Foundation approves $500,000 for student-managed investment fund

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Emphasizing a belief to impact learning opportunities for University of Central Missouri students, the UCM Foundation Board of Directors recently announced funding of $500,000 toward a new hands-on, student-managed investment program within the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies.
“This is the one of the most significant investments our Foundation board has made toward a single program and shows how much they believe in creating greater learning opportunities for students,” said Jason Drummond, Foundation executive director. “This fund will give students real-world exposure in performing detailed analysis of potential investments, security selection and performance. It also will give them an opportunity to develop the communication skills needed to successfully discuss their recommendations and performance with the Foundation Board Investment Committee.”
The funds, to be made available in fiscal year 2014, will be used to create a portfolio that gives students real investment management experience under the direction of business faculty members Laurian Lytle, Ph.D, CFA and Arthur Young, Ph.D. and CFA.
“The Student-Managed Investment Fund represents our continued commitment to provide students with a high-quality, engaged, real-world education,” said Roger Best, dean of Harmon College. “UCM students participating in this program will have a tremendous advantage because of the significant experience gained. We expect all UCM students to benefit as returns earned through fund management will enhance the UCM Foundation’s ability to provide additional dollars for scholarships and other student-centered programs. I appreciate the UCM Foundation’s active involvement to help our current and future students.”
Assets of the Student-Managed Investment Fund will be controlled by undergraduate and graduate students in three finance courses offered during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Students must have already taken foundational courses in finance and investments or have industry-based experience.
On a monthly basis, students will conduct research to review every asset in the portfolio. They will analyze how individual assets are performing and compare overall portfolio performance to benchmarks. Based on their analyses, students will generate recommendations to buy or sell assets or rebalance asset allocation. They will be required to make oral and written presentations to an advisory board and the Foundation executive director who will decide whether to act on their recommendations.
Jose Mercado, chair of the Department of Economics, Finance and Marketing notes, “We are very excited about the creation of the Student-Managed Investment Fund as it will attract highly qualified and motivated finance students who will have an invaluable learning experience. Thanks to the UCM Foundation’s generosity and forward-thinking, this hands-on experience in security analysis and portfolio management will provide our undergraduate and graduate students a unique advantage in one of the most competitive fields in the world.”