Two new business clubs formed despite pre-existing investment club


Credit: Lina Baranovsky

Pictured above is a poster for Misha Arakcheev’s Startup & Entrepreneurship Club. Arakcheev’s club is one of the three business clubs at WHS. “I started it because I realized that I have some very good ideas and I can make money out of it,” he said.

Lina Baranovsky

This year, two new business-related clubs were created: the Startup & Entrepreneurship Club and another WHS Investment Club, despite an investment club already existing.

Juniors Liam Henning and Cameron O’Neill created the older WHS Investment Club two years ago. Henning and O’Neill started the club because of their interest and prior knowledge of investment. The club has 20 people with 15 regularly coming to meetings, which are held two to three times a month.

Each year, the two set up a competition on Investopedia, a site dedicated to providing investment education. Henning states that the competition is similar to a “stock market game.” For the competition, each member begins with $250,000 and will invest this money.

“The winner [of the game] gets a prize or a pizza party or something like that.” Henning said. “We’re also going to the Putnam Investments firm for a field trip during one of the days when we don’t have school, but the market’s still open.”

Henning is not bothered by junior Misha Arakcheev’s club, the Startup & Entrepreneurship Club, considering it “cool.” However, Henning is “pretty annoyed” at the other investment club, founded by seniors Craig McCahan, Calvin Neumeyer and Ben Slater.

“[McCahan’s] club should be dissolved because there’s substantial proof that we were there before,” Henning said. “Its name is literally identical to our name, and what they do is identical to what we do.”

McCahan and his friends started the new investment club last spring with Assistant Principal Scott Parseghian’s help under the impression that there was no club like it at the time.

“We really wanted a club where we could talk about investing, which we’ve been passionate about [and have] been practicing for years,” McCahan said.

According to McCahan, there was also a lot of interest in the club from his classmates, both with and without prior investing experience.

“I was very much interested in an investment club, and there was no club for me,” senior Will Glynn said.

The new investment club will meet about once every two weeks starting this month to talk about the stock market, investing and the economy. They plan to enter the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s investment competition, in which the leaders of the club will assign portfolios to groups of students and see how well they do over the course of the year.

“[Our club] is both for people who have investing experience or don’t have investing experience, but most don’t,” McCahan said. “It’s a fun way just to learn about investing and gain financial literacy.”

According to McCahan, his investment club is different from the older WHS Investment Club because the other club is not “running the paper trade portfolio” that his club is.

“I don’t think there’s any real competition. We’re talking about investing daily, and running the paper trade portfolio,” McCahan said. “I think they’re bringing in a few speakers to talk about investing, [and] we may end up actually coordinating with them on some of our activities.”

McCahan, however, does not know of the Startup & Entrepreneurship Club that Arakcheev started three weeks ago.

“I started it because I realized that I have some very good ideas, and I can make money out of it,” Arakcheev said. “To make it happen, it would be really helpful if I [had] a team, so right now I’m trying to form a team to make money together.”

Arakcheev was unaware of the other clubs.

“When I tried to open my club, I went to Parseghian, and he told me that there are two other clubs. He emailed them, but no one emailed me back, so I just opened my club,” Arakcheev said.

Startup & Entrepreneurship Club meets once a week in room B226, with about 15 people coming regularly. There are six main topics of the club that Arakcheev mentioned in his flyers: “observation, problem realization, brainstorming, improving, testing and business formation.”

Arakcheev plans for members to first observe life at school and try to find problems. They will then identify the core issue, brainstorm some ideas and make a model to test a few of them. Finally, they will form a business. The overall goal of the club is to make money.

At WHS, Arakcheev has taken Investing and the Creative Economy (ICE), and this year he is taking Entrepreneurship and Business Management (EBM) and Business Law.

“I was interested in business from childhood because my dream was to open a restaurant, but right now, I just like other businesses as well.” Arakcheev said.