May 23, 2012

PSU team places third in investment competition


PLATTSBURGH — Students at Plattsburgh State have proven they know a thing or two about making wise investments.

Members of the college's Student-Managed Investment Portfolio Club and Stock Market Club recently placed third out of 18 teams in a small-cap stock-investment competition.

The Adirondack Cup, sponsored by the Adirondack Small Cap Mutual Fund, challenged students from colleges and universities in New York and New England to manage hypothetical $1 million portfolios of small-cap stocks.

The teams researched investment options and selected their picks, then managed them for six months in hopes of possessing the portfolio with the highest returns at the end of the cup.

"I thought the competition was very challenging," said Khary Ward, assistant portfolio manager for Plattsburgh's Student-Managed Investment Portfolio and Stock Market clubs.


When the cup came to a close last month, Plattsburgh State's team boasted a 32.6 percent return on its investments, beating out the Russell 2000 Index, which measures the performance of small-cap stocks in the United States, by 16.9 percentage points.

The investment returns of Ward and his teammates were surpassed only by teams from Ithaca College and Hofstra University, which earned returns of 36.3 and 33.8 percent, respectfully.

"There's nothing to be embarrassed about … I'm very happy with where we placed," said Charles Linder, one of Plattsburgh's portfolio managers.


The team was actually in second place going into the last week of the competition, Ward said, but at the last minute, one of the companies chosen by the Hofstra team came out with dividends, narrowly bumping Plattsburgh State's team into third.

"It makes us aware of how volatile the market really is," Ward said.

In addition, Linder said, participating in the competition provided the team with experience working with small-cap stocks and managing them over an extended period of time.

"From a financial standpoint, we learned how to diversify our equities and not be afraid to enter into small-cap investments," he said.

"It really opened our eyes to doing more research and not just looking at the stocks that appear most in the market."


As Top Five finishers, Linder and his teammates attended an awards ceremony and reception in Guilderland, where they met and networked with industry professionals, including Greg Roeder and Matt Reiner, portfolio managers at Adirondack Small Cap Mutual Fund and creators of the Adirondack Cup.

Ward said he enjoyed swapping stories about Plattsburgh State with Roeder and Reiner, alumni of the college.

"They also gave some sort of motivation to strive for financial success as they did," Ward said.

Eric Alvayero, also one of Plattsburgh's portfolio managers, noted that by doing well in the competition, the Plattsburgh State team was able to earn recognition for the college's School of Business and Economics.

"It puts Plattsburgh on the map," he said.

Both Alvayero and Ward hope the experience they gained from participating in the Adirondack Cup will make them more marketable to potential employers.

"It's something I can put on my resume," Alvayero said.

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