News: Featured Stories

January 13, 2018

UMass Boston’s student managed funds top UMass System competition


  • Boston
Amazon buy proves to be key

UMass Boston’s Undergraduate Student Managed Fund and Graduate Student Managed Fund were the top two finishers in the annual investing competition among the UMass campuses sponsored by the UMass Foundation.

UMass Boston Student Managed Fund (SMF) students, along with College of Management professors Atreya Chakraborty, Arindam Bandopadhyaya, and Chris Reece, were honored at a luncheon at the UMass Club on December 6. The UMass Foundation awarded each fund $5,000, which will be invested back into the funds.

UMass Boston’s Undergraduate SMF grew 15 percent between June 30, 2016 and July 1, 2017, from $87,507.34 to $101,077.74. The Graduate SMF portfolio consists of 22 percent cash so students have the opportunity to invest. With the cash, the return for the Graduate SMF was 14.86 percent.

John Horrigan ’17 served as president of the Undergraduate SMF during the spring semester. He said market fluctuations after the 2016 presidential election provided an opportunity for the group, which meets as a class for credit.

“One company that had noticeable fluctuation was Amazon (AMZN), dropping 12 percent just days after election,” Horrigan said. “After reviewing financial models and company cash flows, I saw that there was an opportunity to purchase AMZN at a discount before the market corrected. After pitching the stock to the group and answering concerns, mostly about the high stock price, we purchased AMZN on November 10, 2016. Since then, AMZN has had a return of 60.46 percent.”

Since graduating with a degree in finance in May, Horrigan has been working as a private equity specialist for State Street Corporation. He says the whole experience was extremely valuable.

“The SMF allows students the experience of investing as portfolio managers using real money. Your grades are based on what stocks you recommend and on what information you base your decisions on. The goal of this class, just as in any portfolio, is to give the client (the UMass Foundation) the highest return possible. It’s a hard class and requires a lot of outside research, but if you have the passion and drive, you will be successful,” Horrigan said.

Students involved with the SMF also have the opportunity to meet with industry professionals and visit financial institutions like Bloomberg and Fidelity.

“There are few classes being offered today that can compete,” Horrigan added.

In 2008, members of UMass Boston’s SMF approached the UMass Foundation and asked for a donation to invest so they could gain hands-on experience with real money in the market. Because of the UMass Boston students’ initiative, the UMass Foundation decided to give each undergraduate campus $25,000 to use in student managed funds. A system-wide competition has been held ever since. UMass Boston’s Undergraduate Student Managed Fund was also honored in 2012 and 2014.