What is the SSIF all about?
The SSIF operates essentially as a real investment firm. The SSIF manages real money for a real client. It is not a game or a simulation. In this way, participation in the SSIF should be viewed similar to an internship, and the experience has the potential to be far more beneficial than some internships. Students in the SSIF learn by doing – making decisions about the portfolio and conducting the business of the SSIF, including creating reports and making presentations.
With this opportunity comes responsibility. SSIF members are expected to practice professional and ethical conduct in all matters.
What does the SSIF do exactly?
The SSIF is responsible for choosing the investments in a portfolio. Currently, the portfolio is worth approximately $1 million (yes, that’s $1 million in real money). Following a specific investment process, SSIF members conduct research and analysis into eligible stocks and try to identify the best stocks for the portfolio. Presentations of this analysis are made nearly every week and are usually accompanied by “buy” or “sell” decisions.
How is the SSIF 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 SSIF.
Who may join?
The Saluki Student Investment Fund welcomes applications from Southern Illinois University undergraduate students from any major in any year. Many join as seniors, 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 SSIF.
How much time is required?
As with anything in your educational and professional career, you will get out of the SSIF as much as you put into it. The total time commitment to the SSIF averages approximately 5-10 hours per week. The most active members and leaders in the group 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 two meetings each week. One meeting is common to the general SSIF members and one meeting is with only the member’s fellow sector team members. 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 SSIF, 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 SSIF – 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 SSIF meeting of the month, when there is a guest from outside the SSIF attending the meeting, and when the SSIF makes visits or presentations outside the group.
What is the benefit?
Besides making your classes more interesting and relevant, the SSIF is an excellent boost to your career prospects.
Recent graduates have pointed to their experience in the 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 SSIF have started their careers at major investment and financial firms in Chicago and St. Louis.
How do I apply?
The SSIF usually accepts new members at the start of each semester.
New members are required to interview. The interview allows prospective new members to learn about the SSIF from current members. All are welcome to join the SSIF. The purpose of the interview is not to screen out new members. Rather, the goal of the interview is to help prospective members understand the level of commitment required for participating in the SSIF.
Please contact Dr. Timothy Marlo at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if you are interested in joining SSIF.