Introduction to Finance and Investment Management

Open to students entering grades 9 through 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
III - August 10th – August 14th, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 10:10 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 2:10–4:00 p.m.
Tom Leach, Rajeev Nair, Angela Paulk

“I particularly liked taking the topics we were learning and learning about their real world applications.” — From a program course evaluation 

Course Description

Participants learn the principles of finance - how stocks and bonds are valued, why investments make money, and why investment strategies work. They also gain a solid understanding of portfolio management - how investments are structured and balanced for different objectives.

We explore the structure of the financial system - what firms such as investment banks, asset managers, and hedge funds do, both for clients and for the economy. The course connects foundations of economics, both micro and macro, to the foundations of finance and to selecting investments. What is the role of risk in investment? How does the environment of the market and broader world drive the returns on investments? Why have some investments done so well in memorable history? Why have others not done well? How are the winners and losers of past investments explained by the theories? What is the role of traditional investments, such as mutual funds, and of alternative investments, like hedge funds?

As the final objective of the course, students generate their own investment strategies and portfolios.


Tom Leach

Tom Leach is a managing member for Preakness Hills Capital, which provides due diligence and valuation services to Wall Street buy-side firms. At Bennett Lawrence Management he served as the technology analyst for the multi-billion AUM investment firm. Prior to Wall Street, Tom worked in the semiconductor industry for Xilinx and National Semiconductor, both in a sales capacity and as a principal engineer. His designs have generated over $100 million in product revenues. He has also authored multiple articles for trade magazines and holds a U.S. patent. Tom holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the Business School Honor Society. He received his BS in electrical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering Honor Society. In off hours, Tom likes to body surf and read books on solving very large problems.

Rajeev Nair

Rajeev Nair is associated with Comcraft Group, a private equity, and and leads strategic investments for their portfolio company UST Global. He was a key member of UST's IPO team and lead their expansion into technology with investments in artificial intelligence, analytics, and digital companies. He has served recently as an advisor to the NE Big Data Hub at Columbia University, a think tank created with the intention of applying AI, NLP, and machine learning technologies to solve business problems in finance and healthcare. Rajeev earned his MBA from Columbia Business School. He has completed executive education from MIT on artificial intelligence for business strategy and holds a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

Angela Paulk

Angela Paulk is a financial services professional with a broad background honed in grassroots development, investment banking, and business advisory/consulting for leading global corporates (e.g. Citi, Deutsche Bank, Maersk) and high growth companies (now portfolio companies of S&P and BCG). She began her finance career as an investment analyst and is currently supporting high growth/transitioning companies with independent strategic advisory and executive bandwidth pre/post fundraising. Angela holds MBAs from Columbia Business School and London Business School and a BA in politics from The University of Georgia.

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.