UM Business Investment Program Offers Big Returns

Students from the UM College of Business received over $2,800 from D.A. Davidson for their success in the firm’s Student Investment Program.

MISSOULA – Students from the University of Montana College of Business received over $2,800 from D.A. Davidson for their success in the firm’s Student Investment Program, which provides teams at 21 universities each with $50,000 to invest in the stock market.

The investment program is designed to provide hands-on experience in finance, stock research, portfolio management and investment topics. For many students it’s their first experience investing real money, and the program lets them manage a diversified investment portfolio under the guidance of a financial adviser and the class professor for a semester.

At UM students analyze and discuss investment opportunities and implement their decisions as part of a College of Business course – $50,000 Portfolio – taught by Brad Cederberg, a 2006 UM College of Business graduate and vice president and financial adviser at D.A. Davidson in Missoula. Not only do students learn the skills and techniques of investing, the course also encourages collaboration, teamwork and communication among students.

The top-performing teams receive a check for their college, earning half of any portfolio gains above 5%. This year, UM finished 13th, earning $2,894 for its student-run portfolio performance. In 2017, UM won the Fred Dickson Memorial Award for having the top-earning program. Five UM business students then were invited to attend the Davidson Institute event.

Montana-based D.A. Davidson provides $1.05 million each year for its investment program across 21 participating western and midwestern colleges. The company absorbs any losses on the student-run portfolios. Over the past 27 years, and including this year’s total scheduled payment of $91,771, D.A. Davidson has shared $834,125 with participating programs.

The Student Investment Program was started by UM alumnus Ian B. Davidson in 1985 at a lone university but quickly expanded it to include many throughout the state and region. Considered highly innovative at conception, the program has proved invaluable for students considering careers in finance.


Contact: Garrett Finke, UM College of Business director of marketing and communications, 406-243-4436,