This week’s meeting continued with our weekly current event sector of the class. This has served as a great resource to our members as they are staying informed regarding the events happening in the world and how they affect the economic markets. The extreme rise and fall (volatility) of the markets has been emphasised by many news sources, therefore it an emphasized topic throughout our meeting as well. An important point was that the Dow Jones plunged enough to wipe out 2018’s gains. Notable stocks (FAANG stocks) such as Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook all fell ~5%. The volatile markets may be a result of the unresolved political and economic tensions with China and Saudi Arabia, leaving the future uncertain. The other current event group introduced the conversation of the migrant caravan traveling to the United States to seek safety. People in other countries face the fear of persecution and hope that they can reach a place where they will be free of these issues. Social media has been a large focus of the migrant caravan which is different in the past and interesting to explore.
Following these presentations, Gabby led a Kahoot session which was a interactive method to learn and review the materials from the Harvard Business School Case Study of TEVA pharmaceuticals. It was a great way to cover the information of the company and compare it to what we have learned so far in our market analysis sessions. TEVA is a company with a very unique history which plays an important role in the pharmaceutical industry (The history and background of a company is useful to know and can be used to complete decision-making processes). We also applied market analysis strategies to dig deeper and understand the relevant aspects of TEVA Pharmaceuticals.
Before transitioning, students from both the consulting branch and investment fund listened to a relevant TED Talk. Simon Sinek spoke about how to inspire great leaders and how to reach the consumer. This TED talk was very applicable to today’s consulting session because reaching the consumer was at the core of the lesson. At the center of Sinek’s structure is finding your “why” and next, branching out to find your “how” and then finally your “what.” Your “why” is always the most important aspect because this is what pulls emotions and grabs your consumers’ attention.
The fund session was full of vibrant conversation and great questions. All students were very engaged in the presentation covering the business cycle where we discussed seasonal and cyclical businesses with specific examples. We got to see everyone’s creativity in choosing specific businesses that followed these patterns and looking at their market pattern. Creating a diversifying portfolio of stocks of companies that follow a non-cyclical pattern to counter the cyclical stocks was another topic we covered. Toward the end of the session, we discussed bonds and other methods of borrowing through securities. Foreign currency was a topic that sparked conversation because of the different conversion rates and relationships between the countries that contribute to the markets. This was a great way to end class and transition the conversation into next week.