Formed in 2006, KO’s Investment Club integrates theory and real-world practice as they manage a diversified Fidelity portfolio composed of thirty blue-chip stocks and socially-conscious equities. Today, the group received an inside take on the business from Michael S. Grossman ’95, CFA, an investment officer and equity portfolio manager at MFS Investment Management® (MFS®).
Grossman shared how he uses research to choose wisely among the high-risk options in small and mid-cap companies in his portfolio at MFS. He gave input on some of the investments the students had made as a team, and while he agreed with the majority of their choices, he offered some gentle advice on others.
Although there was no Investment Club when Grossman attended KO, an economics class Grossman took sparked his interest in finance. He recalled Sundays spent in the KO newsroom as the sports editor, devising funny headlines which would eventually be vetoed by Mr. Kyff, the advisor to the school newspaper. Following KO, he earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Boston College.
Grossman discussed his path into investment management and urged the students to leave doors open and find a career that will make them happy. Since the students are still developing their interests, their future career path may not be apparent right now.
"Go to college to learn how to think," he said. He emphasized that the majority of necessary skills will be learned on the job, so the best thing to do is expose oneself to as many different ideas as possible so that one is prepared to learn on the go when the opportunity arises.
Before joining MFS in 2005, Michael spent three years as a research analyst following small and mid-cap commercial services and transportation companies for Essex Investment Management Co., LLC as well as three years as an investment associate in large-cap global equity research for Putnam Investments. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the Boston Society of Securities Analysts Society, Inc.
Jim Doran P ’87, ’90, a former chief financial officer for Heublein, gave seed money to KO for the Investment Club believing that high school students have the analytical skills to manage money wisely. Each member of the Investment Club follows one stock for a year and can propose to buy or sell a stock. The KO Business Office executes trades for the students.