A new program at Colorado State University’s College of Business is giving finance students the opportunity to learn firsthand about risk, financial management, responsibility and philanthropy. The Summit Student Investment Fund, created with an initial $50,000 donation from local Colorado developer Bob Everitt, is providing students real money to manage a real investment portfolio.
But the program will provide more than hands-on experience for business students. The fund will increase through additional private gifts and through reinvesting of all appreciation until the appreciation reaches $1 million. At that time, the appreciation will be converted into an income-producing fund that will provide scholarships to Colorado State business students.
"I think this can really be an exciting program for the College of Business, the students and the contributors," said Everitt, chairman and CEO of Everitt Companies.
"The Summit Fund will act as an outreach program, bringing together interested individuals and investment professionals to help give business students a meaningful learning experience."
Similar student investment fund projects have been successfully launched at other universities. As with the other projects, students will be making decisions based on an approved investment policy established by the Department of Finance and Real Estate and all trades will be authorized by faculty advisers.
The first fund already has demonstrated positive growth: as of March 1, it has shown a 41.09 percent increase from its Nov. 11 inception.
"I’ve never seen students demonstrate such a high level of commitment and responsibility as I’ve seen with this project. Students now have the opportunity to perform the same activities a professional portfolio manager would," said Glory Burns, finance instructor in the College of Business. "They research and interpret investment information, perform fundamental and technical analysis on securities, develop a screening process for individual securities and portfolios as well as monitor their risk. It’s a solid experience which will give students real insight into this field. "
"Managing real money provides an opportunity for students to work in a real-world environment and take responsibility for their actions and decisions," said Todd Price, senior finance student in the program. "It gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment."
The Summit Fund grew out of a presentation by an investment analysis class in the spring of 1999. Several community leaders were invited to a demonstration of the college’s new Bloomberg financial database system and a sample of the stock projects that students in the class had completed. Everitt, a longtime supporter of the college, was impressed with the level of professionalism of the presentation and made the commitment of $50,000 of his own money to start the Summit Fund.
"This is a truly visionary program which will enrich the learning experience of our finance students," said Dan Costello, dean of the College of Business. "Our goal is always to build academically strong students augmented with real-world experiences to build confidence and reinforce learning. Additionally, I think what Bob Everitt has given these students is a sense of generosity, of giving back. That is invaluable."
For more information, contact Pat Sullivan, director of development in the College of Business, at (970) 491-1184.