July 23, 2024

Student investors exceed investment fund growth goals

College of Business student-analysts recently presented their Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) annual report to industry professionals. The $1 million+ fund, established through the generosity of alumni, is managed by business students who are responsible for all investment research, portfolio positions, and reporting.

Through the student-analysts’ assertive stance and emphasis on investments in international and domestic defense, technology, and well-performing international sectors, the SMIF outperformed the benchmark (CPI + 4%) by 7.28 percent.

“The student managers did an incredible job this year, beating their official benchmark,” said Dr. William McCumber, associate dean of graduate programs and research and JPJ Investments endowed professor of finance. “They had to navigate macroeconomic changes that have not been seen for 40 years, expertly positioning the portfolio for the challenges presented by dramatically changing interest rates.”

Since the SMIF’s inception in 2018, the group has managed institutional funds through periods of considerable uncertainty—trade wars, a pandemic, inflation spikes, supply chain disruptions, wars, regional banking failures, and more.

“This year’s analysts had to assess changing global political and economic regimes, reallocating funds away from adversarial countries to investments in those more aligned with western values and increasingly economically important to U.S. interests,” said McCumber. “The student managers increased investments in those industries set to benefit most from the expansion of AI, ongoing demand for military equipment, and investment in critical infrastructure, all while protecting and increasing the income generated by their investments.”

This year’s student-analysts included finance majors Bernardo Boschi, Logan Brazzel, Bradlee Chebny, Trent Cross, Daniel Dean, Bryce Joyner, Andrew McClure, Hayden McClusky, Joshua Roy, Landon Thompson, business administration major Benjamin Smiley, and accounting major Connor Smith.

“The SMIF isn’t just a class; it’s more like a thriving business and a supportive family rolled into one,” said Boschi, a junior from Italy. “We all came together to prepare the annual report, helping each other improve and grow. Finding a group of students so dedicated to mutual success has been incredibly rewarding. We were all in it together, pushing each other to do our best.”

Students conduct their research in Ray’s Trading Room, the College’s state-of-the-art trading environment that functions as both a classroom and laboratory. Outfitted with exclusive access to the same tools and software used on Wall Street, Ray’s Trading Room has the applicable technology, devices, and software that allow students to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

“Dr. McCumber led the charge in restructuring our analytical thinking, setting us up for success in the group,” said Boschi. “Being part of the SMIF class and working closely with Dr. McCumber has been one of the most significant experiences of my college journey. I’ve gained valuable insights into investing, financial management, effective research techniques, and data analytics. Plus, I’ve built strong connections with some amazing classmates who have become close friends.”

Experiential learning is integrated across the curriculum within the College of Business to enhance learning outcomes and provide real-world application. In addition to the Student Managed Investment Fund, examples include Bulldog Marketing Consultants, the Regional Economic Analysis of Louisiana (REAL) Report, and the Top Pup entrepreneurial pitch competition.

For more information about the Student Managed Investment Fund, visit business.latech.edu/finance.

About the College of Business
Through market-responsive academic programs, impactful scholarship, and a student-focused culture, Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business graduates business and academic leaders who are innovative, entrepreneurially minded, and analytically and technologically skilled for a globally competitive marketplace. Building on a vibrant community of lifelong learners, our graduates are prepared to positively impact business and society. Accredited by AACSB International, the nationally ranked College offers eight undergraduate degree programs in addition to the master of business administration, master of accountancy, and Ph.D. in business administration. For more information, visit business.latech.edu.

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