AIG invests time and money to introduce students to stocks

A new student organization called the Augustana Investment Group (AIG), whose purpose is to learn about and invest in the stock market, was recently approved by the Augustana Student Association (ASA).

AIG focuses on promoting financial literacy, specifically in the stock market and investing. Its goal is to educate members about investing and prepare them for their futures.

According to AIG Chair junior Luis Kugelmas Guarita, the group plans to teach members about investing with a variety of strategies.

The group plans to bring in speakers from large financial firms and use stock market simulations that mirror real-world markets. AIG’s adviser, business professor Loren Koepsell, has many connections with the financial industry, so he plans to help bring in big-name speakers.

Members will later apply the knowledge learned from guests and simulations by investing in the real stock market.

The idea for the club started when Kugelmas Guarita discovered a passion for learning about finance during a conversation with a friend almost five years ago.

He spent countless hours looking into finance and investing and wanted to share his newfound information with others.

“The same way someone told me about it, I also want to tell people about it,” Kugelmas Guarita said.

After getting Denzel Fondungallah involved as the vice chair for AIG, the two began the process to get the club approved. They wrote a constitution, gathered 10 members and asked Koepsell to serve as their adviser. Then, the two were approved by the Center for Campus Life and ASA.

According to Koepsell, talk of starting an investment club has been around for years, but a student hadn’t embraced the idea until recently.

“I hope this becomes educational,” Koepsell said. He said he sees this happening through a mix of learning and experiencing.

“You can hear experts speak forever, but you really learn when you have to do some of it yourself,” Koepsell said.

Going forward, the group is going to start holding educational meetings that focus on learning about the stock market.

“We definitely need to learn a verse of different strategies before we start to get into real money,” Fondungallah said.

After learning about the markets, AIG plans to put their knowledge into practice by starting a real investment fund. According to Fondungallah, the group expects to start trading in the fall.

As the organization evolves, both Kugelmas Guarita and Fondungallah hope the club will serve as a foundation for promoting financial literacy in future generations.

“If I can get a couple hundred people out of debt. . .that helps a lot,” Fondungallah said. “So that’s what I want to do.”

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