CEDAR CITY — An investment education program at Southern Utah University is proving itself as an effective learning method after a group of students managing real-life stock portfolios generated thousands of dollars for the university.
During the 2018 fall semester, Tyler Pettit of D.A. Davidson Wealth and Management Companies presented SUU’s School of Business with a check donation of $2,757. The check reflected the earnings generated from the D.A. Davidson student investment program by the SUU Investment Scholars Group.
The Investment Scholars Group provides students with a career vision, analytical tools and personal investment experience, according to a press release issued by SUU.
As one of the responsibilities of the Investment Scholars Group, students are accountable for managing an investment fund to gain real-life, hands-on experience with portfolio management and stock research. The students invest real money into the stock market with the help of the program.
Each year, D.A. Davidson presents $50,000 to the SUU Investment Scholars student team for the program. Over the course of the year, the nine students work with alumni and industry professionals serving in the Investment Scholars Group Advisory Board to invest and manage the money in the stock market. The group meets regularly to evaluate the portfolio, deciding whether to buy or sell in order to earn the greatest return.
At the end of the year, half of any earnings gained over 5 percent are donated to the team’s school, and any losses are absorbed by D.A. Davidson.
“Beyond the returns, however, we believe the greatest benefit of this program is the hands-on education for the students involved,” D.A. Davidson Vice President and public relations manager Jacquie Burchard said in the university’s press release. “This includes a wide range of topics and skill sets, including portfolio management, equity research, communications and teamwork, and more.”
The SUU Investment Scholars have been working with D.A. Davidson since 2011. The team performed especially well during this past program year, achieving a 16 percent return on their investment.
“As a student, I’m given the resources and opportunities to go out and research a company to make a stock pitch,” senior finance major Cole Einerson said in the press release. “We collaborate together and practice stock pitches to a board of alumni now working in the investment world. They give us feedback and suggestions on what we did well and what we could improve.
“While managing the fund is what draws attention to our group, it is much more than just what students see in the spotlight. It is a resource for students to prepare to hit the ground running when they graduate.”
D.A. Davidson provides this opportunity to 20 Western and Midwestern colleges and universities. For the 2017-2018 program year, D.A. Davidson gave out their second largest donation since the company began donating profits 24 years ago. $70,758 from the program was donated to participating schools this year alone.