On February 25, 2014, School of Business and economic students Aimal Arsalla, Inderbir Bal, Cody Becker, Katherine Hart, and Bekka Kitila presented their "buy" recommendation for Virginia owned Lumber Liquidators, Inc. in front of a panel of judges and others as finalists in this year's CFA Virginia Investment Research Challenge at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Virginia.
Faculty advisor, Shelly Canterbury, commented on this year's competition, "I believe that the students found the program a rewarding experience and I appreciate the excellent efforts in executing a well prepared research report and oral presentation. Competitions like these give them a real-world experience."
The students' access to the Bloomberg terminals, installed by the School of Business in October 2011, allowed them to conduct extensive research and analysis that would have otherwise been unavailable in the competition. Additional resources, such as S&P Capital IQ and FactSet were provided by the CFA Institute's sponsors.
Mason Investment Club members and several School of Business faculty supported Mason's team by providing feedback during the team's practice presentations.
The CFA Virginia Investment Research Challenge is a stock research and analysis competition modeled after a program begun by the New York Society of Securities Analysts (NYSSA) nine years ago. It has now become an international competition sponsored by the CFA Institute.
Open to both undergraduate and graduate students, each university has a team of 3 – 5 students, a faculty advisor, and a mentor who is a member of CFA Virginia. George Mason students, in addition to eight other university teams, analyzed Lumber Liquidators, Inc., and wrote an 8 – 10 page initiation report, which was graded by a team of fifteen graders.
While Mason's team did not win the regional competition this year, Canterbury is looking forward to mentoring a new team in next year's competition. The winning team, William and Mary, will advance to the North American regional competition, and winners of the North American competition will advance to the international global finale in Singapore later in the spring.