On June 18th, Morgan Stanley’s office was introduced to a promising long-term investment opportunity. It wasn’t shares in a fancy new start-up, but the next generation of entrepreneurs, investment professionals, and financial analysts— represented by thirteen middle school students from Kappa IV’s afterschool program. For students just starting to pursue summer jobs and shape their futures, it was a timely lesson in saving, investing, and financial lingo. Even though financial planning is intimidating for many adults, our kids were ready for the challenge and shined as they shared their knowledge in a Morgan Stanley corporate boardroom.
“The students of Kappa IV in Harlem are serious about financial fitness. Their energy throughout the day was infectious as they pitched investment strategies and demonstrated curiosity,” said Carl Contiguglia, Morgan Stanley Managing Director and ESS Board Member. “At Morgan Stanley, we’re proud to stand with Episcopal Social Services to expand opportunities and future dreams for New York communities. Our Global Volunteer Month event with ESS left us greatly enriched by this invaluable partnership.”
Our students were in awe as the day began with a swift elevator ride to the thirty-seventh floor and expansive Hudson River views! It’s been said that first impressions last a lifetime, and our kids made a lasting impact on Morgan Stanley associates with their professional attire and respectful demeanor while seated around the conference table.
The question of the day was “What is Finance?” and was presented by six enthusiastic Morgan Stanley employees, with a PowerPoint and humorous skit at the ready. The interactive skit portrayed an innovative young man with an exciting pizza/taxi delivery service, but no funds to make it a success. They clearly explained how the investing process works, with investors, a middleman, and business ideas that were evaluated by everyone in the room.
The class demonstrated confidence in their knowledge and communication skills when they presented what they learned during the small group exercise. Split into groups, the class had to identify pros and cons of investing in three big name companies: Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike. With their Morgan Stanley coaches guiding the process, our kids impressed all of the adults in the room with their thoroughly analyzed choices. For example, when choosing between Apple and Samsung, Tony pointed out that international restrictions on certain applications might impact a company’s growth. “That’s a really great idea, you’re teaching me!” exclaimed Brenna from Morgan Stanley. After a pizza lunch was served, they were given a tour of the trading floor.
”We’re deeply appreciative of Morgan Stanley for their continued leadership support of our programs,” said Mohan Sivaloganathan, Chief Development Officer. “Days like today provide profound learning opportunities for our kids and give them a unique forum for growing into young adults. Morgan Stanley’s team helped our kids to develop vital life skills, learn about real-world concepts, and gain appreciation for a wide range of future possibilities.”
One Morgan Stanley representative left the class with some final words of wisdom. He stressed that they should set small goals, be persistent in the face of difficulties, and most importantly, don’t forget the qualities that make you unique. With confidence running higher than ever, our kids were full of business ideas and the knowledge that they can achieve success. We’re excited to see the returns on Morgan Stanley’s investment.