Learning To Invest A New Frontier

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Michael R. Melton
Scott P. Mackey


Student Investment Funds, Undergraduate Portfolio Methodology


The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new and innovative course in the field of Finance, promoting the notion of “hands-on” instruction through the management of real-dollars.  This course solely focuses on the management of such a Student Managed Fund (SMF).  Employing a seminar setting on the undergraduate level, while using the latest security analysis technology, students take part in every aspect of fund management.  From the initial stages of forming an investment strategy, to the later stages of portfolio reallocation, students are grounded in reality.  This paper will illustrate the objectives set forth by the professor(s) and the methods used by the students to accomplish said goals.  The focus will be on the differences in risk preferences and actions due to the management of real money versus simulated “play money,” as well as the benefits garnered from such a course.  In conjunction with the introduction of this new course, this research will formulate the methodology behind the use of a real-time financial analysis platform, such as SDS MarketWatch, to create and manage a portfolio.  Lastly, the benefits of using such a real-time financial analysis platform will be made evident.


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