SFA students turn class into cash - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

SFA students turn class into cash

15 SFA students demonstrating high investment savvy are members of the Stephen F. Austin State University’s Mast Student Investment Roundtable. 15 SFA students demonstrating high investment savvy are members of the Stephen F. Austin State University’s Mast Student Investment Roundtable.
The program began in 2012 with seed money from the children of A.T. and Patricia Mast. The program began in 2012 with seed money from the children of A.T. and Patricia Mast.
The portfolio now has over $565,000, outperforming the return rate of the S&P 500. The portfolio now has over $565,000, outperforming the return rate of the S&P 500.
Profits are turned into scholarships, software, competition expenses and, of course, reinvesting. Profits are turned into scholarships, software, competition expenses and, of course, reinvesting.
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

University students in Nacogdoches are learning firsthand what it takes to be a financial portfolio manager. Qualified SFA finance majors are putting the textbooks aside to do hands-on investing with real money.

The think tank for investing thousands of dollars happens around the Mast Student Investment Roundtable.

"The Roundtable was brought together in 2009," said Blake Moore of Lufkin. "We started with $149,000 and we've actually turned that 149 into right now today $565,000."

In 2014, the finance seniors' portfolio had a return rate of about 19 percent. High enough to win a national competition. High enough to outperform the return rate of the S&P 500 by an impressive 6 percent.

"And it looks like today we're actually beating the S&P by .35 basis points," said Steven Hawkins, a Longview senior. "And that's a lot considering the S&P 500 contains 502 of the biggest stocks in the United States.">

In 2015 the performance just keeps getting better.

"Whatever the S&P is doing, we're 8.5 percent better than the S&P," said Dr. Kyle Jones, the professor of finance.

Jones is capable, but rarely puts the brakes on unwise investments. The class is student-driven. Discussion on current events and close analysis of lots of graphs clue them in on what stock to select from ten investment sectors.

"And two of the biggest ones for us were health care and let's see, infotech," said Ryan Swor, a Carrollton senior.

The alumni association really likes the roundtable concept as much of the earnings are turned back into scholarships.Roundtable is perhaps the one program generating, rather than costing the university money to operate. That's the definition of a wise investment.

And here's a bonus for all investors. The SFA Mast Student Investment Roundtable shares its award-winning portfolio on its website. Anyone can see their selections and individual returns. It will be changing soon. Students are making new stock selections for the next three weeks.

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