In October 2023, the Bowden Investment Group proudly represented Appalachian State and its generous supporters at the Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium in Chicago, for the first time ever. This event provided a unique opportunity to gain direct insights from financial experts on their investment strategies, economic outlooks, hedging strategies, and more.
Every member of the group had the opportunity to participate in a competition at the conference. First, four groups of three prepared papers and presentations representing unique and diverse portfolios before competing in class to decide on the two teams that would advance to the external stage of the SMIFC competition. Derek Mahato, Parker Sciolino, and Hudson Smith worked together to create a portfolio targeting opportunities from the deregulation and regulation of specific industries. Aaron Atwell, Corbin Lammers, and Max Pavone picked securities that would benefit from rising geopolitical tensions in the Pacific. David Chalmers, Victor Tovar, and Luciano Zito centered their portfolio around American Industrials and capitalized on domestic growth opportunities. Finally, Reece Fisher, Brianna Gilmore, and Ashley Meacham collectively directed their focus toward constructing a highly diversified investment portfolio that strategically hedged securities to fortify their financial strategy.
During the group's time in Chicago, they had the opportunity to network with over 300 peers from other student-managed investment funds, visit important financial institutions, compete in multiple competitions, and interact with many industry experts. Reece Fisher, Brianna Gilmore, and Luciano Zito also participated in a poster competition where they presented the fund’s performance to a panel of judges. Notably, the group also visited the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. At the CBOE, the group spoke with a floor official to better understand what happens on the trading floor.
The group had an amazing time in Chicago representing the Bowden Investment Group, but it is best summed up by these quotes from members, Ashley Meacham and Derek Mahato.
Ashley: “Attending the SMIFC was an experience nothing short of inspiring. From the conference itself, I gained insight from various industry experts that encouraged me all the more in my pursuit of education and knowledge in various fields. A favorite speaker of mine was Nathan Beemster, who gave a presentation on trusts, highlighting various uses for trusts and career paths involving managing and overseeing them. As a future CPA, I was excited to learn about the role that CPAs play in trust funds, and am eager to consider this type of work as a career that I would be able to pursue. In addition to listening to Nathan and other speakers, we were given the opportunity to connect with them, as well as approach other professionals and schools in attendance. This rounded out the entire experience as we were able to not only learn from those who came, but also network with them and create opportunities for continued conversation.”
Derek: “The visit to the Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium was a very fulfilling and helpful learning experience. Firstly, I gained experience through conducting a top-down analysis for the portfolio competition. This allowed me to explore unique ideas and research my portfolio topic which revolved around the effects of regulation and deregulation on various industries. Additionally, it greatly enhanced my writing abilities and my understanding of regulatory scrutiny. Moreover, during the trip in Chicago, we were able to visit both the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Chicago Federal Reserve. It was there that we were exposed to the work environment of floor traders, where some of us may be working in the future. We had the opportunity to listen to many keynote speakers who provided insight into their own experiences within a wide range of finance-related careers. Lastly, we were able to meet with other student-managed investment funds which was very interesting, as it allowed us to gain more insight into different techniques used for analysis and portfolio management.”
We would like to thank the supporters of the Bowden Investment Group that made this experience possible!