Students participating in SFA’s Mast Student Investment Roundtable proved they have what it takes to be top-notch financial portfolio managers.

The group, comprising 15 SFA students who demonstrated exemplary performance in specific investment courses, won first place in the competition’s growth category at the ENGAGE International Investment Education Symposium held in the spring.

ENGAGE is one of the largest student investment conferences in the U.S., which provides students with the opportunity to participate in discussions with leading investment professionals in preparation for their roles as tomorrow’s financial leaders.

Student teams from 57 universities participated in this year’s event. Universities with student-managed portfolios were invited to compete based on their financial performance in the areas of growth, value, blend/core and asset allocation styles of management. Twelve-month risk-adjusted returns from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014, were used to identify the top portfolio team in each category.

“The growth category focused on universities with student teams that only invest in stocks,” said Dr. Kyle Jones, SFA associate professor of finance, who accompanied the team to the competition. “SFA’s students had a return rate of approximately 19 percent in 2014. That’s incredibly impressive, especially when you consider that the Standard and Poor’s 500 index return rate averaged markedly less at about 13 percent.”

The children of A.T. and Patricia Mast, honoring the Mast family’s longtime support of the university, established the Mast Student Investment Roundtable in 2012. The roundtable’s members invest more than $500,000 of real money, which includes funds from the SFA Alumni Foundation and the SFASU Foundation.