Additional funding offers Wright State finance students new opportunities to develop investment skills

Wright State finance students manage a highly successful investment portfolio through the Real Money Investing course.

A highly successful investment portfolio managed by Wright State University finance students received a major boost in funding.

Wright State’s Real Money Investing portfolio has received $2.5 million in additional funding for students to invest, nearly doubling the portfolio’s assets to $4.9 million.

Finance students in the Raj Soin College of Business manage the portfolio of university funds in a course titled Real Money Investing. The students who take the course during the Spring Semester form an ad hoc committee to make decisions in the portfolio over the summer.

“The students are excited to add a new asset class to the Real Money Investing portfolio,” said Matthew Ingram, senior lecturer in finance who teaches the investing course.

The investment portfolio was established in 1996 with $60,000 from the Wright State University Foundation and was infused with an additional $500,000 in 2006 from the Wright State Board of Trustees.

Since 2016, the portfolio’s value has grown 11.9% per year and has outperformed the S&P 500 in three of the last six years. The value of the portfolio surpassed $2 million in 2020 and grew to $2.4 million in April 2022.

The new source of funding will allow the students to expand their investment experience from managing an equity portfolio of stocks to also include fixed-income products, or bonds.

Fixed-income products are a significant part of the global financial system, Ingram said.

“The student will try to maximize returns by studying the interest-rate markets, company balance sheets and various economic indicators,” he said.

The new funding made available to the Real Money Investing course was announced during the April 29 meeting of the Finance, Audit, Governance and Compliance Committee of the Wright State Board of Trustees.

Members of the committee expressed excitement that the university is providing the students an additional opportunity to develop their investment skills.

“There are a lot of fine high-value careers in fixed-income analysis and management,” said Doug Fecher, chair of the Finance, Audit, Governance and Compliance Committee and former president and CEO of the Wright-Patt Credit Union. “So, a student-direct fixed-income fund will be a great experience for our students and I think will lead to them getting very high-value career opportunities upon graduation.”

Trustee Andy Platt, who is the managing director and financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual Dayton, said giving students the “best experience to learn, develop” their investment skills makes them “much more attractive when they are looking for employment.”

Platt also noted that many local certified financial planners and chartered financial analysts have graduated from Wright State’s Finance and Financial Services Programs.

“It is amazing the amount of successful financial planners, CFAs in the 30s, 40s and 50s … working in the Dayton region,” said Platt, who graduated from Wright State in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

The additional funds show Wright State finance students have earned the confidence of university leadership, Ingram said.

“Raider Asset Management has done an excellent job over the last decade and has earned the trust of the Board of Trustees at Wright State,” he said.

The Real Money Investing course provides vital experiential learning opportunities for finance and financial services students.

The students develop skills in risk management and company valuation and learn how to complete detailed research and pick stocks and present their findings and ideas.

“The Department of Finance and Financial Services has set up a framework for investment management in the Real Money Investing course that allows the students to learn by doing,'” Ingram said. “We believe that experiential learning is an essential part of a finance graduate’s education.”

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