Two UTD students developed an organization designed to make investing accessible to all students.
The Texas Investment Group allows individuals to invest their money in the stock market and receive profit in return. Finance freshmen Vivek Sinha and Adeeb Ahmed launched the club during the 2017-2018 school year with undergraduate finance director S. Drew Peabody as their advisor.
The club requires a set amount of dues and a small variable fee per investment. Ahmed said they want young members in groups of 10 so students can gain familiarity of one another’s working styles.
Several highly regarded universities, such as Duke University, Lafayette College and Boston University, have investment clubs allowing students to gain hands-on experience with finances and the stock market. Sinha said they hope to level the playing field between UTD and top-tier business programs like those at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Chicago.
“The Texas Investment Group is basically an educational platform for students of UT Dallas, regardless of major, to learn investment and trading and put that into real-world action by making real investments and real trades,” said Sinha, director of the club. “It puts us in competition with the Ivy League programs, which have similar programs to the one we’ve created. Our hope is that it maybe addresses some of the gap between our schools and gives our students real-world experience.”
Sinha and Ahmed said their idea came from conversations with seniors studying at highly-rated business programs about their most beneficial college experiences. When multiple friends said working an investment fund was highly influential in their education, Sinha and Ahmed decided to launch a similar program. Although UTD has a domestic investment fund, the UT Dallas Student Investment Corp., it has a prerequisite requirement. Sinha said he estimates a large portion of the student body does not have access to it, so the Texas Investment Group is designed to reach those other students.
“First and foremost, our organization is to promote inclusivity among all of our members,” said Ahmed, vice director of the group. “Although it is a business-type finance organization, you don’t have to be a JSOM major to get into our club. We want to build a cohesive, unified group.”
Psychology freshman Faiza Zaman is a member of the Texas Investment Group and said he open nature of the group is fitting because investing is something anyone can do.
“Even though my major is not necessarily connected this organization, I feel as though investing can truly be for anyone who is interested in making money strategically,” Zaman said. “Being involved in TIG has developed my financial endeavors, honestly, and it’s personally nice having all my interests to be diverse.”
Sinha said the process to launch the group was complicated, as it operates as an actual investment fund, designed to generate profit. He said because of the regulations and legal restrictions involved, they spent time completing risk management training and drafting clauses in their constitution to protect students from risk.
“We’d like to build a brotherhood, in a way, where we all know each other and have chemistry,” Ahmed said.
Sinha said overall, the club stresses inclusivity and accessibility. Any student of any major can join the Texas Investment Group if it falls in their interests.
“There are definitely students who are interested in this field who aren’t in a major course related to this,” Sinha said. “It opens the door to everyone. But if we’re hungry and ambitious now, then it’s important to have a platform where students can learn.”