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Archive for the ‘Eagle Investment Group’ Category

Ashland University’s Eagle Investment Group is having their sixth annual Golf Outing on September 29th. About the Eagle Investment Group Dr. James Falter explains, “Known also as Eagle I and Eagle II, the Eagle Investment Group  allows students to ‘self’ manage a portfolio of publicly-traded securities.  Currently, the portfolio is valued at $1.3 Million.  When compared to other student-managed investment portfolios, the Eagle Investment Group is in a unique position in that it is truly ‘student-managed.’  Often in competing programs, student investment portfolios are managed by a committee of faculty advisors/professional managers (rather than by their students). ”

The 6th Annual Eagle Investment Group Golf Outing, organized by the students of the Eagle Investment Group, is the largest fundraiser done to help support their academic experiences.  The proceeds from this event will be used to send the students of the Eagle Investment Group to visit Wall Street for one week during April, 2015. The event will be held on Monday, September 29th at The Westfield Country Club. If you are interested in more information about the event or wish to golf please see the attached brochure.

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After a long year of focus, dedication, and learning, the nine Eagle Investment Group members were rewarded with the annual trip to New York City. This year marks the 12th trip in the group’s 13 years of existence that the group has capped off the school year with a trip to New York City.

Group members packed suits and dresses for the afternoon tours with our corporate partners and jeans for relaxation time, where we toured the town. This expedition is something the group has fundraised for and is thought of as “the last hoorah” before graduation. The trip began on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, when nine students and two advisors departed for the airport at 4:00AM.

The Trip
The week of touring consisted of an array of events: visiting Battery Park, a full tour of Ground Zero and Federal Hall, a walk past The New York Stock Exchange, a full educational seminar of The Federal Reserve Bank and tour of Gold Vault, a seminar and tour of Abel Noser Headquarters (a stock brokerage firm), a tour of Bloomberg’s headquarters, a walk through The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and finally, a meeting with a Vice President of National Accounts for Axa Financial. The tours and meet and greets with our corporate partners was a great way for students to network and understand company dynamics.

2013-14 EIG Group

2013-14 EIG Group

Even though tours were planned daily, students had the chance to sightsee on their own. Groups went together to see other famous attractions and restaurants that were on their trip “bucket-list.”

Dr. James Falter, is finishing up his first year as Eagle Investment Group advisor. He stated that he is looking forward to many more trips down the road and believes that the trip is, “A great opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a different environment, interacting/observing with varied business, historic, and cultural sites.”

What’s next?
Touring the financial capital of the world is a unique opportunity; one that will never be forgotten. Group members have spent countless hours of the school year together, understanding the ins and outs of what it takes to become a portfolio manager. Some of the group members will continue on the path as portfolio managers, financial planners, or analysts, while others will pursue other interests. Either way, students have great qualifications to contribute to financial firms or just to manage their own retirement plans. The Eagle Investment Group has allowed its members to test drive the finance industry and find their passions.

Senior member, Gavin Mawhorr, said about the trip, “It was great being able to see how the big timers do it. We can see what we’ve learned in Eagle actually being used, and it’s truly amazing.” The trip proved to be a great opportunity to understand “what it takes to walk down Wall Street with anyone”. The trip concluded on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

Senior, Ryan Mullins reading the newspaper outside of the New York Stock Exchange.

Senior, Ryan Mullins reading the newspaper outside of the New York Stock Exchange.

Next Year’s Group
As the school year wraps up, current Eagle members are helping prepare and transition to next year’s group. Next year’s Eagle Investment group will consist of 11 members. This group will be different than past groups for several reasons. First, a change in required majors has been eliminated; students are only required to take several prerequisites to prepare them to join the group. Students in next year’s group are majoring in Actuarial Sciences, Accounting, Corporate and Asset Management Finance. Finally, in the past, members did not get assignments until August; however, next year’s students already have individual assignments and roles and are meeting to discuss investment guidelines, summer accounts, and to continue to plan for the annual golf outing.

The annual golf outing is Eagle’s only fundraiser to fundraise for the New York City trip. Next year’s group has worked hard to find hole sponsors, silent action donations, and invite golfers. The date for the Sixth Annual Eagle Investment Group Benefit Golf Outing is Monday, September 29, 2014. The outing will be held at Westfield Country Club. For more information, visit our social media site or contact Tina Lillo.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of the Eagle Investment Group, contact Dr. James Falter or visit Eagle Investment Group.

Austin Stritmatter is a junior finance major who will be a part of the Eagle Investment Group his senior year at Ashland University. He is a Resident Assistant and currently serves as an Executive Officer of Student Life.

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Last Friday, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Hongxia Wang, a finance professor here at Ashland University. Dr. Wang started teaching at Ashland University in 2009, after she received her Ph D. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois. In 2012, one of her research papers received the best paper award at the Southern Finance Conference.

Wilson: At what age did you decide you wanted to teach and why?

Dr. Wang: I was a teacher in China but I taught different things. I taught Chinese History, English, and Computer Science, so it is very different from what I am teaching here. I chose this career because this is what I think I can do the best. I’ve had other options, but I still like teaching so that’s why I choose teaching as my professional career.

Wilson: At what point in your life did you know you wanted to study finance?

Dr. Wang: Actually, I didn’t know until probably ten years ago. You know, ten years ago, from 2000-2002, I was working for a company in Zimbabwe and because of the language advantage, I was in charge of the cash management of the company. After I finished my contract with that company, I decided that I wanted to go to the United States to get a higher degree, a masters degree. So, actually, at first I applied to the College of Education to get a masters degree in education, but when I went to school and I recognized that since I had a teacher’s license maybe I need to learn something new. That’s when I decided to do the MBA program. Since I did not have a business background, it took me two years to get my masters degree. Every semester I took four classes, and that’s a lot of work! Then, when I approached graduation, one of my professors told me, “You know what Hongxia, you’re good at finance”, so I didn’t recognize myself at that time yet but my professor said I’m good at finance. He said, “If I were you, I would get a Ph D. degree so that later you can become a finance professor.” I was hesitating at the time because of age. I thought maybe I’m too old to go to school for another 4-5 years, but eventually I listened to my professor and I applied to schools that had Ph D. programs. I got admission to Southern Illinois University Carbondale to study my doctorate and then fortunately, I got a very good adviser there who helped me and that’s when I decided to stay and teach in the United States. Overall, I wanted to challenge myself to learn something new.

Wilson: What part of China are you from?

Dr. Wang: I am from the central part of China. Professor Bo Li, who teaches Supply Chain Management here, is also from the central part of China. Actually, we went to the same high school, but we didn’t know each other. We didn’t know each other until we both started working here.

Wilson: Why did you choose to teach finance at Ashland University?

Dr. Wang: After I graduated with my Ph D. from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, I sent many applications and got some interviews. This school is the first school that gave me an offer. I think the right question would be, “Why do I choose to stay here and teach at Ashland University?”. I have been teaching here for 5 years. I came here in 2009. Five years is not a short time and if I wanted to I think that I can simply find another job given the research I have already done here. I do a lot of research and given that I have a lot of options if I really want to change. I decide to stay here because I like the environment here. It’s a small town environment and there is also small class size. Also, you really know your students very well, you can call your students by their name, and help them in the best way that you can. When I came here for an interview, students also interviewed me and they were very professional. That is when I thought that this school was unique and when this school asked me whether or not I wanted the offer, I said, “Yes!”. This school is very unique because our students can do faculty jobs and they know how to ask the right questions for an interview. The students work really hard and try to behave professionally so that’s when I knew I wanted to help these kids.

Wilson: What classes do you teach here at Ashland University?

Dr. Wang: I teach four classes. I teach two MBA classes of financial management, the fundamental one and the required one. I also teach two undergrad classes, Finance 228 and Finance 358. Finance 228 is Financial Management Finance 358 is Financial Statement Analysis. I’m more on the corporate side.

Wilson: What is it about Ashland University’s finance program that sets it apart from other universities?

Dr. Wang: We have a $1 Million endowed fund so that students can play with real money. One thing I want to point out, with a smaller sized school, we are one of the only ones that has this. Given the size of our school, not too many schools provide this fund for students to use in class. We also work very closely with our corporate partners. Sumucker’s is a company that we work very closely with. They provide an open house for the finance majors. Also, every spring there is a golf outing and students get to golf with corporate partners. That is a great opportunity to do some networking.

Brittany Wilson is a Junior Marketing major with a Supply Chain Management minor. She is currently seeking a Marketing internship.

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This week, I had the opportunity to conduct a question and answer session with the new Eagle Investment Group Advisor, Dr. James Falter. This is Dr. Falter’s first year at Ashland University teaching finance and economics classes.

Stritmatter: Why did you get into the finance field?

Falter: I started out in college studying chemical engineering but also took a couple economics classes and loved them. The economic classes led to a love for finance and a change in majors.

Another push into the finance field occurred when I worked at a golf course while an undergraduate for three years. One sunny afternoon, a gentleman eagerly wanted to play, even though the golf course was booked for the day. He continued to ask me if there was any way I could work him in. I let him start off on the third hole, and [he] played his way around the course without any disruptions. When he finished, I learned that he was a Vice President at one of the largest financial services firms in the country. He gave me his business card and told me to call him after graduation because he liked how I could get things done. After graduation, I used the card and his referral landed me a job two weeks after graduation. Out of pure chance, this encounter was the beginning of my career in the finance field.

Stritmatter: What were the reasons you left Marietta College to come here?

Falter: There was really one main reason. I was fully tenured and a chair at Marietta College but the Eagle Investment Group was something I wanted to be a part of. Eight years ago, I interviewed here at Ashland to teach but the advisor position wasn’t available. I told them to give me a call if that position opened up. After Dr. Harvey announced his retirement last school year, I received that phone call. The opportunity to work with students who are just as eager about finance as I am was something I couldn’t pass up.

Stritmatter: What are your thoughts on your first year here so far?

Falter: I think I have met my expectations. Teaching Eagle is very different and I’ve had to go through a learning curve myself. This class is more like a lab and I’ve had to alter my teaching style. Overall, I think this year has been a success and I look forward to the years to come.

Stritmatter: What makes Eagle so unique?

Falter: Eagle teaches real world decision making. The program is an experiential learning opportunity that differentiates students. Participants in Eagle have a leg up on competition because of this applicable learning style.

Stritmatter: Are there any changes to Eagle since your arrival?

Falter: My background is a structured discipline approach. We focused more on the analytical research and dove into companies financial reports to find worthy stocks to add to our portfolio.

Stritmatter: How is finance now, compared to when you were a student?

Falter: Globalization and technology has really changed the finance landscape. When I was a student, we only talked about what was going on in Japan, now we are talking about everyone. Also when I was a student, we waited until the next day to read the stock prices in the newspaper. The annual reports were sent through the mail back then and you waited months to receive a copy. Now, with the internet and mobile technology, obtaining financial information is instantaneous.

Stritmatter: What are some skills students learn through Eagle that are applicable in jobs after graduation?

Falter: Some extremely valuable skills are portfolio management, stock valuation and analysis, and decision making. Students are doing the same things in the trading room that they will perform when hired as financial planners, analysts and/or money managers. These skills put students ahead of their competition coming out of college.

Stritmatter: Lastly, what are some of your hobbies outside the classroom?

Falter: I enjoy spending time with my family, playing golf, participating in tournament chess, camping, weight lifting, and of course, stock trading.

If you’re interested in majoring or minoring in Finance, or interested in becoming a part of the Eagle Investment Group, contact Dr. James Falter at jfalter@ashland.edu or visit Eagle Investment Group.

Austin Stritmatter is a junior finance major who will be a part of the Eagle Investment Group his senior year at Ashland University. He is a Resident Assistant and currently serves as an Executive Officer of Student Life.

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Many only know the Eagle Investment Group as a group of finance students who manage $1 million of the university’s endowment fund.  Although these students spend a lot of their time managing the portfolio, they also compete in competitions throughout the year.  Seniors Gavin Mawhorr, Jacob Miller, and Ryan Mullins, along with junior Bradley Metcalfe competed in the second annual Peoples Bank Undergraduate Business Case Competition on February 1, 2014.

The competition consisted of seven colleges: Ashland University, Marietta College, Marshall University, Muskingum University, Ohio Valley University, University of Charleston, and University of Mount Union.  Teams were given one month to prepare a solution for a financial services-related business case.  During the competition, teams were given 30 minutes to present their findings, followed by a question and answer session by judges for 15 minutes.  Cash prizes were awarded to the top three teams.  First place received $1,500, second place awarded $1,000, and third place earned $750.

Project Guidelines

The team received four different business scenarios that they had to analyze, prepare a written report, and present to judges.  The scenarios included a human resources challenge that had to decide on which manager to retain, a policy challenge on which bank overdraft policy to put in place, a logistical challenge on which type of banking style to put into a specific location, and lastly a financial challenge whether or not Peoples Bank should acquire Cincinnati Saving Bank.

The team spent all available time over the month analyzing which decisions best suited the company moving forward.  Some decisions required calculating expected growth of the company, earnings per share, return on assets, return on equity, and efficiency ratios for future projections.  Also, charts were made to weigh which decision made the most sense in following the mission and vision of the company.

Gavin Mowhorr said, “It was fascinating to go from analyzing companies for our EIG portfolio, to making business decisions based on similar fundamentals.  The project took what we’ve learned from our classes and made them into applicable business solutions.”  The Eagle Investment Group is all about giving students opportunities to develop real-world skillsets to prepare them for careers in the industry.  Students tend to enjoy this kind of learning environment and are motivated to compete.

Future Competitions

Many other students will be competing in the 14th annual RISE (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) forum hosted by the University of Dayton on March 27-29, 2014.  RISE is the largest student investment conference in the world and Ashland University will be taking this year’s EIG as well as next year’s EIG group.  Peter Djordjevich, a junior finance student, said this about going to RISE this year, “Being able to go as a junior is a unique opportunity.  Learning from presentations and speeches given this year will really help in preparing for the following years competition.”

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Who you could meet

RISE is not just a competition event, but also a place to hear and learn from current leaders of finance who are shaping the investment world.  Panelists include Sandra Pianalto, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Russ Koesterich, Chief Investment Strategist of BlackRock, Kelly Evans, CNBC anchor, and many more found here.

Future in Finance

Through outside learning opportunities such as Peoples Bank competition and RISE, students are exposed to the real world business scenarios preparing them for successful careers.  A degree in finance at Ashland University provides students the knowledge to make tremendous influences in the business world.  If you’re interested in majoring or minoring in Finance, or interested in becoming a part of the Eagle Investment Group, contact Dr. James Falter at jfalter@ashland.edu or visit Eagle Investment Group.

Austin Stritmatter is a junior finance major who will be a part of the Eagle Investment Group his senior year at Ashland University.  He is a Resident Assistant and currently serves as an Executive Officer of Student Life.

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If your answer to this question is “yes”, then Ashland University’s Finance Program is the perfect fit for you. Ashland University offers their senior finance majors the opportunity to be a part of an on campus investment group where each student manages real money in the trading room. Real world experience is important in our finance department. You will gain financial experience, knowledge, skills, and expertise by completing courses as well as an internship.

The finance program here at AU helps students to develop the competency of maintaining high ethical and professional standards.  With a focus on specialized knowledge, managerial thinking skills, and communication skills, you will be prepared for many situations in the financial world. You may also chose to take the NASD Series Seven exam. Passing this exam will allow you to become a licensed securities broker immediately upon graduation.

Getting Started

Before you are able to help manage $1 million of the University’s endowment, you have a few decisions to make. With a finance major at Ashland University, you can chose to follow one of the following tracks:

  • Asset management
  • Corporate finance

Being able to chose one of these two tacks allows each student to focus on the career path that they desire. With asset management, you will gain knowledge, skills, and learning outcomes of the CFP and CFA designations. Corporate finance, on the other hand, prepares a student to evaluate and provide strategic leadership and projections to companies. No matter which track you chose to take, you will gain specialized knowledge with hands on experience.

Classes

There are at least seven finance professors within the Dauch College of Business and Economics.  Class sizes at Ashland University are relatively small, ranging anywhere from 7-28 students. You will get to know each of your professors on a personal level, which makes it easy to ask for guidance when you don’t understand something. There are multiple classes that you can take, but to help prepare you for the trading room, interesting courses for finance majors include:

  • ECON 334: Money and Banking
  • MGT 327: Risk and Insurance
  • FIN 330: Principles of Investment
  • FIN 429: Global Finance
  • MTG 402: Business Law II

By taking these courses, you will have gained a great deal of financial knowledge. The skills you have obtained through these courses will be put to the test once you begin to participate in the on campus investment group. Once you become part of the group, you will learn to manage real money in real markets.

Now comes the information you’ve been waiting for!

Eagle Investment Group (EIG) 

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This group consists of senior finance majors.  These students manage a portfolio of stocks through both fundamental and technical analysis. The students are constantly making decisions about buying and selling equity, fixed income, and other securities. When EIG first began, they were given $250,000 of University endowment. Today, EIG has been so successful that they manage three portfolios worth more than $1,000,000 of the University’s endowment.

By studying finance at Ashland University and being a part of EIG, the students are presented with amazing opportunities. The alumni from the EIG are proud, grateful, and excited to share their thoughts with others. When Kirk Weldy, a alum member of the Eagle Investment Group, was asked what he had to say about his experience at AU, he said, “the experience I gained through Eagle Investment Group is far greater than the information coming from textbooks and tests. This group moves real money in real markets, which does not happen in the normal college setting.”

Being involved in EIG also gives you opportunities for team work and collaboration, as well as the chance to experience success from day one. Future employers want to know that you have had hands on experience and can deal with real world situations. In a normal college setting, a finance major may not be offered this much real-world experience, which is why Ashland Unversity’s finance program is truly unique.

After completing the finance program at Ashland University, you will be able to walk down Wall Street with anyone.

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April 16, The Eagle Investment Group embarks on their annual trip to New York.  Last year’s highlights included being on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange when the opening bell rang, a conversation about business behavior and ethics at AXA Advisors, visits to Bloomberg, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, stops at Ground Zero, the battery, Trinity Church and a morning spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

13297_532449764832_59102687_31435423_2135943_n 13297_532450114132_59102687_31435477_5329254_n EIG Class of 2012_New York_April 2012EIG Class of 2012_New York(2)

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