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02-28-2012

Clarkson University Moves into Second Place of Adirondack Cup Investment Competition

With a little over a month to go in the Adirondack Cup competition, the small cap investment portfolio managed by Clarkson University students surged into second place this week with a 28 percent rate of return since October 17, 2011, on a hypothetical million dollar fund.

Clarkson, which is fielding a team comprised of undergraduate and graduate business students, is among 18 schools which began the Cup challenge in October. 

Colleges and universities with strong economics and finance programs throughout New York and New England were invited to participate in the Adirondack Cup competition sponsored by Adirondack Research & Management Inc., advisor to the Adirondack Small Cap Fund (ADKSX). 

Over a six month period, students are challenged to create their own hypothetical small cap portfolio. Each team invests in five small cap stocks traded on the major U.S. stock exchanges. Small cap stocks are defined as firms with market capitalizations of less than $3 billion. 

"Many of our clients need interns and have expressed an interest in reconnecting with their schools," says Steve Gonick, principal with ARMI. "The Adirondack Cup offers our clients an opportunity to connect with their former schools and the school’s team, perhaps offering advice from their vantage point in the financial world and, hopefully, opening up their contact lists to the students as well."

The competition focuses on buy and hold strategies allowing students to rebalance the portfolio twice during the competition. During the most recent rebalance Gonick said, “Clarkson seemed to benefit most from the recent portfolio changes moving into second place.” In addition, he points out that Clarkson is one of four schools in the competition “beating the Russell 2000 Index over the contest period.”

Clarkson students in the competition used a disciplined approach to researching the economy, industry and finally individual stocks to determine the final investments and allocation.

“Competitions like this give our students relevant experiences whether pursuing a career in financial services or taking an active role in managing their own money,” said faculty advisor Prof. Allan Zebedee. “The students love the competition as it gives them a chance to compete with their peers and apply the tools developed in their coursework.”

Through the Clarkson Student Strategic Investment Fund, a gift from class of 2011 parents Tim and Sheila Pettee, students also manage a portion of Clarkson’s endowment. This student-managed investment fund actively invests in the stock market using the Pettee’s gift, in order to provide students with real-life experience and accountability toward achieving financial goals. Clarkson has designed a curriculum focused on security selection and portfolio management in an effort to help promote this connection between the classroom and the real world.

“The competition allows us to expand our understanding of investments and gain valuable real-world experiences,” says team leader Chelsea Whiteman, a senior from Old Chatham, N.Y. “The competition definitely gives us a real-world authenticity associated with the ‘ups and downs’ of our financial markets. It has been great talking with corporate recruiters about the Adirondack Cup and our decision processes. We look forward to networking with the Adirondack Research & Management leadership team in person when they visit campus in March.”

Other students managing the Adirondack Cup competition portfolio, include seniors Alexander Cauwels, of Robbinsville, N.J., Matthew Gammariello, of Webster, N.Y., Nate Hazen of Dalton, Mass., George E Pettee of New Canaan, Conn., and Kylie Reid of Gardiner, N.Y.; junior Daniel Matthews of Ellenville, N.Y.; and MBA students Khoa Nguyen of Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, and Justin A. White of Syracuse, N.Y.

Other colleges and universities participating in the Adirondack Cup competition are Binghamton University, Hofstra University, Ithaca College, Siena College, Simon Graduate School of Business at University of Rochester, Skidmore College, St. John Fisher College, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Plattsburgh, Stony Brook University, The College at Brockport of SUNY, Union Graduate College, University at Albany, University at Buffalo, University at Buffalo School of Management, and Wesleyan University.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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