A Quick Recap

The last few weeks have busy for the club – we hosted two speakers and went on a trip to New York City!

Rich Gold came to talk to the club on the first Friday of November. As the COO and President of M&T Bank, Mr. Gold has worked in or headed almost every division of the bank on his way to his current role. Lafayette has strong ties to M&T, generally hiring Lafayette graduates every year for the last decade or more. The stress in the talk came on the point that M&T’s success as a large regional bank comes from its consistent ties to the communities it serves. While the bank’s growth has been pretty incredible over the last few decades, the reason for that growth is M&T’s conservative and consistent nature. Mr. Gold walked the club through his career progression and then spent the last half of the event fielding various questions.

On November 9th, various members of the club boarded a bus to New York City to visit Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s headquarters at One Bryant Park. The visit was made feasible largely due to the efforts of former Investment Club president Brad Bonner ’97. The club toured a few floors of the building and had the opportunity to meet with various alumni who currently work in the building.

Finally, this past Friday, we had a visit from Chris Thatcher ’86. Mr. Thatcher is the CEO and President of Neuronetics, Inc., a medical device company that recently went public. In his visit, he focused on the process of going from an idea to a full-scale public company. Also part of the talk was Mr. Thatcher’s journey from Lafayette, to the NFL, to his clearly successful business career, as well as a Q&A session.

We are extremely thankful to be able to host such esteemed speakers as well as for the opportunity to visit New York City – none of this would be possible without the wonderful alumni network of Lafayette. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

General Body Meeting: 10/26/18

 

If you’re looking to network with someone who’s top-3 at a publicly-traded bank, come to Simon L3 at 12:15 on Friday, November 2! Rich Gold, President and COO of M&T Bank, will be visiting the club to answer questions and talk at large. M&T has hired a plethora of Lafayette alumni, and currently offers various full time positions as well as internships — so come on Friday to see what it’s all about.

October 26th’s packed meeting lineup included our standard market update, a new market outlook, a report on earnings season, as well as a trim pitch that succeeded in its effort to sell the club’s GrubHub position, in the beginning of what is likely a series of trims.

But first, Henry Lewand ’21 again updated the club on the status of the Investment Club-sponsored MarketWatch investment game, reminding members that the game will start on November 2 and last until the end of the month. 

Emmett O’Toole ’20 and Harrison Kusnierz ’21 tackled the market update and outlook, recapping a dim week and general volatility in the markets. For the outlook, they covered the Fed, interest rates, equity values, corporate earnings, and general market performance. See more detail in the full presentation at the bottom of this post. 

Digging into earnings season was Henry Lewand ’21, Luke Cummings ’19, and Brett Berger ’22. The group covered some winners and losers in recent earnings reports and briefly analyzed how they affect our portfolio and the market at large. 

Club chairman Jeff Sikorsky ’19 and Tyler Furlong ’20 tacked a sell pitch for our stake in GRUB. GrubHub is an online and mobile food ordering service based in Chicago. They went public in 2014, and shortly thereafter, the club made a purchase in the company. The duo covered their reasoning for the sell pitch, including increasing competition by larger and better-known firms, and the fragility of the industry. Jeff was sure to point out that while he wanted to sell, we still did well with the buy, netting approximately $16,500 in unrealized gains since the club’s initial purchase of the stock, a 220% gain. See more details in the attached presentation.

 

General Body Meeting 10/26/18 Full Presentation

General Body Meeting: 10/19/18

The club was full of announcements this week, and we got right to them in our general body meeting. First off was the reiteration of Lafayette’s Dyer Center-sponsored Real Estate Boot Camp – club co-president Dave Perron ’19 talked logistics. Next, Henry Lewand ’21 had an update of the club’s stock market game. 

 

Brett Berger ’22, Emmett O’Toole ’20, and Connor Thatcher ’21 took over the market update this week, covering the market’s general recovery from the previous week’s downturn. One of our most recent purchases, Citizens Financial Group, was up 5.00% on the week. The trio also covered housing stocks’ touch year, owing to rising interest rates making borrowing more expensive, the 10 year treasury yield rising, and the impact of tariffs. While the sector is above the dismal returns of 2007 and the ensuing housing crisis, it will continue to perform below average for some foreseeable future. The group also covered PayPal’s positive news, Uber’s valuation and anticipated IPO, and wrapped up with some Saudi Arabian news that ties back to finance.

Chairman Jeff Sikorsky ’19 and Head Analyst Mac Erb ’20 reviewed a general trim of positions in the portfolio, mainly relating to old purchases that need to be reviewed or have already been deemed obsolete. The two encouraged more people to get involved in crafting the portfolio to modern standards in addition to their general overview. 

As always, here’s the complete presentation: General Body Meeting 10/19/18

General Body Meeting: 10/12/18

Our fall break didn’t stop the club from hosting its weekly general body meeting this week, with an agenda ranging from our standard market update to an in-depth look at recent and historical interest rates and their consequences on the market at large. 

Jesse Glaser ’19 and Luke Cummings ’19 gave us the low-down on the week’s market news and developments. Highlights included rising interest rates, tech stocks’ supply chain issues, increased volatility, and a general weekly downturn for all three major indices. 

The club’s look at interest rates focused specifically on the 10-year yield increase from 3.25% from 2.82% just two months prior, along with the yield curve inversion and historical tracking, and what consequences are attached. 

Other news touched on included inflation updates, with the CPI rising 2.2% year over year, China’s trade surplus in September, Sears’ continuing downfall, and various activist investors’ attempted interventions. 

Emmett O’Toole ’20 wrapped up the meeting with a mock interview question, posing the following: What is the expected value of a roll of a die? Beyond the actual question, Emmett talked about how to walk through your resume in an interview, different market-based questions, and an example stock pitch. 

See the full presentation here: General Body Meeting 10/19/18

General Body Meeting: 9/21/18

Jeff Sikorsky ’19 and Sam Kirby ’22 got going with the market update this week, covering Paul Russo’s leaving Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo job cuts, Google privacy concerns, McDonald’s EU union news, Amazon personal data concerns, and Treasury surprises. See more here

Next, Alec Cwienkala ’21 and Connor Thatcher ’21 went up to bat with a buy pitch for Citizens Financial Group (CFG), a consumer/commercial bank they argued to be undervalued, among other attractive factors. The pitch was embraced by the club and successful. 

The last segment of the meeting came from Jesse Glaser ’19, who presented an example interview question: one of the market sizing and “guesstimate” types. Jesse’s important takeaways were that while one can stress about getting the exact answer right, the point of these questions is to make sure the interviewee can break down a complicated question into different factors and explain their thought process. See the exact question and Jesse’s model answer in the presentation below:

9/21/18 Investment Club Presentation

General Body Meeting: 9/14/18

The agenda for September 14th’s meeting came in the form of a market update, stock pitch, and Tesla update/overview.

Two freshmen, Greg Giraldo and Brett Berger, spearheaded the effort in the market update, extensively covering recent Apple news, a slew of Chinese firms including electric car maker NIO, Alibaba and Jack Mao, and Tencent, a company the club has covered before in its weekly updates. More info can be found in the actual presentation slides.

Next, Keon Modeste ’21 and Colin Evanko ’20 pitched buying Vicor, and industrial electronics firm based in Massachusetts. After an in-depth look at company financials, executives, and future promise, the club voted to buy about $7,000 worth of Vicor stock (VICR) at approximately $53/share. As always, more information can be found in the presentation.

Finally, board members Emma Bodner ’20 and Michael Frohwein ’19 took a look at Tesla’s performance and news over the last few years. The duo specifically compared Elon Musk’s seemingly erratic tweeting with drops and rises in Tesla’s stock price, as well as more broadly examining Tesla’s journey as a public company.

Take a look at the full presentation here: IC Presentation 9/14/18.

General Body Meeting: 9/7/18

Our first meeting this year post-Involvement Fair was a sellout. Simon L3 was packed to the rafters, filled with students of all class years and from all different backgrounds. The excitement of the room was obvious, spurred by both lower- and upperclassmen alike. The co-presidents started the meeting off with introductions to the Executive Board and the club in general, and then moved into the meat of the afternoon.

First, Henry Lewand ’21 introduced the meeting attendees to the “Stock Market League” that the club is facilitating throughout the semester. Each Lafayette student that signs up has the opportunity to “invest” $250,000 into their preferred securities, and the three highest-valued portfolios after December 21 will win cash prizes. Check the rankings here if you’re interested. 

Next came Jeff Sikorsky ’19, as well as the club’s respective sector analysts, who updated the club on the portfolio’s performance over the summer. In short, our holdings rose in value $65,392 (8.5%) since April 2018, including the notable jump of our recent purchase of Canada Goose by over 40%. This semester, and moving forward in general, we hope to more completely answer our own questions of appropriate risk balance and general diversification, especially as we continue to thrive in one of the longest and strongest bull markets in history. More detail on the portfolio’s performance can be found in the presentation at the bottom of this post.

The meeting concluded with an emerging markets segment, describing recent tension and volatility spawned by international turmoil (notably in Turkey, South Africa, and China). Again, more detail can be found in the presentation below.

Investment Club Presentation 9/7/18

Welcome Aboard for 2018-19!

As finals wrap up and the academic year comes to a close, it’s time to welcome our newly-elected Investment Club executive board. From rising seniors to sophomores, there’s a mix of new and old faces. Last week some of the past and present came together for a dinner in Easton, and we have evidence!

The Investment Club has never been in the business of radical adjustment, and this coming year looks to be no exception. While the recent bull run may be slowing, the club is poised to grow and succeed. Check back throughout the summer and next year for more updates!

Barclays Alumni Panel

ATTENTION anyone interested in financial internships, jobs, or learning from the experiences of successful alumni. The Lafayette College Investment Club will be hosting an alumni panel Thursday, April 6th from 12 pm to 1pm featuring 5 of our very own Lafayette graduates who are currently at Barclays. There will be representatives from Sales and Trading, Capital Markets, and Hedge Fund services to discuss the specifics of their roles, give advice, and answer your questions.

Note the earlier starting time at 12 pm. Along with the helpful advice and insights, pizza will be provided. 

See you there!