Category: APMP

APMP Scores Big… Twice!

The Applied Portfolio Management Program is one of the most unique student organizations on campus.  Every year, two teams each comprised of six students are selected to create stock market portfolios using $1.3 million of real money.  These students have the opportunity to use one of two Bloomberg Terminals in the Upper Peninsula, right in their very own LSGI Trading Lab.

Senior APMP team member, Mason McGrew, utilizes the Bloomberg Terminal in the School of Business and Economics

APMP has always been considered successful, but 2013 was a banner year for the team.  Director Dean Johnson described a return of 29.66%, with a standard deviation (aka risk) of around 1.7%.  Senior Brett Ludwig reminisced about the teams’ investments in 2013, stating, “It was really cool to watch the stocks go up, and tough at times not to sell others.”  With a portfolio that grew in one year from $397,000 to $515,000, the Gold Team recently participated in two global investment competitions.  It may come as no surprise that they walked away with not one, but two victories.

After APMP member Heath Johnson appeared on the Market Site display in Times Square and closed the NASDAQ on Wednesday, March 19, it was announced that the team had won the 2014 Quinnipiac G.A.M.E. IV Forum investment competition in the value category.  This achievement was particularly impressive considering that there were over 1,000 participants from 118 colleges and universities!

Most recently at the 14th Annual Redefining Investment Strategy Education (RISE) competition on March 28 at the University of Dayton in Ohio, team members Ludwig, Nathan Sturos, and Judy Isaacson were on hand to snag the first place title of Gold Portfolio in the Value Investment Style category.

Competing at RISE in Dayton was the icing on the cake after APMP’s successful year.  Their dedication won them the ultimate Gold Portfolio, and Sturos remarked, “It was a humbling experience to be recognized at such a distinguished conference.”  Isaacson was proud of her team and grateful for the “great opportunity to see many different perspectives on the world of finance… and it was a fun experience!”

Are you a current student interested in joining a future APMP team?  The APMP application is available online!  Interested in becoming a student in the School of Business and Economics?  Apply for free today!

Johnson Conquers NASDAQ

Members from the Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) were in New York City last week for Quinnipiac University’s Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) IV Forum, co-sponsored by NASDAQ OMX.  The event allowed 1,000+ participants from 118 colleges/universities a chance to network while gaining insight into the opportunities and challenges experienced by investment professionals.

Photo courtesy of Heath Johnson
Photo courtesy of Heath Johnson

Current SBE students and members of APMP, Heath Johnson and Claire Johnson, were on site at G.A.M.E. for the student-managed portfolio competition, which is open to students nationwide who have successfully managed their own actual portfolios.  Dr. Dean Johnson, Founding Director of the Applied Portfolio Management Program, stated, “By providing the opportunity to attend this investment conference in NYC, APMP continues to offer Tech students with direct educational experiences.”

Photo courtesy of Heath Johnson

Not only did current SBE student Heath Johnson gain the educational experience of competing at G.A.M.E., he was also able to close the NASDAQ and appeared on the NASDAQ Market Site display in Times Square!  Heath remarked, “Attending an investment conference with current Wall Street professionals and participating in the NASDAQ closing ceremony was a great experience.  Having my photo up on the NASDAQ Market Site in Times Square was a motivating taste of where my business education could take me.”

Would you like to see where your business education could take you?  Apply today to begin your undergraduate studies at Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics!

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Meets with Students

President Kocherlakota spoke to APMP students about monetary policy and it's ability to influence and prices in the US economy.

Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, spoke to students in Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics about monetary policy and its ability to influence employment and prices in the US economy.

Kocherlakota’s district is the second largest geographically and least populated, he said, stretching from Montana to the Upper Peninsula. As one of twelve districts, he is part of regular meetings of the Federal Reserve open market committee where Ben Bernanke, chair of the committee and Federal Reserve Board, presides.

The representatives of each Federal Reserve District Bank share information about their districts and eventually produce policy. “It’s pretty structured,” he said “And that’s good; it’s not a debate.”

The Federal Reserve is focused on two main macroeconomic variables in their policy deliberations according to Kocherlakota. Price stability–keeping inflation at 2 percent or lower–and reducing unemployment to at least 6.5 percent. They use the federal funds interest rate as the control variable to achieve these two goals.

The unemployment rate is currently at 7.3 percent, and the federal funds interest rate is targeted at 0.25 percent. He does not see that interest rate changing soon.

Questions from the students and others focused on current strategies, and the recession of 2008 seemed to be part of nearly every answer. Kocherlakota stressed that he was answering for himself, and it was not to be taken as official Federal Reserve Bank responses.

When asked about following commodities like oil and gold, Kocherlakota said the Federal Reserve does follow commodity prices.

“Oil can be seen as putting pressure on inflation,” he said. “And it’s hard to predict oil prices. In 2008, oil prices went sky high the first part of the year, but when they collapsed, as they usually do, inflation came down, too.”

The price of gold went up in 2008, due to people’s fear of what to do with their money, he said.

“The Dow Jones was down to 6,000 then,” he said. “When gold dropped in price recently, it meant people were more confident, less fearful than in 2008.”

Kocherlakota also said that the fed can control the federal funds interest rate, but other rates are based on the demands for goods today versus goods in the future. US Treasury securities are still in demand because of their low risk.

How does the global market inflation affect your decision-making, he was asked.

“It’s another factor for us to think about, that could influence our performance, but we are not like New Zealand where it’s all they think about. The US is a relatively closed economy.”

And does he think about the fiscal health of his own district over that of the US?

“We all provide information about our districts, but we make policy for the country,” he said. “Officially, Kansas City, San Francisco and Minneapolis get one vote to represent all three. We vote on national matters.”

As for his district’s economy?

“It’s doing well, but I don’t think the fed can take credit,” Kocherlakota said. “The Upper Peninsula faces challenges that are historical in nature. Montana and Minnesota have unemployment around 5 percent. North Dakota has the oil boom and is around 3 percent. They can’t find people to work in McDonalds! South Dakota is below 4 percent and a bit of a mystery. The labor market could actually be stronger, the economy could be stronger. There are still some 2008 effects.”

This story was oringally posted in Tech Today by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor, for Michigan Technological University’s University Marketing and Communication.

Trethewey Honored by Michigan Tech

School of Business and Economics alumni James Trethewey was selected as the recipient for the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award.

HOUGHTON, MI (08/07/2013)(readMedia)– James Trethewey, an Ironwood native, was recently honored at the Michigan Technological University Alumni Reunion. Trethewey, a 1967 alumnus in business administration, received the Distinguished Alumni Award, presented to alumni “who have made outstanding contributions both in their careers and to Michigan Tech over a number of years.”

Trethewey began his career with Copper Range and soon joined Cleveland-Cliffs (now Cliffs Resources), advancing through management positions over the years. From Ishpeming to Ontario to Cleveland, he worked in positions of increasing responsibility and became vice president-controller and chief accounting officer. Along the way, he also earned his MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College.

In his final years with Cliffs, Trethewey was senior vice president of business development and worked with the senior corporate team in reshaping the company, adding international experience to his career. He was a member of the American Mining Association, the Society of Mining Engineers, and other organizations, retiring in 2007.

For Michigan Tech, he’s been on the Advisory Board for the School of Business and Economics since 1994 and has served as a trustee for the Michigan Tech Fund. He and his wife have funded the James and Dolores Trethewey Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) Professorship, given to APMP creator Dean Johnson, and have supported students through scholarships.

Since his retirement from Cliffs, Trethewey has remained active in social, business, and industry activities. He serves on the board of two charities, participates as a member and CEO of the limited partnership DJD Investments, and is a board member of Steel Dynamics Inc., a major US steel producer, where he also serves as chairman of the Audit Committee.

Michigan Technological University ( is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

This story was written by Dennis Walikainen from Michigan Technological University’s University Marketing and Communications.

APMP Students Attend Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Event

Michael Morrison and Austin Kuttruff at the Century Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Applied Portfolio Management Program members, Michael Morrison and Austin Kuttruff, gathered with thousands of stakeholders at the Century Center in Omaha, Nebraska over the weekend for the Annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Event. The crowd in attendance was seeking an intimate exposure to Warren Buffet who is widely considered the most successful investor in the 20th century.

Michael said that one of the biggest takeaways from listening to Buffett was “you have to love something to do well at it.” Being Finance majors, the two Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics students jumped at the opportunity to attend the shareholder event and learned about the passion that is required to be successful. The opportunity to meet Warren Buffett, his company, and its subsidiaries is highly coveted in the world of finance. Their itinerary included watching a movie about Buffett’s company, and the opportunity to ask him questions in an open forum.

Given the Warren Buffet is 82 years old, some shareholders had concerns about the future of Berkshire after he eventually steps away. However, Buffett addressed these concerns with confidence in his company and the people who work there, saying:

The priority is that all of us continue to zealously guard Berkshire’s reputation. We can’t be perfect but we can try to be. As I’ve said in these memos for more than 25 years: We can afford to lose money – even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation – even a shred of reputation.

Buffet told an Omaha news crew that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon, but there is a solid plan for when he does eventually step down. The people who will continue his legacy know the steps they must take to continue to be successful.

Overall, the trip was a great learning experience for the two students which was financially supported by Joe Dancy and the LSGI Advisors Inc.