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Mount Union College Sponsors Stock Portfolio Competition

May 1, 2008

bullandbeargieseA group of young investors at Mount Union College put their interest in technology to work, achieving success in a stock portfolio competition that resulted in outstanding returns. The Mount Union College Investment Team garnered returns of 38.5 percent.

Originally, the competition was sponsored by Oak Associates, an investment management firm in Akron.  This year, Mount Union took over sponsorship to ensure that this valuable program would continue. Oak Associates remains involved as the clearing house.  The winning college or university each year will take over sponsorship for the following year.

investmentWorking on the investment team is a year-round commitment. The students apply for positions on the team and, according to Dr. Patricia Matthews, advisor to the Investment Team, “This is one extracurricular activity they take very seriously. Part of what the students learn has nothing to do with the stock market. They also learn skills that are necessary to succeed in any workplace.”

The investment team meets every Tuesday during the school year and keeps in contact during the summer through phone calls, e-mails and AIM chat rooms.

bullandbeartrophyMembers of Mount Union's Investment Team manage four different stock portfolios. The Oak portfolio is a competitive portfolio sponsored by Oak Associates. The returns and equity picks of each school are compared and the school with the highest return is awarded the “Bull and Bear Award of Excellence,” a traveling trophy won this year by Hiram College. The Hillier portfolio is a conservatively managed investment portfolio. 5% of this portfolio is then used in support of scholarships by the Department of Economics, Accounting and Business Administration. The Datek portfolio is an aggressive portfolio of technology and emerging technology stocks. The McDonald portfolio is a mutual fund portfolio.

This year the investment team actively managed $350,000. All of the money they use is real and has been generously donated by alumni. Buy and hold as well as short term investment strategies are utilized.  The use of real money and the goal to earn a positive return, especially in this down market, provides a valuable learning experience for the students.

Participating in this year’s competition were Mount Union, Hiram College, Ohio Wesleyan University and Duquesne University.

investment2"I feel the investment team performed very well this past year,” said president of the investment team, Justin Shaub of North Canton.  “The team members diligently researched the markets and offered great stock recommendations that proved to be extremely successful.  Achieving a 38.5% annual return is no small feat, and the team members should be very proud of themselves.”

"Being on the Investment Team has given me the research skills, knowledge and assurance to confidently make appropriate decisions while actively managing my own portfolio after I graduate and am faced with the many investment decisions that come with a career,” said Kelly Lammers of Westlake.

“From personal experience at job interviews, many potential employers are impressed with hearing about the activities of the Mount Union investment team and consider the real-world investing knowledge to be a truly distinguishing characteristic,” said Shaub.  “I am very glad that this kind of opportunity has been made available to me and the rest of the team while here at Mount.”

In addition to Shaub and Lammers, the members of the team included seniors BJ Douglas of  Geneva, Bryan Kochy of Burton,  Daniel Luketic of Rootstown, Jason Nussbaum of Wooster, Kyle Lott of Berea, Aimee Payne of East Canton and Jeff Starcher of Tallmadge and juniors Rod Strata of Cortland and Leta Van Metre of Garrettsville.

This year's banquet. sponsored by Mount Union, was held at Brandon's Iron Steakhouse in Alliance.

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