Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Students collaborating in a study lounge.

Student Managed Investment Fund

The NAU Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) was founded in 2000 with an initial fund from the NAU Foundation of $500,000. The fund was created to allow students to apply what they have learned in their educational career by investing money in the stock market. This is a hands-on learning experience, where students are required to perform investment research and manage a portfolio in excess of $1.88 Million.

The first class, FIN 441, is focused on the equity portion of the portfolio, and the second class, FIN 442, is focused on the fixed income portion. The research is performed by sector teams. Team leads are assigned for each sector to oversee group members’ research. Team leads are chosen based on knowledge, effort, and previous participation in the class.

Each team does extensive research on their stocks and bonds and then presents this research to the class. The primary tool being used is Bloomberg. The class votes on whether to implement the recommendation after the presentation takes place. If the class approves the recommendation, the professors then execute the trade. At the end of each semester, a group of students presents portfolio information to our client, The Northern Arizona University Foundation. This presentation includes information on year-to-date performance, buys and sells, overall performance, and future outlook.

SMIF members

Mission statement

We recognize the opportunity to enhance our education in finance through active portfolio management and security analysis on behalf of the NAU Foundation.

We strive to earn a risk-adjusted rate of return exceeding our benchmarks outlined in the Investment Policy Statement while adhering to the ethical standards maintained by the CFA Institute.

Awards and recognition

  • CFA Global Investment Research Challenge 2011: first place in Arizona/Nevada division
  • Quinnipiac University GAME conference 2011: first place in undergraduate equity growth division
  • University of Dayton RISE conference 2010: fourth place in undergraduate equity growth division
  • University of Dayton RISE conference 2008: fourth place in undergraduate equity growth division
  • University of Dayton RISE conference 2005: first place in equity undergraduate growth division
  • University of Dayton RISE conference 2004: second place in undergraduate equity growth division
  • University of Dayton RISE conference 2003: first place in undergraduate equity growth division
  • University of Dayton RISE conference 2002: third place in undergraduate equity growth division

SMIF faculty

David Allen

David Allen is an Associate Professor at Northern Arizona University, where he has been employed since 1988. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where he earned a B.S.B.A. in finance (1982), an M.B.A. with a finance emphasis (1983), and a PhD in finance (1988). His PhD dissertation was one of ten finalists in the 19th Annual National Tax Association – Tax Institute of America Dissertation Awards Program. His research focuses on investments, and has been published in the Journal of Finance, Financial Management, Financial Analysts Journal, and the Journal of Financial Education, among others.

He has twice been named Teacher of the Year at The W. A. Franke College of Business (2002, 2007). He is the founder of, and faculty advisor to, the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF). SMIF has won numerous awards in international competitions, as well as outperforming its benchmark by a wide margin in its twelve years of operation.

Matthew J. Haertzen, CFA

Mr. Haertzen is a senior lecturer of finance for Northern Arizona University. He also is a founder of Four Peaks Wealth Management, a private investment firm based in Flagstaff, Arizona. Mr. Haertzen also serves on the board of Georgia Biofuels, LLC a private firm in the wood pellet production business.

Mr. Haertzen was previously a consultant for Cogent Partners, a private equity-focused investment bank that serves as the manager for the $200 million Cambium Global Timberland Fund.  Prior to that, Mr. Haertzen served as CIO for the state of Idaho’s Endowment Fund Investment Board, responsible for managing $850 million in financial assets. While in this role, he also served as the investment representative providing input on risk, return, and portfolio structure for the $2 billion Idaho real asset portfolio comprised primarily of timberland holdings.

Mr. Haertzen holds an MBA in finance and strategic management from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, and a BA in economics and business from the University of Minnesota, Morris. He has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Financial Statements

Students studying in class.

Learn more about the Students Managed Investment Fund’s financial statements.