Cal State Fullerton finance students stand together at the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine on Nov. 30, 2018, following the SMIF Competition, in which they took top honors.

CSUF Mihaylo College finance students pose at UC Irvine’s business school on the sidelines of the SMIF presentation, sponsored by CFA Orange County, on Nov. 30, 2018.

A team of finance students from Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics won first place – and the opportunity to manage a $100,000 investment fund – in an investment competition against teams from five Southern California universities.

Finance students enrolled in FIN 341 – Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) received a big boost when they won the rights to manage a $100,000 stock and bond portfolio. The students competed against teams from five other California universities, including UC Irvine, Chapman University and Cal State Long Beach, for the best investment presentation at the Nov. 30 SMIF Competition, held at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business and sponsored by the Orange County chapter of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute.

For the competition, the students defended their investment philosophy and process provided previously to the competition in a written report. They then presented their economic outlook, identified trades suitable for the client and the environment, and described the risk management practices they would pursue should they be given the opportunity to manage the portfolio. The student teams were evaluated by a panel of six finance industry professionals judging the contest.

Chapman University was awarded second place and received a $50,000 portfolio; the UC Irvine team took the third spot with a $30,000 portfolio. Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Long Beach and UC Riverside comprised the remaining finishers. Investment decisions are delegated to each of the winning university programs to enable students to perfect their investment management skills. Each decision is reviewed and approved by the investment committee of the CFA Society of Orange County before being implemented into the portfolios.

Noting that the SMIF program enables students to apply skills and knowledge across all aspects of business, including accounting, finance, economics, information systems, marketing and management, Finance Lecturer Marcia Clark sees the initiative as essential to many participants’ academic and professional futures.

“SMIF students often develop a passion for the financial markets, which leads them to apply to the prestigious Titan Capital Management program at Mihaylo College,” she says. “That program builds on the investment management skills developed in SMIF and provides a head start to our graduates as they embark on careers with leading firms.”

Alumni are currently employed in career positions at such companies as Goldman Sachs, PIMCO and Green Street Advisors.

For More Information

For more on Cal State Fullerton’s undergraduate and graduate finance education programs, visit the Department of Finance online. Also read more of our articles on the finance program.