A Colorado businessman and philanthropist already is seeing a return on his donation of $50,000 to Colorado State University’s Summit Student Investment Fund. The portfolio that students created with the donation is a top-five finalist in the first annual University of Dayton national student investment strategy symposium.
Bob Everitt, chairman and CEO of the Everitt companies, and his wife Joyce donated the money to the Summit Student Investment Fund last year after attending a student presentation. He also involved other local Fort Collins business leaders to build the fund to $100,000.
Chris Linder, chairman of the Summit Investment Fund, will present the portfolio to a panel of investment professionals on April 6. Colorado State’s entry will be judged in the aggressive growth category. Part of the competition requires an explanation of the policies and philosophies behind the students’ choices. "Although we were down 9 percent overall we’ve done better than most who have an aggressive growth strategy," said Linder. "The key to our success was to diversify, and to not pick just the technology stocks."
Part of the symposium will offer participants the opportunity to learn about some of the more advanced and successful investment management programs in the country. Students also will be afforded the opportunity to talk with investment professionals about their views on important issues facing portfolio managers and share their best practices in investment management. The national champion will be chosen on April 7 and will be awarded the honor of opening trading the Nasdaq.
The Summit Investment Fund, capped at 12 members, has stringent requirements for participation. The group meets once a week to suggest stock options and debate the pros and cons of specific stocks and how well they will fit into the portfolio. Members also look at the economy and competing industries as part of decision-making factors. "Everyone in our group spends hours researching companies," said Sara Croot, one of the group members. "Then it’s up to each member to promote their stock to the group, which requires nine members to approve before it can be added to the portfolio." Glory Burns, finance and real estate instructor at Colorado State and one of the group’s advisers, emphasized the importance of the Summit Fund to students who want to gain real-world experience while in college. The investment fund’s chairman supports that thought as well. "Through this opportunity, I know what it’s like to invest real money" Linder said. "It’s no longer a fictitious scenario, it’s real and I know that my decisions will affect people’s lives through my investments."
As part of advising the students, Burns and Tim Gallagher, professor of finance and real estate, purchase the stocks through First National Bank which actually executes the trades and handles all other trust functions for the fund.
Students who have participated in the Summit Investment Fund at Colorado State have gone on to a variety of careers in law and finance, including Goldman Sachs, the renowned global investment banking and securities firm. When the fund reaches $1 million, the appreciation will be converted into an income-producing fund that will provide scholarships to Colorado State business students.
For more information or to donate to the Summit Investment Fund, call Glory Burns (970) 491-1021.