Suffolk Graduate Program

10.26.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

To start the year off, FMA brought in Suffolk University employees Jon Ahern, the Assistant Director of Graduate Programs in Finance, and Abu Jalal, PhD, an Associate Professor of Finance, to discuss the opportunities available to Stonehill finance students who are interested in attending graduate school. They explained the many different concentrations that they offer as well as the after-graduate opportunities and connections they have in Boston.

Many of Stonehill’s business graduates go straight into the work force upon graduation, however, there are a sizable amount of graduates that pursue further education. Suffolk provides a program for Stonehill students to earn their graduate degree in as little as a year, following graduation. Ahern and Jalal provided information, to the students in attendance, about all of the programs and benefits from seeking a graduate program at Suffolk University.

There presentation left the students with more options and life paths to consider upon completing their four years at Stonehill College.









The photo, from right, Jon Ahern, Abu Jalal, PhD, Ben Monte (FMA President).


U.S. Economy for the Month of September

10.26.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest gain in five months, as the cost of gasoline and rents surged this September. There was a 5.8% jump in gasoline prices last month which accounted for more than half of the increase in the consumer price index (CPI). Along with this, Americans paid more for electricity, with prices having their biggest gain since December 2014. Rent recorded its biggest increase in nearly 10 years. These price increases in gasoline and rent point to a steady pickup of inflation. The CPI increased 0.3 percent last month. This in turn will help keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this coming December. The central bank has a 2 percent inflation target, and the tracked inflation right now is at 1.7 percent.

Increasing prices are bad news for retirees because social security recipients are only to get a 0.3 percent cost of living adjustment increase next year. Good news for households was that food prices did not have any effect on the CPI. Food prices have been unchanged for the third straight month, but the cost of food consumed at home declined for the fight straight month. Consumers also paid more for grooming, motor vehicle insurance, tobacco, and airline fares. Communication prices recorded their largest decline in two years. Motor vehicle prices decreased and and apparel prices went down 0.7 percent.

Who Is Behind Those Advertisements?

04.28.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

Nanigans 2

For our final speaker of the year, the Stonehill FMA brought in Luigi Testa, Senior Director of Finance and Strategy at Nanigans, a software company that is responsible for about 10% of the ads you see on Facebook.  First about Mr. Testa, after graduating Bentley, he started his career off working for a venture capitalist firm, but felt it wasn’t truly what he wanted to do.  He instead shifted his job search to cater more towards opportunities within younger companies under the Business Development department or as a potential Analyst. Mr. Testa stated in regards to his style as a worker, “I am more of a shipbuilder than working on a ship that is already sailing.” Mr. Testa found that he preferred working for smaller companies, where he can interact with everyone and have better access to C-suite level personnel.

Currently at Nanigans, he describes the finance department as being the mold for cement, in other words, his job is to make sure that everyone else has enough resources and structure to succeed.  Mr. Testa had a lot of advise for us, but what he emphasized most was to at some point in your life try to take a job in sales. The skills and experiences you will learn as a salesperson will most definitely benefit you in most other professions.

Mr. Testa described Nanigans as a software supplier, it is similar to software used for high frequency trading, only this software is used for marketing on social media platforms.  Software like this accounts for the mega data that is on the internet and filters it to a state that is understandable and user friendly.  Mr. Testa described Nanigan’s software as the Ferrari of the industry because it is luxurious, powerful, and respected. It was interesting hearing about how important software is to businesses and how prevalent it is in our own lives, yet we sometimes overlook its importance.

In conclusion of his presentation, Zack Van Dyke, the FMA President, presented Mr. Testa with the Professional Honor Society award. Zack Van Dyke has had the pleasure of working with Mr. Testa as an intern and has developed a strong relationship with both Mr. Testa and Nanigans. We again want to thank Mr. Testa for coming in to speak with us, it was a pleasure and we wish you best of luck in your success.

Nanigans 2






Alexandria Real Estate Equities

04.08.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

Alexandria-Real-Estate-Equities-Inc_This Friday, the Stonehill FMA and SCIFI, took a trip into Boston to visit the real estate investment trust, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. While there we were able to meet with Mr. Thomas Andrews, Executive VP and Regional Market Director of the Greater Boston area. Mr. Andrews gave us a presentation on the company, its back story and what makes it different.

Alexandria has a portfolio of properties across the county, in cities where the life science industry is prevalent.  Since Alexandria focuses on real estate for tenants in industries such as biotechnical and pharmaceutical, to list a few, all the buildings are specialized to meet the needs of the life science industries. A large portion of the company’s clients consist of companies in the life science industry and because of this, Alexandria has been able perform well over the past few years because of upward trends in the life science industry.

Mr. Andrews also gave us a bit of his backstory and how he got into the business.  He started off like a lot of young people, working at a restaurant, believing that was what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.  One day he decided to apply for the Hotel Administration at Cornell, got in, and somewhere along the line decided the restaurant business wasn’t for him.  He then went to MIT for his masters where he wrote his thesis about what basically later became his career.

We want to thank Mr. Andrews for sharing his personal story, describing Alexandria’s business, and educating us about REITS!

Lending a Helping Hand

04.06.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

Brothers Keeper

Along with our event speakers, weekly meetings, and portfolio competition, the Financial Management Association (FMA) decided to add to our  extensive agenda this year by serving our local community. The FMA’s Community Service Committee decided that our club will volunteer to aid in the day to day operations of  My Brother’s Keeper, a local non-profit service organization. My Brother’s Keeper’s mission is “To bring the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ to those we serve.” By joining up with My Brother’s Keeper, the FMA group had the opportunity to help drop off food and furniture to those in the community who are in need.

This eye opening experience helped us realize that not everyone is financially stable where acts of purchasing food and furniture can be burdensome. We learned from this experience about how important it is to help serve your community and to delegate your time to benefit others. The FMA is happy to announce that  we sent three groups to My Brother’s Keeper this year and all were a success.

The FMA is not the only organization or group from Stonehill that volunteers their time with My Brother’s Keeper. We encourage anyone and everyone to take sometime out of their day and walk over to My Brother’s Keeper and offer a helping hand. You will not regret it!


Dress for Success

04.05.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

Natales Clothing 1

Carlo Agostino, second generation owner of Natale’s Men’s Clothier, located in Norwell MA, came in to talk to the FMA about, you guessed it, men’s (and women’s) apparel. Carlo gave us a bit of history on how Natale’s Men’s Clothier came to be. It all started with how his father; an Italian immigrant with very little money, but a talent for tailoring was able to open a retail store in the United States. Growing up, Carlo was heavily involved with his father’s business. This involvement enabled Carlo to gain deep knowledge of appropriate fashion and fashion construction.


The store carries men’s and women’s clothing of the highest quality. Carlo explained to us that he personally samples and tests all of his materials before confirming an order to ensure that it will meet his standards. Along with the high quality clothing, Carlo guarantees that you will also receive high quality customer service from the minute you walk in the door until you finalized your purchase.

Carlo also was kind enough to provide us with many tips on our wardrobe and how to dress appropriately for any occasion. One of his biggest tips for looking good, is being comfortable and wearing something that fits correctly. Even an inexpensive starter suit can be tailored to make you feel like a million bucks. Carlo brought in suits of different fabric weight, quality, and price. The purpose was to show us the differences in the texture and structure of the garment depending upon the type of materials used. He was able to show us the difference of a poorly constructed suit versus a suit found in his store.Natales Clothing 2

When it comes to your first suit, Carlo advised us to go with a deep ink blue. It is versatile and practical, and more appropriate (in most cases) than black. You can pair the blue or navy jacket with grey, camel, or khaki pants, and any number of colored shirts.  However, white and blue shirts are the most popular and versatile.

He also told us to always go with a cotton shirt as apposed to polyester or synthetic materials, because it is most breathable.  No one wants to sweat more and he advised to dry clean your clothing more often than you think to maintain the integrity of the clothing. Carlo also defined the different types of garments and explained how some people often mislabel certain types of clothing. For example, a button down shirt does not refer to a shirt with only buttons down the front, rather it refers to whether the collar buttons down or not too.  He also advised that while watches, belts and shoes are important to complete a man’s look, accessories are equally important to a woman’s look.

It was refreshing to meet someone like Carlo, a man that takes pride in continuing what his father started and deeply cares for his store and customers experience. Carlo will happily assist you with any possible questions you may have about color coordinating, suits, pants, ties or any garment in men’s clothing. What sets Natale’s apart from big department stores, is the care that Carlo has for making his customers look and feel their best, not just the sale. We strongly encourage that you visit their newly revamped website and to visit Carlo whenever you are in the Norwell area!

Positive Gains for the Dow Jones

04.04.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

Dow JonesWith the extreme volatility in the first quarter coming to an end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is signaling a positive open to the second quarter.  Tech stocks such as Apple (APPL) and Tesla (TSLA) are pushing tremendous gains for the DJIA, both nearly up 10% since last week.

Tesla just released their new affordable car, the Model 3.  It is being sold for $35,000 and already has about 275,000 preorders.  Tesla was trading at $140 back in February 2016 and as of April 4th, 2016 Tesla stands at $250.02.  Look for this stock to keep gaining momentum as their new model is sold.

Although tech stocks are more volatile than ever with increasing competition, the U.S tech stocks are more of a bullish sector for investment.  Another major reason for the positive open to the second quarter is price of oil.  Oil is forecasted to bounce back from their lows which is gaining investors trust in the market.  As of April 4th, crude oil prices stand at $36.80.  Crude oil prices have been fluctuating over this past week between $36 and $41.  Most stocks are effected by oil, so if oil keeps trending higher in the market, investors have a safer bet on their holding equities.

Emerging markets are extremely attractive to many long-term investors.  Emerging market stocks have followed the recovery of commodity prices and this has resulted in powerful gains for the emerging markets.  With the U.S dollar losing some value due to the potential changes in Fed policy, emerging markets have sustained.  This gives the emerging markets better profit margins and provides positive gains for global growth.  As global growth continues to have the chance to grow positively, markets around the world will look to sustain powerful gains.

A Stock to Consider

03.29.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

As the stock market begins to build momentum, following the rough start to 2016, many investors are trying to find the right stock to buy. For many, income stocks may be the way to go. Income investing targets companies that provide a steady stream of income. This steady stream of income generally comes through their high dividend yields. Dividends are a less risky component of total return, compared to capital appreciation. Likewise, dividend stocks are historically less volatile than non-dividend stocks. The income investing stocks are a safe bet to create wealth as dividends generally act as a hedge against economic uncertainty, and reflect a company’s solid financial structure and healthy underlying fundamentals.


Another benefit of an income stock is the ability to use the dividend yield to reinvest into the market. When the market is uncertain, or when it is beginning to recover, it is often the “safe” and “smart” choice to invest in an income stock. Though the income investing style is generally overlooked, since it does not provide the fast returns of some stocks, this could be a suitable time for such a strategy as it cushions an investor’s portfolio given the stocks’ low risk and diversification benefits.

If you choose to invest in an income stock, one stock to consider is DuPont Fabros Technology, Inc. (DFT). DFT is a leading owner, developer, operator and manager of wholesale data centers and a real estate investment trust. This particular company has been paying dividends consistently since 1999 and has increased its dividend on a continuous basis.

DFT is currently offering a dividend yield of 4.7% and has a 5-year historical dividend yield of 3.7%. Likewise, this stock has gained over 27% in the past year and has a 5-year historical dividend growth of 40.8%. DFT is currently trading at $40.59, as of March 29th, but has seen tremendous growth. This past  October 1st, 2015, the stock was trading for $26.09. This demonstrates the vast growth of the stock and the potential is has for continuous growth. However, since we are discussing income stocks, the growth of the stock is not the main priority, but rather a side-benefit. Overall, DuPont Fabros Technology offers a consistent dividend yield, posting positive growth, and continuous payment. This is a stock that most investors should consider with their next investment decision. DTF will be extremely attractive to investors who are considering income stocks to minimize risk and create diversification.

Italy Banking Crisis

03.20.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

The continued banking crisis in Italy is not just trouble for Europe’s fourth largest economy but also for the European Union and already weakened global economy. The issues began for Italy late in 2015 when they had to bail out four small to medium sized banks due to high non-performing corporate loan ratios. Following that, Italian stocks declined roughly 25% since the beginning of 2016. This was due to numerous reasons. The most prominent being the non-performing corporate loan ratio over 25%, equivalent to $370 billion or 21% of GDP. Italy’s largest worries are centered on their larger banks such as Monte Dei Pasci. Monte Dei Pasci has been bailed out twice since 2009. Their percentage of loans that are non-performing are about 3% higher than the average Italian bank. Their effect on Italy is substantially larger than the four small to medium sized banks that were saved in late 2015.

Recently, Italy has been looking for the quickest resolution. They first suggested to the EU to create a single “Bad Bank” that intended to take away all debt from Italian banks. This first plan was rejected and another was suggested. In the second plan Italy wanted to give banks a chance to buy public guarantees enabling them to offload their NPL’s on some asset management company. Eventually the EU came to an agreement with Italy on this resolution and considered it a ‘bail in.’

Although Italy and the EU recently came to an agreement they are still in conflict with them over their current situation especially Germany, their main import and export country. Italy wants support from the EU, while Germany feels they should not be held responsible for lending more money after the Greece debt crisis. Italy’s bank crisis could easily become a political issue as well if the EU cannot figuring out a larger solution to the problem.

Italy’s bank crisis has being said to be considerably worse than Greece’s debt crisis. Greece may hold the top spot in the EU for the worst debt-to-GDP ratio, but Italy comes in second place with a debt-to-GDP ratio greater than 132%. If Italy does not find a resolution to their increasing NPL’s and high debt levels, the worldwide economy will suffer. Economist believe the effect will be much worse because when Greece went bankrupt they were the 44th largest economy in the world. Italy on the other had is the 8th largest.

When making an investment make sure to consider the regions in which the company generates their revenue and hedge whether or not it’s a quality investment. If the company’ sales lie mainly in the EU, especially Italy, then it may not be the best investment to make at this point and time.

Financial Literacy

03.19.2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

Financial Literacy


This past Saturday Stonehill hosted an event exclusive to seniors titled, Financial Literacy. This was a chance for seniors to hear from four experienced individuals about the best ways to manage their money. Our four speakers included Glen Ilacqua, CPA and professor for accounting at Stonehill, Elizabeth Santella, a loan officer, Alan Siegel, a financial advisor, and Robert Spencer, a professor here at Stonehill with an extensive background as an attorney and CPA. The four of these individuals were able to provide financial guidance and advice for various aspects of our lives. From small daily expenditures to budgeting for the future.



Glen Ilacqua explained the importance of filing taxes and how it is quite simple. He stressed that filing correctly is extremely important. You want the correct amount taken from each check and when you are filing your returns you do not want to owe money, you want to receive money instead so make sure to file single zero. He stressed, however, that you must be aware of when to change your tax filing because there will come a time when you are required to do so. As you grow in wealth, acquire a home, and start a family, you no longer will be able to file for the same tax status as you did when you were 22 or 23.

Elizabeth Santella provided some rather simple cost saving tips that most college students and even adults seem to overlook. Ms. Santella, in a comical way, advised us that we should look for the cheaper substitutes in life. She said, coffee is coffee, whether it is at Starbucks or McDonalds. Save yourself a couple of dollars a day and drink McCafe. She said you do not need to be someone walking the runway, try your best not to be addicted to fashion trends and stop by Walmart every now and then. A t-shirt there is still a t-shirt, but for half the price. Lastly, she stressed heavily on the unnecessary expense created by ATMs. Why pay $2 to $4 in charges at an ATM when you can buy a piece of candy at CVS and get cashback? Ms. Santella says, be smart and stay away from unnecessary expenses that can accumulate day by day and week by week. She also stressed to us the importance of establishing credit and maintaining credit. Pay your bills and pay them on time!

Alan Siegel provided insight into retirement plans and how to save up for the future. He said it is imperative to figure out exactly what the company is offering for retirement plans and benefits before accepting the job offer. You want a match plan at minimum, where the company you work for will match whatever percentage of your paycheck you delegate to your 401k. Mr. Siegel talked further about the importance of having a diversified portfolio to ensure that there will be money available when you decide to retire and no matter what, do not touch your retirement money too early as you will be penalized and it will hurt you in the long run.

Robert Spencer wrapped up the seminar with advice about when you are actually working in a job and the importance of future growth. Mr. Spencer provided his own personal experiences as an entry level worker and explained the importance of finding a mentor in the company. He stressed that not any mentor of course. Just because they are older and have been with the company for years might not mean they are the best mentor. Do your research and scout the workers out. You need to find someone who is loyal to the company and who has extensive knowledge of the industry. Once you find that person, try to work with them and learn from them as much as possible because it will benefit you in the long run. He also added to Mr. Siegel advice and said that no matter what, do your research before investing regardless if you are using an advisor or not. Sometimes advisors might not work in your best interest even if they claim they are. Do not be swindled or clueless with where your money is going and how it is growing. Be a part of the whole process as much as possible.

Financial Literacy 2Overall this event was great for second semester seniors as many of them will hopefully have jobs in the months following graduation. The advice they received t oday from these four reputable individuals will surely help to protect them for the future.

We want to again thank all four of our speakers as they did a wonderful job and we wish all our seniors the best of luck for the future!