My last winter break (post). And January is an exciting month for Blyth Fund.
Blogger: David Sacci
Today is the last day of winter break.
I was asked to pen a blog post to discuss my life as a student on winter break, but as I sit here on the floor of my bedroom and tap away, I cannot help but feel sad that this may be the last winter break I experience. At least for a while. Tomorrow I’ll touch down in LA, return to by double in BY and begin the end of college.
Forgive the cliché, but I’ve been busy during my month off from school. I attended my first summons for jury duty. I caught up with friends and family. I’ve been skiing on freshly fallen snow. I spent New Years Eve with a New Yorker and fellow Oxy student. I served as an impromptu tour guide for a friend visiting from Colombia. I’ve chowed down on East Coast classics that LA still can’t seem to figure out, namely pizza, Dunkin Donuts, East Coast Chinese food and grandma’s italian home cooking.
While my winter break has been fantastic, I have missed Oxy and Los Angeles in general. Among the friends and the professors that I’m looking forward to seeing when I get back next week, I am also excited to return to the Charles R Blyth Fund, known simply as the Blyth Fund. The Fund was established in 1977 and has been set up for Oxy students to take a hands-on approach to learning about investing. Today the Fund is valued at about $124,000 which is made up shares in 22 equities and a cash holding. I am one of 15 student “directors” on the Fund.
This month is an exciting one for the Blyth Fund. January 25th marks the start of the 3rd Annual Oxy Virtual Stock Competition, which will last for two months. Whoever wishes to participate is given a virtual stockpile of $100,000 to invest as he or she wishes. At the end of the two months, whoever gains the greatest return on their investment wins a $25 cash card. I’ve played for the past two years and actually ended up winning my first year. It’s fun to compete against friends and to compare your individual investing strategies… …if that’s the kind of thing you’re into. I am.
Also this month, 11 Blyth Fund directors will travel to Salt Lake City to participate in the 2013 University Private Equity Summit from January 24th through 26th. None of us have ever been but were looking forward to the case studies, seminars and networking with fellow student investors and professionals.
Overall my experience on the Blyth Fund has been fantastic. I first heard about the Fund during my tour of Oxy and I was immediatly drawn to it. This coming March will mark the end of my two years on the Fund and I’m fond of all that I’ve learned and the experiences that I’ve had. Over the course of two years I have closely followed the Fund’s holding in Google and Intel. As we’ve focused on paring down the number of holding we have, I shifted my role to focus exclusively on our holding in The Walt Disney Company. From October through November of last year, I researched and presented on why the Fund should recapitalize on its holding in Disney. I began with a primary presentation, called a "snapshop," followed by a valuation, and several further discussions and presentations. Throghout the process I had to negotiate being an impartial analyist while also working to effectively communicate the strong growth potential in Disney. At the end of November I am proud to say that the fund agreed with my "strong growth" conclusion, and we doubled the size of our holding in Disney.