Student-Managed Investment Fund Continues to Grow

Student-Managed Investment Fund Continues to Grow

Photo of students

Fairfield Dolan SMIF Management Team

Started in 2007 with an initial University investment, Fairfield Dolan’s Student-Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) has grown over the years, weathering the financial crisis in 2009 and the Covid-related plunge in 2020.

A big part of Fairfield’s education is grounded in reflection, and it’s fine if the stock pick doesn’t perform as [the student] had hoped, as long as they understand why. Just like in life, we benefit by learning from our mistakes.

— Faculty Advisor Nazli S. Alan, PhD

Participating in the Dolan SMIF is an investment in time that has yielded some impressive dividends.

36 undergraduate students meet each week to discuss the market and manage the Student-Managed Investment Fund portfolio, which has rebounded after a low of $305,000 in 2020 and now totals more than $400,000, according to faculty advisor Nazli S. Alan, PhD, associate professor of finance. The group consists mainly of finance majors.

Most students participate as analysts; that is, they identify and then research a promising stock or exchange-traded fund in their assigned sector (healthcare, technology, consumer durables, etc.) and pitch it to the group. That’s when the real fun begins, as each presenter is grilled on the company or fund’s key financial metrics, expected earnings, sustainability, recent news, and other factors integral to its potential performance.

“These questions often take longer than the initial presentation,” said Dr. Alan.

The group then votes on whether or not to add that stock or fund to the portfolio, and how much money to commit. Dr. Alan then makes the trades in line with what the group has decided.

Above all, “This is an educational platform. Students are allowed to make mistakes,” Dr. Alan stressed. “A big part of Fairfield’s education is grounded in reflection, and it’s fine if the stock pick doesn’t perform as they had hoped, as long as they understand why. Just like in life, we benefit by learning from our mistakes.”

Upperclassmen lead the group, under the direction of SMIF president Nicolas Nigrelli ’23, a finance major with minors in business analytics and economics. While most members are juniors, first-year and sophomore students are encouraged to join and grow with the group.

SMIF Team

Fairfield Dolan SMIF Team

The payoff in terms of experience is invaluable. Nigrelli, for example, just landed an internship with Goldman Sachs. Dolan SMIF vice president Nicholas Sordi ’23 interned at Deloitte; Portfolio Manager Michael Becker ’23 is currently at UBS; and analyst Michael Streeter ’24 interned at Deutsche Bank last summer.

The group’s current strategy is to have exposure to all 11 S&P 500 sectors, choosing the top performers in each. The portfolio currently consists of 20 stocks as well as a cash account.

Fairfield Dolan’s finance program is ranked #20 Best Grad Business Specialty Program by U.S. News & World Report, 2022. To learn more about the program visit the program web page.

Tags:  Dolan School,  Top Stories

Last modified: 12-16-21 8:35 PM

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