Calm markets invite student fund managers to test their skills with confidence. The opposite can cause enough anxiety to rival exam weeks. For students graduating in 2012, their experience verged on the latter.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a gauge of investor fear, rose 33 percent in 2011. That left business students—many of whom were managing portfolios for the first time as class assignments—to navigate the choppy waters. So who outperformed?
Here, Bloomberg Businessweek looks at the 2012 winners of the University of Dayton's annual student investment competition. The contest evaluated the risk-adjusted performance of student funds in calendar year 2011. Dayton estimates that more than 200 business programs task students with managing real portfolios. Its own students (who don't take part in the competition) are responsible for $14 million of the university's endowment. This year's contest had 34 entries from 25 schools. Participants competed in six categories. Following are the first-place winners in each.