If this fall’s incoming college freshmen had started sixth grade by investing $100 in the U.S. stock market, they would have about $145 today. Had they invested in Drexel’s student-managed Dragon Fund, they would have $215.
The Fund’s performance has been so impressive that the University added $100,000 in 2011 and $450,000 in 2013 to its initial 2007 investment of $250,000. The fund’s value at the end of 2013: more than $1.2 million. That’s real money; it’s one of the largest student-management investment portfolios in the nation.
Students in FIN 341 and FIN 342 (applied and advanced portfolio management) manage the fund. They team up in sector groups to apply asset allocation and stock selection models. The class teaches proficiency with financial software used by institutional investors and provides feedback from senior investment professionals. A substantial proportion of former Dragon Fund class participants have found full-time employment as financial analysts at BlackRock, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Nomura, and Turner Investments, among others.
The Dragon Fund, which recorded its strongest year yet in 2013, specializes in U.S. midcap stocks and has solidly outperformed the broad U.S. stock market as well as U.S. midcaps since its inception, while experiencing less volatility than its benchmarks.
“It’s very difficult to get an entry-level job in asset management,” says Daniel Dorn, associate professor of finance at LeBow. “Companies look for people who already have some experience. We help provide that experience by teaching valuation and portfolio management skills, but it’s the students who analyze their sectors, choose the stocks, and make the buy and sell decisions.”