USC – Marshall School of Business – EBITDAddies

What is your investment strategy? In simple terms describe your investment approach.

Our investment approach is employing a smart beta strategy for the SPDR sector ETFs. We believe the market is in a strong uptrend and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Thus, we employed mean-variance optimization techniques to determine the optimal allocation among the various SPDR sector ETFs. We reviewed optimal allocations for the trailing 3-month through 3-year period returns and created our current portfolio based upon those findings. In addition, we are employing a covered call strategy for those selected securities for income generation and slight risk mitigation.

What do you think about the markets now?

The markets are at an all-time high and show no signs of slowing down. It is slightly alarming at how rapid growth has been lately, and it is amazing how the market has been unperturbed by North Korea’s actions and the largest mass shooting in our country’s history. That being said, if Trump can get his tax reform bill approved by Congress, the market should continue to see further growth. It will also be interesting to see if we have a new Fed Chief in the coming months, but Trump would like to see interest rates stay low, which bodes well for the market.

What do you think will drive the markets in the near future?
As stated above, Trump’s tax reform bill and the potential new Fed Chief will be the primary drivers for the market in the near future. Next week is a big week for earnings, which will also drive markets in the near term as well.
Can you tell us more about the team members and what are their background? Include licenses, certifications and other credentials.
Owen Toolson is our captain and a second year MBA student. Before business school, he worked in audit at PWC, but he will be transitioning to investment banking at Wells Fargo. John Spieza previously worked in private equity. Mike Annunziata worked in commercial real estate right after college, and then joined the Navy and served for 7 years. Both John and Mike are in charge of trade execution. Danny Li worked in fixed income prior to school. Ben Salzman worked in audit at Deloitte right after undergrad, and then transitioned to financial planning & analysis at California Pizza Kitchen. Both Danny and Ben are in charge of portfolio management. Everyone on the team contributes to determining investment ideas.
What do you think about the Peeptrade University Challenge?
I think this is a fantastic opportunity for students to receive real-life investment management experience in a fun and competitive manner. This is a really neat concept, and I would love to hear in more depth about the strategies other teams are employing.

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