Members of Houghton College’s Student Investment Group (SIG) recently attended the seventh annual University Trading Challenge at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The competition, designed for graduate students in finance and economics, was entered by Houghton SIG members Jonathan Niles ’17, Tyler Stetson ’20, and Yonatan Fessehaye ’18. While the other 11 teams present for the competition were comprised of graduate students in finance or financial engineering, the three Houghton students in attendance were the only undergraduate team. Stetson, who plans to apply his studies in mathematics to the investment management or investment banking fields, came in first place in the individual portfolio management competition, which required competitors to act as fund managers over a condensed two-year span with a variety of simulated market news and trends.
Designed to be a realistic and educational competition, students in teams of three compete in simulated situations in a challenge divided into four parts: trading, portfolio, treasury, and an investment banking presentation. Each competition area highlights products or strategies exclusive to the capital markets.
Stetson commented that “the competition was a great opportunity not only to learn more about the finance industry but also to gain confidence in the skill I have already developed. The finance industry is so incredibly competitive and demanding that it is hard to simulate that atmosphere in the classroom.”
The Houghton SIG began in 2001 with the opening of the Business Investment Center, with the express intent of offering a state-of-the-art business experience for students that included real-time learning and training. Since then, Houghton business students have been equipped with the tools and experience to succeed at businesses such as the Buffalo Bills, Cardone Industries, Corning Inc., Datatel, Fisher-Price, Frito-Lay, HSBC Bank, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Paychex, Pfizer, Polo Ralph Lauren, The Vanguard Group, Yahoo, and more.
The Student Investment Group entrusts students with a portion of the college’s financial portfolio, and saw a return on investment profit of 34 percent for the 16-month period of January 2016 through May 2017.
Additionally, Houghton was featured in The New York Times this past year for the college’s endowment growth surpassing that of institutions with larger endowments, such as Harvard. A portion of that endowment was invested by current business students.