Student Managed Fund (SMF)

The College of Management Hosts the First New England
Bloomberg Trading Competition

The National Bloomberg Trading Challenge, scheduled for the spring of 2021, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue the Asset Management Practicum in the College of Management, PhD candidates Hugh Qiu and Faraz Moghimi spearheaded the equivalent of the Bloomberg Trading Challenge. The challenge was entirely managed by students from UMass Boston’s graduate and undergraduate Student Management Fund.

With the help of staff members from different universities, the students recruited seven teams from UMass Boston's College of Management, ten teams from Clark University, and two teams from Bryant University. Each team was given remote access to the Bloomberg terminals at their respective universities. Over seven weeks, from March 8 to April 23, each team invested a $1 million notional amount to US equities. The four teams with the highest return on investment (ROI) presented their findings to the Bloomberg Trading Challenge participants and various professionals in the finance industry and were given a final score. 

For a complete list of competition rules, please visit: https://umbbloomberg.wixsite.com.

Meet the Finalists

Two graduate and two undergraduate teams who made it to the final round competed in their respective categories for the $1,000 cash prizes. Each group made a final presentation that was reviewed and scored by three judges.

Performance Insight: Invest Hypothesis Mattered This is a time visual for profits and team rankings over the seven-week period. While most teams started with a high volatility stock-picking strategy, teams that traded to lock in profits and performed sector diversification, reduced volatility and remained steadily in the top-5 position. A hands-on replica of a textbook lesson. Buy and hold is less optimal when investment horizons are short.

UMass Boston College of Management's Graduate Team

Results:
1st in the trading competition with a 10.64% ROI
1st in the final presentation

Strategy:
The team members decided that for the seven-week competition, they would invest with an aggressive news-based and technical analysis stock-picking strategy. Although we believe that long-term fundamental analysis is the better investment tool, the short time frame of this competition required us to follow current market fluctuations. 

Our starting themes for investment ideas were:

  • Stimulus checks and vaccinations
  • Inflation and treasury yield effects on growth stocks
  • The Biden administration's $2 trillion infrastructure plan
  • Weakening dollar effects on commodities.

Once we gained the lead, we reduced our risk tolerance and diversified across all sectors. 

Clark University's Graduate Team

Result:
4th in the trading competition with a 7.93% ROI
2nd in the final graduate presentation

Strategy:
I determined the value of investments by researching blue-chip stocks in the S&P 500 index while copying past stock price trends to make predictions. After several weeks, I realized that stock trading requires firm direction and flexibility. Rushing to achieve quick success or taking shortcuts would not be beneficial. Stock trading is a zero-sum game; we are all players. Only those with a stable mindset, decision-making power, and courage will become winners.

UMass Boston College of Management's Undergraduate Team

Result:
2nd in the trading competition with a 9.85% ROI
2nd in undergraduate presentation

Strategy:
With a paper-trading portfolio of $1M, our team generated about $100K in net profits in the span of seven weeks. We accomplished this by using the Bloomberg Terminal to collect information to guide our investment decisions. Our strategy was to mitigate risk by splitting our investments across companies with different degrees of volatility.

Bryant University's Undergraduate Team

Result:
3rd in the trading competition with an 8.64% ROI
1st in the final undergraduate presentation

Strategy:
Our team researched industries and stocks that suffered during the pandemic but had the potential to recover. We also researched new and innovative stocks within the changing and volatile market. After this research, we chose to analyze stocks that showed strong earnings and growth potential.

A Special Thank You to:

The Review Panel

  • Rajiv Mallick, Head of Risk Management US, APG
  • Emery A.Trahan, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty & Research, Professor Northeastern University
  • Debarshi K. Nandy, Professor of Global Finance, Brandeis University, International Business School, Director MSF

The Master of Ceremonies

  • Kristen Callahan, Senior Lecturer II, College of Management, UMass Boston

Supporters

  • Laura Burgess, Assistant Dean, School of Management, Clark University
  • Asli Ascioglu, Chair and Professor, Finance, Bryant University
  • John Fellingham, Lecturer, Bryant University
  • Arindam Bandopadhyaya, Interim Dean, College of Management, UMass Boston
  • Atreya Chakraborty, Professor, College of Management, UMass Boston
  • Steven Matson, Relationship Manager at Bloomberg LP