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ETSU students deliver strong performances in regional investment competitions

Contributed • May 18, 2020 at 12:16 AM

Teams of East Tennessee State University business students recently performed strongly in the Tennessee Valley Authority Investment Challenge Program and the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Research Challenge.

The ICP is a partnership between the TVA and 25 universities in the federally owned utility’s seven-state service area. Student teams gain hands-on financial asset management experience by actively managing stock portfolios for the TVA under the guidance of faculty members and within investment guidelines established and monitored by the TVA.

The ETSU team, which manages more than $500,000, received the Investment Challenge Performance Award for producing returns above that of the S&P 500’s 31.49%. Their performance of 39.06% secured their fourth victory over the last five years, and earned them a performance bonus of $9,000.

“The ETSU students who manage this portfolio have outperformed the S&P 500 in 11 of the last 15 years. This is a remarkable feat considering that 70 to 80% of active fund managers underperform the S&P 500 each year,” said Dr. William Trainor, a professor of finance in ETSU’s Department of Economics and Finance and advisor to ETSU’s ICP team.

ETSU team members include Flavio Sanguinetti, Timothy Carroll, Adam Bratton, Eric Day, Alex Haley, Andres Huerta, Weixuan Li, Connor Shelton, Corey Staples, and Catrina Whatley.

A team of four ETSU students also competed in the CFA Institute Research Challenge, sponsored by a global nonprofit organization of investment professionals. The competition provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Local CFA societies hold regional competitions and winners move on to compete at the national and global levels.

Under the direction of Trainor, ETSU’s investment team placed in the top five of the Nashville region. Team members are Flavio Sanguinetti, Alex Haley, Timothy Carroll, and Catrina Whatley.

“The CFA competition gives students the opportunity to not only learn what is involved in valuing a stock, but what it is like to present a stock in front of investment professionals,” Trainor said. “This competition allows students to learn through first-hand experiences, and I can’t think of a better opportunity.”

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