SMIFC: SMIFC 2021 Conference Summary

SMIFC 2021

The 8th Annual Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC) Conference took place in Chicago at The Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown on Thursday/Friday, October 28/29, 2021.

Look for #SMIFC2021 on social media

We would like to thank everyone involved in making the SMIFC 2021 Conference the success it was; the organizers from Indiana State University, our speakers and sponsors who so graciously gave their support and off course the 160 faculty and students from the 27 colleges and universities who attended the conference. The event was as usual, interesting and informative with a variety of topics discussed by industry experts.

SMIFC2021 Conference

The Speakers

Lindsey PiegzaLindsey Piegza, Managing Director and Chief Economist with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company started the two-day event with an overview of the US economy and where it is heading. COVID heavily influenced in the forecasts affecting everything from employment rates and a return of industry to pre-COVID capacity.


Charles BobrinskoyCharles Bobrinskoy, Vice Chairman of Ariel Investments, gave an interesting discussion on Behavioral Finance Biases detailing such subjects as Confirmation Bias, Overconfidence, Loss Aversion and Intuition over Data effects. Do people trade based on their gut feelings or do they follow the data?


Christopher VincentChristopher Vincent, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CFA Society Chicago introduced the students to ESG investing. That is, the consideration of environmental, social, and governance factors in financial analysis. Once confined to a niche group of ethical or socially responsible investors, ESG is now an integral part of investment management for many.

Buff DormeierBuff Dormeier, Partner and Chief Technical Analyst at Kingsview Partners is an experienced financial analyst and a Volume Evangelist. He detailed the idea of an index-based risk overlay in order to build and preserve wealth. As he said, “We work in securities business. We call it security because wealth provides the security to fulfil one’s dreams and actualize our pursuits.”

Matt MoranMatt Moran, Head of Index Insights at the Cboe Options Institute was the final speaker on Friday, ending the conference with an overview of Cboe Volatility Index (VIX). He addressed and how COVID has affected the Consumer Price Index and money supply, which in turn affects the volatility of the S&P 500 Index.


Apart from industry presentations, there were plenty of opportunities for all attendees to engage with numerous industry professionals. Of special interest was the open-ended discussion on Portfolio Management with a panel made up of Jeff Kernagis, Senior Vice President, Northern Trust Asset Management; David Hemming, Head of Alternative ETF Portfolio Management, Invesco; Jeffrey Feldman, Head trader, Wolverine Trading and Thomas Digenan, Managing Director and Lead Equity Investment Specialist, UBS Global Asset Management.

The Competitions

The Poster Competition had a lot of entries and it was a difficult job for the judges to pick the best. Not only were the teams scored on the posters themselves but also on the team’s presentation to judges and visitors. The teams were also judged on their fund’s performance from January 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021 using the Sharpe Ratio, time weighted rate of return (TWRR) and their risk adjusted rate of return.

  • First Place - University of Tennessee at Martin - $1,000
  • Second Place - Indiana State University - $750
  • Third Place - Taylor University - $500

The CMT Association also provided copies of the CMT Curriculum provided by Wiley ($225 value) per recipient or access to the CMT Level I Course ($325 value) for all 3 winning schools. They also provided free annual membership to all winning students ($325 value).

The Portfolio Building Competition also had some very professional entries. This competition was an exercise of creating a long-term investment strategy and building an investment portfolio using fundamental analysis and technical analysis. It consisted of two parts. In the first part, teams of 1 to 3 students were asked to create a paper trading portfolio with $100,000 that can be invested in stocks. Each team created a portfolio of up to 10 stocks and wrote a 5–8 page paper describing their investment plan and analysis of economic, industrial, political, global and financial conditions, as well as their understanding and application of both fundamental analysis and technical analysis concepts. Teams were also evaluated on the selection, allocation, position sizing, and risk management of their portfolio. Competition judges include members of the CMT Association, CFA Society of Chicago, and Faculty from SMIFC member institutions. The winners were:

  • First Place - Hofstra University - $1,500
  • Second Place - Indiana State University - $1,000
  • Third Place - Indiana State University - $500

SMIFC2021 winning university teams - University of Tennessee, Martin and Hofstra University

The winning teams of the University of Tennessee at Martin and Hofstra University

Looking Forward

The CMT Association, in conjunction with SMIFC, will be offering an 8-week long Investment Challenge to start in January 2022. This competition is open to all CMT candidates and students from the CMT Academic Partner Program institute and SMIF Consortium member institutions. Details of that will published on the SMIFC website soon.

The SMIFC conference is an opportunity for faculty and especially the students of the various Student Managed Investment Funds (SMIF), whether it be organized as a class or a club, to come together, meet similar-minded students and to learn from each other as well as industry experts.

If you have a SMIF, or are thinking of starting one, then we look forward to seeing you at next year’s conference.

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The conference would not be possible without the help and support of our sponsors who this year were:

SMIFC2021 Sponsors


Press Releases

Indiana State University Newsroom Read a press release by the Indiana State University Newsroom
CMT Association Buff Dormeier is Chief Technical Analyst at Kingsview Partners and was a speaker at the conference. He wrote an article for the December issue of Technically Speaking, a monthly publication for CMT Association members. The CMT Association was one of the sponsors for the conference and have very kindly opened the article "CMT Association Targets Higher Education Initiatives" for public viewing.



There are more photos here

Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC)