By Michael Spalla '24
On November 6, 2023, the St. Sebastian’s Finance Academy was honored to host guest speakers from the Boston College Investment Club. These speakers included Lizzy Spalla, sister of Michael ‘24 and Matthew ’28, Connor Walsh and Mike Walsh, a St. Sebastian's alumnus who graduated in 2020. Together, they explained how the Boston College Investment Club operates as well as illustrating how clubs such as this, coupled with their business education, have affected their time at college.
Lizzy started the night off by giving a rundown on how the Investment Club is structured. The BCIC handles one million dollars of the Boston College Endowment, investing this money in ways they see fit. Club members can join at any point in their college career and are split into three groups based on participation within the club: Executive Board member, analyst, and general member. Executive Board members are the leaders within the club, organizing meetings, mentoring younger members and much more. The 117 analysts in the BCIC are the ones who create the sales pitches for the positions that they feel it would be wise to invest in. These members make up an integral part of the club as they are training not only for internship opportunities, but also to assume one of the coveted executive spots in the Club. The general members are just members of the BC community who come to meetings but have not made as large a commitment as the analysts or board members.
Lizzy then explained the club’s philosophy of value investing. Value investing is seeking quality companies at fair prices. The analysts do this by referencing certain indices and stocks with long-term investment returns to make an efficient market hypothesis. They do so by finding the value of the company based off both fundamental and technical analysis. All of this comes together to form their club’s philosophy of conducting bottoms-up investing, a type of investing that focuses on individual stocks rather than macroeconomic and market cycles. All of the club’s positions are tracked year long and changes to these positions are voted on by club members.
Lizzy followed this up with her experience as a college senior in the field of business. She is a finance and business management major as well as an executive board member of the BCIC. She spoke highly of her time as a member of the club as it allowed her to improve her qualitative and quantitative reasoning as well as provide her with real world experience which paid dividends in her education as well as her internships. She emphasized trying new things in college and taking a wide variety of classes as she found this enhanced her experience as a student.
Connor, a sophomore finance major from Providence and active Executive Board member, followed up Lizzy by emphasizing taking a wide variety of classes as doing so helped him narrow down what specific concentrations he was interested in. He also reassured us that this would not get in the way of our good times in college as there is ample time to get involved in other extracurriculars and club sports. He also emphasized the importance of forming relationships with upperclassmen as they have helped to guide him during his time at college.
Mike, a senior economics major and fellow board member of the BCIC, finished off the night by telling us about his time as a Sebs alumnus and as a student who is not in the business school. He explained that even though he is not a business major, he is still able to take an ample number of business courses as well as hold a key role in clubs such as the BCIC. He supported Connor's advice of being a part of many different extracurriculars as he told us, “Be a sponge”. He emphasized the importance of broadening our horizons and trying new things as this has allowed him to flourish in college. He ended his speech by reminding students that the St. Sebastian’s brotherhood remains strong well after our years at Sebs as he encouraged us to reach out to him and fellow alumni for anything they can help with.
The Finance Academy thanks Lizzy, Connor, and Mike for coming and wishes them luck with the rest of their college education.