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Financially Sound

Joshua Joseph, ’22, creates student investment club
Story Series
Bridgewater Magazine

Joshua Joseph, ’22, described himself as a middling student during his early years at BSU. Then something happened: He got a glimpse into the world of finance.

Not long after, he opted for a double major in finance and economics with a minor in management. He ultimately founded the Bridgewater Collegiate Investors (BCI), a student-run equity investment fund whose 25 members meet weekly to analyze the stock market and brainstorm investment strategies. While the million dollars that members can invest may be virtual, the hands-on experience they gain has played a critical part in their success landing both internships and jobs. (Accounting and Finance Professor Yihong Xiao works with the group, and other faculty members offer lectures on a wide range of market-related topics.)

Joshua, a Dedham native, was selected in the spring by the Massachusetts Department of Education as one of its “29 Who Shine,” an honor bestowed on top-achieving students from the state’s public colleges and universities. The 23-year-old was also selected to participate in this year’s Goldman Sachs Black Possibilities Summit, a professional development program held virtually for three weeks in February where he cultivated top industry skills.

Joshua will graduate at the end of this semester and has accepted an offer to become an investment banking analyst at Harris Williams in Richmond, Virginia, beginning in June 2023. Recently, we discussed with him his life and work.

What prompted you to investigate a career in finance and investing?
During COVID, when everyone was locked down and the stock market was fluctuating, I asked my family if they had any money in the stock market. They didn’t, and I figured there’s something I’m missing here.

What is it about finance that drives your passion?
What’s interesting about it is that it’s never stale, there are always new updates and reports, and so many things can affect the market.

Can you talk about the Bridgewater Collegiate Investors?
When I started taking finance classes, I wanted to join an investment club to gain some experience, and I noticed that BSU didn’t have one. I took the initiative and created one.

How does it work?
Each board member follows a specific sector and leads a group of analysts. We look at company filings and sell-side equity research to come up with our own conclusion and build valuation models. At the end of each semester, we present to faculty, staff and members of the BSU Foundation about the stocks we believe we should invest in. The point is to develop students to prepare them for internships and jobs.

And membership can pay big dividends, so to speak, after graduation?
Yes. Some members go to job interviews, and the interviewers ask what happened in BCI and how they contributed. It’s great to know that it’s benefitting other students.

In a nutshell, what have you learned about investing?
That you have to look at both sides of any decision. People have their own view of why a stock should be bought or sold.

What would you say to a student nervous about contemplating a future in finance?
Don’t be intimidated. Reach out to a faculty member because they’d love to discuss the different career paths and the skill sets needed to succeed in each.

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