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Finance

Spring 2011

Gary Brinson ’68—Investing in the world

As businesses became more international and markets around the world grew increasingly interconnected over the last three decades, a forward-thinking investor could succeed with a global portfolio. Gary Brinson was one of the earliest of those investors.

He recognized in the 1970s that the markets outside the United States were not, as conventional wisdom dictated, excessively risky. In the right balance, he reasoned, they could actually lead to greater diversification and solid returns.

Brinson ’68 received the University’s highest honor last fall, the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, because of his achievements in institutional investing and his pioneering approach to global markets.

That investment acumen—worth … » More …

Spring 2011

Video: Gary Brinson’s advice for investors in the 2010s

Gary P. Brinson, nationally recognized investment fund manager and 1968 graduate of Washington State University, gives advice to investors and consumers in the 2010s. He describes the downturn in the economy and possible solutions for people who want to save and weather the storm.

Brinson managed a record trillion dollars in investments in the late ’90s, earned the highest honor of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute (an award given to such notables as Warren Buffett), and is a lifetime member of the Horatio Alger Association. WSU honored Brinson with the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award in fall 2010.

Read more about Brinson in “Investing in … » More …

Spring 2011

Real investments return real experience

Stock symbols and percentages march across a long ticker screen, but it’s not a Wall Street brokerage firm. It’s the fourth floor of Todd Hall at WSU, and the eyes monitoring the stock market belong to undergraduates managing the Cougar Investment Fund.

The students invest $1 million of the university’s endowment—the Cougar Investment Fund—in a large capitalization equity portfolio. Under the supervision of Rick Sias, WSU finance professor and Gary P. Brinson Chair of Investment Management, the class has outperformed the S&P 500 since 2001.

Sias approached the WSU Foundation and suggested the program in 2000. “We wouldn’t charge any fee—unlike most managers. We … » More …

Summer 2003

The friends you keep & the wealth you reap

People evaluate information through social interaction with others.

There’s an old saying that you can be judged by the friends you keep. But do your friends also affect your wealth?

Ever notice how a group of people who spend time together, whether in a social group or work environment, tend to develop similar tastes, interests, and lifestyles? The reason is that people evaluate information through social interaction with others. This is especially true for topics you may consider to be difficult. Many people consider financial decision-making to be hard. Should I contribute to my retirement plan at work? How much should I contribute? What should … » More …

Summer 2003

Whitney Evans: All-America high jumper has a head for finance

Whitney Evans leaves little to chance. Whether competing in sports or analyzing a stock portfolio for a finance class, her attention to detail pays dividends. The fifth-year scholar-athlete from Calgary is a straight-A student, a six-time track and field All-America. By the time she completes her athletic career at Washington State University in June, she will be the most decorated female athlete in the school’s history.

It’s late January now, the first track meet in WSU’s new air-supported “bubble.” Evans arrives early, stretches, and jogs easily. When her name’s called, she toes a piece of white tape 14 feet left of the high jump standard … » More …