Students / Educators / Employers & Professionals

Please sign up below for more information about our programs for verified trading credentials

Professors and advisors enrolling students in the 2014-2015 Institutional Investor All America Student Analyst Rankings

Achieving recognition in the Institutional Investor as a member of the All-America Research Team is a widely sought after accolade in the financial services industry. We are offering students who are targeting the financial services industry for their careers a similar opportunity to distinguish themselves. Students who are competing will be invited to log into a cloud-based platform where they can make recommendations on a pre-approved list of U.S. equities. Students will have the opportunity to back up their recommendations with written materials that will become part of their track record. At the end of the competition period, student performance will be judged on purely quantitative metrics including performance versus peers and industry benchmarks.

We expect 100 or more colleges and universities to enroll for the 2014-2015 event. If you would like to enroll your school for participation in the 2014-2015 event, please contact us at

The rankings will be compiled by using data collected on the ALPHASEAL® technology platform. Our ranking methodology requires that students trade a mock portfolio of exchange-listed securities and comply with Reg-T margin rules. Our front-end website posts trade data on a nightly basis to a back-end software platform. That back-end is fully auditable. We independently price securities at the end of every trading day. We can take student trade data directly, on our website, or from outside data sources like brokerage statements. We have supported other simulators and we are willing to take data from other third-parties as long as it is delivered to our own data warehouse in time for nightly posting. All corporate actions are accounted for and reflected in next day statistics, including the impact of dividends, mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs. We adjust both the cash accounts and the securities inventory for corporate actions.

The 2014-2015 event will measure performance based on outperformance within the following seven industry categories: Basic Materials; Capital Goods/Industrials; Consumers; Energy; Financials; Healthcare; and Tech, Telecom, Media. We will issue a list of securities that qualify for the different sectors. Students who have more than three equity positions in their portfolio from one of the sector lists will have a sub-portfolio created automatically that tracks performance of those positions as an equal weighted basket. Outperformance within a sector will be measured as the gross performance of a student's sub-portfolio without respect to position size in the main portfolio. The sector basket will be equal weighted.

An "Overall" category will use a six-factor ranking system that weighs relative performance as measured by the following statistics: Performance vs Russell3000; Standard Deviation of daily returns; Alpha generation from long positions; Alpha generation from short positions; excess PNL generated by leverage; PNL generated by net exposure. PNL vs. the benchmark and alpha generation from both the long and short side will have separate sub-rankings for the top twenty-five in each category.

We will provide the detailed mathematical formulas for statistical data used in compiling the rankings for anyone who requests it. The top twenty-five students in every category will be automatically qualified for top performance honors as many as 250 students if there are no overlaps.

What's the cost?

There is no cost to schools, professors, or advisers of investment clubs. Once enrolled, you may invite as many of your students as you like at no cost to them. The rankings are sponsored through a relationship with Institutional Investor magazine. We will make a free trading simulator available for schools and investment clubs.

Is this event for undergraduates, graduate students, both?

The 2014-2015 event is open to undergraduate and graduate students at accredited universities in the United States. It is expected that professors and investment club advisors that enroll students are confirming the student's status as currently matriculating in a program with which they are affiliated. Schools that are not currently accredited may be accepted at the discretion of MMM and II management. Final decisions about eligibility for inclusion in the 2014-2015 All-America Student Analyst rankings will be solely at the discretion of Michael Peltz, Senior Editor, Institutional Investor magazine.

What are the relevant dates?

Students, Professors, and club Advisers may begin using our system on September 2, 2014. The enrollment is open until November 3, 2014. Trading will end for all students on January 30th, 2015.

Begin End Description
05/01/201408/29/2014Fall 2014 pre-registration period
08/30/201409/02/2014Professors/Advisors loaded into ALPHASEAL
08/25/201410/31/2014Students uploaded
09/02/201411/03/2014First student trade
09/02/201401/30/2015Competition period
02/01/201504/30/2015Results audited & reported

Institutional Investor magazine will publish a list of top performers in their May 2015 monthly issue.

What about privacy?

All of our systems are secured and data is stored in a SaS-70 compliant co-location facility with multiple redundancies. Students' accounts may be reviewed by the professor or advisor who enrolled them for the duration of the competition. After the 2014-2015 events finishes, students will retain the right to decide who can access their trade data. Students who qualify as top performers will have an "opt-in" choice to allow recruiters to access their competition data. We do not sell or share names, demographic or contact information of any of our users for any reason. We may analyze demographics of our users and report it in an aggregate fashion, for instance percent of top performers that are women vs. percent women in the total event population. Students maintain the right to remain anonymous even if their portfolio qualifies them for an award or publication.

What are my students chances?

We intend to publish the top 25 performers in one of 10 performance categories as well as the top 100 overall competitors in 2014-2015. There will be 350 awards, but likely to be much overlap in the recipient pool, so we expect approximately 250 individual winners. We expect 5000 students to participate from 100 schools in 2014-2015. So likelihood of getting a top performance honor is approximately 250/5000 or 5%.

How likely is it that my students will get a job through this program?

Decisions to hire and the terms and conditions of internship are completely controlled by the employers and recruiters. Neither MMM nor II intends to hire students directly as part of the competition. However, there were 2300 competitors last year and 30 students from the group of top performers received internships or fulltime employment at firms including JP Morgan, Blackstone, Wells Fargo,

What statistics does your platform report?

ALPHASEAL tracks the equity value of portfolios, the NAV, and the daily profit and loss (PNL) from all open positions minus transaction costs. PNL includes proceeds of dividends. Transaction costs include brokerage fees and the net impact of interest which we normalize across all competitors. We use that data to calculate PNL by position for alpha generation on a daily basis from both long positions and short positions. We calculate impact of leverage by dividing daily PNL by gross exposure and subtracting un-levered PNL. We calculate impact of net exposure by subtracting the portfolio PNL from the calculation of the Russell3000 return multiplied by the portfolio net exposure. All daily values are totaled across the competition period and divided by the number of trading days the students participated. Standard deviation of daily PNL is measured from the beginning of the students trading period through the most recent trading day. The minimum trading period is from November 3, 2014 - January 30, 2015 which is approximately 90 days. Although the following statistics do not influence the rankings, we provide them on a daily and average basis for formative purposes: long exposure; short exposure; long return; short return. We will provide all mathematical formulas in advance of the official competition start.

In addition to the statistics that your ALPHASEAL platform presents, do my students have a way to differentiate themselves?

Yes. We include a qualitative "Trade Journal" in the section of the website where the trade blotter is presented. Students will be encouraged to record the "thinking" behind their trading decisions. We will time-stamp their entries. Professors will be able to see their students' trade journals and respond with time-stamped messages in-line. Employers have expressed a particular interest in analyzing the "intellectual honesty" and "humility" of potential recruits by reviewing their qualitative entries and assessing the student trader's management of a particular investment thesis over time.