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Stock market is more than a game for student fund

Undergraduate | Dec 21, 2016 |

smif-class-photo-dec-2016Think about what you’d do with a million dollars.

The Gabelli School’s undergraduate Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) addresses this question each semester. Bringing junior and senior finance students together to invest $1 million of Fordham’s actual endowment, the program allows students to acquire real, hands-on experience in managing assets.

This semester, the fund surpassed its goal by 42 basis points, an accomplishment made more challenging with current events affecting global markets, including the U.S. presidential election and a recent OPEC deal that cut output.

Nick Lampman, BS ’17, this semester’s chief investment officer, emphasizes “the necessity of having conviction. We realized that we cannot be in the middle of the road with our investment strategy or views on individual securities.” While that means taking more risk, Lampman acknowledges that “we cannot outperform unless we take risk.”

He also stresses the importance of trusting fundamentals when losses happen over short time periods, as well as the advantage of networking with former fund managers, both current students and alumni. “By hanging out in the trading room and watching students prepare their pitches,” he says, “you learn a lot about how the fund thinks.”

Thanks to the fund’s fall performance, it will be in good shape when a new group takes over its management next semester. More important than the money students make, though, is the knowledge they gain.

You may even say it’s worth a million bucks.

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