For Brian Ross ’14, it seems that when recognition rains, it pours.
While attending the Global Asset Management Education Conference in New York City with members of the Applied Securities Analysis Program at Cal State Fullerton, Ross was intrigued when he found out about another investment conference scheduled in Ohio.
“I was really interested in attending, but I did not have the funds to go,” says Ross, an accounting and finance major. “So I decided to submit a video for the Next Great Stockpicker Competition.”
The competition is hosted by TheStreet.com, a digital financial media company providing business and financial news worldwide. To compete in the Next Great Stockpicker contest, entrants submitted a one-minute video analyzing a stock they believed would show the most gains in the coming year. Finalists were determined by the number of “likes” the videos received on TheStreet.com’s Facebook page.
The top five finalists won an all-expenses paid trip to Dayton, Ohio, to attend the annual Redefining Investment Strategy Education (RISE) Conference sponsored by the University of Dayton and the United Global Compact. Here, more than 150 universities and other academic institutions participate in the largest student investment conference in the world.
Ross’s investment pitch on the business-review company Yelp won him a trip to the conference and some high-profile exposure: While mingling at the RISE conference, Ross was approached by a producer at CNBC, who told him he enjoyed seeing his pitch on Yelp.
“I did not realize that I was going to be approached by CNBC,” says Ross. “Next thing I know, I was talking to CNBC reporter Dominic Chu on live television explaining my argument for Yelp as a great company to invest in.”
Ross also took advantage of the information provided at the conference. The presentation by keynote speaker Sandra Poanalto, Federal Reserve Bank president, spoke about her career with the Federal Reserve and the responsibilities of the bank which taught Ross about, “the large impact the Federal Reserve has on the economy and the large set of metrics they use to understand a complicated world.”
As for the stock competition, Ross learned, “Keeping ideas concise and simple is important when explaining them. I learned this especially from my CNBC spot where I had two minutes to give a summary of why I liked the company. Overall I became a better investor through attending R.I.S.E. as well as being on CNBC.”
Jim Cramer, founder of TheStreet.com and chief markets commentator, announced the winner of the overall competition, and although Ross did not win the top spot, his recognition as a stock analyst blossomed.
“From a Personal Perspective, the conference really opened my mind to a possible career in investments. I have always done it on the side, being taught by my dad, but I never realized the career opportunities it could present. I was very surprised to hear about the number of people who saw me on CNBC, and I am glad I could represent Cal State Fullerton in a positive light,” says Ross.