The Tennessee Valley Authority recently announced the annual results of the TVA Investment Challenge, naming Belmont College of Business Administration investment students the fifth-ranked performers out of 24 regional schools. As such, the College will receive more than $5,000 from profits earned for the year. Under the direction of Dr. John Gonas and graduate student Joseph Mosby, students outperformed the S&P 500 index by 11.84 percent in 2009. As of Dec. 31, 2009, the student-managed portfolio was valued at $297,161 (up from $214,866 at the end of 2008).
According to Gonas, “The students did all the work and have simply made great choices over the past year. I teach a top-down investment discipline and then allow them to add their own quantitative and qualitative analysis that fits within our investment policy…ultimately leading to them building a case for buying or selling a stock. Their understanding of the current economic environment, sector and industry trends, and fundamental analysis is enabling them to making good long-term investment decisions.”
The investment portfolio is managed primarily by students in an undergraduate laboratory course format. Each class of new students spends time learning practical investment strategies while making transactions in the portfolio. The class format is designed to allow finance students to hone their skills in a “real world” environment and allow other students across campus to build their own investment disciplines. Participation is open to all students.
In addition to the TVA portfolio, Belmont students manage the Bruin Fund, a university endowment created by a local donor. The Bruin Fund was created to allow students to practice investment skills while providing financial support to Belmont’s library.
Both funds are managed from the Jack C. Massey Financial Information Center, a simulated Wall Street-like trading floor located on the first floor of the College of Business Administration. This special laboratory for finance students, the first of its kind in a Tennessee university, was made possible by gifts from Barbara Massey Rogers and Clayton McWhorter.