The Value of School Involvement
Chances are, if you are a Lang School of Business and Economics student or have spent any amount of time around MacDonald Hall, you’ve run into this fellow on the right. This is Ryan Padum. If he looks familiar to you, that’s because he has been involved with various clubs and organizations within the Lang School of Business and Economics over the past 5 years including serving as the chairman of DECA U Guelph, an External Ambassador for the highly regarded APEX Conference, and Internal Manager of our very own GSIC (Guelph Student Investment Council). If you still don’t recognize him from any of the clubs, maybe you’ve seen him on campus. After her graduated, he accepted a job with The University of Guelph as a Liaison Officer. As a Liaison officer, he spends his time traveling to high schools and University Fairs highlighting all the things about The University of Guelph that make it special and unique.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down with Ryan and ask him a couple of questions about how he got to be where he is today and ask him if he had any advice for current students.
One of the most important things that Ryan attributes his success to was getting involved with all the clubs and activities he did as a student. Not only did he make lifelong friendships from these experiences, but it helped him grow and develop several transferable skills that are integral to his current day job.
While Ryan has joined various clubs and participated in a lot of events hosted by the university, that wasn’t always the case. In his first year, Ryan lived off-campus and commuted to school every day and while he got good grades in his classes, he never really had the opportunity to connect with any of his classmates.
“My first year was rough, I felt like there was something missing… so when second year started, I decided to do something about it and get involved.”
One day in the cafeteria, he saw a bunch of fourth- and fifth-year students putting up posters for an information session hosted by the University of Guelph Investment Fund for students who had an interest in investing. While Ryan had no prior investment knowledge, he decided to join anyway. The older students in the fund began to teach him how to use excel tables, make good investment pitches, and evaluate companies. From there, Ryan’s self-confidence grew exponentially and before he knew it he was getting involved with all sorts of clubs and events on campus.
I believe that Ryan’s story is relatable as plenty of students including myself finish their first year of school feeling like there is something more to be desired out of the student experience. That is the reason participating in on-campus clubs and events are so important, not only because it helps you
make connections to other likeminded students, but it also gives you the opportunity to develop your soft skills like self-confidence and communication. Most importantly it gives you the chance to develop your leadership skills. When you try something for the first time, chances are you aren’t going to be very good at what you are doing. That’s why student-run clubs are such a unique experience because you have older, more experienced students beside you who are willing to share their experience with you to help you grow. As your knowledge and skillset grow and those students begin to graduate and move on from the club, you then have the opportunity to share that experience and help other students learn and grow.
While Ryan was set for a job in finance based on his Management, Economics and Finance degree and vast knowledge of investments, he was able to find other career opportunities outside of finance because he was able to develop those soft skills. While a job in finance certainly isn’t off the table for Ryan in the future, he was able to expand his career possibilities thanks to the leadership and communications skills he developed through various clubs and activities.
The club or activity you choose to participate in can be anything as there is such a wide variety of clubs and activities to choose from. All that matters is that you find something that you are passionate about and I promise that the benefits from joining will be endless.
7 Investment Terms You Should Know as a Novice in Finance
A lot of people are familiar with investment terminology from movies such as Wolf of Wall Street or reality TV shows like Dragons Den or Shark’s Tank, but from my experience, many people who aren’t directly involved in investments are either intimidated to use these terms because they mistake them as complex, or use the terms completely wrong and mistake one investment term for another. So, I decided to compile a list of investment terms that a lot of people may be familiar with but not know the true meaning of. These terms are essential to understand if you want to be involved in investing yourself or if you find yourself in situations where investments come up as a topic of conversation.
Without further ado, I present you 7 investment terms you’ve probably heard of but might not know the meaning of. I hope these help you better understand their true meaning!
A bull market simply means that the market is rising. During a bull market, the economic environment is growing and flourishing. This often means that all asset types such as stocks, bonds, and real estate go up in price as investors become confident in the market and seek to maximize profits. People who are confident in the market are described as “Bullish”.
A bear market is the opposite of a bull market and is what happens when the market is in a decline. Often in a bear market, investors are looking to sell rather than buy stocks. As a result of this market imbalance, the prices of stocks will generally decline. Investors who are pessimistic about the market are considered to be “Bearish.” While a bear market might seem negative, that’s not necessarily the case as investors can still benefit from a bear market by buying stocks while the prices are lower in hopes that prices will increase as the market transitions back into a bull market. A great example of this is buying real estate when the market is low, then holding on to the property until prices start to climb again, and then flipping the property for a profit.
Long position refers to the strategy of purchasing an asset with the intention of holding on to it with the hope that it will increase in value. A long position is seen as a “bullish” view and looks to take advantage of a bull market as investors are confident that the market will grow, and prices will go up.
Similar to a bear/bull market, a short position is seen as the opposite of a long position. A short position is when an investor sells a stock with the intention of re-acquiring it later at a lower price. It is common to see an investor short an investment when they believe the investment is going to decline in price or the market is about to transition to a bear market, as it is seen as a “bearish” view. It is common for investors to borrow shares from a stock loan department in exchange for a borrowing fee that spans the duration that the stock is shorted.
Blue Chip Stock/Company
A blue-chip company/stock is a well-established and reliable company. It is normally seen as a leading company in its sector. Blue Chip companies are seen as very stable investments and are better positioned to survive severe economic downturns. The term “Blue Chip” comes from poker, as in poker, a blue-chip symbolizes the highest value chip on the table.
The S&P 500 is a stock market index that tracks the stock performance of 500 large United States companies and reports the risks and returns of some of the biggest American companies. The S&P 500 is seen as a benchmark of the overall market and is used to compare against most other investments.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is another stock market index that keeps track of 30 large, publicly- owned blue-chip companies. Normally, on the news, when reporters make comments about the “market”, they are referring to the Dow Jones Industrial Average as it is the most widely used index.