Barry University’s Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) is a student-run program that manages thousands of real dollars in real markets but has grown into a successful and well-rounded educational program. Students are buying real stocks, bonds and securities in markets all over the world while learning how to value financial assets. Barry students are also honing their portfolio management skills while giving back to the community by working with local high schools and teaching finance principles to local students. The program is currently working on plans to set up small scholarships as part of its earning allocation plan.
SMIF co-founders Raul Ballester ’11 and Sean Cooney ’12 began the project to shorten the ‘knowing-doing’ gap by getting Barry students to practice what they learned in the classroom and gain real-world experience at the same time.
Barry’s Executive Committee of the Admiration as well as the university’s Board of Trustees approved the initiative and decided to allocate $50,000 of the university endowment for the group to begin investing immediately.
The first crop of members conducted research, analyzed market data and created investment proposals. To ensure the program’s continuity, business dean Dr. Tomislav Mandakovic was appointed to the SMIF board, while Dr. Stephen Morrell, professor of economics and finance, serves as the group’s faculty advisor.
SMIF students also get invaluable face time with leading professionals in the financial industry by working closely with the advisory board. Alumni share their wealth of experience in a highly competitive profession that thrives on risks, rewards, innovative thinking and correctly predicting the future.
Student managed investment funds are common in some business schools around the country; however, most schools utilize software simulations. The fact that Barry University’s SMIF program manages real money places it among a group of select few consisting of top-tier institutions.