Time is money. Time is valuable. In the case of the Randolph School student investment club, time has brought about a resurgence.
More than 20 years ago, Randolph alumnus Marshall Schreeder Jr., along with fellow students and guidance from HighTower Twickenham Partner, Wes Clayton, founded the first Randolph Investment Club. The club’s investment funds were provided through generous donations of the members’ parents, and it was with those funds that the inaugural Randolph Investment Club began. Over time, many of the students graduated and moved on to other activities which caused the club to discontinue.
This past fall 2018, a group of students who are passionate about finance and investing decided to start it up again! Teddy Kubista, Randolph Investment Club Co-chair, spent his interim week with HighTower Twickenham, and after his experience, he realized the value of starting an investment club with his peers to include Co-chair, Trey Stanley.
This time around though, the funds were sourced from Randolph’s very own endowment. With the help of Linda Bryant, Randolph CFO, and the review of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee, the club drafted a formal investment policy statement and was allocated $50,000 to invest and manage.
"I was so proud of our students’ initiative and boldness in asking for real money to invest," recalls Bryant. "Randolph School is all about responding to our students’ interests and initiatives. We want to empower our students to pursue their passions. Randolph is developing the future leaders of our community, our country and the world. There is nothing more important. Randolph’s Board of Trustees was not only excited about giving our students the opportunity to learn more about investing in the stock market, but fully endorsed the School’s investment. That is the level of confidence we have in our students."
As a veteran finance professional, Bryant found a lot to be impressed with as the club's work began.
"I have been most impressed with the education that our students are receiving and the commitment and expertise that faculty member, David Hillinck, provides our students in his Economics classes. I was also pleased to hear a desire to develop female interest in the club. As one who has been in the industry for over 45 years, I appreciate the challenges that still exist."
By having 'skin in the game', I think the members are gaining valuable real-world experience and serving the school on the endowment side as well.
David Hillinck, Randolph faculty and Economics teacher, serves as the club sponsor and mentor. Hillinck readily admits that he did not start the club and truly encouraged the students to lead the way.
“They organized meetings with HighTower Twickenham advisors and recruited their peers to serve as club members,” says Hillinck. “It was a great example of the kinds of student engagement that we like to promote.”
Sector leaders took charge of identifying stocks to invest the School’s capital in. Currently, the club has 25 to 30 active members and the portfolio is up by just over 5% since the initial purchases.
“By having 'skin in the game', I think the members are gaining valuable real-world experience and serving the school on the endowment side as well,” says Hillinck.
John Gibson, CFA®, HighTower Twickenham Financial Analyst, provides portfolio guidance for the club and executes trades along the way. The success of the Randolph Investment Club involves multiple generations and community members continuing to invest in the legacy of Randolph School.
“This club provides students with professional experience and real-world knowledge of the finance industry,” says Gibson. “Not only do they have access to allocate real money but are also learning about the principles and foundations of investment portfolio management and establishing personal financial values.”
As a gesture of continued support for the students' work, HighTower Twickenham donated $1,000 to the fund. Moving forward, the club members continue to set ambitious goals.
"We would like to spend time to make sure our portfolio is doing well and spend more time on general education," explains Simon Yang, who will join classmate Cayden Campbell in co-chairing the club for the 2019-2020 school year. "A goal we have is to implement paper trading so students of the club can have a hands-on experience investing without any risk. I enjoy taking to Caydyn and other peers about stocks. Now that we have a bunch of students along with Randolph staff and the HighTower team attending a club that is based on that one interest -- it has been nothing but a joy for me."