Gonzaga University Finance Class Wins Investment Award Again

Visitors in finance lab

October 27, 2021
Gonzaga News Service

SPOKANE, Wash. – For the third time in six years, students in a Gonzaga University finance class have won the top award among 21 schools participating in the Student Investment Program sponsored by D.A. Davidson & Co.

During the competition year for the Fred Dickson Memorial Award ending Aug. 31, the Gonzaga portfolio generated a return of 37.5%, topping the S&P market index return of 31.2%. Over the last five years, the GU students’ account not only has been one of just five programs to earn an average annual return (29.2%) above the S&P (18%), but also had the highest risk-adjusted return on both a three- and five-year basis.

“Credit goes to the six years and several classes of devoted students who through three semesters of dedicated study and effort built and managed high-performance investment portfolios,” said Clarence “Bud” Barnes, who served as dean of the School of Business Administration for 33 years and now teaches the BFIN 429 class.

“From my view, this is testimony to the Gonzaga curriculum and quality students who undertake the special classes, projects and challenges in all of our disciplines and perform with distinction,” Barnes said.

About two-thirds of the award is based on one-year total investment returns and three- and five-year risk-adjusted returns. The other third involves qualitative factors: how well programs stick to their stated investment processes and the level of student engagement.

“We were impressed by the Gonzaga students who conducted consistent portfolio reviews throughout the year and frequently rebalanced their position sizes,” D.A. Davidson’s Eli Sanders and James Ragan wrote in announcing the award. “Each student was responsible for recommending three potential portfolio additions after conducting fundamental analysis on each name. The school targets a portfolio of roughly 12 equity positions.”

The award is named in honor of D.A. Davidson’s longtime chief market strategist and advocate for investor education, Fred Dickson.

Michael Jackson, senior vice president, financial adviser and Spokane branch manager for D.A. Davidson, assists the Gonzaga team, whose members were: Michael Boken, Bryn Mawr, Pa.; Cody Buckley, Las Vegas; Nathan Davis, Redmond, Wash.; Alex Heller, San Diego; Niko Jacobson, Portland, Ore.; Patrick King, Seattle; Coleman Kingwell, Lahaina, Hawaii; Patrick Parelius, Liberty Lake, Wash.; Matthew Perkins, West Linn, Ore.; Jose Ramos, Folsom, Calif.; and Curtis Siemens, Sammamish, Wash.

No other school has won the award more than once since its inception in 2015. The other schools are in the West, except for Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Gonzaga joined the Student Investment Program in 1997.

This year marks the centennial year of Gonzaga’s School of Business Administration. Founded in 1921, the school has become a vital part of the local economy and has developed professionals whose impact spans the globe. The first formal degree offered by the school was a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1930.