Fall Semester PRISM Update

KYLE SHAFFER
JONATHAN LOGAN
Business Correspondents


The University of Scranton Portfolio of Responsible Investments under Student Management (PRISM) Group has been extremely busy throughout the semester thus far. This has been the most active group of members that PRISM has seen in years. We have seen numerous students contributing to stock pitches and sharing their insights on the economy. PRISM has also been working on forming a stronger connection with the alumni network, having several alumni either come down to speak in person or schedule a conference call so they can evaluate our portfolio and talk about transitioning into the work world.

Courtesy of SigFig.com
THE PRISM fund uses a tracking website called SigFig.com. It provides in depth analytics of the portfolio, stocks the club finds interesting and other macro economic variables. This graph shows PRISM’s returns as compared to the S&P 500, a popular index for the overall market.

The portfolio reached a significant milestone this year. In September we achieved the long sought-after goal of exceeding $500,000 in value.  The portfolio was valued over $500,000 on September 15 for the first time when it finished the day at $500,062. Over the past three months our portfolio has grown by over $22,000 reaching a high of $520,022 on October 30. We have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past year by 5.1 percent with PRISM’s holdings growing an astonishing 28.7 percent while the S&P 500 only grew 23.6 percent. The top performing investments contributing to the portfolio’s success over the past year are NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Visa growing 205.35 percent, 25.22 percent and 37.79 percent respectively. Even with the outstanding returns we have limited the potential risk of our portfolio which has a current beta of .8, making our portfolio 17.2 percent less volatile than the S&P 500. PRISM’s current holding allocation is broken down into 84.78 percent equities, 1.99 percent in fixed income securities, 3.57 percent in REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust), and 8.29 percent cash.

In addition to seeing success in the portfolio, The PRISM Group leaders have set up many events with past PRISM members and Scranton alumni. So far this semester the portfolio has had the pleasure of speaking with former portfolio managers Joseph Muoio, Brian Lopes and Jacob Kanavy as well as Cryptocurrency enthusiast Brian Flynn. Each alumni provided the group with their insightful input on the current state of the market, expectations of the future performance of the market, evaluations of our current holdings and recommendations for our asset allocation. They also provided the group with a plethora of information regarding not only their experience in transitioning from college into their careers but how students can prepare and network to give them a better chance of landing their dream job. This strengthening connection between students and alumni is due in part to the creation of the LinkedIn group and company page.

The PRISM Group strives to continue success and provide our members with an educational experience by looking into various ways we can allocate the portfolio’s assets. The PRISM group is constantly trying to evolve and move in new directions in order to stay up to date with the ever-changing financial world. We encourage students of all majors to take advantage of the opportunities provided by our club and we are enthusiastic about what the future has in store.

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