Investment Club Pays It Forward

The student-run E. Terry Skone Investment Club plays the market and uses its profits to provide scholarships for fellow Gusties.
Posted on December 16th, 2019 by

Student leaders in the E. Terry Skone Investment Club. Matthew Kalkman is front row, center.

In a classroom in Beck Hall, students in Gustavus Adolphus College’s E. Terry Skone Investment Club watch closely as ticker symbols flash across the projection screen and stocks march up and down on monthly, quarterly, and yearlong charts. 

The students meet weekly throughout the academic year to review their collective portfolio, talk stocks, make pitches on whether to buy or sell, and discuss investment strategies for the Club’s growing account. They also visit alumni-owned investment firms in the Twin Cities, meet with Gustie mentors, and provide on-campus programming. And every year, when the returns are in, the Club donates a percentage of the fund back to Gustavus to support student scholarships. 

Investment club students review the portfolio at the end of the semester.

When its fiscal year closed December 1, the investment club donated $8,920—the largest gift in the group’s 22-year history. The funds support the E. Terry and Lois L. Skone Investment Club Scholarship, which is awarded annually to one or more upper level economics and management students based on the recommendation of department faculty. 

One of the investment club’s primary goals is investment education, which takes the form of 15-minute tutorials on a range of topics at each meeting.

“Each year we have students that range from first-years to seniors,” Club president and financial economics major Matthew Kalkman ’20 said. “We need to develop the understanding for those first-year students that also helps our seniors grow as well.”

The Club is also expanding its educational offerings to faculty and staff, with two interactive, informational sessions scheduled for January that will focus on market fundamentals. 

“Members of the Club are really engaged with investing and sharing market education with the Gustavus student community,” said group adviser and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Ethics Kathy Lund Dean. “Terry Skone’s vision when he made the initial donation was for students to gain real-world experience with the market and investing, helping prepare them for professional life beyond Gustavus. Understanding the market is really a life skill and the Skone Club makes that learning accessible for all of our students, no matter what their majors are.”

The students discuss the portfolio’s allocations by sector to make sure that their holdings align with the club’s goals. If they feel light in technology, for example, a member of the Club will research potential stocks that the Club will purchase after reviewing the member’s pitch and supporting materials. Kalkman and his fellow investors also strive to leave 5-10 percent of the portfolio in liquid assets so they are positioned to move quickly if there is a market downturn or an especially compelling opportunity presents itself. 

The balance of real-world financial trading, education, and philanthropy is what makes the E. Terry Skone Investment Club special, Kalkman said.

“No matter what your interest is, you’re able to apply this knowledge later in your life,” Kalkman explained, adding that membership spans all four years at Gustavus and a variety of majors and disciplines. 

“And one of the most powerful parts of our work is knowing what we’re investing in will go back into the Gustavus community.” 

The Gustavus Investment Club was started in 1997 thanks to a donation by E. Terry Skone ’62. In 2017, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Club’s creation, the student officers, Lund Dean, and the Office of Advancement engaged Skone’s family to rename the Club in his honor.

To learn more about opportunities in the Gustavus Department of Economics and Management, visit the departmental website.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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