“Stuart Investments helped me to look outside of the box and see how real financial data works and how different areas of finance are interconnected in the market. More importantly, this experience is one of the hottest topics during the job interviews I have had, as the employers are always interested in seeing the real qualifications I have demonstrated, other than a high GPA.”
—Oleksandra Babinchuk (M.S. Finance student), 2021-22 Stuart Investments Executive Director
About Stuart Investments
In 2006, the student-led Stuart Investments (SI) organization received $250,000 of Illinois Tech’s endowment to manage, invest, and reinvest for the benefit of the university. Since then, the fund’s portfolio has steadily outperformed its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index. Assets under management have now topped $1.3 million (as of June 2021), for an annualized return of 12.62%.
Stuart Investments is an independent entity and is not a student club sponsored by Illinois Tech or Stuart School of Business. The organization’s portfolio is overseen by the Stuart Investments Board, which is made up of finance professionals. Senior Lecturer of Finance Michael Rybak serves as faculty advisor for SI.
SI is led by three current students who serve as executive director, fund manager, and risk manager. Each year, SI recruits Illinois Tech students to the organization as sector leaders and sector analysts. Members are grouped into teams which are based on the sectors of the Global Industry Classification Standard of companies that have issued equity securities. Each team conducts research on equities and presents its recommendation to the other SI members. At the end of each semester, the faculty advisor, along with recommendations from the SI executive members, will select stocks to buy or sell.
“Participation in Stuart Investments allowed me to practice the knowledge and investment techniques learned in class. It improved my financial modeling and valuation analysis skills; my due diligence process advanced to a higher level. Furthermore, mentoring junior members and providing training sessions deepened my understanding of the subject matter.”
—Vitaliy Gnatenko (M.S. Finance student), 2021-22 Stuart Investments Fund Manager
Activities and Goals
Each semester, SI executive officers and the faculty advisor devote the first meetings to teach and train new members about fundamental analysis, valuation models, portfolio analysis and how to utilize the Bloomberg terminals in the Stuart Financial Markets Research Lab.
Portfolio Management and Equity Analysis
Following the training sessions, teams work on their sector’s portfolio and apply everything they learned to improve their portfolio. Executive officers are available to answer questions.
After weeks of portfolio analysis, equity research, and valuation, each team prepares its recommendation and presents it to the other SI members. All members, executive officers, and the faculty advisor apply their critical thinking and ask questions about the analysis. At the end, members vote on the recommendations.
Every day’s economic, financial, technological, political, and business news affects the way businesses run and how investors make decisions. The editorial board of Stuart Investments picks the most important news about each sector, condenses it into a periodic newsletter, and sends it to all SI members. These emails also include useful articles, links, and analyses from world-class financial sources.
The executive officers and faculty advisor invite guest speakers who are professional investment managers to share their experience with members. This is a great opportunity for members to learn from, and network with, industry experts.
Executive Officers in 2021-22
- Executive Director Oleksandra Babinchuk
- Fund Manager Vitaliy Gnatenko
- Risk Manager Aida Sanabria
For more information about Stuart Investments, contact Michael Rybak (firstname.lastname@example.org).