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Growth for the Future: CGA's Investment Club

At CGA we encourage students to develop their interests outside the classroom by offering a variety of extracurricular activities. Through Crimson Community students can connect with others who have similar interests. If you are interested in money markets and want to know how to grow your investment portfolio then the Investment Club is right for you.

What is the investment club?

The investment club is an extracurricular club where CGA students who are interested in a career in finance can come together. Students interested in working in banks or working as management consultants at McKinsey or BCG are coached by our expert tutor on how to get involved in the global finance industry. Club members also learn about the global investment market through coaching from leading industry professionals. Plus, students will have the unique opportunity to participate in student investment competitions using mock portfolios.

Learn more about some of CGA’s extracurricular activities here.

Who is your tutor?

At the investment club, students are tutored by seasoned banker, Janice Lim. Janice is a former investment banker, corporate finance professional with more than five years of work experience in mergers and acquisitions finance. She is currently a portfolio manager in a private equity hedge fund, focusing on capital markets and trading various financial instruments. Janice enjoys mentoring high school students and has been tutoring secondary and junior college Math since 2011. With a background in the UK and US, she is popular with students seeking to pursue a similar career path.

Who are the students?

Janice says that more and more students are interested in the stock market. “Many of them saw the pandemic caused a bad market crash last year,” says Janice. This got a lot more students to think about the importance of an investment portfolio and the skills required to weather such difficult times. Additionally, there are a lot of parents who are investors themselves and discuss the stock market at homes. This drives a lot of students’ interests too. “Students are increasingly made aware of this term ‘investing’ – the concept of putting money into anything outside the bank,” says Janice of student interest in the club.

At CGA, students as young as 13 and 14 are participating in the investment club. In a lot of cases, says Janice, the parents request that she work with the students to develop investment strategies and teach them more about the market as part of the ECL. Many of them realize the long-term benefits of learning about global finance and CGA’s club is the perfect place for many young students to begin.

Learn more about CGA’s student population here.

What are some of the activities?

“There are just so many different areas of finance and depending on what a student is trying to achieve, I build a variety of activities for the students to work on,” says Janice. These activities also touch upon other subject matters like debating, entrepreneurship and even fund-raising – all skills that are very important for a student’s further career prospects.

Club meetings include coaching on investment techniques, training on the investment markets, monitoring of mock portfolios, and preparation for competitions, like The Stock Market Game or Young Investors Society. Students also build and monitor their own mock portfolio as part of the weekly activities. Janice also guides club members on entry into, and preparation for, external stock market investment competitions (for qualifying club members), representing Crimson Global Academy.

How does a session run?

During each one-hour session Janice brings together a group of students from different places to discuss global finance. At the beginning of each session, Janice begins with a recap of what is happening in the global markets in the same way she would summarize for her work colleagues. As students do more of these, they become better at identifying trends, be it inflation or treasury bond pricing. Janice helps them familiarize with the different concepts involved in trading through these weekly updates. Students are also made to present their thoughts in each session to encourage critical thinking and dialogue.

Following on the news analysis, Janice leads the session into industry analysis. These take an in-depth look at a particular industry and the investing trends within that sector. One of the sessions of particular interest to CGA students was on the rise of electric vehicles and performance of the Tesla stock.

Based on the industry and news analysis, Janice asks students to identify the larger blue-chip companies and follow them to identify potential investment opportunities. Student then move on to creating their own portfolios of stocks and investments. At the end of a 10-week session, students would display their portfolio performance to other club members and Janice to ensure a practical application. “As the discussions progress, we start seeing the students figuring out on their own what companies are worth putting money into,” says Janice. To make it as close to the real world as possible, the students are given mock accounts with a starting “balance” that they can then trade and build upon.

Having a session once a week gives the students time to see what is happening in financial markets while learning about how global events have an impact on investing and stocks. “Many of my students come to me with company profiles that they find interesting. Sometimes these companies are very tiny and even I don’t know about them, so I get to learn from my students too,” says Janice. One of the main lines of discussion during each club meeting is discussing why someone should invest in a particular company. This encourages students to think about some of the potential growth drivers behind each stock and where these can lead to. “I see students really investigating world news and financial market trends,” says Janice. Students also embrace new platforms to learn about investing – the Reddit group WallStreetBets has been a recent favorite with students with all the buzz around GameStop. Young students also tend to follow investing vlogs on YouTube and develop a one-sided view of investing. In those cases parents want Janice to introduce a dialog with them so they are able to come at the issue from different angles.

Know more about the various enrolment options at CGA here.

Are there other resources?

As part of the club structure, students are also encouraged to look at the series of investment talks given by CGA’s Jamie Beaton. With his background at Harvard Business School and as a Rhodes Scholar, Jamie has a unique perspective on the global financial markets that students would benefit from. The talks also serve as a comprehensive investment training resource.

While most of the sessions are very constructive, Janice does use the time to warn students of potential pitfalls in investing as well. She cautions students against companies that wildly fluctuate and explains the principals of global economy so students understand the stability of stock prices as well.

How do the students feel?

The investment club has been one of the more popular ECL’s at CGA. “I have a particular group of students who are extremely passionate about investing and trading,” says Janice. Especially in those cases where parents are traders, kids tend to be more interested and driven to learn.

Most parents know the importance of investing and the club helps make a complicated concept easier for younger students to understand. By giving students real world experience it provides the confidence young people need when first entering the trading world. The CGA advantage also means that students across the globe are able to collaborate and work together while sharing topical knowledge.

Do I need to be an expert to join?

No prerequisite knowledge is required to join the club.

How do I enroll?

All you have to do is fill out a form and you will be on your way to coding. The class meets once in a week and based on your time zone you can join one of two options.

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