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March 7, 2012

PSU students are top contenders in stock competition

Investment clubs are among leaders in management bout

PLATTSBURGH — They may not have their college degrees yet, but some Plattsburgh State students have earned something quite valuable — returns on their investments.

Members of the college's Student-Managed Investment Portfolio Club and Stock Market Club have emerged as top contenders in the Adirondack Cup, a small-cap stock-investment competition sponsored by the Adirondack Small Cap Mutual Fund.

$1 MILLION TO PLAY WITH

A total of 18 colleges and universities in New York and New England are participating in the cup, which challenges each team to manage a hypothetical $1 million portfolio, made up of five small-cap companies from different sectors of the Russell 2000 Index.

Though the students aren't investing real money, their success in the cup is based on the actual worth of the stocks they choose.

The students created their portfolios on Oct. 1 and will manage them until April 6, at which time the team with the highest investment returns over the six-month period will win the cup.

PLACING HIGH

The most recent standings, published March 2, show Plattsburgh State in second place with a 24.3 percent return on its investments. Plattsburgh, which trails Ithaca College by 5.5 percentage points, is one of four teams currently beating the market's 13.2 percent return.

"Plattsburgh has done quite well since they've started," said Greg Roeder, a portfolio manager of Adirondack Small Cap Mutual Fund.

Roeder and fellow portfolio manager Matt Reiner, both Plattsburgh State graduates, conceived the idea for the contest last summer and thought it would be a good way for college students to gain insight into stock-market investing through smaller companies.

PICKING THE STOCKS

Small caps are less complex, Roeder explained, but they don't require any less research by potential investors.

Charles Linder, portfolio manager of Plattsburgh's Student-Managed Investment Portfolio and Stock Market clubs, explained that the team chose their stocks by first identifying potentially profitable market sectors, such as cloud computing and agriculture.

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