McDonough School of Business
News Story

MSF Students Present Final Investments for Peeptrade University Challenge

In December, eight students from Georgetown McDonough’s Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program traveled to the University of Chicago to present and defend investments they made over the previous two months during the Peeptrade University Challenge.

The team, advised by distinguished teaching professor Thomas Cooke and associate professor James Angel, competed against graduate business students from Dartmouth College, INSEAD, London School of Business, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina, and the University of Chicago, to best manage a $10,000 portfolio. Although Georgetown McDonough did not win the competition, the students received positive feedback from the competition’s judges.

The team, which comprised 18 students from across the United States and abroad, met online weekly to discuss their investments and trades throughout the two-month-long competition.

“The Peeptrade challenge offered Georgetown MSF students an opportunity to apply the skills that we learned in our classes,” said Felix Delgado (MSF ’17). “In the same way that physics and chemistry students apply their knowledge in labs, we finance students were able to test our skills in the market with real money and in the company of teams from the world’s other top finance schools.”

The students, who employed an event-driven investment strategy, concentrated on financial and political news when making their investments. The team made trades in anticipation of various companies’ earnings reports released between October and December. They also focused on infrastructure, anticipating that the future president would invest in developing American roads, highways, and airports.

“We were largely impacted by the election. We definitely had an ‘if Hillary is elected’ strategy,” Cooke said. “We made some decisions along the way that we thought would be wise moves anticipating her election.”

The students defended their investments to a panel of judges who scored them on their investment policy statement and compliance, the execution of their strategy, the metrics of their performance, risk compliance, and presentation.

“The judges included a professor of mathematical finance at the University of Chicago and two leading hedge fund managers. The students not only had to present in front of this distinguished panel, they had to answer questions from the judges,” said Allan Eberhart, professor of finance and director of the MSF program. “The questions were highly challenging, and yet the students answered them with aplomb and clarity. As a result, I expect they will have even more confidence that they can excel under stressful situations.”

Georgetown McDonough plans to participate in the 2017 Peeptrade University Challenge.


–Lindsay Reilly