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Student investment group manages growing portfolio

Ashley Sievers smiles in the student investment classroom.In a new high-tech trading room in Weyerhaeuser Hall, the Whitworth Student Investment Group meets throughout each week to discuss current events, stock pitches, and portfolio allocation. The group also manages approximately $100,000 in equities and exchange-traded funds; all returns on the group's investments are reinvested in the university's endowment.

The H.H. "Larry" Larison Trading Room, named in honor of the Spokane businessman who donated funds for the dedicated trading space, includes an interactive screen, a ticker, and nine computer workstations with software that aids students in their research.

 "I am beyond thrilled and so grateful for what we have been given," says Ashley Sievers, '15, president of the group. The greatest opportunity the trading room provides though, according to Sievers, is the opportunity for experiential-learning outside the classroom. "I am the last co-founder of the group who hasn't already graduated, so to see the vision that we originally had become a reality is amazing."

The WSIG was launched in April 2012, when seven Whitworth students presented a proposal for the investment group to the Whitworth Board of Trustees. Board members contributed approximately $100,000 in startup capital for the students to manage in equities and exchange-traded funds. In 2013-14 the fund saw a realized gain of more than $1,000 and an unrealized gain of almost $6,000.

The WSIG now comprises about 56 students from 10 academic majors. The group's mission is to "provide students with real-life investing scenarios by actively participating in the trade of securities; to give students the tools to gain exposure to markets and the investing world; and to allow students to influence the management of Whitworth's financial resources and future."