09:34 AM

Student Investment Club Achieves Strong Results

A Cal State San Marcos student-run investment club has released a report on the management of $200,000 in university foundation assets during the COVID-19 financial crisis. 

The CSUSM Cougar Fund, a team of undergraduate finance students, released its first newsletter for spring 2020, which reported on initial postings of exchange-traded funds highly correlated with 11 sectors of the S&P 500. The newsletter reviewed purchased ETFs since October 2019 and the portfolio returns during the COVID-19 financial crisis.  

The team not only reviewed decisions for purchase options but also provided a comprehensive market review. Students offered insightful predictions for post-COVID-19 growth in industries such as information technology and energy, as well as cause for sustaining current holdings in companies such as Boeing and Disney.  

“Our analysts are hard at work for companies that offer significant value given the current environment and have strong balance sheets to weather this storm,” said Colin Andrews, who graduated from CSUSM this month with a bachelor’s degree in finance and was the fund’s chief investment officer. We view this as an opportunity to gain long-term positions in strong companies that will be staples in our portfolio for the foreseeable future.” 

At the time of the newsletter’s publication on May 5, the Cougar Fund reported a return of minus 2.56%, which is a substantially smaller loss when compared to the S&P market return of minus 4.93%.  

The inaugural Cougar Fund is maintaining its mission to provide students with real-world portfolio management and security analysis experience, while also generating revenue for student scholarships and programs.  

The organizational structure that Colin Andrews and his team have created will set the foundation for motivated students for years to come,” said Taylor Sutherland, chair of the finance and investment committee of the CSUSM Foundation Board. I’m very excited to bear witness to the real-world investment management experience the Cougar Fund will bring to CSUSM business students today and in the future.” 

“These students are an incredibly motivated and smart group who exceeded expectations and did not stop working even in the worst of circumstances,” added Dr. Andreas Rauterkus, chair of CSUSM’s finance department and the Cougar Fund’s faculty adviser. This is experiential learning at its best. I am so very proud of them and their accomplishments.”