Second-year students in the Investment Management Certificate Program have a unique opportunity to learn by doing — through active management of real-money portfolios.

The students work on around $10 million of investment assets and actively manage over $4.5 million in assets for internal portfolios. This immersion into a well-constructed, real-life experience tests their skills and trains them to deal with the opportunities and challenges involved in managing a portfolio.

The students construct an investment policy and portfolio objectives for three portfolios that they present to a group of professional investors that are their “clients” early in the school year. They have sole discretion for the internal portfolios, subject to discussions at two more demanding meetings with their sophisticated clients later in the year and “doing their homework” on securities. At the meetings, each portfolio team must present its philosophy and process, investment strategy, portfolio performance and risk, portfolio evolution, and analysis of a security that reflects its approach to investing.

See a sample of the professional level of our student presentations.

$4.5M in Portfolios under Active Management

Partnership with Elmbrook Humane Society Endowment Fund

Since 2014, students in the Investment Management Certificate Program (IMCP) have worked on projects for Elmbrook Humane Society (EBHS) for its approximately $5 million+ portfolio. This is valuable work for an entity that cares for and about both animals and people. Thus, students learn while doing a good deed for society. The portfolio includes equity mutual funds and ETFs, bond mutual funds and ETFs, and individual stocks. The first project involved work on an investment policy statement, and multiple times most years, students meet with EBHS’s investment committee (the committee makes the investment decisions) to discuss positions, performance, risks, opportunities, and issues. Graduate students are required to participate in this work, but all IMCP students are welcome to help.


Dr. G. Kevin Spellman, CFA
David O. Nicholas Director of Investment Management
Senior Lecturer, Finance
Lubar Hall S442