UOG business student Josiah Lanuza earns AIF designation
Senior business administration major Josiah Lanuza has joined 25 others in Guam who have three important letters after their names: AIF. The suffix stands for Accredited Investment Fiduciary, a designation accredited by the American National Standards Institute indicating that an investment professional has the knowledge and tools to serve their clients’ best interests. It is a marker of credibility and distinction in the fiduciary world.
Not all students are in a position to gain this certification prior to graduation. In fact, most pursue the credential after they’ve already begun working because among the requirements to become an AIF, applicants must have several years of industry experience.
Lanuza satisfied the experience requirement by having two years of real-world investing experience under his belt serving as president of Triton Investments, a student organization that manages $50,000 in the stock market.
He was initially intimidated by the field of investing, he said, and started out as an accounting major. But a presentation by the Triton Investments club his freshman year piqued his interest.
“At first when you hear people talking about investments, it’s very intimidating,” he said. “But when I joined Triton Investments, it really got me into investing and learning about all the financial statements and how you can actually do all that on your own.”
As he grew more confident in his financial literacy, he switched his major to business administration with a concentration in financial planning.
His trajectory was further influenced by yearly opportunities through the School of Business and Public Administration to attend the Asia Pacific Association for Fiduciary Studies (APAFS) Pacific Region Investment Conference in Manila, which he attended three years in a row. The conference offered a convenient opportunity to take the AIF exam and the two-day training session that is required before taking the test.
“It was a little overwhelming because I thought I would have to learn so much in two days, but it was basically what we already learned here at UOG,” he said. “All the investment classes I’ve taken with Dr. [Leila] Kabigting led up to that. Those classes were very helpful.”
He said he also had mentorship from former Triton Investments president Jonathan Pablo.
Earning the AIF credential was important for Lanuza to have — to know that he could safely and effectively help his future clients.
“In the future I want to be able to help people invest and grow their money without having to work so hard and do all the research themselves,” he said.
Lanuza will graduate next semester with his Bachelor of Business Administration.