Western Carolina University finance students outperformed both the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 average, as well as 24 other college teams, to take first place in an investment competition sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The team accepted the top honors in April at the TVA Investment Conference and Awards Celebration in Nashville, Tennessee.
The TVA Investment Challenge provides hands-on experience in financial asset management, with student teams actively managing stock portfolios for the federal corporate agency, designing long-term investment strategies and selecting investments under the guidance of faculty members and within established guidelines. Students spent the fall semester analyzing companies, industries and the economy with support provided by investment professionals.
“The opportunity to manage real money is probably the most valuable educational experience I have had at Western,” said student Graham Pollard.
The WCU team had amazing returns of 29.5 percent, said Grace Allen, professor of finance. “This is real money, real-world experience that students could never get by reading a textbook. We managed about $500,000 to $550,000 in equities,” she said.