Monday, August 12, 2019

Students Defend Stock Choices at Annual Investment Research Challenge

First place winners and industry judgesAnish Chopra and industry judges pose with the first placing student team.

On July 19th, 64 SAF students defended their buy, sell, or hold recommendation on one of four assigned stocks, while investing in experiential learning opportunities at the seventh annual Investment Research Challenge (IRC). The stock assigned were small cap publicly traded stocks (iRobot Corp, Sprouts Farmers Market, AMN Healthcare Services, and RH) with limited analyst following.

After a preliminary and final round, each with a Q&A session with a panel of judges comprised of faculty and industry professionals, the team with Jessica Siew (AFM 3B), Tony Huang (Math/CPA 4B), Raj Chanda (AFM 3B), and Daniel Xie (AFM 2B) impressed the judges the most and took home the first prize of $2,000. The first place team noted their appreciation in having the opportunity to compete in a setting that allowed them to better understand the expectations in the finance industry and also benefited from listening to presentations from their peers on multiple companies in various industries.

Gianni Recupero, a student in his 2B term, was part of a team of students who placed third. Gianni saw IRC as an exciting challenge to learn more about an industry his team wasn’t familiar with. Reflecting on his experience Gianni felt that “Getting to speak with industry professionals, while really getting to learn what it takes when presenting a stock pitch was a great chance to refine my skills as an aspiring financial professional. This competition teaches you something that you can’t just get from a lecture.”

Mitchell Ho (AFM 3B), from the second placed team, commented on incorporating learning from the IRC in courses and the work term, “The ability to prepare a comprehensive presentation within a short time span is definitely a skill I will be applying to my other courses. More importantly, many of these skills (e.g. PowerPoint, Excel, pitching) will be core to my upcoming Fall co-op in Investment Banking.”  

As for the judges, they were impressed with the intellectual curiosity and hard work that the students showed throughout the day during the presentations and Q&A sessions. “It is great to see the students perform at such a high level when analyzing companies. Their energy, enthusiasm and skills always shine through” shared Anish Chopra, a SAF alumnus and sponsor of the IRC.

Angela Yan (AFM 3B) from the fourth placed team had a great piece of advice for other students considering participating IRC or other competitions, “Don’t be afraid to try things and challenge yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone”.

SAF students interested in participating in future competitions should contact Taylor Scully.

1st place teamAnish Chopra with first place team: Tony Huang, Daniel Xie, Jessica Siew, Raj Chanda

2nd place teamAnish Chopra with second place team: Neel Kaura, Zaid Malhi, Mitchell Ho, Logan Fraser

3rd place teamAnish Chopra with third place team: Gianni Recupero, Andy Jin, Saumil Desai, Prajwol Bhandary

4th place teamAnish Chopra with fourth place team: Brendan Mick, Pamela Zeng, Angela Yan, Joy Zhang

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