Fogelman Finance Students Win TVA Investment Challenge Program Award

“Undergraduate students enrolling in Finance 3710 or 4331 must be up for the challenge,” says Instructor Napoleon Overton, who is a Chartered Financial Analyst. The challenge is to manage an actual $500,000 portfolio to outperform the S&P 500 Stock Index. In 2020, the University of Memphis TVA portfolio produced a total return of 27.0%, representing outperformance of 8.6% over the 18.4% return on the S&P 500 Index.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) sponsors this competition among 24 universities in the Tennessee Valley region, with an objective of meeting or exceeding returns on the S&P 500 Index. Overton structures his classes so that the challenge is a large part of the learning, and the fact he uses his 30-year experience as a Securities Analyst. “I did it with real money for all those years and students get a glimpse of what it is like to make actual investment decisions for a $500,000 portfolio.”

Students in the Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate at Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis have been competing since the 1998 inception of TVA’s Investment Challenge Program (ICP). Professor Overton and his students work throughout the semesters on the program in the Cook Analytics and Trading Lab, which is outfitted with Bloomberg terminals and resources to handle the investment research.

“We know that our 2020 performance ranked highly among the 24 Universities in the challenge based on notification of the cash performance award,” said Overton, “but we will not know exactly where we ranked among the 25 participating Universities until the March 24 TVA Investment Conference. TVA issues monetary awards to Universities in their Investment Challenge Program who outperform the S&P 500 Index annually. “I can say all of the participating finance students who made investment decisions for the portfolio in recent semesters are collective winners in their strategic approach and consummate investment professionalism they exhibited.”

Learn more about TVA ICP.