Meet the School’s student-run investment fund

Meet the Schools student-run investment fund

Mustang Capital, Marlborough’s student-managed investment fund, wrapped up its final project in December with students presenting their investment portfolio to a finance board at Marlborough. In the semester-long course, students manage a portion of the school’s investments and learn how to choose companies to invest in.

Mustang Capital was proposed by History and Social Sciences Instructor Josiah Cameron as a unique way to expand the finance program at Marlborough. Cameron has a passion for finance and thus wanted to offer hands-on opportunities for students to gain experience in investing that goes further than introductory finance courses. With Mustang Capital, Marlborough is one of the only girls’ high schools that offers a course where students manage a portion of the investment fund. 

Cameron explained that the course offers an opportunity to further build upon finance skills and hopefully initiate student interest in the field. 

“What’s really exciting is that some students might take some of the experience that they gained in Mustang Capital and apply that to their career choices,” Cameron said. 

To qualify for Mustang Capital, students are required to take the Finance 101 prerequisite class. After taking that introductory course, Cameron expands upon that foundational learning in Mustang Capital, teaching his students about qualitative business analysis. The class evaluates industry trends, current economic conditions and a variety of companies. When choosing companies, Cameron stresses that quantitative data such as P/E Ratios and dividend yields are not all that the students analyze when they conduct business evaluations in class. 

“Choosing companies is not just a science, right?” Cameron said. “The reality is, it’s both an art and a science, so you’ve got to have the quantitative stuff, but you also have to look at qualitative measures.”

As part of company evaluation, this year’s students created presentations covering certain market sectors and worked on projects researching possible mega and micro economic trends. Students also learned about risk and reward, company diversification and ethical investing.

“Investing takes a lot of time [because] you’re doing a lot of research,” Mustang Capital student Isabelle ’25 said. “You’re not just looking at stocks at face value, you’re looking at a bunch of different stocks — most of them you’ve never really heard of before.” 

The class also welcomed many female guest speakers active in the finance industry, most of them being money managers for individuals or funds. The speakers provided important information on company evaluation such as how to find promising emerging market companies.

The culmination of the course is a presentation of the students’ investment portfolio to an advisory board consisting of Marlborough faculty, administration and parents involved in finance. This past year, students included 18 companies in their portfolio, including Nvidia, American Tower Corp, Target, Ferrari, Skechers, Tesla and more. 

Students are expected to have learned how to professionally pitch investment theses, which are arguments for a particular investment strategy that is backed up by research and analysis. Cameron emphasized this skill as critical in the investment world, and the portfolio is usually approved after pitching to the board. 

Students who took the course last semester have expressed that they learned valuable investment skills and the stakes of working with actual money. 

“I think [the class] is a really good opportunity for Marlborough students to learn a lot more about finance, about the stock market and about investing,” Isabelle said. “You’re really learning things that can be applicable to make money in the future.” 

Cameron hopes that the ability to run an investment fund at the high school level provides his students with valuable knowledge as they continue learning about finance in college and in their careers.

“The hope is that 10 years down the road we have former Mustang Capital students who are now in college or in their careers coming back to check in on how their portfolio has grown and teach the future generations of the class,” Cameron said.

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