GSBLC’s First Club Invests in the Future




The first and only club of the Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC), the Investment Group, aims to bring multiple perspectives together to analyze the trends of the stock market, learn how to make sound investments and prepare for the future in the world of business. President of the club Anthony Norris, GSBLC ’18, and Senior Vice President Steven Romanello, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’18, expressed that a key purpose of the club is to supplement the business curriculum at Fordham.

Norris first formulated the idea for the club, he said, “long before I went to college. On my first day of orientation, I looked at what clubs were available and there was not one business club…I’ve been investing since I was 12 years old and [it] was an interest for me so I thought, why not start an investment club? By the third day of orientation I had the paperwork submitted to create this club.”

Norris pitched his proposal to two of his closest friends, Romanello and Christopher Artun, FCLC ’18, and had them on board with the idea by the end of a two hour dinner.

Norris never looked to clubs at other colleges as a model for his, which he feels gave him the opportunity to create a club that fulfilled his unique vision.

The club welcomes all LC students, GSBLC and FCLC alike. According to Romanello, “it benefits our club when we have…people with a multitude of backgrounds coming in. If you look at some of the best investors…in the world, so many of them did not major in business when they were undergraduate students,” adding that a diversity of majors and backgrounds enriches the conversation, whether it be about investing or analyzing trends.

“Different majors,” he said, “…teach [individuals] different ways of thinking so when you combine all of those different ways of thinking into one analysis, the results are pretty fascinating.”

As far as what to expect from a typical Investment Group meeting, Romanello advises those interested to examine the semester agenda, which will be reviewed at the first meeting and is available via email upon request. “We try [to] provide our members with a diverse range of activities…one meeting is never going to be the same as the last.”

Past meetings have included top-tier guest speakers from the business world, such as Tony Palma, an executive vice president at CitiGroup, who spoke to the club about his path to success.

[quote_center]“Different majors teach [individuals] different ways of thinking so when you combine all of those different ways of thinking into one analysis, the results are pretty fascinating.”[/quote_center]

Another focus of the group is an intra-club competition on the website, Stock-Trak, which aims to see which member can outperform the stock market and, at the end of the semester, analyze how they did so.

Along with the competition between club members, the Investment Group plans to participate in an intercollegiate competition with schools such as Pace University and Sacred Heart University. The Investment Group will collectively prepare a single investment portfolio and observe how it performs against other colleges’ plans.

Also planned for this semester is a Wall Street tour and a trading platform tour with CitiGroup. The club also hopes to host a debate between GSBLC professors of varying backgrounds in business.

“A lot of our [members] ask questions not only market-related…but ‘what do I need to do right now to get an internship?’…‘What career options are open to me as a member of the business school or, if I don’t major in business, can I still get into that field with a different degree?’” Romanello explained. “As sophomores, these aren’t questions that we can answer so we want to bring together a couple of professors to hear different sides of those issues…”

Perhaps the most difficult, yet most intriguing goal of the Investment Group is to manage a donated sum of money. “Over the years every student would be able to participate and actively trade with the money and we’d make group decisions [on how to best invest it],” Norris said.

He added, “That [would be] something unique to our club because there’s not many clubs that do that—none at Lincoln Center or Rose Hill.”

Additionally, the executive board (E-board) met with the developers of an investment app called Alpha Beta, designed to provide students with the tools to learn how to invest successfully. The company is interested in beta testing the app and collecting feedback, and the Investment Group wants to be apart of that. Institutions like Harvard and MIT are also competing for the app to provide as a supplement for their investing classes.

From the outside, the Investment Group appears to have many similarities to FCLC’s Economics Society, but Romanello clarified that the Economics Society focuses more on “the theory of what goes on in the economy,” as opposed to the Investment Group’s main focus of investing.

The largest challenge the club has faced is obtaining funds from the Student Activities Budget Committee (SABC). Norris and Romanello guessed it is because they are GSBLC’s first club, so they feel they must prove their club as not solely a fun activity, but “an important part of the educational experience.”

Norris said, “When we did sit down with them, we were able to persuade them to give us a decent amount of funding but…it’s really been our biggest challenge.”

Norris and Romanello encourage all students at Lincoln Center to join the Investment Group, stating that everyone and anyone will benefit from what they have to offer.

Though the club has been a tremendous success thus far, Norris admitted, “we’re only sophomores, so we have a lot to learn. We hope that we can grow with our club.”

Christopher Artun commented, “when the concept for this club was first being considered, the three of us had a lot of decisions to make…sitting here a year and a half later, I can confidently say that not only have we met our expectations, but we’ve exceeded so many benchmarks that we set. The best part is that we still have a ton of exciting and enriching events planned for the near future, and we invite everyone to join us and be a part of one of the most dynamic organizations on campus.”
The Investment Group’s first meeting of the semester will be held in room 518 of the Leon Lowenstein building on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 1:15 p.m.