A team of 19 students from the College of Business Administration took first place in the 2019 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society Student Managed Investment Fund Competition, organized by the Orange County chapter. With the win, the team will manage a CFA Society Orange County investment portfolio of approximately $75,000 in addition to their Cal Poly Pomona Student-Managed Investment Fund. Together the portfolios total approximately $300,000.
The competition was initiated at the start of the academic year with the organization’s request for proposals (RFPs) for investment management services.
Students were required to submit a written proposal (investment thesis) delineating investment philosophy and process, economic outlook, market overview, asset allocation, fixed income and equity valuation and selection, portfolio construction, monitoring and risk management processes, and more. Each team also made a 30-minute presentation, followed by a 10-minute Q&A with the panel of five industry judges during which they defended their investment thesis.
The Bronco team proposed a portfolio of 33 securities, covering all sectors of the equities market and fixed income market. Each security was supported by in-depth research and analyst report with supporting logic and valuations.
“Managing this portfolio offers the opportunity to acquire a real-world experience in investment management while studying at school,” said Professor Alex Wei Wu, co-advisor to the Student-Managed Investment Fund team. “As the managed portfolio is real-money, there is no better example than this experience illustrates consequential learning for our university.”
The students began the process of managing the new portfolio by executing their portfolio security purchases during December. Their performance will be measured for the period Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020.
The team members, who are also part of the Cal Poly Pomona Student Managed Investment Club (SMIC), are:
Jonathan Oliver – Finance, Real Estate and Law (FRL)
Zachary Winkle – FRL
Joseph Baierl – FRL and Accounting
Omar Pelcastre – FRL and Computer Information Systems (CIS)
Kevin A. Cifuentes – FRL
Bryan Arciniega Medrano – CIS
Sindy Fabrizio – FRL
Cristian Saldana – FRL and Economics
Tushar Nandwani – FRL
Patricia Balogun – FRL
Kareem Tobgy – FRL
Kevin Carrillo – FRL
Jessica Sands – FRL
Johans Acosta – CIS & Marketing
Jacob Zaldivar – FRL
Jeremy Jenanyan – FRL
Francis Zhao – Marketing
Xuan Tran – FRL
Whittni Wibisono – E-Business
Professor Pawan Tomkoria is the Student-Managed Investment Fund class instructor and program co-advisor with Professor Alex Wei Wu.
“Our main goal,” says Tomkoria, “is to teach about the real world of investments and how to build a diversified long-term portfolio that optimizes the balance between risk and reward. Our hope is that this gives our students a competitive advantage in their career search after graduation. Very few college students will have the real-world experience that this program provides. As several students have landed prestigious internships and/or jobs, we feel we are making good progress for our young program.”
This is the third year that Cal Poly Pomona has participated in this event. With the win, the team set the competition record for the amount of time from beginning participation to first place. The Broncos finished third (2017) and fourth (2018). CSU Long Beach took second place, CSU Fullerton was in third and UC Irvine in fourth. All three will manage smaller portfolios for the organization.
Cal Poly Pomona’s SMIF program, offered through the Finance, Real Estate and Law Department, gives students experiential learning opportunities in security analysis and portfolio management. Founded in the fall of 2017, the program began with an approximately $200,000 investment under a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus’ personal portfolio. Its mission is aided by the use of big financial data and analytics platforms provided through twelve interactive Bloomberg terminals in CPP’s “Dr. J. Douglas Ramsey Financial Markets Room.”
“Since its inception, the SMIF program has not only brought in financial returns, but more importantly, educational returns,” says Professor Wei Yu, department chair. “Students and alumni from the SMIF program have been given internship and career opportunities at companies such as Goldman Sachs, PIMCO, RBC Capital, and UBS. Recently endorsed by the CFA Institute as a University Affiliation Program, the FRL department strives to bring more real world experience into classroom and align curriculum with industry needs.”