GFMA Stock Trade Challenge Champion

The Champion

The Champion

A Champion has been crowned! After spending the last two weeks at the top, Marc Matuska was able to dig his heels in, stick to his guns, and put together an unbelievable 43.8% return in just four weeks! Matuska out performed the benchmark S&P 500 by a whopping 42.8%, one of only ten competitors to do so.

“I really enjoyed the stock trading competition, but contribute most of my success to luck.  Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once in a while, right?” Matuska also wanted to add, “The little skill that was involved is most definitely a product of the great instruction I’ve received from the finance faculty and staff during my time at Tippie.” 

Matuska was awarded a $50 Visa Gift Card for his first place finish in the stock trading competition. In the holiday spirit and out of the goodness of his heart, Matuska has decided to donate the $50 gift card back toward the fundraising event, bringing the total funds raised to $550! All proceeds will benefit Tippie Build 4 and Habitat for Humanity. Please be sure to pull Matuska to the side and thank him for his generosity next time you see him in the hallway. His actions truly demonstrate the spirit of giving.

“I would love to see the competition grow next year and involve not only current Tippie MBA students, but those of us who have graduated,” said Matuska. “Not only would it be a great way to stay in contact with each other, but having additional participants would raise even more money for a great cause.”

Faculty Champion

Faculty Champion

Erik Lie was the top place finisher for faculty and staff. Lie finished second to Matuska, yielding a 17% return. The professor who struggled the most towards the end of the competition was Henry Fund advisor, Todd Houge, who finished in 32nd place. Houge did not immediately return email inquiries seeking comment as of press time.

Professor Jeff Ohlmann finished in the number ten spot. Ohlmann pointed out that his strategy in this competition was ‘orthogonal’ to what he would recommend in the real world. “In lieu of technical research, I applied what I would call the “shake-and-bake” strategy; I simply picked high-beta stocks. I wasn’t worried about the downside, after all, if you ain’t first you’re last.”

Ohlmann also said football season constrained his abilities to devote more time to the stock trading competition but had this to say about his overall performance, “In conclusion, I’m happy with being the 9th loser. I didn’t really apply much acumen from my research – really I just picked stocks like I picked fantasy football players, and avoided Bengals!”

Joel Bennett was able to grab the third place spot and was the only competitor, other than Matuska, to stay in the top ranks throughout the competition. “I’m proud to have been able to maintain a strong return by staying true to my fundamental trading strategy,” said Bennett. “In contrast to other investors who invested in highly inflated assets and based their investments on hype and hope, I was able to out perform the market without trading my client’s money in highly volatile investments.”

Bennett went on to add, “I think I am most proud to have defeated the master warriors of the trade here at the Tippie College of Business. I will be able to cherish this moment forever, when a young grasshopper was able to rise above and out perform his sensei.”  

A firm believer in Bennett’s trading strategy was Eric Gorres, who managed to finish in 6th place. “I really owe all my success to two people: Eric Eckerman and Joel Bennett.   When I was screening for ideas, I looked at the holdings of some of the best asset managers of our time: George Soros, Carl Icahn, and Eric Eckerman.  Each gave me a potential company.  After further analysis and extensive modeling, I asked myself ‘What would Joel Bennett do (WWJBD)?’ I then went through the rigorous thought process and internal debate Joel puts all his investment ideas through.” 

The “Least Likely to Work on Wall Street” award for this year’s competition goes to Adam Newcomb, who put together a four week loss of 40.59%. Newcomb had this to say about his experience, “The strategy I used was: ‘Go big or go home,’ essentially investing a vast portion of my funds into out-of-the-money options. There were days where this worked fantastic, but most days you pulled all your hair out. All-in-all it was a great experience and gave me the chance to test out some new strategies I wouldn’t do with my own money.”

Area businesses have made donations to award the top place finishers in the 2010 GFMA Stock Trade Competition. The GFMA would like to thank Masala (Indian Vegetarian Cuisine), Pita Pit (Fresh Thinking, Healthy Eating), Spiceland (Indian Grocery Store and Food take out), El Banditos (Mexican Restaurant), and Buffalo Wild Wings for their generous donations.

The top fifteen finishers will be awarded a prize. Please see Jared Marks to pick up your prize. Congratulations to all winners!

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Jared Marks

About Jared Marks

Jared is a 2nd-year in the Finance program at Tippie.