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New Club Helps Non-Finance Students Learn about Markets

The markets may be down, but a group of University of Iowa students thinks this is the best time to get in.

"The markets have to turn around at some point, right?" said Cody Seeley, a UI senior marketing major in the Tippie College of Business who cofounded the new group, HawkTrade. "When you're going to invest, you know what they say, 'buy low and sell high.'"

HawkTrade, which Seeley cofounded with senior Jason Willcox and freshman Carl Dick, is aimed at UI students who don't plan careers in finance but still want to learn more about the mechanics of markets and how economies work. Though the club is only three months old, it already has more than 90 members.

"Students from all majors want to learn to invest and improve their financial literacy, and this is a hands-on way they can do that," Seeley said. "About half of our members don't even know what a stock is, so this is a good time for them to learn, before they start their careers and have to start investing for retirement and other things."

Seeley said that while many club members are non-finance majors from across the University, enough finance majors have also joined that they are helping to bring the investing neophytes along.

"Their advice and their stories are helpful," Seeley said. "They tell us how they lost two grand on an investment, and the rest of us can learn lessons from that."

HawkTrade members meet every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. in W207 Pappajohn Business Building to talk stocks, investment strategies, and anything else related to investing. They also participate in mock trading contests and are currently raising money with the hope of starting a real-money investment fund next fall. The organization has secured sponsorships from Hills Bank, MidwestOne, West Bank Capital, and the University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

HawkTrade was established by the UI chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), an organization that encourages business majors to participate in community engagement activities that focus on developing quality of life in six educational areas: market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, environmental sustainability and business ethics. Other activities the UI SIFE chapter performs include a golf tournament to benefit Wild Bill's, a business education program for sixth-graders at Penn Elementary School, a recycling program for tenants of the Old Capitol Town Center, and an internship program coordinating UI students who tutor Iowa City Community School District students in a variety of academic areas. The chapter recently won the regional championship for their work and will compete at the international SIFE expo in Philadelphia May 10-12.

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