Four members of the University Investment Association (UIA) participated in a national competition using stock market-level software, investing virtual money in companies they researched and measuring their level of success.
Accounting seniors Jeremy Kramer and Aaron Ferrari, business administration senior Dan Nazaruk and junior accounting major Ethan Case were given three-months’ access to software that cost $22,000. Case and Kramer served as the project’s team leaders.
They used the terminal to invest a virtual $1 million in assets for eight weeks. Those competing (nearly 300 last year) are judged for their return on investments and investment risks taken.
Despite getting a late start in the competition because they had to have a proper computer set up that could handle the terminal’s power, they are currently among the top 50 investment teams.
According to Kramer, the Bloomberg Terminal was a steep learning curve for the team because they had to learn the direct commands necessary to operate the system.
“We can identify certain companies that we think are primed to do really well in the next couple months (use those companies in a diversified portfolio – go across several industries) and then by that we are able to have less risk, but still have really good companies,” Nazaruk said.
Team members discuss possible investments – learning how to research companies and looking particularly for companies with good Sharpe’s indexes (a measurement of the safety and monetary potential in the stocks) – as they are judged on how well they have done with their investments.
“The UIA’s been good about trying to pick up these things because we’ve been trying to move toward, like getting a finance lab and doing other things,” Case said.
The top five teams take an all-expenses-paid trip to NYC where they present their investment strategies to a panel of Bloomberg market specialists who then determine which team wins the competition on April 13.
Even if they don’t win first place—or get near the top five: the BJU Bloomberg Terminal team did their best in the time they had, and ultimately take away invaluable skills and experiences that they could not have had without this competition.
Three members of the team, Ferrari, Nazaruk and Kramer graduate in May.