I sat down with one of the managing directors of Meliora Capital Management, LCC, junior Harris Weber, to get a better sense of what the student organization is all about. Financially sound once again, it is open for business and expanding rapidly.
In short, what is Meliora Capital Management?
Meliora Capital Management, LLC is a registered New York State limited liability company and student investment club in Rochester. Our goal is to give all students with an interest in business and finance the opportunity to build and share their knowledge through real world investing. We also provide valuable advice and networking opportunities for students interested in pursuing financial internships and careers.
How did you get involved with the club?
Despite being a biology major, I have always had an interest in investing and the financial markets, so I made an effort to reach out to the club during my freshman orientation.  I was heavily involved in my high school’s investment club, so the transition was pretty natural.
Do you invest real money? Where does it come from?
Yes, we do.  Each member of the club invests $500 of his or her own money with the company in order to receive one ownership unit of the LLC.
How do you decide how the money is spent?
After individual and group research presentations on various securities and investment strategies, the group votes on an action to be taken.  Every member has an equal say in the vote.
Do you get to keep returns on your investments?
When a member chooses to exit the company, they receive their initial $500 investment back plus or minus any gains or losses to the company since they entered. So like any other investment, you can actually make or lose money.
How do club members educate themselves on the stock market?
At our meetings, we, the Managing Directors, provide insight on the market landscape and some tools members can use to analyze various equities. In addition, members split into smaller analyst groups based on their sector of interest (i.e health care, energy, etc.) and work with each other to find investment opportunities.
Do you need to be an Economics or Business major to join?
Nope, I’m not, and I’m a Managing Director. You just need a passion for learning how to invest money.
What has happened in the past five years? More specifically, what happened with your tax status? How was it resolved?
As I understand it, in our first year of operation, taxes were not properly filed. Last year, the IRS penalized us and our accounts were frozen, so we could not trade. However, we were able to have the charges ablated since we are in nature an educational organization. Forming a closer relationship with the school’s administration and our advisor was extremely helpful in achieving this resolution.
Besides that hiccup, the fund has been extremely successful in its first five years, consistently beating the S&P 500.
What are some programs that “MelCap” has recently organized?
Last semester, we brought in alumni David Swidler who works at the Hedge Fund Perry Capital, to speak with the company.  Mr. Swidler lectured on how a hedge fund operates and his interpretation of the most recent market happenings.
Where does Meliora Capital Management see itself in five years?
We see Meliora Capital Management becoming a necessary means to jump-start a student’s career in finance. In five years, a member of Meliora Capital Management will have the financial skills and knowledge that rival that of any student from another top-tier school.  They will have met numerous alumni in the industry, many of whom are also Meliora Capital Management former members, who will understand the extent of their engagement with the company.
We also believe that the amount of non-business major students involved in the company will increase, and we will subsequently be able to capitalize on the diversity of our members.
Brady is a member of
the class of 2015.

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