This column was written by Stockpickr member Ira Krakow.MBA students of the New York University Leonard M. Stern School of Business are not only fortunate to be located within a few subway stops of Wall Street, but also to have the opportunity to participate in the Michael Price Student Investment Fund (MPSIF), a family of four student-run
- Thumbs up: The fund recently bought oil and gas producer McDermott International (MDR), based on favorable oil prices for capital projects, positive supply-demand dynamics and what was seen as an
- Thumbs up: The group raised its price target for computer manufacturer Dell (DELL), which the fund purchased earlier in the year at $23.77. Why? The students believe that Dell's stock price will receive a boost when it becomes up-to-date with its regulatory filings in November and can resume its share
buybackprogram. Additionally, the group saw Dell's new partnership with GOMEas a way to increase Dell sales in China, where it currently ranks fourth in PC sales.
- Thumbs down: Tim Hortons (THI) was a recent sell. The stock was originally pitched (and bought) in March with a price target of $35. After hitting the target, the managers reviewed the company's fundamentals and determined that the stock was fully valued and sold it, earning a 13% gain over the six months that it owned the stock.
- The growth fund's benchmark is the Russell 1000 Growth Index (IWF). Current top holdings: Apple (AAPL) and Transocean (RIG). .
- The value fund's benchmark is the Russell 1000 Value Index (IWD). Current top holdings: Illinois Tool Works (ITW) and Bank of America (BAC). .
- The small cap fund's benchmark is the Russell 2000 Small Cap Index (RUT). Current top holdings: Trimble Navigation (TRMB) and Washington Group International (WNG).
- The fixed income fund's benchmark is the Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMX).
"AYR was originally purchased at $34.71 at the end of April 2007. We
stoppedout of the stock at $30.00 on August 6. Like the rest of the market, the stock price was hurt by the overall negativemarket sentiment. Since school was not in session on August 6, it was difficult to get the portfolio managers together to evaluate whether or not to stay in the stock."
"The best way to handle a group-run fund is to put in a stable governance structure that allows for challenges without concern for corporate politics and a democratic voting structure to obtain the 'wisdom of the masses' effect -- while maintaining a high level of diligent talent."