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UMaine SPIFFY wraps up a successful year

The Student Portfolio Investment Fund (SPIFFY) held its final meeting of the semester at Bangor Savings Bank on April 17, featuring an economic update, portfolio review and presentations on stock pitches by sector teams. 

SPIFFY is one of the University of Maine Foundation’s most successful entrepreneurial activities. It was founded by Bob Strong in 1993 with an original investment of $200,000 and has been managed by students ever since.

Today, SPIFFY has over 80 undergraduate members who oversee a portfolio that’s worth over $4.7 million with investment holdings in 14 different sectors. The club operates under the guidance of a faculty advisor and four directors who oversee each weekly meeting. 

Once a month, the club hosts a professional from the industry who shares insights into stock pitches and post-college career paths. Alongside the directors, there are 14 sector heads overseeing the portfolio’s diverse sectors, each supported by a team of market analysts.

Amidst a backdrop of market challenges, SPIFFY has navigated its way to a record-breaking year of success. Founded on a mission to empower students with hands-on experience in investment management, SPIFFY has surpassed expectations. Throughout this year, SPIFFY executed transactions totaling $750,000 in securities purchases and $400,000 in securities sales.

The culmination of these efforts has driven SPIFFY’s Assets under Management (AuM) to an all-time high, reflecting a significant growth in the portfolio’s value. However, the highest achievement of SPIFFY came in the form of global recognition, as the club won first place in a prestigious worldwide portfolio competition. The competition was part of the Quinnipiac G.A.M.E. (Global Asset Management Education) Forum that was held in New York City on March 21 and 22. 

During the event, 1,100 students from over 125 universities interacted with industry leaders and learned best practices in investment strategy. The portfolio competition compared the 2023 performance of student-managed investment funds. Each college investment team submitted its portfolio account statements and asset holdings. SPIFFY won the First Place Undergraduate Value Portfolio competition, which also holds a $1,000 prize.

One of the members who traveled to New York for the competition was Elijah Oliveira, a fourth-year student in political science and financial economics. Oliveira, also serving as one of the sector heads of SPIFFY, shared his trip experience and his experience as an overseer of the Healthcare Sector. 

“When we talked to a lot of the other students there, a lot of them were surprised that A. we trade with real money and B. that it’s $4 million dollars of real money,” Oliveira said. 

Oliveira was asked whether or not he recommended the club to students whose direction is not specific to business or finance. 

“Even if you have a passing interest in this stuff, I’m of the opinion that even knowing the fundamentals about finance will take you pretty far in life, further than the average person, and just knowing basic stuff like knowing how to analyze a company,” said Oliveira. “And, it’s a pretty awesome club that gives you a lot of great opportunities.”

This year’s success not only solidifies SPIFFY’s investment strategies on a global stage but also strengthens its reputation as a leader in the realm of financial education. As SPIFFY sets new standards for success, its dedication to student growth and financial education remains strong. With every accomplishment, SPIFFY cements its reputation as a leader in student-managed investment funds.

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