UT Team Outperforms Market in TVA Investment Challenge

KNOXVILLE—A team of University of Tennessee, Knoxville, students competing in the TVA Investment Challenge outperformed the market in 2011. The team’s portfolio provided a return of 3.0 percent, ahead of the 2.1 percent return of the S&P 500 and the combined performance of the twenty-five participating schools.

“The UT team is off to an excellent start,” said Darren Williams, faculty advisor to the UT team. “The students successfully achieved the first performance goal, which was to outperform the S&P 500 over a one-year period.”

UT joined the TVA Investment Challenge in 2011 after previously participating from 1998 to 2007. Including this year’s winnings, UT teams have won a total of $115,740.

Sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the TVA Investment Challenge is a unique, innovative partnership between TVA and twenty-five universities in its service area. Students actively manage TVA stock portfolios, each worth approximately $250,000. They design long-term investment strategies, place trades, and provide performance reports to TVA. Students are held to guidelines that are similar to TVA’s professional money managers.

Currently, there are UT eleven students that are researching stocks and managing the fund. The team includes Ben Aaron, Hunter Alley, Meagan Bass, Asher Begley, Jay Christensen, Davis Fry, Haley Merritt, Ann-Catherine Nave, Clay Scandlyn, Elbek Shofayziyev, and Charles Young.

“I am very grateful to be a part of this one-of-a-kind program because it has given me a way to take everything I have learned from financial textbooks and the typical undergraduate business classroom setting and engage that knowledge in a real-time, real-market scenario,” said Fry.

TVA created the program in 1998 to diversify the management of its Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Fund and give students in the Tennessee Valley experience in managing a stock portfolio. Program alumni are working at some of the leading investment firms in the country.

Current participating schools include: Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Austin Pea State University, Belmont University, Christian Brothers University, East Tennessee State University, Lipscomb University, Middle Tennessee State University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, Murray State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, Trevecca Nazarene University, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Kentucky, University of Memphis, Union University, University of Mississippi, University of North Alabama, UT Chattanooga, UT Martin, Vanderbilt University, Western Carolina University, and Western Kentucky University.


Cindy Raines (865-974-4359, craines1@utk.edu)

About University of Tennessee

Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN
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