Amrhein Club's Small Cap Fund Scores Best Return in National Competition

The Small Cap Fund managed by two Moravian College students, members of the College’s Amrhein Investment Club, had the best risk-adjusted performance among the college and university clubs competing at the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (GAME) forum, held March 31-April 2 in Hamden, Conn. The event was attended by an international group of approximately 900 students and faculty members representing nearly 50 institutions of higher education, as well as leaders from the nation’s financial services industry.

Moravian’s Amrhein Small Cap Fund—managed by Sharad KC ’11 and Ekaterina Ponomareva ’11—gained 45 percent in 2010, according to Linda Ravelle, associate professor of economics and business and the club’s advisor. The GAME forum portfolio competition adjusts performance for risk associated with the portfolio stocks; Moravian was named the winner in the undergraduate growth fund category at an awards dinner held April 1.

“One reason our fund won was that we held Netflix last year—that was huge,” commented Professor Ravelle, who has advised the club for 21 years. “But another very big reason for our students’ success is that they use old-fashioned research. They invest in what they are familiar with—stocks like Netflix, Under Armour—and they tend to do very well because of that. Amrhein hasn’t changed the way they do things much in its 49 years of existence. We still rely on research—what does the company do, what is their product, and do we like their financials.”

Club members also presented an informational poster at the Quinippiac conference explaining the club’s history and investment strategy. One of the oldest student investment clubs in the country, Moravian’s Amrhein Investment Club began in 1962 with a $20,000 gift from Mr. and Mrs. Irving Amrhein. Since then, the fund has grown to more than $1.5 million in real money, all managed entirely by the club’s student members. The club maintains four brokerage accounts: growth, balanced, income, and small cap. “One of the things that fascinated attendees was that all of our income goes back to the College to support the club and provide scholarships—it is not reinvested,” said Ravelle.

The 30-member Amrhein club is open to students of all majors. “I believe this really sets us apart from other student investment clubs,” said John Diener, Amrhein Club president and a business management major with concentration in marketing. “Our diversity allows us to put a variety of ideas into play, which helps us make important decisions.” Club members gain knowledge of investment theory and practice, and take an active role in investment analysis and decision making as they become familiar with American and international companies.