University of Southern California

USC Marshall Undergraduates Outperform S&P 500
Undergraduate Student Investment Fund Beats Odds and Results of World's More Experienced Investment Groups
April 24, 2009 • by News at Marshall

For the past year, 12 USC Marshall School of Business undergraduates have been managing an investment fund. Unlike most student investment projects, which are based on theoretical money, the Undergraduate Student Investment Fund (USIF) at USC had real stakes. From April 1, 2008, to March 31, 2009, the students managed about $300,000 of the university endowment. At the end of the year, the USIF beat the odds and the results of some of the most experienced investment groups in the world, outperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500, by almost 5 percent.

On April 22, the Marshall students will meet at USC to discuss the results of the year and what the experience meant to them. For Ryan Tunnell, a USC senior who was an integral player in the investment firm that the students created, the experience "has redefined what it means for students to be educated about investment management."

"Student managers learned about investment theory in the classroom and concurrently assumed the duties of an investment management company," said Tunnell. "Our duties were delegated to operational groups, which included trade execution, operations and compliance, marketing, fund completion, and fund accounting."

The meeting will include comments from Robert L. Rodriguez, CEO of First Pacific Advisors, LLC. Rodriguez, who was named in April 2008 by Money Magazine as "the best fund manager of our time," is one of the principal donors to the USIF. USC professor and former SEC chief economist Larry Harris, who advised the students, will also talk about the challenges and successes of the year.

The USIF annual meeting will take place at Popovich Hall, Room 300 on the University Park Campus from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Ryan Tunnell at or (858) 354-6359.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.