Treasury Management Association of Chicago (TMAC) Student Managed Portfolio

Join the Student Managed Portfolio and gain real-world experience in investments and portfolio management. This program receives support from the NIU Foundation.


  • Student Managed Portfolio is a competitive-entry class that has up to 12 student analysts each semester.
  • Students act as fiduciaries and build a portfolio of equity investments using real money.
  • Analysts meet weekly to discuss current events, portfolio performance and risk, macroeconomic indicators, industry analysis, and company benchmarking data. Stock buy/sell recommendations are made after the consideration of these factors, as well as relative valuation techniques, discounted cash flow, technical analysis and ESG concerns.
  • No prior investing experience is required.
  • Must successfully complete FINA 330, 340 and 350 the semester prior to enrollment in this course.
  • Fill out an application form with an attached essay by the due date.
  • Must be in academic good standing.

This course may be repeated twice by enrolling in FINA 445 and then FINA 446.

The fund invests in U.S. companies and American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) with market capitalizations of $1 billion or more. The fund is 100 percent equity and is value style. Current holdings are closely monitored and ratios are compared to the industry averages on a weekly basis. At any given time, the fund has between 30-40 holdings.

Investment Procedures

  • As a student analyst, you will follow a top-down approach, starting with an economic forecast.
  • You will then perform an industry analysis and company analysis.
  • Each company is thoroughly analyzed by comparing the following ratios to industry averages: price/earnings, price to sales, price to book, price to cash flow, price earnings growth, net profit margin, EPS growth, return on assets and return on equity. Emphasis is placed on low P/E, low P/B and high dividend yields.
  • As value investors, you will look for mispricing in the market with the anticipation of a market correction.
  • You will research current company news, earnings reports, analyst ratings and the price of the stock relative to its 52-week high.
  • Finally, you will vote on whether or not to purchase the stock.

As a student analyst, you will improve your research skills by utilizing Bloomberg Professional and Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) along with publicly available data from sources such as Yahoo Finance for valuation purposes.

Written Investment Policy

What courses are required to participate in the student managed portfolio?

You must successfully complete the finance core (FINA 330, 340, 350). Keep in mind that although your performance in all classes is taken into consideration, performance in FINA 340 is weighted more heavily.

How do I become part of the student managed portfolio class?

You will need to fill out an application form. Paper copies are also available in the finance department. For further information, please contact the advisor, Gina Nicolosi, Ph.D., at 815-753-6391 or gnicolos@niu.edu.

How often does the class meet?

The class meets twice a week (once a week over the summer), but you are also expected to meet with your fellow analysts outside of class.

How much work will I have to do?

It varies from week to week, but plan on spending your time doing research, working on projects and helping update the SMP webpage. Further, outside of the regular class meetings, you are expected to periodically participate in external presentations, observe actual executive committee meetings, travel to the offices of local alumni for site visits, and participate in College of Business recruiting events, such as open houses and Welcome Days.

What types of investments does the student managed portfolio make?

We are allowed to invest in large-cap equities (over $1 billion) and equity mutual funds.

How much money does the student managed portfolio manage?

For the most current value, please see the Portfolio Holdings.


Student Managed Portfolio Application

Current Newsletter

Annual Report

Department Resources

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