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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > UA students out-invest the pros

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

UA students out-invest the pros

From bell to bell, Eller College of Management student investors gain portfolio management acumen at Arizona Junior Achievement benefit

TUCSON, Ariz. – DECEMBER 13, 2006 – A Phoenix fundraising event brought together amateur and professional investors from all over the state for an evening of high-octane trading and networking. At the end of the night, The University of Arizona students out-invested the pros, and the Arizona Junior Achievement program was a big winner.

Two UA teams representing the Eller College of Management’s Stocks and Securities Investment Club earned first- and third-place recognition at the UMB Bank Stock Market Challenge on November 16 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Ariz. UA students Jonathan Havens (senior, economics and entrepreneurship major), Jeffrey Wagner (junior, molecular and cellular biology major), Chas Tinker (junior, finance major), Changiz Dad (senior, finance major), Charles Stanton (sophomore, pre-business), Kim Chayka (sophomore, pre-business), Daryl Anderson, (senior, pre-business), Matthew Sydor (senior, economics major), and Mingkai Chi (freshman, pre-business) formed the teams that came out on top in a competition benefiting the Arizona Junior Achievement program.

This year’s Stock Market Challenge pitted 39 university and corporate teams against each other in a computer simulation of the stock market trading floor. The teams were challenged to create securities portfolios with an initial investment of $500,000. They used information about 26 fictitious companies to make trading decisions in a fast-paced, high-stakes evening. One of the UA teams prevailed overall by increasing its portfolio by 1,300% and accumulating a total net worth of $6.8 million. The next best effort was a total net worth of $4.5 million earned by TD Ameritrade.

Facing the challenge of condensing a two-month investment period into 90 minutes of frenetic activity, The University of Arizona students called on UA alumnus Peter Chan, registered representative, New York Life Insurance Company, Tucson, Ariz., to help them devise a strategy for success. With Chan’s help, the students decided on a strategy of finding undervalued stocks and buying them at their all-time lows. They also decided that the best approach was to invest all of their virtual cash into one or two stocks. “We used a strategy that involves a lot of risk. I’m not sure I would approach securities trading the same way if I was investing real dollars,” said Havens.

“It was a very exciting atmosphere that sought to simulate the rapid-fire pace of the trading floor on the stock exchange. We focused on teamwork and keeping everyone calm, and were in first place for all but about 5-7 minutes of the competition. Outmaneuvering the pros was a kick, and when they started coming over to our table for help, it really catapulted our confidence,” he commented.

Recognizing that the event provided the opportunity for students to network with business professionals, JA spokeswoman and UA alumna Dara Cercone expressed hope that the number of university students will increase each year. “They [university students] had such energy and enthusiasm,” Cercone commented. “The event is a wonderful opportunity to mingle with top business professionals. Corporate participants entertain clients or recognize top employees while also giving to a great cause.”

Besides providing the participants the opportunity to try their hand at the fast-paced game, the Stock Market Challenge raised $80,000 for the Arizona Junior Achievement program. Each professional team contributed $1,500 to participate, with all proceeds going to support JA’s business and economic education programs.

In addition to the two UA teams, there was one university team from Arizona State University. The remaining 36 teams were corporate participants. The winning UA team earned four $25 gift certificates from Wal-Mart and a trophy.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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