Friday, July 2, 2010

1, 2, 3, Teamwork!

Presentations for our second team assignments happened today. When Andrew's team of 4 volunteered to go first, you can almost hear 20 phew's echoing throughout the room! Their group definitely took a weight off everyone's shoulders, allowing them a 3-day weekend to prepare themselves better.

For our second assignment, we were asked to put together individual equity portfolios and combine them together to form one solid group PowerPoint presentation. First, each member of the team selects a foreign stock and then a mutual fund to cover. I chose Fiat Group for my stock and UniCredit for my mutual fund, and they are both linked to Italy (my selected country). With that selected, we examined three aspects: (1) external environment which means economic, social, political and technical views, (2) internal strengths and weaknesses, and (3) the overall financial performance.

After that section is completed, the team should establish an objective together and form a portfolio by assigning weights to the selected stocks and mutual funds, ultimately estimating the portfolio's performance. A team could choose to have a one-week horizon or a one year horizon - all depends on your choice. Finally, the team should adjust the weights to improve the overall performance. Re-estimate the portfolio performance.

This three-part project is a bit intimidating on first approach. Coming from a completely blank background of economics, I wasn't sure which stock or mutual fund to choose. I didn't have a starting point aside from the fact that it should be from Italy. All I wanted to do was choose a relevant and relatively popular stock and mutual fund. Andrew actually recommended Fiat Group to me when we had a chat while walking to lunch one day. Being a car junkie that he is, he recommended this Italian automobile company to me. Immediately after lunch, I went online and searched it up to find that this was an interesting stock to select! For my mutual fund, I chose that through web browsing.

Before the presentation was due, I set up to meet with our class teacher assistant, Josie Chen. She is from Taiwan and is currently studying for her PhD in Economics. How impressive is that? We met at the Rockefeller Library aka The Rock so that she could look over my PowerPoint presentation and make any comments and suggestions. She mentioned that it was her first year being a TA, so she wasn't 110% sure what exactly Professor Li expects from us. Nonetheless, she reassured me that my presentation was on track and my stock spreadsheet was headed in the right direction.

I also let her know that my group isn't the brightest and best, and that they need to work on their time management a little better. She completely understood me but reassured me that my part of the project is complete. The feeling of reassurance is definitely crucial when you are standing before your peers. Besides working on the actual project, it was nice working with an actual Brown student who has a desire to work in the Business/Economics industry in the near future. Most importantly, it was awesome to know that she will be helping Professor Li write the evaluation.


  1. Stephanie,

    I'm very impressed with the thoroughness of the way you're operating. Well done, Stephanie.

    I'm also impressed with the way you reached out to your TA to tap into her knowledge and experience.

    I'm curious, though, how you picked UniCredit. It's not a company that just rolls off of your tongue when you think about investment funds.

  2. Don,

    I totally agree with you- it certainly did not roll off my tongue. My TA and professor told us to search around, and thus I found UniCredit.