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Cadets Invest For A Brighter Future: The Cadet Fund 

Nick Johnson '23

We’ve all seen the stock ticker in the window of Mr. Simmons' class, but how many of you know what it means? 

The answer goes beyond a simple classroom project, and it is in fact a new initiative to change the financial starts of cadets now and to come. This program is called the Cadet Fund. 

History of the Fund

Mr. Simmons describes the Cadet Fund as a “real-life project that students can work with and can see the results of their decisions.” The fund started in 2018, as a senior elective backed by a thousand-dollar investment; soon, three additional investments brought the total to nineteen thousand dollars. A TD Ameritrade account was started in 2019 to help manage the stocks as a brokerage, and the investment class is entrusted with choosing the stock portfolio. 
Each new year, the class uses the money gained from the previous year and continues to add upon previous portfolios. Essentially, a continuous line of seniors research and invest more money than the previous senior class.
Mr. Simmons says that the purpose of the fund is two fold: (1) designed to make money for financial aid to benefit future students; (2) benefit the present senior class by teaching effective stock ownership. Seniors that I have talked to in the class describe it as a fun and hard-working atmosphere where you learn financial life skills that will last a lifetime. They all encourage me to join next year. 

2021-2022 Fundraising

The fundraiser put on recently by the Cadet Fund consisted of an out-of-uniform day for five dollars and a cookie sale. The cookies were sold three for two dollars, clearly the best deal on cookies that this school may ever see. Sweet Martha’s also donated the cookies, making the sale at no expense to the Cadet Fund. The fundraiser raised close to four thousand dollars; $2800 from the out-of-uniform entry fee and roughly $1000 from the cookie sale. The money raised from the fundraiser was invested into the fund immediately and has and will continue to benefit future cadets through the net gain of the value in stocks.

Cadet Fund Portfolio

The fund is currently invested in United Health Group, American Tower, Chevron, JP Morgan Chase, Proctor and Gamble, Xcel Energy, Microsoft, Disney, Ecolab, 3M, Best Buy, and an S&P 500 ETF. The vast majority of the money currently invested in the fund is in the S&P 500 ETF. An ETF is not a mutual fund; it is an exchange-traded fund. In Mr. Simmons’s words, “It is meant to be a fund that is traded like a stock that is supposed to be not just the buying and selling of one company but all of the stocks that are currently on the S&P 500”. Seniors research the company, and then a decision is made as a whole whether to invest or not. Every company listed above has been deliberated on by the senior class. Their hard work is paying off as there is a little more than thirty-nine thousand dollars in the fund at the moment. 

Targets for the Year

The goal of the Cadet Fund is to gross one hundred thousand dollars before the end of the year. The seniors and Mr. Simmons hopes to receive donations, school funding, and stock value appreciation to achieve this goal. This, in turn, would allow the fund to be stable enough to start giving back by next year. Mr. Simmons also sees the one hundred thousand dollar benchmark as key, for at this point the fund will maintain a stable presence in the stock market at all times so that it is always producing income.