Monday Money Tip: Local College Students vie to Pick Top Stocks

February 24, 2015

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The first Philadelphia Collegiate Stock Competition, hosted by Temple University on April 11, will feature student stock pickers from Temple, Drexel, Villanova, La Salle, St. Joseph’s, and Rutgers Universities.

The competition is the brainchild of Temple students managing an investment fund at the university’s Fox School of Business. By running the William C. Dunkelberg Owl Fund, students gain experience for careers in investment finance.

Owl Fund assets have grown to nearly $250,000 at year end 2014 from $200,000 originally donated in 2012. The fund has outperformed the S&P 500 since the fund’s inception two years ago, said Cynthia R. Axelrod, an assistant professor at Fox and director of the Owl Fund.

“It is now a two-semester class, with about 20 to 25 juniors and seniors each semester,” she said.

Real plays: The students prepare 18 “buy” ideas each semester, along with sector and company updates, and a blog. Owl Fund profits go toward scholarships.

Deep dives: The April competition involves “doing a deep dive on a particular stock for each team, learn about the market from industry professionals, and importantly, foster networking between all of the students,” Axelrod said.

The competition will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Alter Hall, and the planners hope it will become an annual event, rotating among the six universities. Competitors from each school will present their stock-buying pitch during round one. Three finalists will compete in the second round, and a panel of judges will determine the winner, based on the most persuasive argument for a stock buy.

“My students are currently putting together a website that will have all of the necessary information,” Axelrod said.

Top picks: According to the Owl Fund’s 2014 newsletter: “Over the course of the semester (Jan. 1 to May 15), the Owl Fund outperformed the S&P 500 benchmark by 1.33 percent. This return includes cash, but when we remove cash, our total return in the same time frame is 4.64 percent, an outperformance of 2.17 percent. . . . Our performance . . . has been bolstered heavily by three primary stocks: Allergan Inc. shares were up almost 90 percent since their purchase after receiving a takeover bid from Valeant; Corning and Ryder shares also returned about 20 percent each.”

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