David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

  • MBA 2016-17 Student Investment Fund Report Banner

MBA Student Investment Fund

Table of Contents

Portfolio Holdings
Return Performance

Dear Friends of CSUN’s Nazarian College Graduate Programs

The David Nazarian College of Business and Economics’ nationally recognized MBA Program emphasizes experiential learning wherein students’ acquisition of business knowledge and skills is enhanced through active engagement with actual business and organizational situations. An exemplar of our practice is the Nazarian MBA Student Investment Fund which allows MBA students the opportunity to manage a portfolio of more than $1 million on behalf of a California State University, Northridge endowment. 

Under the supervision of Professor of Finance Vincentiu Covrig, Ph.D., CFA, students conduct research and analysis, then pitch recommendations to their classmates. They also learn from industry leaders who serve as guest speakers and mentors. This engaged learning develops more than theoretical knowledge; students simultaneously gain practice in the ambiguities, unexpected events, and fortuitous fortunes (and losses) that occur. Furthermore, students experience considerable satisfaction as the portfolio consists of monies that directly benefit the campus, faculty and students. Students develop soft skills in presentation, pitching, negotiation and teamwork in this collaborative, hands-on learning environment. 

The Nazarian MBA is annually recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the nation’s best part-time programs. Year after year, the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics is named as a Best Business School by Princeton Review. Its accreditation by the premier accrediting organization, AACSB International, places it within the top five percent of global business degree-granting institutions. 

The outstanding faculty publish in top journals and engage in professional activities in their fields, staying current in both theory and application. Recent achievement of a $25 million capital campaign, including a naming gift by David Nazarian, as well as by Harriet and Harvey Bookstein for the college’s home in Bookstein Hall, demonstrates alumni recognition and support. 

CSUN is a regional leader in higher education. As one of the most diverse universities in the country, it serves as a social and economic elevator where individuals rise — and through them, so does Greater Los Angeles and beyond. Through academic rigor, experiential learning and diversity, the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics is changing the face of business.


Deborah Cours, Ph.D.
Interim Dean 
David Nazarian College of Business and Economics  



On behalf of the MBA Student Investment Management class of 2017 at California State University, Northridge, we are pleased to present the Academic Year 2016-17 Report

The Student Investment Management class is one of the special opportunities for CSUN finance students. In this class, students actively manage part of the university’s endowment, and through that, further develop and sharpen their investing skills and knowledge. The class provides a number of other benefits to our students and the program, such as career opportunities for our students, closer ties to the financial community, and increased awareness and brand recognition for our programs. The students spent the first part of the semester acquiring the research tools (such as Bloomberg and other statistical software) and reviewing the existing portfolio, identifying over- and under-represented sectors, and familiarizing themselves with the general economic and capital markets’ conditions. Then they used stock screeners and thorough research to identify the stocks to be sold from, or added to, the portfolio to achieve investment goals. During the semester the students also went through a rigorous and intensive equity valuation and portfolio management training, based on the topics covered in the CFA exams. 

June 2016 to May 2017 was a very good 12-month period for the MBA Student Investment Fund. On May 31, 2017 the value of the portfolio was $1,109,110, compared to $912,808, an increase of roughly 22 percent. We outperformed the 15-percent increase for the benchmark Standard and Poor’s 500 index, even though our portfolio had roughly 10 percent in cash. Both U.S. and foreign markets rose during this period, buoyed by very low inflation and interest rates, record lows in unemployment rate, strong U.S. and developing countries growth, and despite domestic political turmoil and two Federal Reserve interest rate increases. As of May 2017, the S&P 500 had trailing price/earnings ratio of around 18 with valuation levels above historical average. Some of the best performers in our portfolio were Apple, Boeing, Arista Networks and NetEase, and the underperformers were Akamai Technologies and Altria. 

The class would like to thank Todd Kaltman, Managing Director at Duff & Phelps, and Mr. Andrew Crowell, Vice Chairman of D.A. Davidson & Co. Individual Investor Group., for sharing their knowledge and experiences with the class this year.


Vicentiu Covrig , Ph.D., CFA - Instructor

John Zhou, Ph.D., MBA - Department Chair, Finance



Investment Policy


The class and the Student Investment Fund’s management have both educational and investment goals. The educational goal is to enrich the students’ education by applying the academic knowledge to a real-life investment management experience. The broad investment goal is to outperform the Standard and Poor’s 500 index, taking a risk level very close to the risk of the index. The investment strategy is a top-down asset allocation, beginning with the analysis of the current macroeconomics environment, followed by industry analysis and allocation, and finishing with the security analysis and selection.


  • Investments in common equity or a limited number of narrow focused equity ETFs
  • More than 80 percent allocation to U.S. Equities
  • The majority of the portfolio invested in large capitalization stocks
  • Time horizon – three-five years
  • Taxes – Income and capital gains from the fund are not taxed
  • No short sales or derivatives allowed
  • No margin trading permitted
  • Students will make several buy/sell presentations to the class throughout the semester. The class will discuss the merits of the companies presented and then vote on the potential buys or sells. A stock will be bought or sold upon approval by a majority of the class’ students.


Investment Performance*

* Investment performance=Portfolio value/Portfolio value at inception

Investment Performance*

* Investment performance=Portfolio value/Portfolio value at inception

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Sales# of shares transactedPrice per shareTransaction date
Chipotle30$405.52October 20, 2016
Baidu90$174.53October 20, 2016
Starbucks300$53.31October 20, 2016
Gilead Sciences600$71.77December 8, 2016
Under Armour600$32.71December 8, 2016
CVS200$79.41March 13, 2017
Intel500$34.64March 13, 2017
Kimco Realty700$18.97May 15, 2017
Ross Stores1200$63.19May 15, 2017
Boeing150$136.33October 20, 2016
Altria300$61.81October 20, 2016
Alphabet20$802.29October 20, 2016
Netease60$221.95December 8, 2016
Tesaro100$132.75December 8, 2016
Nvidia200$101.65March 13, 2017
Pulte Homes700$23.30March 13, 2017
Paypal400$49.56May 15, 2017
Pepsico200$113.14May 15, 2017

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Portfolio Holdings5/31/20165/31/2017
ALTRIAMO  300 $22,632 
APPLE INCAAPL630 $62,912 630$96,238
ARISTA NETWORKSANET250$18,322250$36,845
AUTOMATIC DATAADP300$26,352300$30,711
BOEINGBA  150 $28,144 
CDK GLOBALCDK100$5,530100$6,146
COSTCO WHSLCOST500$74,385500$90,215
GOLDMAN SACHSGS200$31,896200$42,252
GW PHARMAGWPH200  $17,824200$19,722
HOME DEPOTHD400$52,848400 $61,404 
LOCKHEED MARTINLMT100$23,623100$28,113
MASTERCARDMA500$47,950500 $61,440 
NIKENKE150$16,566300 $15,897 
NVDIANVDA  200$28,870
PAYPALPYPL  400$20,884
PEPSICOPEP  200$23,374
TELEKOM INDONESIATLK400 $21,980 800$26,376
PULTE HOMES   700 $15,869 
SCHWAB CHARLESSCHW50 $1,529 50$1,938
STRYKERSYK200 $22,232 200$28,592
TESARO   100$14,931
UNDER ARMOURUA600 $21,810   
UNION PACIFICUNP300$25,257300$33,090
VOLKSWAKEN AGVLKAY600$18,522600$18,852
3MMMM300 $50,496 300$61,341
Total Equity Value$883,349$997,895
TOTAL PORTFOLIO VALUE$912,808$1,109,110

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Return Performance
CompanyBeta1Return YTD (%)2Return 1 YR (%)Return 3 YR (%)3Risk 3 YR STD (%)4Shape Ration 3 YR5
Akamai Technologies0.29  -28.87%-13.10%  -4.93%33.82%  -0.18
Arista Networks Inc1.1152.13%100.87%38.85%43.93%0.86
CDK Global Inc0.78N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Chevron Corp1.25-9.83%7.24%-1.21%23.37%-0.10
Costco Wholesale Corp0.9916.92%26.55%19.56%16.51%1.12
Goldman Sachs Group1.44-12.02%33.79%10.62%22.95%0.42
GW Pharmaceuticals2.35-12.25%6.99%13.31%85.63%0.14
Home Depot Inc0.9515.66%19.06%26.69%18.14%1.41
Lockheed Martin0.6112.47%21.31%22.61%16.09%1.34
MasterCard Inc1.2117.07%28.49%17.81%20.20%0.83
Nike Inc Class B0.412.26%-2.33%12.96%22.06%0.54
PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia0.3916.84%-37.76%-5.12%38.15%-0.16
Pulte Homes0.9422.69%22.33%6.19%27.35%0.19
Raytheon Co0.7113.53%27.64%21.29%17.91%1.13
Charles Schwab Corp1.87-1.66%27.50%16.32%29.93%0.51
Stryker Corp0.5620.09%29.74%20.27%17.37%1.11
Union Pacific0.958.80%34.18%5.80%22.96%0.21
Volkswagen AG ADR1.586.91%3.49%-14.39%33.10%-0.47
Walt Disney Co1.343.95%10.83%10.20%18.19%0.50
MBA Portfolio [equal weighted]1.1013.16%36.60%21.31%29.25%0.74
S&P 500 7.73%15.01%7.75%13.02%0.00
  • [1] Beta data from Yahoo.Finance.
  • [2] YTD calculated to the report cutoff date of May 31, 2017.
  • [3] Annual geometric average (Cumulative Growth Annual Rates)
  • [4] Standard deviation of returns.
  • [5] Sharpe ratio is (3yr Ret - 3yr Treasury Yield)/ Standard deviation. Average 3 yr Treasury Yield was 1.07%

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