An initiative meant to provide exceptional opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in their study of finance found its beginnings in the fall semester of 1997. Founded by Friends of Finance, The University of Tulsa’s Student Investment Fund (SIF) remains an integral component to the education of students in business and finance and is one of the 25 largest student-managed investment funds in the United States.
In the fall of 2021, the SIF reached an impressive milestone when the fund broke $8 million. Collins College of Business Adjunct Instructor and Senior Vice President and Director of Enterprise Risk Management at BOK Financial Tally Ferguson explained the significance of this milestone by emphasizing the power of compound growth: “The fund started with $300,000 in 1997. We added another $1.8 million in donations over the next 18 years, and we have paid out $1.4 million for scholarships and program building expenses in the past four years.”
In other words, students turned $2.1 million into $8 million in invested funds, plus $1.4 million in cash distributed. “Another significance of the fund’s size,” said Ferguson, “is that it gives us an opportunity to explore different prudent investment strategies within the fund.” Currently, the SIF is focusing on identifying individual stocks projected to outperform their sectors and the overall market.
The SIF allows students to gain practical experience in financial modeling, portfolio management and fundamental analysis. “Making investment decisions with real consequences and understanding the effects of macroeconomic forces on industries and firms is a unique opportunity for our outstanding students,” said Ferguson. “Students apply financial theories and models in making real investment decisions and manage a real portfolio of financial assets.”
Ferguson became a faculty advisor for the SIF in 2011. Having already been an adjunct instructor, Ferguson enjoyed interacting with TU students and jumped at the chance to become more involved. “The Collins College of Business faculty train students so well,” said Ferguson, “they come well prepared to have meaningful discussions about value, allocation and economic trends.” Ferguson also reported that serving as a TU faculty member has given him unique exposure to potential hires for his team at BOK Financial. Overall, he noted, “SIF is an investment well worth the effort.”
Interested in the experiential learning opportunities for students of business and finance? Check out the Collins College of Business website to learn more!