Top image for Muhlenberg Investment Society TOC article

Theory of Connectivity - Muhlenberg Investment Society

The Muhlenberg Investment Society is a student-led group that manages real funds on behalf of Muhlenberg College. Thanks to a gift from an alumnus and non-endowment funds allocated by the Muhlenberg College Board of Trustees, the organization enables students to use market research and analysis to administer a portfolio valued at approximately $250,000. The group's long-term goal is to outperform the gains realized by Muhlenberg's endowment funds.

“The last presentation to the Board showed an 11% annualized gain since 2008,” says Jason Monroe '14, a finance and economics double major and a captain of Muhlenberg's lacrosse team. “We’re proud of that, especially considering the downward trends precipitated by the global financial crisis.”

While the group has a large percentage of finance-related majors, membership in the Investment Society is open to any student who has completed Introduction to Portfolio Management. The course helps students learn how to manage a portfolio while promoting an understanding of financial assets and markets.

“We do manage real money, and that’s kind of cool,” says Casey Gill '14, also a finance and economics double major and Muhlenberg lacrosse captain. “The practical experience is very important in the long-term, and I think that’s what draws our members in. We’re not just doing this with hypothetical funds; anyone can do that. But having and managing real money really gives us credit.”

Edwin Baldrige III, lecturer in accounting, business, economics and finance, serves as the group’s advisor. He listens to their recommendations and reports, and he handles the actual transactions when the portfolio evolves.

“The Muhlenberg Investment Society teaches a life skill,” says Baldrige. “Most approaches to portfolio management focus on stock picking; that can be a spinning wheels approach - a couple hits, a couple misses, but there’s no real consistency. What we’ve done here is asset allocation. Students have a balanced portfolio that’s broadly diversified. They can take what they learn and apply it directly to their own investing.”

The society had enjoyed a presence on Muhlenberg's campus for well over a decade before undergoing a renovation in 2010 when Baldrige recognized a need for student involvement beyond the classroom and between semesters. Now, instead of working with a live portfolio for only a single semester, students can continue working with the society throughout the entirety of their Muhlenberg career.

“Students learn how to invest on their own - to realize that the concepts of risk and reward are related,” says Baldrige. “They learn the economic fundamentals that go into investing. Some of the students may seek a career as an analyst; they can directly use these skills. Others might go on to medical school, but they still want to learn how to manage a personal portfolio.”

Alumni and members of the Board of Trustees frequently serve as career mentors for Muhlenberg students before and after graduation. Casey and Jason value the experience the Investment Society has given them, and they look forward to staying in touch with members of the society after commencement. They have already accepted positions within the financial industry - Casey in New York and Jason in Boston.

Pictured: Casey Gill (left) and Jason Monroe (right). Photo by Mike Falk, director of sports information.

Would you like to learn more about Theory of Connectivity? Take a look at our other stories to see the many aspects of our unique, boundary-breaking community.

Theory of Connectivity

Where do students learn how businesses prepare for disaster?
image
thumbnail TOC

Theory of Connectivity

How do Muhlenberg students spend spring break?
image
Muhlenberg College students conduct service projects during their spring breaks.

Theory of Connectivity

When do meetings, lessons and lectures bring together the campus community?
image
Students, faculty and staff gather during Common Hour to share lessons, lectures and meetings.

Theory of Connectivity

What are chemistry students working on for Johnson & Johnson?
image
Rotating image for Johnson & Johnson Theory of Connectivity

Theory of Connectivity

Where can you experience bipartisan commentary on each U.S. President?
image
Image teaser for 44 plays for 44 presidents Theory of Connectivity article

Theory of Connectivity

Where are teens encouraged to be the voice for their generation?
image
Teaser image for HYPE TOC article

Theory of Connectivity

Where do students witness the conditions present at the formation of the universe?
image
Rotating teaser image for Brookhaven TOC article.

Theory of Connectivity

What's their formula?
image
Bill and Penny Dunham

Theory of Connectivity

How are Muhlenberg students gaining real-world investment experience?
image

Theory of Connectivity

Where do graduating seniors explore the skills they won't learn in a classroom?
image
Teaser/rotating image for Reality MC ToC article.

Theory of Connectivity

How are cluster courses helping students think critically across disciplines?
image
Small image for Exploring Other Worlds TOC article

Theory of Connectivity

What program matches alumni with students who want to learn more about a career path?
image

Theory of Connectivity

What is Truman Scholar Jacob Glass '13 working on after 'Berg?
image
TOC homepage image for Jacob Glass '13

Theory of Connectivity

How does Henry Mandelbaum balance school and full-time work at a NYC startup?
image

Theory of Connectivity

How did Erica Wenzel '14 take a new look at MLB history with mathematics?
image
Rotating teaser for Erica Wenzel '14 TOC article