant accomplishment. It has grown to over $2 million.
Jeff Senediak and Tommy Murphy are the club’s leaders this year, as the fund reached its highest total ever.
“You pass $2 million, and the next thing you’re looking for is $3 million. You’re always looking to the future to see where the opportunities lie ahead of you,” said Murphy.
The fund sweated out a big pullback when the coronavirus started and the student fund was changing leadership.
They ditched Diageo, a beer and alcohol producer. But it’s really the only move they’ve been able to make.
They ran from $1.7 million dollars at the start of the year to now over $2 million — a 20% return — and have gotten a big boost from a pitch made last year by the new president.
“We saw that peer-to-peer payments and paying virtually was something that we thought was a growth industry, so we purchased PayPal, and it’s up 90% since we bought it,” said YSU Student Investment Fund President Jeff Senediak.
The fund has 37 stocks and held onto major technology names like Apple, Microsoft and Google. The students are interested in renewable, sustainable energy and see demand falling for oil. They also think healthcare is an area for growth.
“The goal is to invest in companies that are sustainable, show high growth, and we’re here for the long run with them,” said Senediak.
The fund started in 2008 and just keeps growing. A portion of the money funds scholarship through the YSU Foundation, but it’s mainly a good practice tool.
The fund is up some $350,000 this year. Its return has outperformed the S&P 500 Index in eight of the last nine years.
“So obviously, the students from the past have built the fund up to where it is today, and I see that as where we learn from, where other students executed, and hopefully in the future where we execute is where other students learn,” Murphy said.
The students continue to watch the coronavirus and the election closely. In the next two weeks, they’ll be presenting research on various sectors before deciding their next moves in the market.
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