Experiential learning is a hallmark of the College of Business Administration, allowing students to test their knowledge, flex their skills and practice their professional demeanor. One event that grows in popularity each year and delivers an authentic real-world experience for students is the LMU Stock Pitch Competition.
Started by Associate Professor of Finance Josh Spizman, the Stock Pitch Competition allows students to practice and build their valuation and presentation skills while showcasing their investing talents.
“I started the competition so students could take what we teach in the classroom and put it into practice,” said Professor Spizman. “This experience gives students great talking points when they interview for internships and jobs.”
The third annual competition, hosted by the Finance Society and Lion Investing Society and sponsored by William O’Neil + Company, featured 12 teams comprised of undergraduate and MBA students. Each team chose a public company and made the case to a panel of judges why they should buy that stock.
Judges included LMU finance alumni and Finance Targeted Affinity Council members Ralph Birchmeier ’91, Seamus McMorrow ’19, Robert Lu ’03 and Jerry Buczek ’04, MBA ’07. The judges have a set of criteria such as how well the valuation is done, how good the “story” is, how well the presentation is, and whether or not they would actually make the investment.
First place and $1,800 went to junior finance majors Dominic Lauro and Jack Baldner for their presentation on ASML, a semiconductor company. Dominic and Jack decided to participate in the competition to put the skills they’ve learned in the classroom to the test. As members of the Student Investment Fund, they found the opportunity to present findings to industry professionals too good to pass up.
“For us, it wasn’t about winning; it was more about connecting with industry professionals in an environment that would provide valuable feedback to guide us in the remainder of our academic careers,” said Dominic.
“I’ve always had a passion for stocks and this competition allowed me to further my knowledge about stock analysis and valuation, and apply the knowledge I’ve gained in my finance classes to a real-world company,” added Jack.
Both agreed the biggest takeaway from this experience is how critical it is to have a deep understanding of a company in order to navigate tough questions and provide good answers.
“It’s so fun to see students pitch such a diverse set of companies,” added Professor Spizman. “Every time we hold the competition, I find myself learning about new industries and new companies. The students put in a lot of work, and it really comes across in their final presentations.”