Making its platform clear through an advertising campaign that invites students to “become the one percent,” Trebizond Investments is working to distinguish itself from other campus investment groups.

Founded last year, the organization is the newest investment group at Georgetown and manages about $50,000.  According to CEO Caspian Tavallali (SFS ’14), it differs from larger and more established groups like the Georgetown Collegiate Investors and the Georgetown University Student Investment Fund in its focus on short-term investments.

“GCI and GUSIF invest like our grandparents do. They invest on the long term,” he said. “In reality, we’re in college for four years. Very few of these investments you’re making will … ripen by the time you graduate. We look at shortterm investments that we can make profits out of in maybe three months.”

Tavallali previously served as GCI’s secretary of the board and was actively involved in GUSIF.

Chief Operations Officer Alex Kondziolka (MSB ’14) said Trebizond also invests in higher risk funds and makes faster decisions than other investment groups on campus.

“We see opportunity and take it. In that way, [our] investment rationale is more risky,” Tavallali said. “But as young adults, we can take that risk.”

Tavallali added that the organization was also unique  in its structure.

“Many of our members have little investment experience, but they have the opportunity to pitch investment ideas in front of peers,” he said. “That makes the investment less paternalistic, because no one is being lectured to.”

Both Tavallali and Kondziolka emphasize participation as the most valuable asset of the club. The group also prides itself in the use of a secret ballot when it makes investment decisions, according Chief Investment Officer Eric Vorchheimer (MSB ’14).

“A lot of times when you do open voting, you would either get almost 100 percent ‘yes’ or 100 percent ‘no,’ because when the CEO raises his hand, other people tend to just follow,” Tavallali said. “It becomes investing under peer pressure, and that’s not good investment strategy.”

Trebizond Investments also uses an online investing forum, which allows for a transparent log of investment rationale and creates a system of accountability.

“Even people who are not club members can see our rationale,” Tavallali said, “So people have more responsibility when pitching.”

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