Learning how to manage money is a valuable asset for any teenager on the verge of adulthood, but in their Student-Managed Investment Fund club (SMIF), ESD takes those lessons even further. Modeled after collegiate programs, students in SMIF are granted the opportunity to manage a small amount of the school's reserve funds for long-term capital expenditures, and meet weekly to make investment decisions and discuss investing and capital markets.
“This club teaches its student managers about investment principles, careers, capital markets, and the economy in a manner that is unique for high schools: actual funds invested for the long-term benefit of the school,” explains ESD Chief Financial Officer and club sponsor Robert Buchholz.
Unlike similar high school programs that use hypothetical investments and short timeframes to see who can generate the most gains in a certain period of time, the goal of ESD’s Student Managed Investment Fund is the preservation of capital, diversification of industry, and long-term growth using actual money. The club, which was founded in 2014, is supported by alumni and parent volunteers who are experts in the industry.
“The club provides students with a valuable opportunity to learn from qualified professionals like Mr. Buchholz and other guest speakers with industry knowledge,” says club member Lauren Weber ’21. “I’ve learned about the implications of the market structure, certain investment models and long-term, dividend-yielding strategies from being a part of it.”
“Our Student-Managed Investment Fund club is extremely beneficial to the students to not only get a window in on the business world but to make real decisions that impact our portfolio,” adds Lucy Sinwell ’21, another SMIF club member. “This club has been a huge part of my life at ESD in high school, and it has really helped me understand the way things work in not only the stock market but the entire business world.”
From determining how the coronavirus will impact the economy to learning the rhythm of the market and its swings, SMIF’s students use a variety of tactics to influence their decision making with the available reserve funds. Due to smart investments and strategies navigating the stock market, the account handled by the Student-Managed Investment Fund is up and continuing to grow.