Students Win Adirondack Cup Stock Challenge
A team of six St. Lawrence University students took on colleges and universities across the Northeast – including some well-known business schools – to win the Adirondack Cup Competition stock challenge.
Eighteen college teams competed against each other over the past six months to build and grow a small cap portfolio of stocks. With a 27.54 percent return, the St. Lawrence portfolio resoundingly beat the 3.15 percent return for the Russell 2000 Index, which measures the performance of small cap stocks in the U.S., during the same period. Second place Ithaca College had a return of 15.33 percent, while third place Bryn Mawr College showed a 14.01 percent return.
Andrew Chan ’14, an economics major from Niskayuna, N.Y., explained the group’s strategy and how they decided on which stocks to include in St. Lawrence’s portfolio.
“We did a top-down analysis to view how the macro landscape impacts the markets and tried to determine which industries would do the best in this particular economic environment,” said Andrew, who served as the team’s portfolio manager. “We also relied a lot on our relationships with key alumni who provided us with insightful advice.”
The St. Lawrence team also included Patrick Raley ’14 of Palatine, Ill.; Vasileos Prassas ’14 of Chalkidiki, Greece; Anton Stoytchev ’14 of Kostenets, Bulgaria; Nathan Rotich ’14 of Rift Valley, Kenya; and Josh Ciolek ’14 of Fairport, N.Y. Last summer, Andrew received the Daniel F. ’65 and Ann H. Sullivan University Fellowship. All of the teammates also serve as excutive members of the Crown Royalty Investment Club at St. Lawrence.
Students participating in the competition, which is in its third year, manage a hypothetical small cap portfolio of stocks valued at $1 million. St. Lawrence, which came in second place last year, took on Clarkson University, Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology and last year’s winner Sienna College, among others.
“Because of the nature of a St. Lawrence education, we were able to use a creative, out-of-the-box, liberal arts mentality to learn, for example, how groups behave or whether a company is behaving ethically," Andrew said. "We took a very non-traditional approach, at least in business, and instead used qualitative as well as quantitative analyses to inform our decisions.”
Adirondack Portfolio Manager Greg Roeder celebrated with St. Lawrence students and presented them with the Adirondack Cup trophy on Thursday, April 24, at The Club restaurant in Canton. The advisor to the Guilderland, N.Y.-based mutual fund, Adirondack Small Cap Mutual Fund (ADKSX), sponsored the competition.
“They should be particularly proud because they did this all on their own,” said Peter W. FitzRandolph, associate professor of economics at St. Lawrence and the team's adviser. “My only involvement was to offer them the opportunity to participate in the competition. They are truly amazing.”
For more information about the Adirondack Cup, visit www.adirondackfunds.com/adirondack-cup.