Brown Advisory Fund

2017 Bloomberg Trading Challenge

The Bloomberg Trading Challenge is a skill-based trading challenge sponsored by Bloomberg L.P. in which student run teams of five from various colleges would perform real time to trade through the Bloomberg Terminal. The contest ran from February 20 to April 14, 2017, over a period of 7 weeks and 4 days. My team and I entered the contest with the simple desire to try something new and learn from it. My team consisted of a diverse group of students from various majors which included; Merrick Smith (Chemistry Major), Cordelia Faass (Biology Major), Matt Dimond (Business Management Major), Seth Miller (Environmental Studies/Anthropology Double Major), and myself, Tom Heffernan (Environmental Studies Major). For the contest, each team was given $10 million US dollars to invest in various US securities with the end goal to generate the highest return from our investments. Over the course of the contest, we invested in two relatively safe stocks such as Berkshire Hathaway in the hopes of consistent returns, along with other, more speculative shares, such as Tesla and Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated. We picked Tesla in anticipation of its new Model 3 Car, betting on people’s desire to own the new model and creating a highly competitive market for consumers to own it. As for Coca-Cola Bottling that was just assuming a simple supply outlet for both Coca-Cola and other soda industries who buy from it. Both speculations paid off, in the end, raising an impressive 40% and 23% respectively for each. As the competition continued, we were watching our shares both rise and fall, as we looked for opportunities to by in different companies or to continue to invest our current holdings. Finally, on April 14th, the competition ended, and then on April 18th, the final scores were distributed among the contestants. Out of the 266 teams, over 81 different universities, with 1,330 competing students, our team managed to reach 10th place in the country. We we saw the results, we were ecstatic, considering that our competition in the top 10 were University of Massachusetts-Boston, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, the University of Puerto Rico, University of Michigan, Rutgers University, Fordham University, Elizabethtown College, and University of Mississippi. In the end, we were proud of our achievement, as we were able to compete against other larger, well-known schools, through our insight, tenacity, and good luck.                 

Tom Heffernan ’18