Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"A Little Code Goes a Long Way" an article about XBRL and other trends in IT and its impact on finance

Colleen Osborne (a Marquette student graduating in May 2012 who is dual majoring in AIM and IT) just published an article titled "A Little Code Goes a Long Way" at http://www.mu.edu/~owt/ITSO/ITSOV5No4.pdf

Colleen, a co-president of the Marquette student information technology group - dubbed ITSO, writes about topics related to IT and the financial markets. Her last article: High FREAKquency: The Clash of Silicon Valley and Wall Street has been one of the most frequently accessed articles of 2011 on the AIM program blog.

This article about eXtensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, talks about an important aspect of technology’s influence in the financial sector. Marquette's Dr. David Krause and MU alumni J.J. Foley (General Electric) and Armintas Sinkevicius (Morgan Stanley) are quoted in the article.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We send you our greetings for a blessed Christmas,
Happy Holidays, and best wishes
for a prosperous New Year!

WARMEST regards,

Dr. David Krause, AIM Program Director
Lee Hovorka, AIM Program Associate
Brady Endl, AIM Program Graduate Assistant

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Year Later: Looking Back at Meredith Whitney's Muni-Bond Short

MarketBeat by Mark Gongloff  (WSJ.com)  12/16/11

Muni Bonds Have Not Been Kind to Meredith Whitney This Year

When it comes to muni bonds, this has just not been Meredith Whitney’s year. Municipal bond yields have fallen to a record low, according to Standard & Poor’s indexes, more than a year after Ms. Whitney briefly scared investors away from the muni market with dire warnings of “50 to 100″ big muni defaults, amounting to “hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of defaults.” Oops!

Special Guest Coming to Marquette's AIM Program: Michael McMillan, CFA Institute's Director of Ethics and Professional Standards


February 15 and 16

Event Description

Ethics Brochure


We are pleased to announce that Michael G. McMillan, Ph.D., CFA, CPA, CFA Institutes's Director of Ethics and Professional Standards will be presenting in the AIM classroom and at the AIM Forum:

Ethical Decision Making 

The CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct is a key component of its mission to lead the global investment profession.  It is also critical to maintaining capital market integrity and the public’s trust in the financial market.  This interactive presentation examines several investment scenarios based on real cases that challenge participants to consider the various courses of action to address the issues involved.  

Hand held electronic “response devices” are used to allow participants the opportunity to vote on the best course of action. Because the presentation is based on the CFA Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional CFA Charter holders and Institute members will earn 2 Continuing Education Credits representing 2 hours in the content area of Standards, Ethics, and Regulations (SER).

Dr. McMillan joined CFA Institute in October of 2008 after more than a decade as a professor of accounting and finance at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business and George Washington University’s School of Business.  Prior to pursuing a career in academia, he was a securities analyst and portfolio manager at Bailard, Biehl, and Kaiser and Merus Capital Management in San Francisco, California. 

As Director of Ethics and Professional Standards, Dr. McMillan is responsible for creating, sourcing, and developing educational content for CFA Institute members and investment professionals in the area of ethics and professional standards.  Prior to joining the Institute, Dr. McMillan served in a variety of volunteer capacities at the CFA Institute.  He was a member of the Council of Examiners for 10 years, and a grader for the CFA Level II and Level III exams for 12 years.  
Dr. McMillan is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Business Research.  

He is also the Treasurer and a member of the board of directors of Fort Dupont Ice Arena in Washington, DC. Prior to joining CFA Institute, he was a Vice President and Treasurer of the CFA Society of Washington, DC. 

Dr. McMillan has a PhD in accounting and finance from George Washington University, an MBA from Stanford University, and BA from the University Pennsylvania.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a Chartered Investment Counselor, and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).


Monday, December 19, 2011

Excellent CFA Career Guide for Finance Students

The Asia Pacific office of CFA Institute recently released a free career guide focused on the Asia Pacific region. This guide is a valuable resource for all students interested in pursuing a career in the investment management business - regardless of the location. 

This is an excellent link for students to access. Feel fell to share the link with other interested finance students.

CFA Society of Milwaukee Program Notice: Dan Fuss Will Speak on January 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Legendary bond investor and Marquette alumnus, Dan Fuss, will be speaking at the CFA Society of Milwaukee on January 25th. Dr. David Krause, AIM program director, and his students are planning on attending the event.

If you have any questions regarding the registration process please send an email to the CFA Society of Milwaukee at:  info@cfamilwaukee.org

Friday, December 16, 2011

AIM Student-Managed Funds Performance as of November 30, 2011

Each month the complete investment performance reports for the student-managed AIM Funds will be available on the AIM website at: http://business.marquette.edu/centers-and-programs/aim-student-fund

Follow these links for the individual fund reports:

AIM Equity Fund Performance Report for 11/30/2011: http://tinyurl.com/crzxz2r

AIM International Equity Fund Performance Report for 11/30/2011: http://tinyurl.com/c7b7ze3

AIM Fixed Income Fund Performance Report for 11/30/2011: http://tinyurl.com/7436hy2

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marquette University's AIM Program Receives Significant Benefits as a CFA Program Partner

Marquette University’s AIM program has been a CFA Program Partner since 2006. The CFA Institute provides each partner with a variety of benefits including:

  • The right to use a CFA Program Partner logo on its print and electronic marketing literature.
  • Special recognition as a CFA Program Partner on the CFA Institute website.
  • One annual complimentary set of all three levels of CFA candidate curriculum.
  • Complimentary access to Financial Newsbrief, a daily investment brief, for students in the approved degree program.

  • Complimentary access to an online Level I sample exam for Degree Program students
  • Notices of educational opportunities for lifelong learning through CFA Institute conferences and publications
  • A complimentary statistical service report, showing pass rates and average scores (by section) for those students who consent to the CFA Program Partner’s receipt of this information.
  • Five student scholarships per year to each partner. These scholarships can be awarded to undergraduate students only in their final year of course work (seniors) or to graduate students. Under each scholarship, the candidate is responsible for paying a portion of the exam registration fees. 

  • Complimentary access to select CFA Institute content:
    • One subscription of the Financial Analysts JournalCFA MagazineCFA Digest, and Conference Proceedings Quarterly
    • A subscription to the quarterly electronic Partners' Newsletter
    • One copy of each new publication of the Research Foundation of CFA Institute
  • Complimentary access to all webcasts for professor personal use and select webcasts for classroom use upon request.
  • Access to the collaborative website exclusively for CFA Program Partners where program directors and designated faculty can share ideas and best practices and participate in discussions.
  • CFA Program Partners also have access to the Global Body of Investment Knowledge site and are invited to participate in the CFA Institute practice analysis process.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Upcoming AIM program events over winter break and the start of the spring semester

As final exam week moves along at Marquette, here’s an update on some useful information regarding the AIM program after the fall semester ends:

  • AIM Research Room – Availability during break
    • Holiday Hours: The AIM Research Room will be closed to students from Friday, December 23, 2011 through Sunday, January 1, 2012.
    • Technology Update:  The AIM Research Room will be undergoing technology upgrades and the lab will not be available to students beginning Monday, January 2nd until further notice (plan about a week).

  • The AIM students should keep in touch with Dr. Krause regarding career and internship interviews you have scheduled over the winter break.

  • Reminder to the AIM Class of 2013:  When you complete your Bloomberg Essentials (BESS) training course, upload your acknowledgment into the D2L dropbox in under for the FINA 4310 course. (Note: Bloomberg Essentials training completion is not due until the beginning on the spring semester).

  • Spring 2012 Calendar of Events (preliminary look at some of the highlights through the end of February):
    • AIM ‘Meet and Greet” and first set of stock pitches (1/27)
    • Guest: Jim Bianco, Bianco Research (1/31)
    • Mason Street Advisors field trip (2/3)
    • AIM stock pitches and open house (2/3)
    • Michael McMillan, Director of Ethics and Professional Standards, CFA Institute (2/15)
    • AIM Forum (2/16)
    • AIM ‘road show’ at Baird (2/17)
    • Guest: Frank Burgess, Madison Investment Partners (2/22)
    • AIM ‘road show’ at Heartland Advisors (2/24)
    • AIM field trip to Chicago (3/2)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Marquette AIM Program December 2011 Newsletter

Applied Investment Management Program at Marquette University
A Very Productive Fall Semester for AIM Students Comes to an End
The past three months have moved quickly for the students in the AIM program. With 10 sets of AIM equity presentations (see the complete listing of the 49 stocks pitched this semester by the AIM seniors) – 8 of which were delivered in off-campus locations (see table of this semester’s presentations) – the AIM program was truly on the go. Additionally, many investment professionals spoke to the AIM students in the classroom and visited campus during the fall semester (see the attached list of speakers and guests).

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, “Taking the students on theroad to present their equity research findings was again a success. The students have an opportunity to visit investment professionals in the respective company’s headquarters. This allows us to meet more investment analysts and portfolio managers – gaining access to many of the most successful investment professionals in the Midwest. We look forward to as many as 10 AIM presentations, both on and off campus again in the spring semester.”
Krause continued, “We are thankful for the opportunities the investmentcompanies have provided us to visit their firms and to pitch stocks. This is an invaluable experience for our students. Also, special thanks go out to those professionals who have ventured to our campus during the day. We know that finding parking and navigating the campus during the day is no simple feat. We truly appreciate the investment professionals who come to campus to meet with our students.”

Guest and Visitors to AIM Program
The First Madison-Area Marquette AIM Program 'Road Show' Was a Success
Four AIM students, Dr. David Krause, and Charles Ries of Marquette University made the drive to American Family Insurance in Madison to present their most recent set of stock recommendations on December 2nd. This was the first AIM program ‘road show’ held in Madison.
Dr. Krause, AIM program director said, “The visit to American Family is precisely why we take our students on the road to pitch stocks. We had an opportunity to meet and interact with eight investment professionals in their work setting, plus we were able to present before a group of aspiring middle and high school students in Madison interested in finance. I don’t think that the day could have gone any better. It was a resounding success.”
Dr. Krause continued, “We’d especially like to thank Richard White andPeter Gunder of American Family for allowing the AIM students and the Madison "Millionaires Club" to visit their impressive facility. Without a doubt we want to return each year with the newest class of AIM students. The professionals at American Family were exactly what we want from our audience during a road show. They asked direct and insightful questions – plus they were able to help with useful pointers about how the students could improve their analysis. It was a great learning environment.”
To access the December 2nd presentations delivered to the professionals at American Family Insurance in Madison, follow the link for the current equity write-ups: AIM Student Equity Write-up American Family  (pdf). 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: AIM Student Write-ups.
The AIM students presented the following stocks at American Family:
  • Patrick Keeley - Cloud Peak Energy, Inc. (CLD)
  • Kaili Wang - Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK)
  • Harrison Davis - Vanguard Health Systems (VHS)
  • Jonathan Schwerin - Johnson Outdoors Inc. (JOUT)
This was the last AIM road show of the fall semester. The American Family presentation was the 8th off-campus location and the 10th set of presentations during the semester. Krause said, "We’ll be back next semester with six planned road shows and three sets of presentations at Marquette in the AIM Research Room. The new AIM students in the Class of 2013 will make their first public presentations in March and April 2012. The full spring 2012 presentation schedule will be published soon and will likely include road shows to Geneva Capital Management, 1492 Capital Management, R.W. Baird, and other Milwaukee area investment firms. Additionally, a Chicago road trip is in the works for early March 2012 which will include visits to some prominent financial firms."
As mentioned above, “The Millionaires Club” also attended the AIM presentations at American Family on Friday, December 2. The Millionaires Club is an after-school and evening program for high-school and middle-school members that introduces students to financial ideas and trains them in the practical money management skills of setting financial goals, budgeting, saving and investing. Asset Builders of America sponsors this very important program. In addition to this substantive education, the Millionaires Club also increases its members’ human capital by teaching self-respect, assertiveness, excellence, and professionalism.
Asset Builders of America’s mission is to promote financial education and wealth-building strategies to enhance the quality of life of low-income youth, families, and communities. To accomplish this they have created various programs including the Millionaires Club.
Dr. Krause said, “It was great that Bob Wynn brought the students in the Millionaires Club to American Family for the AIM presentations. The kids asked great questions and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking with them about investing. Thanks to Bob Wynn for organizing the Millionaires Club visit and for American Family warmly greeting and hosting all of us.”
The students in the Millionaires Club who attended the event were:
  • James Blilie - 8th Grade
  • T'Lovius Comer - 8th Grade
  • Lauren Tatus - 9th Grade
  • Joaquin Lara - 9th Grade
AIM Funds Overview

Marquette’s AIM students engage in stock and fixed income fund selection and the management of three real portfolios, thus gaining hands-on money management experience.  They learn to deal with the uncertainty inherent in the process of estimating investment value and contrasting it to the observed market prices.  The process helps students to develop their intuition and their animal spirits as applied to investment decisions.
According to Dr. David Krause, AIM program director, “The students aregaining valuable lessons about the challenges of forecasting global economic trends and asset value. The past year has been incredible swings in stock prices and bond yields – mainly driven by political actions (or inactions). Obviously, predicting what the U.S. Congress or ECB is going to do with any degree of consistency has been difficult. Nevertheless, the AIM students have done a fine job weathering the storms of the past year and learning about managing money during turbulent times.”
The performance of the three AIM Funds (small cap domestic equity, international equity, and fixed income) is displayed in the table below. Krause added, “The AIM Equity Fund has had a strong year with returns more than 500 bps above the benchmark. On the other hand, the AIMInternational Fund has been an underperformer primarily because of the overweighting on emerging market firms. The AIM Fixed Income Fund has been short duration and long corporate credits – which did not fare well during the U.S. rating downgrade and European sovereign debt crisis. I believe the students have a good long-term strategy and have tactically tilted the portfolios toward a moderate U.S. economic recovery in 2012.”
Krause concluded, “The objective of the AIM Funds has been to assist students in gaining a conceptual and practical knowledge of the investment profession. I believe that the Marquette student-managed funds have been successful in meeting this goal.”

The AIM/FMA ‘Open House’ for Interested Freshmen and Sophomores Was Well Attended
Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, “The November 28th 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.”
The AIM / FMA 'open house' provided freshmen and sophomores interested in studying finance at Marquette University the opportunity to gather information about various opportunities within the finance major - including the AIM program and student clubs (Financial Management Association and Investment Club).
Dr. Krause said, “I was pleased that students had the opportunity to talk with other finance faculty, recent graduates and current upperclassmen (including seniors and juniors in the AIM program). We will have will have several opportunities for the students to hear from guest speakers in January and February when we return to campus.”

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Marquette’s AIM Program and the CFA Program Partners Initiative

Since 2006, Marquette University’s Applied Investment Management (AIM) program has had a partnership with the CFA Institute. The CFA Program Partners initiative is administered by CFA Institute and helps affiliated schools provide support to undergraduate and graduate students.  The AIM program was the first undergraduate school globally to receive the CFA Program Partner designation and is one of only 36 schools in the United States to receive the designation.

The partnership recognizes the fact that Marquette’s AIM program incorporates at least 70 percent of the CFA Program curriculum and its code of ethics into the curriculum. Through the partnership, Marquette is awarded five scholarships annually to help students offset a portion of CFA exam fees. The AIM program also benefits from the partnership through the receipt of the CFA Institute’s textbooks, journals, webcasts, and other educational resources - all of which help students prepare for the CFA exams.

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, “We have had excellent success with our students’ CFA exam results. Since our first class graduated in 2006, we have had 22 AIM students pass all three levels of the CFA exam – including 11 this year. The AIM class that graduated in 2011 had a pass rate of 88% for the Level I CFA exam, while the global average pass rate was 39%.”

“We encourage our AIM students to sit for their first exam immediately after graduating with their undergraduate degree from Marquette,” Krause continued. “Taking and passing the Level I exam gives them an edge when they interview for jobs at high-profile companies – especially when competing against graduate students.”

He added, "For our students who are pursuing careers in asset management, the CFA track is nearly required by almost every firm. Additionally, our students going to work in investment banking and private wealth management also find that CFA track is useful. They see it as a practical designation and a key differentiator in their career pursuits."

The CFA Institute has more than 100,000 charterholders in over than 130 countries. According to the CFA Institute there were over 200,000 people registered in the CFA program, with the greatest growth in the Asia Pacific region. The top 10 employers of CFA Institute members are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, RBC, UBS, and Wells Fargo.