SMIFC: 2018 SMIFC Conference Pitch Competition

The Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC) is pleased to announce a student pitch competition hosted by Kaplan in conjunction with our 6th annual conference October 4th and 5th in Chicago.

New this year, we were inviting schools to participate in a pitch competition that included a 5-page paper with maximum 5-pages of attachments or a 7-minute YouTube video. All the entries were of very high quality and there were just four points separating the top three papers. It was a difficult choice for the CFA panel that judged the papers but the winners were declared as:

1st Place - University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire - Team: Brock Schauer, Ben Zielinski, and Kyle Kolb - View Paper
2nd Place - Truman State University - Team: Daniel D’Nagy and Ben Wingo - View Paper
3rd Place - Hofstra University - Team: Thomas Maciura, Suveer Seemangal, and Emalee Jimenez - View Paper

The winners of the video competition were decided by vote by the attendees. The winners of that competition were:

1st Place - University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire - Team: Brock Schauer, Ben Zielinski, and Kyle Kolb - View Video
2nd Place - University of Nebraska-Kearney -  Team:Tristan Crook, Adam Starr and Madisson Whalen View Video
3rd Place - Indiana State University - Team: Carlos Garcia, Jr., Devan Lunceford, Corey Maxedon and Tyler Thies - View Video

We would like to thank the CFA panel who scored the papers and offered their insights to them:

John Brick, CFA Associate Portfolio Manager at Altman Advisors
Molly Carl, CFA Senior Portfolio Manager at Northern Trust
Shannon Curley, CFA  CEO CFA Society of Chicago
Mike Drucker, CFA Executive Director of Business Development and Investments Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Student teams are invited to represent their university in the competition. Teams may participate in a number of ways. The first is a 7-minute (maximum) YouTube video describing the team’s analysis and recommendations for the subject company. The second way to compete is via a written paper. Written papers should be no more than 5 pages of narrative with no more than 5 pages of exhibits (a maximum of 10 pages total). Teams are invited to participate in both the video and written portions of the pitch competition. Awards will be given for 1st through 3rd place video pitches and also for the best paper.

SMIFC member schools may have more than one team represented in the competition. Non-member SMIF schools are invited to participate as well but will be limited to one student team participating in each the video or paper portions of the competition.

Schools that submit to either the video or paper competitions should plan to have at least one member of the team present at the conference. Preferably all team members will attend. The ideal team composition is 3 students. Teams of 2, 3, or 4 students will be eligible. Teams of less than 2 students or more than 4 students are ineligible for the competition.


Videos should be submitted no later than 5pm Eastern, September 21, 2018. Teams should include a brief email with their video submission identifying their school affiliation and the team member’s names. There should be no identification of school affiliation or team member’s names in the video itself. To submit a video, please contact who will provide a URL to which you may upload your video; alternatively you may upload your video to a hosting service such as Youtube or Vimeo and provide him with the video URL

Papers should be submitted to no later than 5pm Eastern, September 21, 2018. Two copies of the paper should be submitted. One copy should have school affiliation and team member’s names. The second copy should omit any identifying information; this copy will be forwarded to reviewers for grading. Papers should be submitted to

All entries, both video and paper submissions, will be recognized at the banquet Thursday, October  4th., 2018. The winning paper will be announced and the top 5 videos will be shown during the banquet. The judging for the top 3 videos will be “People’s Choice”.  Each table will have will have a score sheet and the results will be tallied and announced during the banquet.

The decisions of the judges, reviewers, and SMIFC leadership shall be final and not contestable. Every effort shall be made to insure blind and impartial review of all submissions.

Awards (Courtesy of Kaplan)

All student participants entitled to preferred pricing through conference attendance. Kaplan will build a dedicated portal for participants to access which will house a variety of offerings to address the diverse needs of students (CFA, FRM, CAIA, CFP education/exam prep review, SIE/Securities licensing, Insurance licensing)

Pitch competition winners (3 - 4 students) would each receive a scholarship for Kaplan Schweser's Premium Online Instruction Package (extended expiration of two years). Value is $1,099 per recipient. 

Package details:

Pitch competition teams #2 and #3 (4 -8 total students) would each receive a SchweserNotes Package. Value is $379 per recipient. 

Paper competition winners (2-4) students would each receive a SchweserNotes Package. Value is $379 per recipient. 

Competition Project: Analyzing the Performance of a Firm

This project is a financial analysis exercise of the subject company Apple, Inc. (ticker: AAPL). Financial ratios, valuation models and other statistics and variables can be used in the analysis. Macroeconomic Industry, and company specific data that are necessary to complete the analysis can be obtained from the following resources:

Macroeconomic and industry data

Federal Reserve Beige Book and Fred database
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Consumer Board website
World Bank
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
PWC estimates of future outlook
Deloitte estimates of future outlook

Company-specific data

Yahoo Finance
Google Finance
Company website


Use the techniques and tools you studied in your Finance classes to address the following questions and topics:

  • What special business niches has AAPL developed over time?
  • How well diversified is AAPL in terms of exposure to regional national, and international economic problems?
  • Is the firm's asset portfolio heavily invested in assets that are likely to be affected by sharp regional, national or international economic, financial or political, changes?
  • What are the financial strengths and weaknesses of Apple? Use financial ratios to answer this question.
  • How well have the stockholders of AAPL faired over the last three to five years? Compare AAPL's stock performance to the Dow Jones Industrial Average or other market index and to its peers
  • What is the intrinsic value (target price) of AAPL’s stock relative to its market value? Is the stock overvalued or undervalued? 
  • Would you recommend purchasing the stock?

Evaluation Rubric

Video Criterion:

Financial Analysis (20%)
Valuation (20%)
Presentation (30%)
Team Involvement (20%)
Materials (10%)

Paper Criterion:

Business Description (10%)
Industry Overview and Competitive Positioning (20%)
Investment Summary (10%)
Valuation (30%)
Financial Analysis (15%)
Recommendation (5%)
Mechanical Construction (10%)


We gratefully acknowledge Kaplan for providing the awards for the winning projects.


Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC)