Class projects benefit professional, personal life
Projects: an application of the cases we discuss in the classroom? A chance to test out our strategies? One last assignment before spring break or graduation? Whatever it may be, almost all the coursework at Goizueta has some very interesting class projects to work on. This spring, I am particularly excited for our semester-long class project in Applied Investment Management.
One of the main reasons I took this course was to learn more about the fundamentals of investing and possibly become better at it. Now, I have done my fair share of reading on my own once I started investing, but I knew this class would give me an opportunity to hear directly from an expert, Professor Jeffrey Busse, to learn even more and apply some of the principles I’ve read and learned about. Much to my delight, I learned that the project in this course would allow me to do just that: apply investing principles and try our hand at the stock market.
Students in the course have the opportunity to take $35,000 from the Emory endowment and invest it as they see fit and purchase the equities they wish. The fact that the assets used for the stock picks were part of the endowment made this project “real” and added to the stakes; it made us try to choose our picks wisely (along with the fact that our performance accounted for a small portion of our final grade!). What I really like about this project is the fact that in real life, I tend to be pretty conservative and always end up staying mainly in index funds. This project, however, has allowed me to try strategies that I may not have on my own and see how I fare. Further, since all the students’ investments in the class are collectively compared to the market, we get a chance to see if we have what it takes to act like successful fund managers or if we’ll struggle to beat the market like so many out there do.
While making stock picks is the capstone project for the course, our final presentation in the class is a different project and involves not picking stocks, but picking investing strategies based on certain criteria such as stocks that are under- or over-valued, the company sizes and other various features; the strategies we choose are really up to the students as long as we can filter the stocks down to some sort of subset. Then, we use some pretty neat software to back-test these strategies and see how we would have fared if we used the strategy, and present our findings and recommendations for using these strategies.
Overall, the projects in this class are some of my favorite class projects so far since they are things I could see myself doing in my own personal life. I highly recommend this class for everyone to get a better understanding of how the markets work and how to become a better investor; while you may not be going into wealth management or some other investing-related field that would use the coursework, I still have found it to be very valuable for my own personal finance knowledge.