April 2, 2019
Every year American families meet with financial advisors to receive advice about their future finances, whether that is recommendations about saving for a child’s education or creating a retirement plan. Several University of Missouri students in an investment management class in the Department of Personal Financial Planning were given the chance to showcase their investment and portfolio management skills for a real-life corporate partner in a highly anticipated competition.
The Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge is a professional competition that enables students to act as financial advisors and develop solutions for a given client’s needs.
Assistant Professor Lu Fan is the instructor for the course and chose the top three teams in the class based on executive summaries and portfolio narratives they provided the client based on their work during the semester. Teams of four-to-five students competed in the portfolio challenge for a cash prize awarded by Edward Jones.
The teams competed to come up with their best recommendations for a scenario that involved advising a family’s future financial objectives. In the end, the winning team produced the most effective recommendations to earn their first place spot.
“I am very happy that our group won the portfolio challenge,” said Yun Guo, a member of the winning team. “I can’t ignore the power in team work and how everyone dedicated their time and cooperation to complete this project. I would like to thank Professor Fan and Edward Jones.”
Guo and her teammates – Ethan Wallace, Yaqi Fang and Elizaveta Korshunova – received the Portfolio Challenge Champion plaques with a cash prize of $2,500. Second place team members – Brandon Easley, Clayton Foster, Christian Schoonover, Nick Stork and Noah Wooters – received $1,500. The third place team members – Kolby Lang, Santiago Padruno, Jake Radmer and Angelina Steck – received $1,000.
This contest not only allows financial planning students to test out their skills, but also challenges them to think outside the box and brainstorm real solutions.
“The competition is just one way our students obtain real-world, hands-on experience that helps set them up for success in their future careers,” said Fran Lawrence, professor and chair of the Department of Personal Financial Planning. "I would like to thank Edward Jones for providing such a superb opportunity for our students."
The Department of Personal Financial Planning at MU is nationally and internationally recognized for its premier education and research programs, offering one of only four financial planning doctorate degrees in the U.S.