Student Investment Management Trust takes home 2021 Student Leadership Award
What does it mean to have a future focus? For the Student Investment Management Trust (SIMT) it means creating a fund that gives future students from a variety of academic disciplines, real-world money management experience with real money in real time.
SIMT started as the pipe-dream of three School of Business students in 2018 and has grown into a fully functional investment fund managed by students and focused on teaching the fundamentals of investing, ethics and professional money management.
Set up for success
Through their involvement with the SAIT Finance Club, cofounders Derek Yip, Rigel Raju and Garret Brisebois, noticed a demand from fellow students who wanted to broaden their skills beyond course concepts.
“We wanted to offer a chance for students to learn how to properly apply their knowledge and the theoretical course concepts beyond the classroom,” says Yip. “[The fund] is not your typical classroom because you’re collaborating with faculty, other students and also industry members.”
With a desire to bridge that gap, the group formulated a plan to set up a fully functioning fund that recreated aspects of a real, professionally-managed investment fund. The group saw how similar funds at other institutions provided students with great professional prospects, and wanted to offer the same opportunities for students at SAIT.
“We’re hoping the fund bridges the gap where students can use their experience from this program to get internships and jobs,” explains Brisebois. “It helps students to get a foot in the door and gives them that valuable real-world experience.”
Real-world, real money
Through trial and error the group found that the only way to provide the real-world experience students wanted was to allow them the opportunity to use actual money.
“The use of real money creates real-world connections to the actions carried out,” explains Marketing coordinator Michaela Tomic. “We've all played Monopoly and squandered on something frivolous. By utilizing real funds, a layer of accountability is added so that students learn to manage risk appropriately and can see the tangible rewards of smart investing.”
Taking every opportunity to learn from industry experts and SAIT’s School of Business faculty, the group cultivated their vision and eventually applied for, and received, support from the Legacy ‘88 Endowment Fund in 2019.
With funding secured, SIMT now has the means for future students to gain real-world skills in investment management.
“Getting the funding was an emotional rollercoaster,” reflects Raju. “It was a very special moment for us because it just felt like the beginning of something really huge, and we were honestly just glad to be a part of it.”
What makes the SIMT stand out as unique and innovative is the group’s emphasis on an inter-disciplinary focus for the students involved. Although the group is an investment fund, it has members from beyond the world of economics with students from human resources, marketing, web development and finance involved. This collaborative approach between different academic backgrounds allows students to bring their specific skillset to the work the SIMT does and learn from others outside their field of study.
“The SIMT provides such a unique opportunity to students in a lot of aspects,” says Tiana Henderson, who along with Tomic make up the Marketing and Human Resources arm of the executive team. “It's such a great program that really provides so much added value to students.”
With the fund set to launch this spring, the SIMT has the ability to offer exceptional opportunities for students for years to come.