Beach Investment Group (B.I.G.)
This is a team of CSULB College of Business students who are interested in finance, practice of portfolio management, asset allocation, accounting, economics, business strategy, and statistics. These students can make investment decisions, also engage in econometric modeling, research of specific economic sectors, and the study of corporate cultures, and performance histories. Leadership skills and group dynamics are practiced by working together closely to plan investment strategies and by presenting their results.
Beach Investment Group (B.I.G.), formerly known as the Student-Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) Program, was launched in Fall 1995 with a single portfolio worth $50,000 and a goal to provide its participant students, including both undergraduate and master’s students, and both Finance and non-Finance majors, “with real-world experience in applying the skills and concepts of security analysis and portfolio management that have been taught in the classroom toward the management of a real-money portfolio”. The program has continued to grow since its founding, and the students of Beach Investment Group are now entrusted with managing over half a million dollars, spread across three separate portfolios.
The application process for students interested in participating in B.I.G. starts in late spring semester with the completion and submission of an online application form. This is followed during the summer with a series of B.I.G. “summer boot camp” sessions and concludes with final candidate interviews after which the incoming year’s new class is chosen. The selected students will receive course credit for their activities through FIN 499A/B or FIN 699A/B.
The students of the Beach Investment Group are responsible for managing over half a million dollars’ worth of portfolios on behalf of three non-profit clients:
- CSULB Research Foundation (the Seegers Fund),
- Forty-Niner Shops, Inc. (the 49er SMIF Fund), and
- CFA Society of Orange County (the CFAOC SMIF Portfolio).
These portfolios are invested in a mix of fixed income and equity securities, and a mix of value and momentum equity holdings.
B.I.G. Portfolio Managers seek the opportunity to apply their knowledge of finance to gain career-advancing experience in professional portfolio management using real dollars in real time to learn the lessons that cannot be learned from strictly academic endeavors.
- Application Only - B.I.G. is an honors-type program and is therefore open to students by invitation only.
- Boot Camp - Applicants who seek to become members of the B.I.G. team will be required to attend three “B.I.G. Boot Camp” sessions
- Presentations - B.I.G. teams must develop high-quality, professional presentations on the upcoming investment topics.
- Tools - A key tool used by the students of B.I.G. are the Bloomberg terminals of the College’s Bloomberg Lab
A major real-world component of the B.I.G.-SMIF experience for recent B.I.G.-SMIF classes has been their participation in the Annual Portfolio Management Request-for-Proposal (RFP) Competition conducted by the CFA Society of Orange County Foundation (CFAOCF), which allows student teams from local universities to experience first-hand the process that fund managers must go through in order to be allowed to manage institutional funds. Based on the outcome of this Competition, portfolios of different sizes will be awarded to the various student teams to manage over the course of the following calendar year, with the results of their efforts being reported to the CFAOC’s Investment Policy Committee.