Montana State University

MSU finance students manage top-performing portfolio in Student Investment Program

November 7, 2016 -- MSU News Service

MSU students in the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship attend a lecture in Jabs Hall. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN — The Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship announced recently that finance students enrolled in a senior-level research seminar in finance placed first among 20 business colleges participating in the D.A. Davidson and Co. Student Investment Program for the academic year 2015-2016.

The Student Investment Program provides a team of upper-level business and finance students the opportunity to get a hands-on education in investing and portfolio management. D.A. Davidson provides each participating school with $50,000 to invest in actual market transactions, which offers education in finance, stock research, portfolio management and investment topics. During the 2015-2016 school year, 20 schools in seven states participated, with the school teams sharing in profits made and D.A. Davidson absorbing any losses.

“I am very proud of last year’s students for the great job they did managing the winning (Student Investment Program) portfolio,” said faculty adviser Peter Rubicam, a business professor in the JJCBE. “They generated a number of insightful investment ideas and managed the portfolio with a high degree of professionalism and enthusiasm. It was a real pleasure to have the opportunity to act as their adviser.”

From August 2015 to August 2016, the 16-member MSU student team had the program’s top-performing portfolio, earning 10.2 percent return on its $50,000 investment. The return for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index – a standard benchmark for the stock market – was 12.6 percent for the same period, according to Jacquie Burchard, public relations coordinator for D.A. Davidson and Co. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had an 11.3 percent return for the same period.

For the 2015-16 program year, nine participating colleges finished with total returns that were positive. Only MSU’s team exceeded 10 percent, and only five colleges achieved returns above the 5 percent level required to earn a check.

“We congratulate the MSU team on their strong performance this year and we salute all of the student participants for their work in managing real portfolios,” said James Ragan, director of research for D.A. Davidson’s Individual Investor Group. “This program provides a unique opportunity for aspiring financial professionals to learn a range of valuable skills. We are honored to partner with the participating schools to offer this experience.”

The Student Investment Program began at MSU in 1985 when Ian Davidson of Davidson Companies and D.A. Davidson and Co. recognized an opportunity to help business students gain real-life investment experience.

Other participating schools include: Boise State University, Boise, Idaho; Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska; Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington; Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington; Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho; Montana State University, Billings; Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon; Portland State University, Portland, Oregon; Seattle University, Seattle; Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah; University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho; University of Montana, Missoula; University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon; University of Utah, Salt Lake City; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming; Utah State University, Logan, Utah; Washington State University, Pullman, Washington; and Westminster College, Salt Lake City.

The MSU JJCBE offers four undergraduate options of study, including accounting, finance, management and marketing, as well as five minors, including accounting, business administration, entrepreneurship and small business management, finance and international business. The college also offers a master of professional accountancy degree, a business certificate and entrepreneurship certificate.

MSU students who participated in the Student Investment Program for the 2015-2016 academic year are listed below by hometown and major:



Raquel Schenk, business finance


Kyle Hunter, business finance


Jon Biegel, business finance


Sean Gummer, business finance

Dennis Pinczes, business finance


Anthony Skinner, business finance


Kyle Godecke, business finance

Great Falls

Blake Mickatavage, business finance


Thomas Mitzel, Master of professional accountancy


Mark Stormes, business finance



Paul Levine, business finance

Masaki Norton, business finance and mechanical engineering



Michael Keller, business finance



Tom O'Halloran, business finance



Ben York, business finance


Sturgeon Bay

John Borawski, business finance

For more information, contact Rubicam at (406) 994-6201 or

Contact: Peter Rubicam, MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, (406) 994-6201 or