O’Malley School of Business students are gaining firsthand experience managing a portfolio.
The Manhattan College Investment Club has emerged as one of Manhattan College’s most successful and unique programs. The Investment Club describes themselves as “a student run investment vehicle,” a mission that allows students to manage a sizable portfolio based on their analyses.
The Manhattan College Investment Club, or MCIC, regularly creates and presents stock pitches on campus. However, last fall they had the opportunity to present a stock pitch to Morgan Stanley executives. One of the stocks to be presented was Tesla, a stock that current MCIC President, Kieran Varga '21 describes himself and the club as “big believers” in.
Varga explains that pitching Tesla stock was an intimidating task because of Morgan Stanley’s persistent poor forecast of the stock. Despite the challenge, Varga and MCIC wanted to pitch Tesla because of the company’s innovative products and mission to provide customers with quality cars. The group spent countless hours preparing for the presentation, and Varga was proud of the team’s performance, exclaiming that they “killed it.”
Although the Morgan Stanley executives were still somewhat hesitant with MCIC’s projections for Tesla, Varga explains that his group’s projections have come to fruition.”When we mentioned that we had a price target of $900 (it was trading at $300 at the time) all of the panelists laughed at us because they didn't think at the time that it was going to happen,” Varga recalled. “However, within one year Tesla's stock price jumped all the way up to $2300.”
After the pitch to Morgan Stanley last fall, the Investment Club added nine shares of Tesla to its portfolio, and in this past year has enjoyed its success.
The decision to invest in Tesla goes along with MCIC’s investment strategy, to purchase stocks based on a market-neutral approach. They have found that choosing stocks based on company-specific factors, rather than buying what is trending on the market, has them less reliant on the overall state of the economy.
MCIC’s market-neutral approach, as well as considering themselves to be a long term investment account, is proving to work during a time when the market is very volatile. While they originally saw their portfolio lose value during the pandemic, and at one point losing more than 50%of its value, they quickly bounced back and are seeing record high numbers every day. Their growing portfolio, which also includes shares of Oracle, American Express and Thermo Fisher, is a testament to the Investment Club’s strategy, as well as the hard work of all of its members.
Overcoming the economic instability of the past year and still seeing success from their portfolio, secures Manhattan College’s Investment Club for years to come.
As far as advice for those thinking about investing for the first time, Varga recommends two things. First, believe in yourself and trust your instincts. Second, invest in companies that are morally correct. Believing in the company’s mission and the products they are producing is key to building a successful portfolio.