Like most college students, Jesse Dovich lived on a tight budget while studying at Union. When he discovered a passion for investing while taking Kent Stahly’s investments class, the 1999 graduate didn’t have the funds to put his newfound knowledge to work right away.
Hoping to encourage a new generation of students to become passionate about investing, Drs. Jesse and Mila Dovich have created the Kent Stahly Excellence in Finance Award, a $1,000 cash prize to be used to start or expand the winner’s investment portfolio in stocks, bonds, or other investments.
Joseph Murray, a junior business major with an emphasis in finance and management, won the inaugural award by earning the top grade in Stahly’s Investments class in 2016.
In his award application, Murray said his investment philosophies are to invest in large and financially stable companies, diversify his investment portfolio, and hold steady to his investments for the long haul. With the prize money, he plans to buy shares of Johnson and Johnson, AT&T, and Walmart, primarily because they are established, have decent dividends, and have historically done well in long-term investments.
Based on his performance in the investments class, Murray landed a job working as a grader and tutor for Stahly next school year. He is also completing an accounting internship at AdventSource this summer.
Murray comes from a long line of Union attendees. His parents, Jody Murray graduated in 1987 and again in 1993, and Sharon Hein Murray graduated in 1985. His grandparents, Fred and Mary Ann Murray and Virgil Hein, attended Union in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Investments for Everyone
The Investments class welcomes more than business majors—really anyone who wants to learn how to handle their money better. The class offers insights on setting up one’s investment portfolio, diversifying investments, the dynamics of stocks and bonds, and how to set up a strong retirement fund. Students explore the current state of the stock market as the class begins, setting up projects that work alongside the ups and downs of companies, so that students can apply what they are learning to real life situations. “The most important thing I learned was how to read all the information available on a Value Line page,” said Murray. “I enjoyed listening to Kent enthusiastically lecture about investing.”
“After going through the class, I strongly believe every college student should take it,” said Steve Nazario, Union’s director of visual communications, who took the class last school year. “If someone could have taught me this as a college student I could have made a few smart choices instead of trying to backpedal now.”
Nazario described Stahly as “one of the best teachers on campus, Kent has a great passion for what he is teaching. He was incredibly passionate about sharing his experiences and teaching his students to use their money wisely.”
“I believe the award boosted competitive spirit among the students in the investments class,” said Barry Forbes, chair of the Division of Business and Computer Science. “I hope the award encourages more students to take the class in the future.”
Murray has a piece of advice for anyone planning to take the investments class. “The best way to help prepare is take Business Finance in the fall before you take Investments to help you learn Stahly’s teaching style,” he said. For first-time investors, “Get started as soon as possible,” he said. “Even if you can only invest a small amount.”
By Elizabeth Bearden