Kevin Stein ’16
Finance, Economics Minor
Hometown: Palmyra, New York
Role: Student Investment Club Member
Fueling the flame: Carol and Gordon A. Lenz ’58, Christopher Tuohy ’81 and Doreen Mochrie ’85
“Investment Club has been an extraordinary experience. I’ve researched stocks, pitched my ideas and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of real money. I’m extremely grateful to our donors for making this experience possible, for making my time at Oswego truly life-changing.”
James Piccirillo ’17 was heading to the Vermont slopes for a snowboarding trip during winter break 2016 when he received an email from Kevin Stein ’16, president of the SUNY Oswego Student Investment Club.
“It said, ’Qualcomm is down 15 percent. Can you do some analysis?’” said Piccirillo, who was serving as the club’s Information Technology sector leader at the time. “So I’m on my phone looking through some information and discover they have had some anti-trust violations in South Korea. So I pulled out my laptop, put up a short report and sent it along to the club members.”
He then returned to his vacation and gave snowboarding his complete attention.
Piccirillo and Stein knew their involvement in the Student Investment Club wasn’t going to be confined to the semester schedule or to the typical level of time a college student devotes to an extracurricular activity. Why?
“Because we’re managing real money in the stock market,” said Stein, a finance major who now works as a bank examiner for the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. “The stock markets are always open somewhere in the world.”
Thanks to the start-up funding from Oswego alumni Gordon A. Lenz ’58, Doreen Mochrie ’85 and Christopher Tuohy ’81, the Student Investment Club now manages one of the largest student funds in the SUNY system. Club membership has grown from under 20 students to more than 40.
The students manage more than $175,000 to $180,000 worth of invested funds. That is a 16 to 20 percent increase from the initial seed capital of $150,000, which stemmed from Lenz’s initial $100,000 gift and the first of two $50,000 gifts to the funds by alumni couple, Mochrie and Tuohy.
“It is kind of nerve-wracking dealing with real money,” said materials sector leader Micaela Dobereiner ’17 M’18. “But our proposals have to pass through several approvals so that is reassuring, and I get a lot of support from Dr. [Mary] Rodgers.”
An experienced Wall Street analyst, Mary Rodgers holds the first endowed faculty position at the college, as the Marcia Belmar Willock ’50 Professor of Finance, and serves as the club’s advisor.
“I see Dr. Rodgers as a role model,” Dobereiner said. “Knowing that she worked for Merrill Lynch and was very successful is very inspiring to us, especially the women in the club.”
Club members divide into 11 sectors, modeled after the S&P 500, and are responsible for buying and selling stocks within that industry or sector. The club uses the 15 criteria outlined in Warren Buffet’s investment checklist to decide whether to buy or sell a stock.
Using the Bloomberg terminal, Stein figured out how to put all the criteria onto a custom checklist, which streamlined the review process for each stock. Instead of sorting through the data from financial statements and figuring out the different metrics needed to address each item on the checklist, he was able to run each stock through the custom checklist he created through the software used by Wall Street.
“My GPA is just this little tiny number in the top-right corner of my resume, whereas my experience with the Investment Club fills up at least 50 percent of it,” Stein said. “Just four years ago, we didn’t have an investment club at all. We’re extremely grateful for these donations. The amount of learning students get from this experience is just incredible. It gives us the opportunity to differentiate ourselves from other job candidates, and this wouldn’t have been possible without the alumni donations.”