UMSL student investment group wins competition

The Student Investment Trust at the University of Missouri–St. Louis has won the St. Louis Collegiate Investment Challenge competition for the second time in five years.

The competition is sponsored by UMB Bank and Principia College in Elsah, Ill., and includes a $10,000 cash prize donated by an anonymous St. Louis money management firm. The winning team was made up of UMSL students Regina Abbott, Oric Bui, Dejan Cirkovic, Jeremiah Essary, Anxhela Muslli, Francisco Rivadeneyra, and Plamen Sirokov.

The team selected a 20-stock portfolio, which it monitored between December 2008 and March 2011. The stocks held by the UMSL group were the most profitable during that period, which earned the team the victory.

Ken Locke, teaching professor of finance at UMSL, has advised the student trust since its inception more than 20 years ago.

“At the time they chose the portfolio, the world was concerned about the credit crisis,” Locke said. “The students recognized that and found companies able to avoid bankruptcy and be in a position to fully participate in the market’s recovery. I am proud they were able to do this with so much success. They had a return of more than 149 percent on their portfolio.”

Student groups from five other St. Louis-area universities competed. This is the second time a team from UMSL has won in the last five years. A new competition starts each year.

The $10,000 prize will be added to the group’s investment account, which was created in 1988 and serves as a scholarship endowment for deserving students. The endowment has provided more than $13,000 in student scholarships.

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