Two DeSales Seniors Finish in Barron's Challenge Top Ten
Two DeSales University students were among the top ten performers in The Barron's Challenge stockpicking contest for October 2005 to April 2006. Seniors Mike Zinn, of Hanover, Pa., and David Graver, of Lancaster, Pa., finished in third and seventh place, respectively. More than 2,200 students participated in the competition, which is open to students and professors at accredited institutions throughout the country.
This is the second consecutive Barron's Challenge competition in which DeSales had a student finish in the top ten. In spring 2005, Russ Susko, '05, of Hackettstown, N.J., finished in tenth place. More than 4,400 students competed in the Spring 2005 and Fall 2005 Barron's challenges, with 17 schools represented among the top ten students in each contest, including UCLA, Wharton, St. Johns and DeSales. DeSales was the only school with three students among the top performers.
Students were required to participate in the Barron's Challenge, as part of a personal finance class taught by Charles Finady, assistant professor of business at DeSales. According to Finady, the contest gives students a good opportunity to learn the long and short term effects in the world of investing, and provides realistic concepts without exposing students to risk.
The competition calls for students to use a hypothetical $100,000 to trade stocks listed on any of the three major exchanges (S&P 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrials, and Nasdaq Composite) and priced at $5 or more when the contest begins. Students can not make more than 75 trades. Stock-Trak, a firm specializing in online portfolio simulations and based in Duluth, Ga., administered the six-month competition.
Although real money is not used in the challenge, students do have a chance to win money, if they place in the top 10. The first-place winner, Donald Sauder from Louisiana State University, won $1,500. The second- and third-place winners received $1,000 and $500, respectively.
As third-place winner, Zinn was awarded $500 and also was photographed for the article, "As Good as Gold," for the May 1st edition of Barron's, one of the nation's premier weekly investment publications.
Finady credits the students' buy and hold philosophy for serving them well, as he saw Zinn's gold, silver and aluminum stocks rising consistently through the competition, as did Graver's steel stock picks.
"The best part of watching the students' progress was my continued amazement at how long the uptrends in their stocks continued and how both Mike and David were unfazed by temporary setbacks in their picks," said Finady. "Every player was allowed 75 trades, but Mike and Dave both kept their trading to a minimum and reaped the rewards of the strong uptrends."
Both Zinn and Graver feel the competition was a wonderful learning experience.
"I gained a great amount of knowledge of how the stock market and investing works, including how to screen stocks, make different types of investments, and how buying and holding can be a profitable way of investing," said Zinn, a dual major in mathematics and secondary education. "The challenge was my first-ever encounter with investing, but it won't be my last."
"Through the challenge, I gained a greater awareness of financial risk," said Graver, a dual major in marriage and the family and theology. "It taught me patience, when letting the stock ride out."
The final report card at the end of the contest listed account values for the top ten participants, including Zinn's at $177,000 and Graver's at $163,000. The account of Sauder, the first-place winner, was valued at $229,000.
For more information, please contact Charles Finady, assistant professor of business at DeSales, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1852.
Press Release: Two DeSales Seniors Finish in Barron's Challenge Top Ten | Posted on: 5/8/2006
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu