Investment team wins stock challenge

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    The TCU Financial Management Association got two firsts in one semester.

    TCU’s FMA investment team won first place in its first year in the National Stock Challenge this year, said Travis Gallatin, TCU FMA president.

    The team earned a 7.49 percent return, $74,900 on its million-dollar virtual stock portfolio this semester, said Scott Boston, team portfolio manager. The second place team, University of Texas at El Paso, earned a 1.19 percent return, Boston said.

    Boston said the TCU team invested in stocks such as Potash, Chesapeake Energy and Research in Motion, which makes BlackBerry phones, among other stocks. The three were the team’s best performers, Boston said.

    Eight teams from universities across America participated in the challenge to create the highest return on their virtual portfolios, Boston said.

    Michael Burns, a senior finance and accounting major and member of the investment team, said winning the challenge was exciting for both him and TCU.

    “It shows Neeley is doing a great job teaching students not only the basics, but advanced economy,” Burns said.

    Boston said TCU’s investment team was composed of six people from TCU’s FMA chapter. Members were selected based on their resumes and prior experience.

    The team met once a week to present stock reports and discuss the stocks. Afterward, members voted on whether they would allow the stocks into the portfolio, Boston said.

    “It’s a great opportunity to build teamwork and learn about stocks,” he said.

    Boston said although all participating teams invested virtual money this year, TCU’s team will invest real money next year to give members experience dealing with real money. The money the team will invest next year will come from FMA’s saved money and possibly other sources, Boston said.

    “We wanted to work out the kinks first,” he said. “We want to take the next step in developing our skills.”

    Gallatin said the investment team met FMA’s mission of providing students an opportunity to learn about finance.

    Boston said the team catered to students who were not majoring in finance or were too young to work with the Educational Investment Fund, a program in which TCU’s top finance students manage a real stock portfolio valued at more than $1 million.

    “My favorite part was teaching other students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to invest in stocks through a regimented program,” he said.