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CU portfolio classes celebrate profits

Cameron University's portfolio management classes celebrated a profitable semester last week. Each semester, one class manages a bond fund and an advanced class manages the stock portfolio. And unlike many simulations, there is real money on the table.

The bond program borrows money from BancFirst and invests it in high-grade bonds; the profits go to the Cameron University Foundation. The foundation also provides funds for the stocks portfolio and reaps the rewards when the students' stocks do well. 

The students had good news: From August to November, the bond portfolio's value rose about $10,000, or 2.86 percent, about three times the increase of the S&P investment grade bonds program. 

The stock portfolio registered a 4.31 percent gain, about $25,000, compared to a rise of 2.36 percent in the S&P 500.

Although the two portfolios did well, their routes were much different.

All the bonds were performing well, so the students kept all of them and added one new bond.

The stocksportfolio, however, saw a lot of turnover. Students sold seven stocks and purchased three new ones.

Muhammed Qayyum, assistant professor of finance and adviser to the classes, said there were some extra challenges this year for the bond class, which had 22 students, the largest ever. The goal is to have each student make presentations twice, which required a lot of extra time, time that the students were willing to put in. And reaching a consensus with 22 members may be more difficult than in a smaller class. And Qayyum said the bond portfolio is a good one: The equity has tripled in the last six years.

The stock class, with just four students, approved a large turnover of stocks. Qayyum said the large number of sales made sense because valuations were so high.

""I told them you have enough profit, cash it in," he said.

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