Returns in excess of 48 percent (yes, you read that right) put the portfolio managed by the University of Oregon Investment Group (UOIG) well ahead of those of the nineteen other schools participating in the D.A. Davidson & Company (DADCO) Student Investment Program for the 2012-13 school year.
During the same period, the UOIG portfolio handily beat the S&P 500 index's 16.1 percent return as well as the 13.1 percent gain of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The DADCO fund, which focuses on small cap stocks, is one of three differently structured portfolios totaling approximately $1 million in live money. UOIG's undergraduate and MBA student members manage all three funds, under the supervision of the group's faculty advisor.
This marks the second time that the group's portfolio has achieved the highest returns in the DADCO program.
The fact that this year's achievement is part of a consistent trend makes it that much sweeter. Since 2000, when the group first began participating in the DADCO program, the UOIG portfolio's performance has been above the median every single year.
What's the secret to UOIG's ongoing success? According to the group's current advisor, assistant professor of finance Stephen McKeon, members benefit from the continuity the group provides. Associate professor of finance Ro Gutierrez was the group's faculty advisor during the previous academic year, through which the DADCO investment period spanned.
Although students at other universities typically participate in the DADCO program through a single semester- or term-long course, UOIG members devote two or three years to the group. In that time, they prepare and present numerous in-depth research reports on potential investments.
"They're doing these reports every term. So by the time they've done three or four of them, it's amazing how much improvement you see in their fundamental analysis skills," said McKeon.
After the portfolio was rebalanced this September, the group received a check for $10,804.12 from D.A. Davidson, representing half of the portfolio's gains beyond five percent.
“We plan to use the money to further the experiential learning opportunities through the Finance and Securities Analysis Center for the group members, such as trips to New York and San Francisco to meet professionals in the field as well as conferences targeted towards student investment groups like the upcoming Private Equity Summit in Salt Lake City,” said McKeon.
Visit the UOIG website and read a press release about this year's DADCO Student Investment Program.