UMD's student led investment fund breaches $1M for first time

By KBJR News 1

April 2, 2014 Updated Apr 2, 2014 at 10:13 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Students at the University of Minnesota Duluth are managing a portfolio of assets worth over $1M for the first time in the Financial Market Program's history.

And these students are benefiting from the program in their future careers.

"There aren't a lot of programs out there that are managing portfolios of $1M plus," said Joe Artim, director of the program.

And for those in the Financial Markets Program, run by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus, managing that much money is a monumental achievement.

"It's a really, really cool thing for us to be able to be the first group to manage a portfolio of over a million dollars," said Taylor Augustin, a student equity analyst in the group.

The Bulldog Fund, LLC is a portfolio of funds managed entirely by students in the Financial Markets Program.

The program was founded in 2001, and program directors say this is the first time in the program's history that their portfolio has breeched the $1M mark.

The 15 to 20 UMD students who manage the program's funding call the experience a "hands-on educational opportunity" that prepares students for careers in the financial services industry.

"An opportunity like this is able to take the theory out of the classroom and put it in a fashion where they can apply it. So it becomes more tangible," said Artim.

Managing the fund challenges students to make strategic investment decisions across the ten sectors of the S&P 500.

Students in the group have different roles.

Some are active stock pickers.

"We have an active management component where we buy and sell stocks depending on our strategy," said Adam Swinney, a student analyst in the group.

Buying and selling stocks to and from different companies. Overall, members say they just enjoy being connected to the markets on a daily basis.

"The Financial Markets Program really offers something, or a place to go above and beyond the general call of college," said Swinney.

Artim says reaching the $1M mark in assets under student management gives the program and students better recognition nationally.

"We're really trying to create the candidates, the next gen candidates, for this industry," said Artim.

All students who complete the program will leave either with a financial markets finance major, or minor, depending on their track of study.

Profits generated in the Bulldog Fund are reinvested and earmarked for educational related activities.

Elsa Robins