Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New AIM Students in the Class of 2013 to Complete Bloomberg Essentials Training

AIM Room, 4th Floor, Straz Hall

Dr. David Krause, the AIM program director at Marquette University, said, "Since the total number of Bloomberg terminals in the AIM Research Room has grown to four, it is now possible to accommodate the newest group of AIM students (Class of 2013) and allow them to complete their Bloomberg Essentials online training program before the spring semester. The introduction to the Bloomberg Professional Service will familiarize them with its basic functionality. Learning how to use Bloomberg effectively has put our students on the path to becoming comfortable with using this advanced technology in the workplace. I think that adding the Bloomberg certificate to their resume will continue to demonstrate to prospective employers that the AIM students are ready to hit the ground running."

To view previous AIM blog stories about Bloomberg training follow these links: AIM_Bloomberg1 and this AIM_Bloomberg2.

The Applied Investment Management room (located on the fourth floor of Straz Hall on the Marquette University campus) provides AIM students access to Bloomberg Professional. The Bloomberg Essentials Online Training program is designed to provide users with an introduction to Bloomberg Professional Service. Four core videos provide users with the basic Bloomberg functionality and supplemental market sector videos provide users with an introduction to the major market fundamentals.

General information for AIM students to complete the training program follows:

  • Program enrollment: To sign up for the Bloomberg program the students must register for their own unique username.
  • Prerequisite/requirements: Participation or enrollment in the AIM program or a declared finance major.
  • Charge: This program is free of charge to MU students.
  • AIM Room Hours: The same as those of the Marquette University College of Business Administration hours. Be sure to check over spring and summer breaks for the hours that Straz Hall (COBA building) will be open.
  • Duration of program: Students can work on the program at their own pace; however, AIM students in the Class of 2013 have until the third week in January 2012 to complete their training. Users of a Bloomberg terminal can can book one 1 hour session per day - otherwise the terminals are available on a first come - first serve basis. Note: The Raynor Library now has two Bloomberg terminals available to the entire Marquette student body.
  • Bloomberg User ID: Students must create their own Bloomberg user ID and login. To do so from the Bloomberg terminal type in UREG. Students will then speak with Bloomberg Customer service during this process to validate their user name and ID.
  • Equipment: Students are encouraged to bring and use their own head set.

Bloomberg Essential Classes

  • This is an eight course program in which five courses must be completed in order to receive the Acknowledgement of Completion (4 Core Courses and 1 course in any one of the four asset class designations).
  • There are four Bloomberg Core Videos (Getting Started, Bloomberg News, Market Monitors and Launch Pad and API - Bloomberg Data in Excel) and four Bloomberg Market Sector Videos (Equity Essentials, Fixed Income Essentials, FX Essentials and Commodity Essentials).
  • In order to earn an Acknowledgement of Completion, users must take the Core Exam along with any one of the Market Sector Exams and earn a grade of 75% or better on each of the exams.
  • Users can complete all 5 (1 Core and 4 Market Sector) exams if they would like to receive an acknowledgment document for each of the four Market Sectors.
  • Class videos are viewed from the Bloomberg terminal located in the AIM Room and the Raynor Library through the function BESS.

Downloading Video and Documents:

  • Before a student starts a class video, they are encouraged to download the documents for the class by typing CHEAT.
  • The course documents are under this function (CHEAT).
  • To download the document for the first Core course: Click on 1) Getting Started. Click on 2) A Booklet: Getting Started on Bloomberg. This booklet provides an introduction to the Bloomberg terminal's navigation and functionality.
  • Download and save the PDF to the Bloomberg document for later viewing and/or printing.
  • Type in BESS and choose the class that you want to view. Courses are progressive and should be taken in order. Clicking on the course name will start the video.
  • To start the first core video click on: 2) Getting Started (Under Bloomberg Core Videos).
  • To access the FAQs on the Bloomberg Essentials Program, click on 1) Questions, at the top of the Bloomberg Essentials Home Page. The FAQs provide information on the videos and on the exams.
Bloomberg Courses

Bloomberg Core Courses
Course name
Approximate Viewing Time
Getting Started
18 minutes
Bloomberg News
18 minutes
Market Monitors and Launch Pad
18 minutes
API (Bloomberg Data in Excel)
30 minutes
Bloomberg Market Sector Courses
Course Name
Approximate Viewing Time
Equity Essentials
30 minutes
Fixed Income Essentials
30 minutes
FX Essentials
30 minutes
Commodity Essentials
30 minutes


  • After completing the four Core courses (Getting Started, Bloomberg News, Market Monitors and Launch Pad and API - Bloomberg Data in Excel), users will need to take an exam. Users will also need to take an exam after completing one of the Market Sector courses (Equity Essentials, Fixed Income Essentials, FX Essentials or Commodity Essentials).
  • Each student will need to pass each exam with a 75% passing grade in order to receive the Acknowledgement of Completion. You may complete each of the Market Sector courses and take an exam for each Market Sector course to receive an Acknowledgment of Completion for each asset class.
  • Each exam contains about 30 questions.
  • In order to access the exams, type 6) off of the Bloomberg Essentials Home Page and request that you get enabled for the Core, Equity, Fixed Income, Commodity or FX exam. Once enabled, go back to the Bloomberg Essentials Home Page and type 7) to access the exams.
  • The student's exam grade will immediately appear upon completion of the exam.
  • Exam retakes will not be offered.
  • Bloomberg will not authorized access to exams unless you view the class.
  • If you start an exam and are unable to finish it during your session, the exam will be saved under your login, but it is recommended that you complete it within 24 hours.

Acknowledgment Documents

  • To request the Acknowledgment Document, type 6) off of the Bloomberg Essentials menu and provide your name and your email address and specify the Market Sector course that you completed.
  • An Acknowledgment Document will be issued upon completion of the four Course courses and one of the Market Sector courses.
  • Acknowledgment Documents will be emailed within 2 weeks of the request by Bloomberg.
Dr. Krause said, "I am very pleased that all of the students in the AIM Class of 2013 will have successfully completed the Bloomberg Essentials training by the time classes start in the spring semester. The ability to use Bloomberg is seen as an important skill - almost as essential as being able to effectively model using Excel. This was the first semester that students were required to complete the training and I believe it will pay significant dividends for them down the road."

AIM students take their equity presentations on the road to American Family Insurance in Madison. Hopefully Marquette’s basketball team will also take it to Bucky in Madison on Saturday!

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "Four AIM students in the Class of 2012 will be pitching stocks at American Family Insurance in Madison on Friday, December 2nd. The following day Buzz Williams and the Marquette basketball team will visit Madison to take on UW-Madison - we're hoping for a strong showing for both in Madison!" 

To access the December 2nd presentations to the professionals at American Family Insurance in Madison, follow this link for the current equity write-ups: Link to student write-up (pdf).
And if you want to access all of the past student stock write-ups since the inception of the AIM program in 2005, follow this url: Link to View all past student write-ups 

The order of presentations to be delivered at American Family are listed on the table below.  Our thanks to Richard White, Peter Gunder, and the team at American Family for their hospitality and support of the AIM program. We are looking forward to our first Madison-based ‘road show’ (which is the 10th set of presentations this semester --- and the 8th in an off-campus location) .

Student Name
Patrick Keeley
Cloud Peak Energy, Inc.
Kaili Wang
Autodesk, Inc.
Harrison Davis
Vanguard Health Systems
Jonathan Schwerin
Johnson Outdoors Inc.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

John DeCaro and Chris Cebula of Elementum Advisors will visit campus on Friday

On Friday, December 2, John DeCaro and Chris Cebula (AIM ’09) of Elementum Advisors will visit Dr. Krause’s Fixed Income course and the AIM program. This will be the second year that the pair addresses Krause’s students. They will be discussing catastrophe (CAT) bonds and other structured products.

Elementum Advisors is an independent alternative investment manager specializing in collateralized natural event reinsurance investments (Risk-Linked Investments). The Latin word "Elementum" means element or "first principle" and was chosen to emphasize the firm’s focus on natural catastrophe event exposed investment strategies and dedication to its clients. Elementum and its principals and associates possess a lengthy track record of alpha generation and experience managing portfolios across a range of RLI investment mandates-from liquid catastrophe bond to high-alpha collateralized reinsurance investments.

Chicago-based Elementum was launched in December 2009 by Founding Principals John DeCaro and Tony Rettino, and Principal and COO, Mike France. The two Founding Principals have worked together in the Risk-Linked Investment arena since 1995. Their RLI expertise was developed through senior roles held at Aon Capital Markets from 1997 through 2001 and enhanced by their time spent in various investment management positions beginning in 2002.

Prior to launching Elementum, John DeCaro co-managed the Reinsurance and Risk-Linked Investments team at Stark Investments from September 2005 through November 2009. John has over 15 years investment experience managing a variety of reinsurance and risk-linked investment strategies. John earned a B.S. in Finance from the University of South Carolina and an M.S. in Financial Markets and Trading from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and received the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1997. 

Christopher J. Cebula, CAIA joined Elementum as an Analyst in June 2010.  Prior to Elementum  he worked in an Operations/Trading Assistant role at Phalanx Capital Management, an asset management company based in Chicago.  Chris graduated magna cum laude from Marquette University’s Applied Investment Management Program in June 2009.  He is a member of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association and has passed Level III of the CFA examination.

Yesterday's AIM/FMA ‘Open House’ Well Attended

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, “Yesterday’s AIM/FMA open house was very successful. The event was held in the AIM Room and attracted over 35 freshmen and sophomores interested in studying finance at Marquette. Additionally, there were 5 finance faculty and staff; 15 AIM juniors and seniors; and 8 AIM alumni who attended the open house. I was very pleased with the turnout given that we had to contend with the Thanksgiving break and a Marquette basketball game. We learned a lot from our first freshmen/sophomore open house and we intend to schedule at least one each semester going forward. Thanks for attending.”

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Michelle Picard of Geneva Capital Management Will Visit the AIM Program on Wednesday, November 30

On Wednesday, November 30, Michelle Picard, CFA, Executive Vice President & Portfolio Manager of Geneva Capital Management is going to visit the AIM program. Ms. Picard will talk with the students in the AIM program about Geneva Capital's history, investment philosophy, strategy, process, performance, etc.

Michelle Picard received her CFA charter in 2009. She joined Geneva Capital Management in 1999 as Director of Marketing, was promoted to the position of Research Analyst in 2002, then Vice President & Portfolio Manager in 2005. Michelle became a Principal of the firm in 2006 and an Executive Vice President & Portfolio Manager in 2010.

Geneva Capital invests in high-quality, stocks with a proven and consistent record of growth. Geneva’s goal is to outperform the relevant index over a five year period, while maintaining a risk profile at or below the index's level. The firm’s philosophy focuses on the search for relatively undiscovered high-quality companies with superior management, leadership positions within their industries, and healthy historical and projected earnings growth. Geneva's objective is to find those companies which perform so well, the portfolio can hold the stocks for long periods of time, occasionally trimming the size of the position to take profits and maintain diversification. The Investment Strategy Group establishes extensive management and analyst contacts, and uses a proprietary valuation model that adds discipline to the investment process.

Dr. Krause, AIM program director said, "I am pleased that Michelle is going to visit the AIM program. The AIM students in the Class of 2011 had the opportunity this past year to pitch stocks at a ‘road show’ hosted by Geneva. It is our pleasure to host Michelle on Wednesday – we look forward to continuing to build on a solid long-term relationship with Geneva and the AIM program.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Excellent CFA Investment Career Guide Available at:

The CFA Institute has produced an excellent finance career guide. 

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director at Marquette University said, "The descriptions of the various functional areas and the career insights into the investment industry are outstanding. Whether you are a graduating senior or an underclassman studying finance, this is definitely worth viewing. I know that our alumni that conduct the annual "Ins and Outs of Wall Street" will find this very useful."  

Dr. Krause continued, "The CFA Institute produces some marvelous material. As a CFA Program Partner our students at Marquette have had the benefit of receiving many important educational pieces from the CFA Institute the past several years. I particularly like this guide because it is useful for all finance students - not just those studying for the CFA exam. I believe that all students majoring in finance should take a look this career guide:"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Finance 'Open House' today from 4-5pm in the AIM Room (DS 488)

Final November Consumer Sentiment and Personnel Savings Rates Released

The November University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased to 64.1 from the October reading of 60.9, and up from 55.7 in August.

The gauge of consumer sentiment reached  the highest reading since June.  A preliminary reading for November pegged the gauge at 64.2.

Calculated Risk - a finance and economics daily blog - reported that consumer sentiment is usually impacted by employment (and the unemployment rate) and gasoline prices. But right now the European financial crisis is probably also impacting sentiment. Although sentiment is up from October, this is still a very weak level.

The personal saving rate was also released today. It was a reported 3.5% in October. Personal saving -- Disposable Personal Income less personal outlays -- was $400.2 billion in October 2011, compared with $376.9 billion in September. Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 3.5 percent in October, compared with 3.3 percent in September.

In October, income increased faster than spending - reversing a recent trend - and the saving rate increased slightly; however the saving rate has declined sharply over the last few months. Personal income was slightly better than expected, and spending a little lower than expectations.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Heartland Funds' Investment Professional - Will Nasgovitz - Spoke to the AIM Program Today

Will Nasgovitz appeared today in Marquette University's Applied Investment Management program where he presented to the students about Heartland Fund's investment process.  

Mr. Nasgovitz is the Portfolio Manager of the Select Value Fund and is a member of the Value Fund's investment team. Prior to joining Heartland, he was a Senior Research Associate with Cambridge Associates, LLC in Washington D.C.

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "It was a privilege to have Will present in class today. As a portfolio manager - and especially during these challenging times - it was an honor to have him visit the AIM program. He has appeared in numerous interviews on Bloomberg TV, Marketwatch, and CNBC, where he discusses individual stocks, sectors and Heartland’s value investing approach. It was an outstanding opportunity for our students to hear directly from a true investment professional."

"We are very thankful for Will's efforts to help our students understand the intricates of value investing," Dr. Krause added. "We talked about the benefits of Heartland's disciplined process during the afternoon. I know he made a very positive impact on the students and they were very impressed with the 10-point system employed by Will and his colleagues. We talked about employing a similar disciplined approach to our student evaluations. It was truly one of the strongest AIM classroom presentations the students have had the opportunity to hear."

NASGOVITZ's Recent video appearances:

Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom? An interactive view from the BBC

The following interactive view of Eurozone debt is from the BBC site:

The circle below shows the gross external, or foreign, debt of some of the main players in the eurozone as well as other big world economies. The arrows show how much money is owed by each country to banks in other nations. The arrows point from the debtor to the creditor and are proportional to the money owed as of the end of June 2011. The colors attributed to countries are a rough guide to how much trouble each economy is in.

Click here to make the chart below interactive.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Will Nasgovitz of Heartland Funds Visits the AIM Program

On Monday, November 21, Will Nasgovitz of Heartland Funds will visit the students in the AIM Class of 2012. Will joined Heartland as a research associate in 2003 and was promoted to Portfolio Manager in 2006, becoming the fourth member of the Select Value Fund investment team. In 2009, Will joined the Value Fund's investment team. Prior to Heartland, Will was a Senior Research Associate with Cambridge Associates, LLC in Washington D.C.

As a portfolio manager, Will has appeared in numerous interviews on Bloomberg TV, Marketwatch, and CNBC, discussing individual stocks, sectors and Heartland’s value investing approach. Will graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BBA in Finance. He currently sits on the board of the Urban Ecology Center, an environmental education and nonprofit community center located along the Milwaukee River. Will is a genuine Milwaukee Eastsider who enjoys biking and golfing and admits to being a novice fly fisherman.

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, “Heartland Funds have been supportive of the AIM program the past several years. They have provided valuable internships for our students and we’ve had two AIM ‘road shows’ in the past. We’re looking forward to Will Nasgovitz’s visit to the AIM program and we’re hopeful that our students will be presenting at a ‘road show’ at Heartland in the spring.”

The various fund managers at Heartland provide written and video market notes and commentary. Below you will find the most recent version of “Nasgovitz Notes” for November 2011.


Hi, I’m Will Nasgovitz, Portfolio Manager here at Heartland Advisors. Thanks for tuning in to the November, 2011 edition of the Nasgovitz Notes. Before we jump into our topic, I want to thank everyone for submitting ideas for us to discuss in these videos. We got a lot of great ideas, so thank you very much, but we are looking for more, so feel free to submit topics for us by emailing us at

With that, I want to jump into our topic. One of our shareholders asked for some additional perspective on the equity markets in the third quarter of 2011. It was a very difficult one for equity investors, particularly for small cap stocks in the third quarter. The Russell 2000 was down 21.9% versus a loss of 13.9% for the S&P 500. Importantly though, our investor was curious how this performance of small cap stocks compared to other down quarters and how small cap stocks have gone on to historically perform in the subsequent quarter and one year out time period.

Interestingly, the third quarter of 2011 for small cap stocks was the fourth worst on record for the Russell 2000. And as you can see in this particular chart, small cap stocks have gone on to post positive returns, on average, in the subsequent quarter and the one year out time period. 

1/1/1940 - 9/30/2011  Source: Credit Suisse Small & Mid Cap US Equity Strategy, Bloomberg. *Forward Year Returns represent the annualized return on year after the respective worst quarter above.
Clearly though, there are periods where small cap stocks do continue to decline, but these instances are less frequent than when the small cap stocks have gone on to post positive returns in the subsequent periods.

Why is this important to you as a Heartland shareholder or prospective customer? Well, all of our Funds at Heartland have exposure to small cap stocks, and, historically, small cap stocks have gone on to outperform large cap stocks following a bear market. And we believe this could occur again as we close out 2011 and enter 2012. So, thanks for watching and Happy Thanksgiving.”

Will Students in the Class of 2012 Find Employment After Graduation?

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director at Marquette University said, "The job market for college graduates in the U.S. remains very fragile. Many seniors are concerned about whether they will have a job ready for them when they graduate from college in May 2012. Obviously, students who selected a major that is more marketable are likely to have a better chance of landing a job, but there are other skills that students must possess."

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce used U.S. Census Bureau statistics to tease out the employment rates for 173 college majors. The following represent the majors with the highest and lowest unemployment rates. (Note: finance majors ranked 18th with the lowest unemployment rates at 4.5%).

College majors with the highest unemployment
1. Clinical psychology 19.5%
2. Miscellaneous fine arts 16.2%
3. United States history 15.1%
4. Library science 15.0%
5. (tie) Military technologies; educational psychology 10.9%
6. Architecture 10.6%
7. Industrial & organizational psychology 10.4%
8. Miscellaneous psychology 10.3%
9. Linguistics & comparative literature 10.2%
10. (tie) Visual & performing arts; engineering & industrial management 9.2%

College majors with lowest unemployment rates
1. Medical technology technician 1.4%
2. Nursing 2.2%
3. Treatment therapy professions 2.6%
4. Medical assisting services 2.9%
5. Agriculture production & management 3.0%
6. Industrial production technologies 3.1%
7. Pharmacy 3.2%
8. Communications & disorders sciences 3.3%
9. Elementary education 3.6%
10. Special needs education 3.6%

Dr. Krause continued, "What can a student do to increase the odds of landing a job upon graduation in May 2012 – even if they won’t have one of the ‘in demand’ majors?" An employer survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicates that employers most value these three skills that you are usually more likely to find with a liberal arts education:

  • Communication skills
  • Analytic skills
  • Teamwork skills
Dr. David Krause, AIM program director added, “I would also add a fourth skill - critical thinking. I believe that employers want more than a 'plug and chug' approach to problem soling. They want graduates who can think on their feet. The bottom line for me is that graduating students need to possess and demonstrate to prospective employers the skills listed above - and be good critical thinkers. Can you communicate well? Do you have good math skills? And can you work well with others and be adaptive to changing situations? These in my mind are the key attributes to landing a job upon graduation.” 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mark Ziehr of Frontier Partners Visits the AIM Program

Mark Ziehr, Director of Business Development at Frontier Partners, was the guest speaker in the AIM program on Friday in the AIM Room. Mark is a regular visitor to the AIM program – and he again talked about the investment industry and the current financial markets. The students appreciate Mark’s experiences and views of the industry.

Mark attended the University of Wisconsin and received his BBA-Finance and has his MBA from DePaul University. He has been with Frontier Partners since 2005. Prior to this he was at Mercer Investment Consulting (2002-2005) and Northern Trust Company (1996-2002).

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "It was great to have Mark Ziehr back into the classroom. He brings a very balanced perspective. His firm represents a variety of firms in the domestic and international equities markets, including Timpani Capital Management

Frontier Partners is located in Chicago. They develop highly customized marketing and business development programs for institutional investment managers. Frontier Partners'  serves a global network of consultants, plan sponsors, educational institutions, state and local governments and other organizations with significant assets to invest.

Frontier Partners limits the number of their manager relationships in order to devote considerable time and attention to each one. They view their client managers as partners, and in many cases enter into long-term financial arrangements to align their interests.
Currently, Frontier Partners represents five specialist institutional investment management firms: 

HEXAM Capital Partners LLP
London, England

Mastholm Asset Management, LLC
Seattle, Washington

Independent Franchise Partners, LLP
London, England

Sky Investment Counsel, Inc.
Toronto, Ontario

Timpani Capital Management, LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Investment Objective 
The Frontegra Timpani Small Cap Growth Fund's goal, also referred to its investment objective, is capital appreciation. 

Principal Investment Strategy 
The Fund invests, under normal conditions, at least 80% of its assets in equity securities of small capitalization companies that Timpani believes have sound growth potential. Timpani uses fundamental research, focusing on companies with superior management and whose business models have a high potential for profitability. Timpani forms an investment decision based on this research and an assessment of the market’s perception of these companies. 

Timpani defines a small capitalization company as any company with a market capitalization of less than or equal to the total market capitalization of the largest company included in the Russell 2000 Growth Index. The Fund may also invest up to 25% of its total assets in equity securities issued by foreign companies such as ADRs.

Equity securities in which the Fund may invest include common stocks, preferred stocks, warrants to purchase common stocks or preferred stocks and securities convertible into common or preferred stocks, such as convertible bonds and debentures rated Baa or higher by Moody’s Investors Service or BBB or higher by Standard & Poors or Fitch Ratings.