The weekend of March 29–31, 2019, six business students were in Boston,
Massachusetts, to attend the Harvard Business School 2019 Investments Conference: Valerie
Berryman, Mitchell O’Shell, Christian Faranda, Benjamin Putnam, Colton
Kensinger, and Seth Thomas.
The morning session started off with Edwin Jager from D. E.
Shaw & Co talking about hedge funds, passive investing vs. active
management, and his firm. Succeeding that was Pam Holding from Fidelity
Investments, who spoke about Fidelity Investments and the new age of investing.
From there, the attendees were directed across a courtyard into Aldrich hall
where they were broken out into different panels. The panels that were offered
were Equities, Equality in the Investment Industry, Global Macro, Student Stock
Pitch Competition, Fixed Income, Emerging Markets, and the Eurodollar Fireside
Thomas stated, “The first panel-session [Equities] was the best.
The facilitator was asking the panel insightful questions and urging the
speakers to give thoughtful answers. It was interesting to get an inside view
on how some hedge-funds are run and some of the strategies they implement.”
Kesinger summarized the Emerging Markets panel by stating, “The emerging
markets session opened my eyes to various investment opportunities that are
exclusively outside of the United States.”
Putnam stated, “Learning
about the Eurodollar Global Monetary theory from an expert and author Jeffrey
Snider provided me an eye-opening alternate viewpoint to the 2008 financial
crisis and why the markets reacted the way they have since.”
After the panel sessions, the Harvard Business School provided
lunch and a break. Scattered among the tables were industry professionals,
professors at HBS, and other outstanding students.
The after-lunch session was with Joel Tillinghast, a portfolio manager at Fidelity. He spoke about passive vs. active
investing. The common definition of “passive-investing” being parking money in
a sector exchange-traded fund (ETF) or an index like the S&P500 while
active investing being utilizing alternative strategies and different financial
instruments (debt, derivatives, equities, arbitrage, M&A, etc.) The
argument is that over the long-term the S&P500 has outperformed a
significantly large portion of active money-managers. Hedge funds may be able
to outperform in the short term—hitting home runs every once in a while;
however, they fail to perform over the long term.
Overall, the students were able to gain new insights to
various strategies and opportunities within finance. Several students made
connections with industry professionals and outstanding peers.
Eberly continues to invest in its students providing them
with the opportunities they need to succeed.
Eberly College of Business and Information Technology