Fordham MBA student places fifth in investing competition

Jason Ayat

Jason Ayat

A first-year MBA student made use of his life experience and classwork to sprint to one of the top finishes in an investment competition that ended in January.

Jason Ayat, enrolled in the full-time cohort MBA program, was given $100,000 in virtual cash to trade and made $10,000 in two months — a shorter amount of time than his competitors had.

The competition, which drew about 2,000 student contestants from 74 colleges and universities, began on Sept. 2, but Ayat didn’t begin trading until Oct. 31.

His performance in the abbreviated trading window was good enough for fifth place in the overall competition. A short position on Transocean stock yielded a huge return for Ayat, bolstering his performance. Ayat was also the top-ranked graduate student in the overall competition, which was won by a student from Baruch College.

The competition was sponsored by Institutional Investor, a global finance magazine, and Mark My Media’s ALPHASEAL trading platform. Competitors had to trade on end-of-day prices and work to keep a balanced portfolio based on volatility and long and short plays.

“There were a lot of parameters to keep in mind. It was a little more complicated than just see how much money you could make in X amount of time,” Ayat said.

While his background helped him make decisions on certain energy stocks – his father worked in the oil industry – Ayat said his classwork played a role, too.

Still, his performance surprised him.

“I didn’t realize I was doing that well,” Ayat said.

Fordham University students did well overall in the competition, placing 14 in the top 100. The following is a list of those who placed:

33. Yu Zhang
37. Xiaodan Chen
41. Xichen Jin
42. Jonathan Brodis
44. Xiao Hu
66. Ngoc Do
67. Zizhen Wang
78. Ran Niu
84. Todd Sohn
85. Yashna Shetty
87. Steven Anzalone
91. Joseph Marra
100. Yoorok Gray

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