Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Top Student-Run Investment Funds

  1. Jittery Markets Take Their Toll
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    Jittery Markets Take Their Toll

    Calm markets invite student fund managers to test their skills with confidence. The opposite can cause enough anxiety to rival exam weeks. For students graduating in 2012, their experience verged on the latter.

    The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a gauge of investor fear, rose 33 percent in 2011. That left business students—many of whom were managing portfolios for the first time as class assignments—to navigate the choppy waters. So who outperformed?

    Here, Bloomberg Businessweek looks at the 2012 winners of the University of Dayton's annual student investment competition. The contest evaluated the risk-adjusted performance of student funds in calendar year 2011. Dayton estimates that more than 200 business programs task students with managing real portfolios. Its own students (who don't take part in the competition) are responsible for $14 million of the university's endowment. This year's contest had 34 entries from 25 schools. Participants competed in six categories. Following are the first-place winners in each.

    Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg
  2.  Shippensburg University
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    Shippensburg University

    Shippensburg, Pa.

    Fund: Global Collegiate Fund
    Category: Growth
    Value of Portfolio: $10,680
    2011 Risk-Adjusted Return: 1.98 percent


    Three Best Investments and 2011 Returns:
    Terra Nitrogen (TNH), 55.3 percent
    Limited Brands (LTD), 42.4 percent
    Discover Financial Services (DFS), 29.5 percent

    Three Worst Investments and 2011 Returns:
    Transocean (RIG), -44.8 percent
    Regions Financial (RF), -38.6 percent
    Peabody Energy (BTU), -11.6 percent

    Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg
  3. James Madison University
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    James Madison University

    Harrisonburg, Va.

    Fund: Madison Investment Fund
    Category: Value
    Value of Portfolio: $132,722
    2011 Risk-Adjusted Return: 0.92 percent

    Three Best Investments and 2011 Returns:
    VF (VFC), 54.4 percent
    Bioasis Technologies (BTI), 22.1 percent
    Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), 20.4 percent

    Three Worst Investments and 2011 Returns:
    Metlife (MET), -29.8 percent
    ABB (ABB), -20.3 percent
    Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO), -18.8 percent

    Photograph by Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg
  4. University of Mount Union
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    University of Mount Union

    Alliance, Ohio

    Fund: Hillier Fund
    Category: Core
    Value of Portfolio: $91,170
    2011 Risk-Adjusted Return: 2.56 percent

    Three Best Investments and 2011 Returns:
    MarkWest Energy Partners (MWE), 35.1 percent
    GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), 21.6 percent
    Smuckers (SJM), 8.67 percent

    Three Worst Investments and 2011 Returns:
    SunTrust Banks (STI), -12.1 percent
    Deere & Co. (DE), -6.18 percent
    Adobe Systems (ADBE),- 4.5 percent

    Photograph by Benoit Decout/REA/Redux
  5. Simon Fraser University
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    Simon Fraser University

    Vancouver, B.C.

    Fund: SIAS Fund
    Category: Balanced
    Value of Portfolio: $10.35 million
    2011 Risk-Adjusted Return: 0.48 percent

    Three Best Investments and 2011 Returns:
    Enbridge (ENB), 39.7 percent
    McDonald's (MCD), 38.7 percent
    Visa (V), 36.5 percent

    Three Worst Investments and 2011 Returns:
    Research In Motion (RIMM), -67.9 percent
    Citigroup (C), -37.6 percent
    Manulife Financial (MFC), -34.5 percent

    Photograph by Daniele Mattioli/Anzenberger/Redux
  6. Stetson University
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    Stetson University

    DeLand, Fla.

    Fund: Roland George Income Fund
    Category: Fixed Income
    Value of Portfolio: $1.32 million
    2011 Risk-Adjusted Return: 5.59 percent

    Three Best Investments and 2011 Returns:
    Aetna (AET) 7.25 percent debentures due 2023; 9.15 percent
    KLA-Tencor (KLAC) 6.9 percent notes due 2018; 8.7 percent
    Sempra Energy (SRE) 9.8 percent notes due 2019; 8.2 percent

    Three Worst Investments and 2011 Returns:
    Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT) 5.625 percent bonds due 2017; 4.12 percent
    Altria Group (MO) 9.95 percent notes due 2038; 4.3 percent
    R.R. Donnelley & Sons (RRD) 11.25 percent bonds due 2019; 5 percent

    Photograph by Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg
  7. University of Alabama at Birmingham
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    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Birmingham, Ala.

    Fund: Green & Gold Fund
    Category: Alternative
    Value of Portfolio: $476,774
    2011 Risk-Adjusted Return: 0.42 percent

    Three Best Investments and 2011 Returns:
    Altisource Portfolio Solutions (ASPS), 70 percent
    Verisk Analytics (VRSK), 20 percent
    Occidental Petroleum (OXY), 20 percent

    Three Worst Investments and 2011 Returns:
    EMC (EMC), -22 percent
    Oracle (ORCL), -21 percent
    Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), -20 percent

    Photograph by Oliver Morin/AFP/GettyImages