Students will get the opportunity to tackle the stock market with the launch of the University of Stirling’s first Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF).
Initially using ‘virtual’ money, Stirling students will identify, analyse and invest in stocks as they construct and monitor a portfolio. The SMIF is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students, with academic staff from the University’s renowned accountancy and finance courses providing support and oversight.
Successful alumni will also visit throughout the year, delivering masterclasses and guidance to the students. The University’s own professional services staff will also be involved, sharing their experience and tips to enable the SMIF to be as successful as possible.
Dr Kevin Campbell, Director of the MSc Investment Analysis, said: “This is a new initiative for Stirling and one which we’re confident will provide real enjoyment and benefits to the students who get involved. While we expect it to be particularly popular with students on finance-based courses, we encourage participation from all interested students.”
The initiative is designed to give students practical experience of stock investing and provide insight into the roles of professional Equity Analysts and Fund Managers. It will enhance their understanding of the dynamics of various industries, the methods for valuing stocks, and will provide the opportunity to develop presentation skills.
The idea for the creation of the SMIF came from a discussion between academic staff and a member of the University’s global alumni family. The objective is to allow students, particularly those on investment analysis, finance, and accounting courses, to gain first-hand experience of portfolio investing and risk management.
Plans are already in place for the SMIF to invest real money in the future, receiving donations from alumni to invest and then distributing profits to charitable groups. More information about those plans will be announced in the near future.
All investments made by the SMIF will consider environmental, social and governance issues, in accordance with the United Nations’ Principles of Responsible Investment. It will also be run in line with Stirling Management School’s commitment to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME), an initiative of the UN Global Compact.
The SMIF will be housed in a designated resource room and will operate as a Students’ Union Society. SMIF members will have access to Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters EIKON and S&P Capital IQ financial databases. The usual committee member roles will be supplemented by specific investment fund roles, such as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer.
It will hold regular weekly meetings, a stock pitching event at the end of each semester, an AGM, and will publish an annual report detailing the performance of its portfolio.
Dr Kevin Campbell added: “Members of the SMIF will learn to use professional financial databases, while also experiencing the excitement of real-world stock investing. There is already a strong line-up of expert guest speakers in place for its first year and we also intend to arrange visits to investment firms.
“The aim of the SMIF is to generate a positive return over time through the careful management of risk.”
Membership of the SMIF is open to all students and costs £10, or £5 for those who are a member of another club or Society. More information about it can be found on the Students’ Union website.