Dolphin Student Investment Fund breaks $1 million mark for the first time

April 03, 2024

For the first time in Davis College of Business & Technology history, the Dolphin Student Investment Fund (DSIF) at Jacksonville University closed above the $1 million mark.

“We’re so proud of our DSIM team members and Professor Missa for hitting this financial benchmark. This program connects theory and practice, allowing students to learn practical decision-making skills that give them the edge in their careers,” said Dr. Barbara Ritter, dean of the JU Davis College of Business. 

DSIF is a student-managed portfolio that provides students with valuable hands-on investment experience. Student analysts manage the assets directly, often making decisions about asset sales and purchases that total $100,000 or more.  

“I feel proud of breaching the $1 million mark for the first time in our portfolio history,” said Abel Missa, JU resource finance professor and DSIF advisor. “The students have done an outstanding job not only selecting great stocks but also managing risk in a difficult macro environment.”

Members of the DSIF team are basking in the glow of its latest financial success. 

“I’m super excited! Reaching $1 million is a huge milestone for the DSIF. The fund is seeing great performance thanks to the dedicated coaching of Professor Missa and the hard work of many students,” said Levi Clark, a JU senior majoring in finance. 

 “When I first started with the DSIF fund in the fall of 2023, we were over $875,000. At the end of the fall semester, we all selected new stocks to invest in and raised our equity exposure closer to 60 percent, and it worked out well,” stated JU senior Christopher Griffeth, also a finance major.

The DSIF spans two academic semesters, with students having access to a trading room in the FinTech Lab, located inside the new STEAM Institute. They also have access to the same resources professionals use, including Capital IQ and Eikon. DSIF students gain practical experience applying these resources and databases, making them prime job candidates when they graduate. 

Abdel says DSIF provides students with practical experience. “It’s as real as working for a hedge fund, asset manager or investment bank,” he said. “Employers love hiring people with that kind of experience because they’re already trained and are productive on the job from Day One.”

The DSIF has given JU students a window into what investing looks like in real life.

“What we do here is a practical application of what we learn in business and finance classes. Despite his extensive experience, Professor Missa gives students the final call on investment decisions, resulting in a rare and incredible learning experience,” Clark explained. 

Griffeth says he’s learned that investors need to not just look at the dollar amount of each share when purchasing a stock, but rather instead, investors need to understand that they are becoming a partial owner of that company.  

“I’ve learned that there is much more to the valuation of a company than looking at past performance—because it’s not always a good indicator of future performance. Instead, you need to have a wholistic approach when studying a company and also understand how the macro environment will affect your company's performance,” he said. 

In partnership with the University, the James E. and A. Dano Davis Families Charity and Executive Advisory Board member Jed Davis have been instrumental in the creation and growth of the DSIF, which initially started with a $100,000 donation from the Charity. A large substantial amount is generated from the DSIF in scholarship funding for JU students. 

All Stories

See All News