Saturday, March 26, 2011

The AIM Research Room and Investment Resources

The students in Marquette University’s Applied Investment Management program are responsible for managing three separate investment portfolios with a value approaching $2 million. They function as an investment management firm would - operating with a well-defined investment policy and established procedures. Individual security analysis and presentations to a group of investment professionals are among the tasks and responsibilities of each AIM student. Effective oral and written presentation skills are essential in obtaining a majority vote from fellow AIM students before any security can be added to one of the AIM funds.

The AIM Research Room. The students conduct their economic research and fundamental security analyses in the AIM Room located in the College of Business Administration (Straz Hall), Room 470. The AIM Room has 28 personal computers, four Bloomberg terminals, digital marketboard, televisions, and a teaching smartboard. In addition to Bloomberg Professional Service the students also have access to Thomson One Banker, Morningstar Advisor, Morningstar Direct, and other investment-related databases in the AIM Room. Hours for the AIM Room are the same as the College of Business Administration: 7:00 a.m. – midnight and it is common to find the room heavily utilized throughout the day and evening.

Dr. Krause commented, “The first AIM Room could only accommodate 12 students and was a little too cozy for comfort – especially as the program participants grew. The expansion into the new AIM Room in January 2008 allowed us to use the room for presentations and student meetings. The highly functional room is well-designed for teaching and group research. It is an integral element of the AIM program that helps us fulfill our mission.”

 Investment Resources. Dr. David Krause, AIM Director, commented, “There is no shortage of information available to AIM students to conduct in-depth financial analysis. Each year we have an opportunity to meet and hear from Valerie Beech, the Marquette University Business Reference Librarian. Our meeting with her is very important because she helps the students understand how to access the many databases and news services that are hosted by the Raynor Library. She helps students understand how to access the right research service or dataset, which is crucial in conducting timely and insightful investment analysis.”

The AIM students have access to various online data services through Marquette University’s Raynor Memorial Library. These resources include:
  • Thomson One Banker – a service that provides access to financial data and company documents for over 12,000 U.S. companies (EDGAR) and for 13,000 non-U.S. companies (Worldscope). The database also includes access to M&A deal data and other financial transactions.
  •  Wall Street Journal - the most frequently used daily financial newspaper in the U.S. providing business and financial news coverage, personal and company profiles.
  • Investor's Business Daily – the electronic edition that provides economic, social, political and stock market news and investment screening tools for financial investors.
  • WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services) - a data hosting and interface service that allows access to several large datasets, such as:
    • CRSP (Center for Research in Securities' Prices - University of Chicago)
    • Compustat North America (Standard & Poor's)
    • Compustat Global (Standard & Poor's)
    • ExecuComp (part of Compustat North America and Standard & Poor's)
    • Historical Board Analyst (from The Corporate Library)
    • TAQ (Trades & Quotes from the NYSE)
    • RiskMetrics (Historical Governance and Directors data)
  • Investext (part of Thomson One) – this resource provides reports from more than 1,400 analyst research sources around the globe. The reports offer authoritative analysis of companies, industries, products and markets worldwide.
  • Wall Street Transcript - this journal's content consists of transcripts of interviews with CEO's and other high-level corporate executives, and transcripts of interviews with investment analysts and money managers.
  • Business & Company Resource Center - this database is more of a portal and provides considerably more than just industry and company articles. It has a feed of investment reports from Reuters on Demand.
  • Hoover's Online - an easy-to-use directory-style database that has in-depth profiles of over 40,000 companies covering both public and private companies.    
  • Mergent Online – a U.S. and international public company database.
  • Lexis Nexis Academic - this database acts like a web portal with strong coverage in news, business, and the law.
  •  Socrates; the Corporate Social Ratings Monitor - provides information and in-depth analyses of the corporate social responsibility of public companies in the S&P 500 Index and the Domini 400 Social Index.
  • ReferenceUSA - this directory database for the U.S. and Canada has two parts: a business directory and a consumer directory and is an excellent mechanism for creating lists based on industry (SIC or NAICS), company size and geographic location.
  • Corporate Affiliations - a 'Who owns whom?' directory that allows the ability to also see corporate hierarchies or family trees.
  • Mergent Horizon - comprehensive coverage for companies actively traded on the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ with enhanced product-level detail for 3,700 companies in the healthcare, technology, media and financial services sectors. This database also shows relationships among companies: between suppliers, customers, and competitors.
  • ABI/INFORM Global and ABI/Inform Trade & Industry (from ProQuest) - provides in-depth coverage of business conditions, trends, corporate strategies and tactics, management techniques, competitive and product information, and a wide variety of other topics from over 700 trade journals.
  • Business Dateline (from ProQuest) – an index to local and regional business magazines, newspapers, and newswires focused on business.
  • – a resource providing current news and analysis of stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. 
The Raynor Memorial library also has various hard copy resources including Value Line Investment Survey, Barron’s, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, The Economist, and various Standard & Poor's investment and industry reports. Dr. Krause added, “The AIM Room also has a large selection of current finance periodicals and investment texts (including the complete CFA library) available for student use.”

Dr. Krause concluded, “The student-managed funds and the AIM Research Room are two important elements of the program. While the curriculum, summer internships, and outside speakers are also essential components of the program, the responsibility of managing real funds and functioning in a professional-like environment are unique applied experiences for our students.”   

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