MISSOULA – Ten students from the University of Montana’s School of Business Administration received the Fred Dickson Memorial Award for their investments from Missoula-based financial services firm D.A. Davidson & Co.
The UM team won a $2,000 cash award and an expenses-paid trip for five participants to the Davidson Institute, a D.A. Davidson educational and networking event slated for May 2018 in Seattle. The team also earned more than $6,250 for its student-run portfolio performance, bringing the total prize money to $8,250 for the year.
Andrew Page, a senior studying finance from Newport Beach, California, was one of the 10 students on UM’s winning team. Page said that learning to build a diversified portfolio over the long term was one of the most meaningful aspects of the competition.
“Every week we would get together to formulate our plan,” he said. “I think this shows we all did a great job.”
Each year, D.A. Davison provides $1 million for its investment program across 20 participating western and midwestern colleges, absorbing any losses on the student-run portfolios. The Fred Dickson Memorial Award, now in its third year, recognizes excellence and adherence to the company’s Student Investment Program, which provides the teams with $50,000 each to invest in the stock market.
The investment program provides hands-on experience in finance, stock research, portfolio management and investment, and it allows students, many of whom are investing real money for the first time, to manage a diversified investment portfolio under the guidance of a broker. UM has demonstrated consistent long-term performance over one-year, three-year and five-year periods with strong results on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis, said James Ragan, D.A. Davidson director of individual investor group research and head of the investment program.
“We congratulate Montana for earning the Fred Dickson Memorial Award, and we salute all student participants for their work in managing real portfolios,” Ragan said.
In this year’s investment competition, UM’s team placed second behind Portland State University and posted a total return of 30 percent, exceeding the 16 percent total return for the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index – a standard benchmark for the stock market – and the 22 percent return for the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the period. Other schools with returns above the index included Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, Gonzaga University and Idaho State University.
Students in UM’s School of Business Administration analyze and discuss investment opportunities and implement their decisions as members of the UM Finance Club or as part of the business class “$50,000 Portfolio.”
“A number of us from the Missoula firm have either taken the course or taught it,” said Brad Cederberg, a 2006 School of Business Administration alumnus and the vice president and financial adviser at D.A. Davidson in Missoula. “It was one of the things that steered me toward what has been a wonderful career in finance.”
For more information on UM’s School of Business Administration, visit https://www.business.umt.edu/.