Blake Asset Management Club Gains Popularity

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Rowan Wallin

Rishabh Balachandran ’23 gives presentation on Microsoft.

Ainsley Pflaum, Staff Writer

“I don’t really feel like going broke when I grow up; I want to be financially independent,” says Tia Gnanapragasam ‘25. She is a member of the Blake Asset Management Club (BAM), which teaches students about personal finance and serves as their portal into the stock market. In this particular club, members learn how to invest strategically and manage the club’s stock portfolio, a subsection of Blake’s endowment currently valued at around $30,000. While the club is focused on educating students about finance and equity analysis, it is also highly interactive; members collectively manage the portfolio by pitching stocks to invest in or sell. BAM is one of the most popular clubs at Blake with 85 students signed up, versus around 40 for most other clubs. What about the club is appealing to so many people? 

BAM president Lucky Lillygreen ‘23 says, “I think we really took the approach that investing can be fun, and you don’t have to be really good at math to be good at investing. We ultimately want to make sure that when you leave high school and go on to college, you’re confident in your abilities to manage your own money and do well with this money.” This year BAM implemented guest speakers, including Elizabeth M. Lilly, a Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President for The Pohlad Companies, and Brendan Green, Principle member at Benford Capital Partners. The club has also added lectures and created its own website (blakeassetmanagementclub.com).

In comparison to previous years, a greater variety of students now participate in BAM. Vice president Andrew Richardson ‘23 states, “The amount of freshmen in the club is a lot higher than it’s ever been. In the past the club was almost a little more exclusive. But now I feel like we’ve made it more open to new people.” The club’s new inclusivity is due to its leaders teaching the basic fundamentals of personal finance and investing in stocks; people with no investing experience can engage in the club, while people with an investing background can still apply their knowledge to the BAM portfolio and learn new investment strategies.

Another reason for the club’s popularity is that kids feel they don’t get exposure to the stock market or financial education anywhere else. Uma Bastodkar ‘25 says “I had never really learned about stocks or assets or anything, so it was a very unique experience. It is an interactive, educational club that teaches you about financial sectors and teaches you kinds of things that you might not have your average class for.” Gnanapragasam asserts, “I joined BAM because I really wanted to learn about finances and stocks and personal finance. [Other classes] don’t teach us that, and it’s something we really should know in life when you get older.” Whether someone wants to pursue an investing career in the future or simply learn how to manage their money, BAM seems to be a good starting point.