About CVFM

We aim to build stronger connections between our students and Milwaukee-based firms by presenting our research and portfolio results to industry professionals from the area. The critical feedback we receive from industry professionals will help us continually improve the program and better train students in the real-world skills that firms are seeking. We are also hoping that students can make valuable connections with our practitioner volunteers and advisors.

The CVFM program was officially launched in December 2016 after nine months of preparation. Our first cohort was ten business students who are also members of the Concordia University Investment Club.

CVFM meetings are held weekly for an hour and a half. One hour of the meeting is dedicated to presentations and half an hour is dedicated to collaborative work time. The students will as also be spending significant time outside of our meetings conducting research and analysis both individually and with other team members.

Our analysts screen our investment universe to create a manageable list of stocks organized in a way to highlight the most promising investment opportunities.

Each team member is assigned two to three sectors to cover, and he and she begins by combining sector and industry research with the previously described stock scoring to select stocks that merit deeper qualitative and quantitative research.

Once an analyst has completed a written research report, he or she presents his buy or sell recommendation to the team. Once a recommendation is approved, the team member buys or sells the position in our portfolio, housed in a Schwab brokerage account, with guidance from the faculty advisor.

The entire team is responsible for monitoring the portfolio’s returns and risk and adjusting the portfolio’s asset allocation to align with our return and risk objectives and constraints. This monitoring includes attribution analysis where we measure each decision’s impact on the performance of our portfolio vs. its benchmark, the Russell 1000 Index.

We will periodically present our portfolio performance and risk results to a panel of industry professionals for feedback.

All investment decisions will be made within the parameters of rigorous risk management discipline. In our investment theses, we pay special attention to the bear case, what could go wrong. We also believe the rigor of the recommendation process and team voting procedure provide an internal risk control function. We limit individual position sizes to limit the impact that one security can have on the total portfolio performance. At the portfolio level, we diversify the fund by holding a basket of securities and by maintaining diversification by sector.

We also follow strict trading procedures to eliminate the risk of trading errors.

Conducting the professional grade research required to make investment decisions requires a significant commitment of time spent in training, but also in independent research and collaborative decision-making. Professional quality research also requires fairly powerful and sophisticated software to access data and analytical tools to conduct research, to analyze and monitor our portfolio’s risk and performance, and to assess the impacts of our investment decisions.

We signed an academic license agreement to use the Morningstar Direct platform for our research and portfolio management needs. This software and data license agreement costs $10,500/ year, which is a steep discount to what it would cost an investment firm to purchase.