Five Plymouth State University (PSU) finance and accounting students placed in the top 50 of the ETF Challenge, a 10-week global portfolio competition that concluded on May 7, 2021. Each week, almost 1,000 students from 253 U.S. and 172 international colleges compiled simulated portfolios of between four and 10 Exchange-Traded-Products (ETPs) and were ranked based on their investment performance.
Plymouth State was the only New Hampshire college or university to participate, but students competed from other New England institutions including Boston College and Central Connecticut State University. PSU students have regularly entered the biannual competition since the spring 2019 semester (missing only the fall 2020 semester due to a professor’s sabbatical) and this year was PSU’s the best finish thus far.
This year’s top 50 competitors from PSU and their rankings are: Stephen Coughlin, 11th, Annie Heller, 16th, Linus Lindeberg, 23rd, Matthew Bodi, 31st and Bruce Thibeault, 49th – all from the Class of 2021. Coughlin, Heller and Lindeberg, who placed in the top 25, are invited to attend the ETP Forum, the leading exchange-traded fund industry conference, in New York City this fall, and will have the opportunity to network with 500-600 finance professionals.
Participating in the semester-long challenge kept students engaged with current financial market trends. As part of a finance seminar course taught by Christina Bradbury, DBA, CFP®, associate professor of finance, they were encouraged to discuss their actions with each other and tackle assignments corresponding with the competition. Students also read news articles and listened to podcasts regularly to help inform their portfolio choices.
“I am so proud of my students for excelling in this competition through such an unusual semester,” said Bradbury. “Having the opportunity to attend the ETP Forum is an amazing résumé booster and will help these students, who have all just graduated, to build their own professional networks within the industry.”
PSU’s bachelor of finance program has three main goals in preparing students for careers in the field after graduation: prepare students for entry-level financial advisory roles, equip them with strong data analytic skills, and lay strong foundations in finance, accounting and economics, which are critical for careers in corporate finance, investments or commercial banking.
“The competition was an extremely valuable practical exercise for this year’s students and this level of success elevates our program to new heights,” said Bradbury.