Banking and Investment Association

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Spartan Fund

 

History

As part of San Jose State University’s Lucas College of Business and sponsored by Financial Navigator, Inc. the student-managed investment fund provides students with hands-on learning and experiences in evaluating financial assets through market, industry, and corporate analysis. With an initial $50,000 provided by our sponsor, undergraduate students are assigned and responsible for industries that are composed in the S&P 500 under the Global Industry Classification Standard. Internally, the fund is comprised of industry analysts, board members, Ex-Officio Advisors and Nancie Fimbel Investment Fellows. With voting rights among certain student board members such as the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, and Chief Analyst, companies are evaluated through industry reviews, presentations, and ongoing research.


After the succession of the Spartan Fund in Fall 2014, the volunteer-based fund was converted as an elective class for San Jose State University’s Lucas College of Business. As the fund shifted to an accredited class, the school provided 12 Bloomberg terminals for equity research and individual certifications. With a class composition of multiple students, the course curriculum includes the development of investment philosophy and process, organization, security selection, portfolio construction, and performance valuation.

Investment Philosophy

We believe that having the opportunity to manage real money is an exceptional and unique valuation learning experience. In that respect the fund will be managed on continuous basis throughout the semester and academic years. This means that all new analysts need to adhere to the ideas set in this investment philosophy.


We believe that the market is weak-form efficient so that through fundamental analysis we can pick stocks that reveal superior market values. We strive to beat the S&P 500 index by creating a well-diversified portfolio of stocks with superior value. However, we will pick stocks only out of the S&P 500 constituents list.

We will use the S&P 500 ten sectors to devise the target portfolio composition and will revisit periodically and through discussion ensure diversification and superior performance. However, at the same time we will strive to maintain S&P 500 sector weights.


The focus is on the valuation rather than portfolio management.We believe that transaction costs are value destroyers, therefore to minimize transaction costs we will divest of stocks very rarely. A company will be removed from our portfolio only if it is removed from the S&P 500 list or if analysts pitch convincingly to divest of the stock. We attempt to identify value creators with a long-term investment horizon (30 years).