Membership Requirements

What is the GSIF all about?

The GSIF operates essentially as a real investment firm. The GSIF manages real money for a real client. It is not a game or a simulation. In this way, participation in the GSIF should be viewed similar to an internship, and the experience has the potential to be far more beneficial than some internships. Students in the GSIF learn by doing – making decisions about the portfolio and conducting the business of the GSIF, including creating reports and making presentations.

With this opportunity comes responsibility. GSIF members are expected to practice professional and ethical conduct in all matters.

What does the GSIF do exactly?

The GSIF is responsible for choosing the investments in a portfolio. Currently, the portfolio is worth approximately $750K (yes, that’s $750,000 in real money). Following a specific investment process, GSIF members conduct research and analysis into eligible stocks and try to identify the best stocks for the portfolio. Presentations of this analysis are accompanied by “buy” or “sell” decisions.

How is the GSIF organized?

The SSIF is organized into sector teams. Currently, sectors include Consumer Goods and Services, Energy and Utilities, Financials, Healthcare, Information Technology, Industrials, and Materials. Each team is responsible for analysis of companies within their sector and decisions regarding which stocks for their sector to buy or sell.

All members from all teams are expected to contribute to creating reports and making various presentations on behalf of the GSIF.

Who may join?

The Graduate Student Investment Fund welcomes applications from Southern Illinois University graduate students from any major in any year. Many join as first-year students, but some even in their last semester before graduating. Students with a year or more before graduation are welcomed and encouraged to join sooner rather than later, as this gives them multiple semesters to contribute to and benefit from the experience in the GSIF.

How much time is required?

As with anything in your educational and professional career, you will get out of the GSIF as much as you put into it. The total time commitment to the GSIF averages approximately 5-10 hours per week. The most active members likely exceed 10 hours per week and are the ones who also reap proportional benefits from the experience. Those who plan to devote less than 5 hours a week are probably not truly interested in it and should not even bother trying to become a member.

How is that time spent?

Members are expected to attend at least one meeting each week. GSIF meetings are held concurrent with Saluki Student Investment Fund meetings. In addition to the meetings, members are expected to work either individually or with fellow members to conduct research and analysis and contribute to the operational responsibilities of the GSIF, including preparing reports and making presentations.

What if I don’t know what a stock is?

No prior finance or investments experience is required. In fact, that is the point of the GSIF – to learn by doing! All that is required is genuine active participation and the diligence that is called for in managing someone else’s money.

Do I have to dress up?

Meeting attire is normally casual. As a matter of tradition, business attire is required at the first general GSIF meeting of the month, when there is a guest from outside the GSIF attending the meeting, and when the GSIF makes visits or presentations outside the group.

What is the benefit?

Besides making your classes more interesting and relevant, the GSIF is an excellent boost to your career prospects.

Recent graduates have pointed to their experience in the GSIF/SSIF as being a critical factor in both getting an interview and succeeding in the interview to get offered a job. Recent graduates of the GSIF/SSIF have started their careers at major investment and financial firms in Chicago and St. Louis.

Can I get more information?

If you aren’t sure about the GSIF, you might want to visit one or two meetings. Please arrange these visits with Dr. Timothy Marlo in advance by e-mailing him at tmarlo@siu.edu.

How do I apply?

The deadline for applications for appointment to a full semester in the Graduate Student Investment Fund is first Wednesday of the semester. Membership applications may be submitted at any time during the year. However, applications received mid-semester outside of the above deadlines will be considered for immediate participation in the GSIF only if there are vacancies.

Please e-mail Dr. Timothy Marlo at tmarlo@siu.edu for an application. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Marlo.