Alternative Term Project

If you aren’t doing so well in the stock market game by middle of the last scored month (November in Fall semester, or April in Spring semester,) you can choose to write the Term Paper instead. (Remember, your best monthly, or two-month, game performance will be scored for the class grade. See the Game page to learn how the game is scored.)

Please note that in this course only four students have ever chosen the term paper option, and only one paper changed the student’s score (but didn’t change their grade.) Consequently it is very unlikely you will ever have to worry about this option.

The alternative project is a written report project, in which you will undertake a detailed analysis of an investment portfolio. Your report must address and contain the following elements.

1. You must choose an investment objective, such as college fund, retirement account or bequest fund, (as examples) for your portfolio.

2. You then must construct a portfolio, containing assets to achieve the goal just established while providing adequate diversification. It must contain at least 4 different assets, including at least 2 publicly traded stocks. You can include mutual funds and index funds, or real assets, if you like.

3. You must justify the inclusion of each asset in the portfolio, against those not included, and relative to the other included. Eg, why individual stocks as opposed to index funds? Why technology and not pharmaceuticals? Why a greater proportion in money market funds than equity funds?

4. Each stock included in the portfolio must be researched using traditional fundamental analysis. You should provide evidence of this research.

5. If possible, a recent history of the portfolio performance should be constructed. The future performance of the portfolio, against industry standards such as the Dow or S&P500, should be projected and discussed.

The paper is due the last week of the semester. Although you should not be constrained by a page limit, I expect this report to be no shorter than 8 pages. (There will be tables and graphs, which take up pages!) You should email your paper to me as a PDF document.