Some students are used to paying for dinner in change. A select
few business majors in CSU’s Summit Student Investment Fund,
however, handle $120,000 every day.
The Summit Student Investment Fund, also known by its members as
Summit Fund, allows students to gain real-world experience in
analyzing and trading stocks. The fund was created in the fall of
1999 with an initial donation of $50,000.
“The main goal of Summit Fund is to provide real-world
experience for students,” said Gabe Lopez, a senior finance major
and organization member. “Hopefully, one day there will be enough
money in the fund to provide scholarships.”
In the spring of 1999, several community leaders were invited to
a presentation at the College of Business that demonstrated the
stock projects that students in an investment analysis class had
As a bi-product of this presentation, university and community
business leaders set out to make hands-on learning a reality and
Summit Fund was born.
“Summit Fund gives CSU students an advantage,” said Patrick
Ireland, a senior finance major and member. “When I apply for jobs
in the finance field, I can say I have already managed a real
The Summit Fund supervisors, Glory Burns and Tim Gallagher, make
recommendations and coach the students in their decisions.
“The fund gives us an opportunity to work with our teachers and
advisers and get to know them better,” said Nate Heckel, senior
finance major and member of Summit Fund. “It also allows us to
apply what we have learned in other classes.”
Since 1999, total student-managed assets in the fund have more
than doubled from where they began with the initial investment.
“Dealing with real money makes the experience a lot more
intense,” Lopez said. “It forces you to get involved.”
Since inception, the fund has relied heavily upon academic
research from the student analysts and many publications to build
an effective strategy for buying and selling stocks.
“As junior analysts, each student watches a stock in the
portfolio weekly and also looks for possible new investments,”
Ireland said. “We look at company reports, future expectations, and
news and recent events.”
As a result, the fund has been able to outperform the stock
market and expand the fund with each year of new management.
CSU is one of few schools to offer such a program.
“The fund makes our school more attractive to donors,” Ireland
said. “It also helps with recruiting future students.”
Lopez said the fund allows CSU to gain national recognition from
the competitions they participate in. One of these competitions is
the Redefining Investment Strategy Education in Dayton, Ohio, in
Many of the members of the fund believe knowing they are dealing
with real money affects their decisions.
“It’s more than just a game,” Ireland said. “It forces us to
analyze every aspect of each stock and not be frivolous.”
Every semester student analysts and advisors interview any
business student that has taken BF355, Investments-Equity
Securities, and wants to be a member of the Summit Fund.
“Any student that has a passion for finance and loves the market
should consider joining,” Lopez said. The fund accepts 14 analysts