The Wakefield Investment Club is a fantastic opportunity for students of the Upper School to learn about investment and finance. For many students, this club serves as their first exposure to information and skills pertinent to the investing world. The organization began as the brainchild of Wakefield School’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, John Neff. As a professional investor, he feels that understanding the value of a business is a necessary tool to offer students. By gaining some background in investment, members of the Investment Club can supplement their education with real world experience in a unique way. In the words of Mr. Neff, “There is real learning, real responsibility, and a real opportunity for those interested. We’ve only scratched the surface of the Investment Club’s full potential.”
“The club works as an investment firm with Portfolio Managers, Co/Assistant-Portfolio Managers, and Sector Analysts,” explains Grace Sacripanti, ‘18. Through discussion and application, the students determine the qualities of a good investor and successful business, and then through critical analysis, they propose their recommended investment. “By specifying in a single sector, it allows us to have a wide breadth of knowledge while at the same time not being overwhelmed; [resulting in] a diverse portfolio,” says Dylan Winick, ’17, during a school interview. Members of the Investment Club are entrusted with lots of responsibility. Wakefield School has generously gifted the Investment Club $50,000 to invest. By entrusting the Investment Club with real money, the students are building confidence in the responsibility that comes with handling money; and under the guidance of Mr. Neff, have a chance of achieving success. The student-investors of the Investment Club have demonstrated exceptional intelligence and understanding, learning the basics of investing over the course of only a few days. Chloe Osborn, ‘19, states, “I have learned that investing can be risky, so I look forward to learning how to prevent failure before it happens.”
Those who participate in the Wakefield Investment Club gain a passion for learning new things and a new perspective of the business world. Dylan states, “We spend our time learning about equity, debt, leverage, and all of the necessary things that go into running a business; and then we learn how to analyze a business. It’s a great opportunity because it gives students, who may not have a background in finance, the chance to gain real-world experience in finance and investment; which is something that will be useful right as we get out of college and for the rest of our lives.” By becoming immersed in investment culture, members of the Investment Club develop a new understanding of the world. While others may simply watch as news goes by, Wakefield investors learn how to notice events in the news that affect the stock portfolio and recognize companies they have researched. The Wakefield Investment Club is the beginning for many young, future investors.