By Liz Spano, Student Reporter
Despite what the Wall Street Journal said is the stock market’s worst January on record, ACU’s student-managed investment group, STAR, said it still is ahead of its benchmark.
The Student Training and Research Group is a student organization that handles the university’s money by buying and selling stocks. It invested $200,000 of ACU’s endowment money this year to buy stocks in companies.
Students in the College of Business Administration or those who have taken one financial management class can participate in STAR to learn more and use their knowledge about finance. The 21 students currently in STAR meet for two hours once a week to discuss their investments in the market and research and analyze stocks.
Dr. Terry Pope, associate dean and professor of finance; Dr. Jack Griggs, professor of finance; and Dr. Jonathan Stewart, associate professor of finance, serve as advisers for the group.
Pope said although the stock market has gone down this year, the STAR group has been successful in comparison to its benchmark. In the eight years of the group’s existence, she said it has been ahead of the market’s standard for investing and making money every year except one.
“We’ve had a pretty good track record,” Pope said. “Very few actively managed funds have a track record of exceeding the benchmark to the extent [that STAR does.]”
The group is invested in 25 corporations, including IBM, Nike, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and others. Any money earned goes directly to the university’s endowment fund.
Although STAR is an extracurricular activity without academic credit, Pope said the group is beneficial to students interested in a real investment experience and pursuing a career in financial management.
Jody Walker, STAR president and senior business major from New Braunfels, agreed that STAR is a positive experience for business majors.
“You can learn many of the principles in the classroom, but this is the real world,” Walker said. “It’s one of those things that’s always changing. If you’re good at reading companies and expecting future outcome of companies, you can make a lot of money.”