Appalachian State University's Bowden Investment Group (BIG) recently published its 2020 annual report, alongside its February 2021 BIG update.
The February update covers how best to structure the portfolio for continued outperformance and includes a letter from BIG President Cooper Bumgarner; member profiles on Donovan Arnold, Obadja Ludwig, Zach Stowell; and an explanation about 'timing the market.'
The 2020 annual report provides an overview on the group's history; letters from faculty advisors Brandy Hadley and Shawn Poole and President Bumgarner; a complete listing of members and why BIG has been important to them; an update on the Broyhill Fellows competition team; a listing of the guest speakers; and a list of fund year-end holdings, transactions and performance charts.
Impact of Covid-19
The outbreak of Covid-19 has changed the landscape of courses dramatically. Fortunately, the group was able to meet in-person for most of the year. While some classes were held virtually to accommodate guest speakers or prevent exposure when members contracted the virus, the majority of meetings were held in a socially-distanced conference room in I.G. Greer Hall. Throughout all the uncertainty, we have remained positive and have been proactive in adapting to changes. We believe the group has successfully come together as a team while following protocols and producing quality work.
In their own words
“I have never been more excited about finance. As a member of the BIG, I have had the opportunity to learn in-depth company and financial analysis. I have learned how to build financial statement models and value a company, which is fascinating to me. Additionally, I am much more comfortable presenting after this first semester. The Bowden experience has been more rewarding than I ever hoped, and it will be the highlight of my college career.” --Sam Crouse, Accountant
“When I decided to transfer from a larger university, I was looking for a place where the professors bothered to know my name and where I could learn beyond regurgitations from a textbook. I found an even better place than I had hoped for in Appalachian and in the Bowden Investment Group. The BIG experience solidified not only my job prospects, but my confidence in soon becoming a professional in finance. I never expected to grow so much in college. I have Bowden to thank for an amazing senior year.” --Olivia Guillebeau, Vice President
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Bowden Investment Group thus far. I feel much more confident in my ability to speak professionally and conduct meaningful research investment research. I am excited for the remainder of the year and look forward to all the opportunities.” --Sean James, BIG Update Editor
“The Fall 2020 semester of Bowden was a humbling experience. The work I completed was some of the more challenging, frustrating, and rewarding I have been assigned throughout my academic career. I believe the time spent in and out of the classroom has culminated in the formation of long-lasting relationships and powerful networking opportunities. I’m excited to begin the next stage in the Spring.” --Donovan Arnold, Economic Analyst
“The Bowden Investment Group has been the most rewarding experience of my college career. This year I have grown both as a student and as a professional. I have learned many valuable lessons that I will carry years into the future. The Bowden Investment Group is a program like no other.” --Cooper Bumgarner, President
“Upon completion of the first semester, I look back at how far we’ve come as a group. We have gained infinite knowledge over the semester, including financial modeling and analysis skills. Though at times I felt as if I was struggling to keep my head above water, I’m glad I persevered and proved to myself what I could accomplish. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and grow with my Bowden teammates and friends.” --Katie Cole, BIG Update Editor
“The Bowden Investment Group has been a great experience this semester. We have developed a great team with a lot of personality and a goal to improve together. We've learned so much and worked so hard to create our reports, and we're already thinking about how our next presentations are going to be better. The BIG has helped me grow into myself and develop professional confidence. I can't wait for next semester.” --Sam King, Accountant
“Making the decision to apply for the Bowden Investment Group has become the most impactful decision in my academic career. The BIG has immensely challenged and helped me grow my confidence, knowledge, critical thinking, and teamwork capabilities. I am so grateful for the real-life experience BIG provides along with the immense networking opportunities.” --Karlee Lakin, Industry Analyst
“My time in the Bowden Investment Group has been the most rewarding experience of my academic career at Appalachian. The intelligence and motivation of both my peers and the advisors has made this an enjoyable experience for me. In only one semester I have learned so much about financial analysis, professional presenting, and networking. I look forward to the next semester.” --Bradley Lovelace, Annual Report Editor
“Being a part of the Bowden Investment Group has been the most challenging experience of my senior year, but it has also been the greatest. In a few short months, I have refined my analytical and presentation skills beyond what I thought capable, and have gained confidence in my financial knowledge. Learning and working alongside such a talented group of students has been an incredible honor, and I look forward to seeing where our careers take us.” --Obadja Ludwig, Industry Analyst
"My time in the BIG this semester has been an eye opening experience. I've developed a lot of technical skills and knowledge that will come in handy in the future. I've also been inspired by the hard work and excellence of my peers and our instructors over the course of an unusual semester. I'm already looking forward to what the Spring has in store!" --Nkhosi Moyo, Economic Analyst
“Bowden has been a challenging and transformative experience. I have been grateful for the unique learning opportunity this program has provided me. Working with a group of driven students with similar academic interests is a rewarding experience. Our group is particularly good at discussing differences of opinion regarding holdings in the portfolio, fostering an environment of respectful discourse. Dr. Hadley and Mr. Poole are excellent instructors.” --Zachary Stowell, Industry Analyst
About the Bowden Investment Group
The Elbert V. Bowden Student Managed Investment Fund was established in January 2000 with the purpose of providing students with an opportunity to obtain hands-on investment experience and to provide funds to benefit the students and faculty in the Finance, Banking and Insurance department. Learn more at big.appstate.edu.