Mastering the market

SDSU students capture title at G.A.M.E. VII Forum

BROOKINGS – South Dakota State University’s student-managed investment fund team won national acclaim last week, earning first place in the student-managed portfolio competition at the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) VII Forum.

The three-day event was held in New York City and brought together more than 1,500 students and faculty mentors representing 157 colleges and universities. The participants were from 41 countries, 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and were able to learn and interact with 140 speakers from nearly 100 companies and organizations. The SDSU team was one of 18 selected to present to the judges, earning first place in the undergraduate competition.

“This is a significant accomplishment for not only the students, but for the university,” said Zhiguang (Gerald) Wang, associate professor of finance in the Department of Economics and faculty adviser for the team.

“It establishes that SDSU provides students with a high-quality financial and business education to compete on the largest stage for this type of competition. This was a dedicated and talented group of students that stood out against finance and business schools from around the country and the world.”

The annual forum hosts the largest student-managed investment fund competition in the world. It is the first time a team from SDSU has been eligible to compete. A group of 14 students analyzed, presented and voted for stocks on a weekly basis during the 2016 spring semester. The class invested in 23 stocks across nine different industrial sectors.

“We were very fortunate to have a team of students who worked well together and understood how to develop a diverse portfolio that could outperform stock market indices,” Wang said. “The investments included stock in energy, technology, health care, consumer defensive and other sectors of the market. It was a privilege to work with such a talented group and watch their portfolio grow.”

The 14 students included seven senior and seven junior analysts from the student-managed investment fund class. Their majors ranged from economics, economics with a business specialization, entrepreneurial studies, agricultural and resources economics, agricultural business, advertising, and ecology and environmental science.

Nine students traveled to the G.A.M.E competition. Justin Price of Brookings and Chad Te Slaa of Sioux Falls presented SDSU’s portfolio in front of three judges from Wall Street firms.

Wang’s role with the portfolio was to execute trades and serve as a risk manager. The investment experience was made possible through the First Dakota National Bank e-Trading Education Lab, which was dedicated in October 2015. The lab was made possible through a financial gift from First Dakota National Bank in Yankton. Support from four cooperatives, CHS, CoBank, Farm Credit Services of America and Wheat Growers, covered the operating costs of the lab.

“This accomplishment would not have been made possible without the generosity and involvement of donors and leaders within the industry,” said Eluned Jones, department head for the Department of Economics.

“The vision and leadership shown by many, including Steve Stahly’s support of Dr. Wang through the Stahly Faculty Scholar funding, motivated the formation of the Investment Club and pilot investment portfolio, and the transformation of a classroom to a trading lab through funding from Larry Ness and First Dakota National Bank.

“These gifts make it possible for our students to gain confidence in their skill and to demonstrate that they can compete at the highest level,” Jones added. “This really showcases the power of giving and the impact it has on preparing students to enter the workforce and become the next generation of business leaders.”

The economics department’s First Dakota National Bank e-Trading Education Lab is one of the resources available to the Ness Division of Management and Economics. Larry Ness is the CEO and chairman of the board at First Dakota National Bank. Stahly is a principal of Stahly Financial in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The 2016 Student-Managed Investment Fund Team includes: Justin Price, Brookings; Nikita Medvedev, Tallinn, Estonia; Elaina Johnson, Genesse, Wis.; Adam Thompson, Taunton, Minn.; Abigail Vlaminck, Ghent, Minn.; Chad Te Slaa, Sioux Falls; Yu Chen, Wenzhou, China; Austin Erikson, Sioux Falls; Michael Moges, Sioux Falls; Derringer Huff, St. Louis; Mitchel Foster, Flandreau; Richard Mulder, Lake Benton, Minn.; Austin Kost, Sioux Falls; and Lindsey Meiers, Tea.

The 2017 G.A.M.E. participants were: Price (presenter); Te Slaa (presenter); Mulder; Medvedev; Pierce Plucker, Parker; Michal Minor, Rutland; Derek Christians, Lamberton, Minn.; Austin Sitter, Sioux Falls; Kyle Vos, Slayton, Minn.; and Zhiguang Wang, faculty adviser.


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