Stetson students rank in investment contest

May 07, 2013

NYSEFour Stetson University undergraduates have placed in the first annual Institutional Investors All-­America Student Analyst Competition. Katrin Dagge, Samantha Hahn, Bonnie Harper and Christian Roeder each were ranked in either a sector or as an overall finisher. All of the students participated in the contest through the investments class taught by Chris Tobler, assistant professor of finance.

The competition allowed nearly 700 students, representing 34 colleges and universities from all over the United States, to manage a faux portfolio of investments in an environment representative of those used by professional traders.

“Competitions like this are great because it gives the students a chance to apply the theory they’ve been learning in class in a real-world situation,” said Tobler. “I was very happy with how well they did, outperforming students from some of the best schools in the country. It really speaks to the strength of the finance program at Stetson and the caliber of the students.”

Using the cloud-based Alpha-Seal system developed by Mark My Media, a personal portfolio was created for each competitor, tracking the equity value, net asset value, and profits and losses on a daily basis, and marking to market all positions, as a prime broker would, according to Institutional Investor.

Harper, a junior majoring in finance and minoring in psychology, said her strategy in the game was to diversify her holdings as much as possible to minimize risk.

“The competition was based on a short-term time segment, so I chose stocks based on their performance in the next few months instead of for the long term, which is what I normally prefer to do,” said Harper. “I also chose stocks that I would consider ‘risky’ for my personal portfolio and purchased them in order to use the competition as a learning experience to see if I would have gained or lost money.”

Students started their portfolios with $100,000 each and had to follow Regulation T, the Federal Reserve Board rule designating a 50 percent margin requirement on initial stock purchases. They were then free to trade in any of the seven industry sectors: Basic Materials, Capital Goods/Industrials, Consumer, Energy, Financial Institutions, Health Care, and Technology, Media & Telecommunications.

To determine the overall ranking, analytical data was compiled on six investment factors: net benchmark outperformance, volatility, balance sheet impact, net exposure impact, long alpha and short alpha.

Rankings for the four Stetson students include:

“This competition…gave me confidence that even before entering the Roland George Investments Program next fall, I still had learned enough in my classes to perform well in this prestigious competition, and gave me even more confidence to perform well in the program next year and beyond,” said Harper. “This will help me be an asset to my future employer in the finance field.”




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