“If you’re interested in the stock market, if you want to make money, if you want to double or triple your money or even if you want to lose it nicely,” said Dr. Sid Gautum, director of Methodist University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, “then you simply must come down to the Stock Market Symposium.” This year, the center’s 31st annual event will take place on Tuesday, April 22, and will feature international executive manager Ajit Dayal as the keynote speaker.
    “We were very lucky this year,” Gautum said concerning Dayal. “We’ve been trying to get him for a long time.” Having access to Dayal’s insights on the emerging market, is what he believes will be “the opportunity of a lifetime” for symposium attendees. “The last time we had this kind of a speaker hear was back in 1997,” he recalled.
    In addition to founding India’s first equity research house in 1990, Dayal has worked with leading United States and United Kingdom financial advisory and asset management firms. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in economics from Bombay University, Dayal earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has spent nearly 22 years working in investment management and researching equity.
    {mosimage}Gautum said that the title of this story and the title of the keynote speakers address should be “Stock is On Sale …cheap” He explained that the best way to make money in the stock market is to “buy low and sell high,” which basically means: don’t buy stock when it’s expensive — wait until the price comes down. And don’t sell your stock when it’s cheap — wait until it goes back up. “This is one of the lowest times I’ve seen in the last several years,” said Gautum. “So this is a very good time to invest and become rich.”
A major emphasis of the symposium, however, is not the New York Stock Exchange. This year’s focus will be on emerging markets, such as China, India, Mexico, much of Southeast Asia, countries in Eastern Europe and parts of Africa and Latin America.
    “Twenty to 30 years ago, the only place we could invest was in America,” explained Gautum, “but today we are living in a flat world.” Or, a world where everyone and everything is connected, all the time. Up until just recently, he continued, “The only opportunities were in the American market. Then, it was the European market… But, believe it or not, nowadays there are better and more opportunities in the emerging countries.”
    To demonstrate the success of the emerging markets, Gautum gave the following example: “In the last five years, if you had invested money in the emerging market, you would have made as little as 50 to 70 percent [on your investment] and in some cases, as much as 200 percent.”
    In short, Gautum said that the purpose of the Stock Market Symposium is to “try and revive and reconfirm that the stock market is a very vital institution in a market economy.” He argues that the market economy cannot work without an efficient stock market. “A stock market is a very efficient as well as a very attractive and useful place for investing your resources,” he concluded.
    “In simple English,” he said, “anybody who comes up with a very good idea, the people will love it and buy.” He pointed out Google, Microsoft and Apple as household names that were once “nobodies.”
In addition to the presentation by Ajit Dayal, the Center will honor five local business leaders with the Small Business Excellence Award, the Silver Spoon Award, the Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Business Ethics Award. The Stock Market Symposium will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux. Tickets are $50 per person, or $375 for a table of eight. For more information, visit the Center for Entrepreneurship on the Web at www.methodist.edu/cfe.

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