In April, a team of 10 students from Georgetown McDonough’s Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program won the Peeptrade University Challenge, a two-month-long competition in which teams from eight top business schools competed to best manage a $10,000 portfolio.

The MSF McDonough students competed against graduate business teams from INSEAD, IPADE, ITESM, London Business School, Princeton University, University of Southern California, and Illinois Institute of Technology. Distinguished teaching professor Thomas Cooke and associate professor James Angel advised the team.

“The Peeptrade University Challenge provided a great hands-on experience in investment management, active trading, and the teamwork required in constructing and managing a portfolio,” said Meghan Cominsky (MSF’18), who participated in the event. “We had the opportunity to implement many of the things we've been learning through our MSF program and to meet and compete against other students from some of the top business schools around the world.”

During the first two months of the University Challenge, individual investors followed the trading activity of the eight university investment clubs in real time on Peeptrade, an online platform where users can “peep” into the portfolios of other investors. The teams traveled to the University of Chicago on April 22 to present and defend their investment strategy to a panel of experts.

While over a quarter of the investments were made using an event-driven strategy, the students also analyzed sector-tilt, volatility, momentum, and emerging markets when making their investment decisions. The students called their blended strategy the “fund of funds.”

“We utilized fundamental valuation skills and strategies like momentum investing to deliver consistent performance throughout the competition and got exceptional returns on some short-term trading that was thanks to in-depth research on a few companies' Q1 performance and political events,” said Chip Hinkel (MSF ‘18), who also participated in the event.

Three members of the McDonough team 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 absolutely knew their stuff. They challenged every team,” Cooke said. “You couldn’t pull the wool over their eyes.”

This semester’s competition was the second time students from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business participated in the Peeptrade University Challenge. The school was asked to participate again in the fall.

“We will return to defend our crown,” Cooke said.

 

--Lindsay Reilly