MSU finance students manage live $500K portfolio

>
> STARKVILLE, Miss.—Nearly a dozen Mississippi State students learning about financial investing will travel to New York City this week to meet industry leaders, learn best practices in investment management and visit the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
>
> Members of MSU’s Tennessee Valley Authority Investment Challenge panel, the students have been managing a stock portfolio worth more than $500,000 throughout the fall and spring semesters. In New York, they will take part in the March 31-April 2 Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) VI Forum. The event includes discussions of global markets and the economy, corporate governance, investment strategy, as well as career opportunities within the financial services industry. MSU will be among 140 college and university participants representing 40 countries, 39 states and the District of Columbia.
>
> Brandon Cline, MSU’s BancorpSouth Professor of Finance in the College of Business’s finance and economics department, explained that these students are part of a prestigious group that learns to analyze and purchase stocks for the live portfolio, adhering to investment guidelines established by TVA.
>
> “I think the biggest advantage these students gain is the real-world experience. We can teach all the math and theory in a classroom, but finance is a very practical science, and it helps to get the hands-on experience of what you can and can’t do when it comes to investing,” Cline said. “They learn from mistakes in this experience differently than learning from a hypothetical assignment or a case study.”
>
> Before being selected to participate, students go through a highly competitive application process. When they complete the year-long commitment, not only are they equipped with a new level of financial savvy, they also are Bloomberg certified. Cline said while most are finance majors, it is open to others who have taken basic finance and accounting. Accounting, risk management, agribusiness and other majors are currently involved, he said.
>
> Mark Zhang, a senior finance major from Ridgeland, said getting to practice what he has learned in class has been highly beneficial.
>
> “We have the opportunity to apply the knowledge we are learning because we are managing real money – this is not a simulation,” Zhang said. During the New York trip, Zhang will participate in a closing bell ceremony for Nasdaq. The group also is planning to tour Wall Street.
>
> The TVA Investment Challenge program was established to provide experience in financial asset management for students in the electric power utility’s seven-state service area. Funds managed are part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Fund. Student teams at 25 universities and colleges select securities for and manage portfolios under the guidance of faculty members. The teams compete for the best returns each year.
>
> MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
>
>
>
> MSU PHOTO ID: Brandon Cline, MSU’s BancorpSouth Professor of Finance in the College of Business’s finance and economics department, talks to student members of the TVA Investment Challenge panel. The group is preparing for a New York trip this week to learn more about best practices in investment management. The students have been managing a stock portfolio worth more than $500,000 throughout the fall and spring semesters. (Photo by Megan Bean)
>
>
>
>