Thursday, January 31, 2019

First Set of Spring AIM Program Student Equity Pitches on Friday, February 1st - Join Us in Person or On-Line!

AIM Class of 2020 Student Equity Presentations 
Friday, February 1st

The first set of spring AIM student equity presentations for the Class of 2020 will be on Friday, February 1st, 2019. 
Follow the link to access the student equity write-ups.  You can also find every write-up since AIM's inception in 2005 here.

If you are unable to attend, you can always view them via YouTube HERE.


There is a Marquette Forum affiliated event coming up this Tuesday (February 5th) on
 “A Transatlantic Rift? The Future of US-European Relations.”

It’s a great panel with Marquette's Risa Brooks (Political Science), the ambassadors from Croatia and Estonia, and the director of the Center for a New American Security.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

10:30-11:30 a.m. – Short Presentations and Discussion
Marquette University Raynor Memorial Libraries, Beaumier Suites (lower level)

The Marquette Forum theme of “democracy in troubled times” is related not only to domestic political events in the United States and Europe but also to relations between the United States and Europe. Please join us on February 5th and 10:30 a.m. as an esteemed panel of scholars and government officials will briefly present on, and then discuss with the audience, the topic “A Transatlantic Rift? The future of US-European Relations.”

Participants will include:
H.E. Pjer Šimunović, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United States of America.
H.E. Jonatan Vseviov, Ambassador of Estonia to the United States.
Dr. Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program, Center for a New American Security, Washington DC.
Dr. Risa Brooks, Allis Chalmers Associate Professor of Political Sciecce, Marquette University will serve as moderator of the panel.

A Marquette Forum Event.
Hosted by the Marquette University Department of Political Science.


Dr. Krause’s FinTech Topics Class to Evaluate the Digital Robo-Investment Products – Will This Be Another Version of ‘The Fleecing of Millennials’ or Will This Have a Happy Ending?

Students in Dr. Krause's FinTech Topics course will be soon popping the hoods on the various robo-adviser and digital banking products to evaluate their true costs and effectiveness

The New York Times article I posted recently on LinkedIn about “The Fleecing of Millennials” certainly created some strong opinions on both sides of the topic. I also believe that the recent Baillie Gifford newsletter written by Tom Coutts on “Riding the Gravy Train – Who Guards the Guards?” has the same potential for controversy.

Coutts forwards the concept that maybe the investment industry has reached its peak (similar to peak oil) and it may have reached the point where the industry has extracted the maximum rate of return from its clients’ assets. The incredible growth of low-cost funds over traditional investment products is exhibit 1 in the argument that investors are fighting back against hidden fees and mediocre performance.

Image result for millenials and financeCoutts posits that the investment industry might have seen its best days and that as fees fall, so too will profit margins (and salaries). Commenting further he stated that “It seems to us that most funds’ fees are too high, most so-called investors’ time-horizons are too short, and most firms operate with their eyes focused inwardly on their own interests rather than outwardly on their clients.”

Image result for robo fintechWhile some of us are just beginning to ask the question of whether the traditional financial industry creates value above what it extracts – or whether it is just a facilitator taking fees for low value-added services - millennials are voting with their feet. 

Millennials are seeking financial advice, but they are also more likely to trust digital advice from automated investment services (robo-advisors and mobile banking apps) than their parent’s generation.

US market research company, Forrester, recently surveyed online adults in twenty markets to determine their need for, and perception of, financial services. The resulting report tells it all, “Millennials want financial advice, with or without humans.”

Image result for Gordon GekkoThe Michael Milken / Gordon Gekko / Liar’s Poker / Bernie Madoff / Wolf of Wall Street personalities (real or fictitious) have created an image of slick, pin-striped, ‘greed is good’ robber barons – out to line their pockets at the expense of the average Joe or Jane.  Because the younger generation is skeptical of the lack of transparency and are demanding value for the fees they are paying, maybe this is a situation where we might be seeking the reverse of the “Fleecing of Millennials.”

I have an assignment due soon from the students in my spring semester FinTech Topics course where they are going to be doing deep research into the true fees and costs of the robo-investment and digital banking products. They will study performance relative to fees and provide an evaluation of the value of these new banking and investing products. We’ll be certain to post their results soon – it should be interesting to see what this group of millennials concludes about digital versus traditional finance.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What are the best performing cities in America? Hint: They have a strong tech presence!

A recent report from the Milken Institute ranks the top 25 best-performing large and small cities across the United States in 2018

BPC US 2018 WEB 1Large tech metropolises like San Francisco and Seattle continue to make it to the top of the Milken Institute’s best performing city list, but it is worth noting that economic growth is increasingly moving inland to states like Oregon and Utah. 

The recent report from the Milken Institute ranks the top 25 best-performing large and small cities across the United States in 2018, with the Provo-Orem, Utah metro area ranked as the best large city and Bend, Oregon, retaining its title as best small city for the third consecutive year.

The Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities U.S. index provides a way to measure which American metropolitan areas offer the greatest opportunities for prosperity and innovation across the nation. The BPC index measures each metro area’s economic performance using outcomes-based metrics such as job creation, wage gains, and technological developments to evaluate their relative growth.

The Rankings:
Provo-Orem, UT, holds steady at the top of our index, thanks to a dynamic high-tech sector, an educated workforce, and a business-friendly tax and regulatory climate.

Growth through tech is the reigning theme across America, with Silicon Valley and several of Northern California’s tech-focused metro areas in the top 20. 

Outside the Golden State, tech hubs such as Austin-Round Rock, TX, Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX, and Raleigh, NC, have also leveraged their educated workforce and competitive business climates to generate growth.

Top Ten Best-Performing Cities U.S. 2018

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) /
Metropolitan Division (MD)
2018 Rank
2017 Rank
Provo-Orem, UT MSA
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSA
Austin-Round Rock, TX MSA
San Francisco-Redwood City, CA MD
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX MD
Raleigh, NC MSA
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA MD
Fort Collins, CO MSA


Salt Lake City, UT MSA

Monday, January 28, 2019

Marquette Finance Club Speakers: Updated Spring 2019 FMA and Investment Club Dates

Strong Group of Prominent Guests to Visit Marquette Finance Club and Address Student this Spring

FMA Spring Schedule:

January 28 – Hugh Wade, Madison Capital, Leveraged Finance, 4:00-5:15 DS575  and  5:30 - 6:30 DS569

February 4 – Joe Pattellaro, SS&C, Technology Provider, 4:00-5:15 DS575 

February 4 – Craig Olinger, Employee Stock Ownership Programs, 5:30-6:30                                     DS569
February 11 – Mike Bernstein, Baird Capital, LBO & VC Funds, 4:00-5:15 DS575

February 18 – Steve Laczniak, Bel Air Capital, LBO Fund, 4:00-5:15 DS575

February 20 – Jim Bianco, Bianco Research, 4:45-5:30 DS 488 (AIM Room)

March 1 – Guido van Hauwermeiren, Client Coverage & Investment Banking, Societe Generale, 2:00-3:00 DS 488 (AIM Room)

March 18 – David Bauer, Lubar & Co., Family Office, 4:00-5:15 DS575

April 3 – Mark Zelmer, CFA Code of Conduct, 4:00-5:15 DS575

April 8 – Greg Myers, Mason Wells, LBO Fund, 4:00-5:15 DS575
             – Bill Chapman, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, 5:30-6:30 DS 569

Investment Club Meeting Dates:
January 28 – 6:00 - 7:00 Cudahy 131
February 11 – 6:00 - 7:00 Cudahy 131
February 25 – 6:00 - 7:00 Cudahy 131 
March 25 – 6:00 - 7:00 Cudahy 131
April 8 – 6:00 - 7:00 Cudahy 131

Since 2008, the AIM ‘Road Shows’ have been a Valuable Element of Applied Learning

This week the AIM ‘Road Shows’ for the Spring 2019 Semester Begin with a Trip to Timpani Capital Management

Students in Marquette University’s Applied Investment Management (AIM) Program Leave Campus on Friday Afternoons and Conduct Stock Pitches at Area Investment Firms

The AIM students manage three separate portfolios which are part of Marquette University’s endowment. The three funds are:
  • AIM Equity Fund (benchmark: Russell 2000 Index)
  • AIM Fixed Income Fund (benchmark: Bloomberg/Barclays Aggregate Bond Index)
  • AIM International Equity Fund (benchmark: MSCI ACWI ex US)

All previous AIM stock write-ups since September 2005 can be viewed at: AIM Presentations.

This week four AIM students and Dr. Krause are headed to Timpani Capital Management on Friday afternoon. (The stock write-ups in pdf format will be posted on this blog on Thursday morning).

AIM Alumnus (Nicholas Christman, Steve Hoffmann, Sarah Hillegass, and Jaclyn Godwin) pitched at Timpani Capital Management

The AIM students are assigned to one of the two equity funds and are responsible for managing the holdings of an individual sector/industry group. They conduct fundamental security analysis to support their buy and sell recommendations – including a detailed valuation model. Since its founding in 2005, the AIM students hve been solely responsible for all of the portfolios’ buy and sell decisions (subject to the constraints of the AIM Funds investment policy statements).

Andrea Blomquist and May Kate Simon
pitching a stock in the AIM Room
Potential investments that meet the strategy and objectives of the AIM investment policy are identified, analyzed, discussed and voted upon by the AIM students (with a 2/3rd super majority required for a security to be added).  The proposed investments are presented in a formal oral presentation to their peers and a group of financial professionals, along with a concise written report of the pertinent characteristics of the proposed investment. The report is distributed in advance of the presentation to financial professionals.

The students typically make a 5-7 minute pitch, which is followed by about 5-7 minutes of questions and answers for the stock they present. The students fulfill their analyst responsibilities by completing any additional research necessary to make an informed decision. AIM Fund investment meetings take place within the AIM Research Room; however, during the spring semester the students make occasional ‘road show’ presentations at investment companies and before alumni groups.

Matt Vieth and Ben Schmidt 
pitching Bank of Nova Scotia
The during the past ten years the AIM students have presented before alumni and investment companies in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, Boston and New York. Almost every investment firm in Milwaukee has hosted at least one road show – with some being serving as perennial hosts (R.W. Baird, Wells Fargo, Timpani Capital Management, Cortina Asset Management, and Northwestern Mutual).

A 2008 New York City 'road show' about to begin
This past October, four students pitched stocks before a group of nearly 50 investment professionals in New York at the Circles Alumni event. Dr. David Krause, AIM Director, commented about the external student presentations, “These are excellent opportunities for our students to receive feedback and constructive comments from investment professionals. Over the past 15 years I have come to understood that the student equity presentations are an essential and vital part of the applied learning process; however, the roads shows have taken this to a higher level. This type of real-world exposure can’t be obtained from a textbook.”

Dr. Krause continued, “We already have six external AIM student presentations scheduled for the spring semester in the Milwaukee area and are looking for two more hosts – we will also be traveling to Chicago in April and will be pitching there (with the location to be determined).”

If you wish to host an AIM ‘road show,’ please contact Dr. David Krause, AIM Director, at: or Jessica Hoerres, AIM Coordinator, at:

The complete AIM Spring 2019 semester presentation schedule will be posted soon.

All previous AIM stock write-ups since September 2005 can be viewed at: AIM Presentations.