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Student Club Offers Real Investing Experience

SOCORRO, N.M. October 21, 2014 – The Pat Miller Student Investment Club wants you! The student club manages a portfolio of mostly stocks that is valued at about $170,000 and is looking for new members to learn about investing and help manage the accounts.

Club president Alexander Wirth said the club’s main focus is investor education – teaching students about money management, terminology and decision-making.

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The Investment Club members and visitors at a recent meeting, along with faculty advisor Dr. Peter  Anselmo (at right).

 

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Dr. Peter Anselmo and club president Alexander Wirth talk to the club at a recent meeting.

 

“We welcome new members,” he said. “We hope to provide information about investing in your own style and methods.”

The club meets weekly at 6 p.m. in Speare 116. Typical meetings include reviewing instructional videos about the stock market, followed by decisions about the club’s investment portfolio.

“This is not for day-trading,” Wirth said. “We take a long-term approach. Realistically, we trade on scales of weeks to months. We look far enough into time because if you aim far, you can meet your goals.”

Pat Miller graduated from New Mexico Tech in 1961 with a bachelor’s in petroleum engineering.

Miller donated the original $100,000 to the club as a means to encourage Tech students to learn about investing and wealth management. When Miller graduated and entered the workforce, he felt like he was unprepared to manage his investments. Over the years, he taught himself and is now involved with an investing association near his home in South Florida.

Management professor Dr. Peter Anselmo said, “Pat Miller, our sponsor, is big on managing your own money. He seeded the money for the club because he wanted to provide Tech students the opportunity to avoid what he went through. He had to teach himself. He wanted to share and give students the opportunity to learn and make mistakes.

“Tech graduates are going to do well financially and they are better off managing their own money,” Anselmo said. “This teaches them how to do it from a hands-on perspective.”

Anselmo said the investment club is a rarety among universities, in that undergraduate students are managing a real account.

“What’s unique is that undergrads and graduate students have equal voting power,” he said. “For the last few years, it’s been all undergrads running it. The second thing is that there’s no bureaucracy. It’s hard to learn about the impact of decisions if there’s a faculty committee that reviews the students’ decisions. Here, the students make a decision about buying or selling in the evening and I make it happen the next morning. We trust them. There’s one faculty advisor who trades the stock and that’s me.

“Students have the ability to manage the fund, to go through the steps and see the effect of decisions right away. They can learn the subtleties of investing.”

Currently, the club’s portfolio resembles a mutual fund – 26 stocks and a mutual fund. The club has holdings in a variety of companies, including Apple, Visa, Kraft, Bayer, PNM, Costco, Southwest Airlines, Verizon, DirecTV and Blackrock.

Anyone interested in joining the club can simply attend the weekly meetings at 6 p.m. Wednesdays or email Wirth at anaximander.xenophanes@gmail.com.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech