Panther Investment Fund provides College of Business students with real-world experience

Students in Prairie View A&M University’s College of Business are getting real-world experience with the college’s new Panther Investment Fund.

4 students in business attire

“This fund offers students a unique opportunity to manage real money to develop investment skills as financial analysts and portfolio managers,” said COB Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Yi Zhang. “The investment goal is to prioritize capital appreciation and growth by investing in equity, fixed income, and the Exchange Traded Fund under the supervision of faculty advisors.”

PVAMU President Dr. Ruth Simmons jump-started the project with a $10,000 donation last year. Five senior finance students, Romaine Knight, Brenda Bermudez, Timothy Madden, Kandaka Polk, and Brandyn Smith enrolled in Zhang’s courses, investment analysis and investment management, were selected to form the first security analyst team.

“Based on the economic and market outlooks, the team first made decisions on asset allocations,” said Zhang. “Then, each analyst was in charge of different sectors to analyze them and propose investment decisions. Investment proposals were presented to the fund’s advisory board, composed of myself, Dr. Shahriari, and industry advisors, who unanimously approved their decisions.”

Using the virtual trading platform StockTrak to simulate those investments, the team selected five stocks, (Spirit Airlines (SAVE), Abbott Laboratory (ABT), Shell (RDS-A), Ulta Beauty (ULTA), and Rollins Inc. (ROL), based on market conditions and interest rates. They presented their final proposals to advisors and COB faculty on May 9.

“Although it’s too soon to report profitability, all participated students spoke highly of this learning experience and appreciated it as a valuable opportunity,” said Zhang.

COB Dean Dr. Munir Quddus said, “This has been a long-term goal for the COB to establish a fund which would allow finance majors to get real-world investment experience. We are excited about the future of the finance program at PVAMU.”

Each semester, a new team of selected students will manage the Panther Investment Fund.

By: Marchita Shilo