Fund Overview

The York University Student Investment Fund (“YUSIF”) was founded in 2004 as an initiative of the York Finance Club (“YFC”), the largest finance club at York University.

From 2004 to 2013, the YUSIF team managed an equity portfolio funded by York Finance Club member contributions. The fund was invested at the beginning of each school year and liquidated at the end of the year, with all capital being returned to investors. While operating under this model, YUSIF was able to successfully expand interest for investing amongst undergraduate business students. However, this fund structure presented many disadvantages – the short-term investment horizon failed to allow for proper diversification, and students were not obtaining the real-world experience of managing an investment fund. For these reasons, the YUSIF executive team, in consultation with York University administration, spent the 2013-2016 establishing a formal structure and procedures for a new endowment fund.

YUSIF was re-launched as an official endowment fund with real capital on March 23, 2016.

In 2016, YUSIF was re-launched as an endowment managed by students, and supported by York University and alumni. Generous donors have provided YUSIF with $60,000 of seed capital. The goals of YUSIF are:

  • Provide real-world opportunities to for student-analysts to apply course content, and develop skills relevant for developing careers in financial services
  • Educate the broader undergraduate business community on the importance of financial markets and investing
  • Use fundamental research to identify investments that provide returns exceeding our blended benchmark
  • Distribute a portion of investment returns to create scholarships and financial aid opportunities at York University

Fund Structure

With 25 dedicated student members, YUSIF is committed to achieving superior risk-adjusted returns relative to our benchmark.

Doing so requires an intimate understanding of each major industry, and this is accomplished through our six industry teams, each of which is composed of one Senior Analyst with up to two Junior Analysts providing additional coverage. Each Junior Analyst is typically in their first or second year of the undergraduate program, allowing them to further their understanding of their respective industry under the guidance and tutelage of their Senior Analyst. Industry teams are overseen by the executive committee, which is composed of our Senior Chief Investment Strategist, Junior Chief Investment Strategist, and Portfolio Manager.

Each industry team is tasked with following both the general macroeconomic trends upon which to build a foundation of the economic landscape as it pertains to their industry, as well as being directed to have a comprehensive understanding of their specific industry trends. Based off of their analysis of industry trends and macroeconomic factors, the industry team is asked to suggest securities that YUSIF should take a long position in. Typically, each industry team will provide up to five investment opportunities at a preliminary stock screening, after which the entire analyst team will debate the merits of each investment. At each stock screening, YUSIF’s Chief Investment Strategists evaluate every pitch, based on several criteria including competitive advantages, management, business model, defensible positions, and valuation, all balanced against the valuable insights of the Portfolio Manager, who aligns selected investments with the portfolio allocation strategy.

From the screening process, one security is selected per industry, after which the industry team works together to conduct further analysis and perfect their pitch to present at YUSIF’s formal stock pitch events, where the best pitches are presented to all YUSIF analysts, donors, and York University students eager to learn more about investing. From these events, stocks are chosen to be invested in as part of our portfolio through a transparent process that includes input from our Chief Investment Strategists, Portfolio Manager, and Governing Council, all of whom critique the investment pitches, provide feedback and select only the best.

Fund Strategy

YUSIF’s investment strategy is primarily based on in-depth fundamental research – our goal is to leave no stone unturned.

Investment decisions are made based on a thorough bottom-up analysis of company’s financial performance, business model, management team, supply chain, geographic/political exposure, external catalysts/risks, cost structure, pricing power, market conditions, and competitive position.

YUSIF utilizes the value investing approach, as taught by Benjamin Graham and developed by many other prominent and successful investors. Our team of analysts use their research to pitch stocks that are believed to be trading at lower than their intrinsic value. This approach is taken because of the long term potential to outperform the market. Furthermore, a typical YUSIF investment features a business that has a ‘wide economic moat’ – In other words, YUSIF seeks out businesses that have developed sustainable competitive advantages, which are difficult to imitate in the long-term. We believe these strategies are well-aligned with our typical holding period of one to three years.

YUSIF also uses other common investing paradigms to rationalize potential investments. While the fund is primarily focused on bottom-up fundamental analysis, YUSIF’s Portfolio Manager determines if each investment fits in with YUSIF’s macroeconomic outlook and asset allocation strategy. Furthermore, analysts will use technical analysis to support entry and exit points for each potential investment.

Risk Management

YUSIF is guided by rigorous security analysis from our trained student team, and by conservative risk management controls practiced by the fund’s executive team.

In order to alleviate risk and effectively benchmark performance with globally recognized funds, YUSIF is well diversified across all the major sectors of the economy. Our six industry teams effectively pitch investments across the ten economic sectors as identified by the Global Industry Classification Standards (GICS): Energy, Materials, Industrials, Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Health Care, Financials, Information Technology, Telecommunication Services, and finally, Utilities. At any point in time, YUSIF will not hold a position in any single security that accounts for more than 7% of fund assets. Furthermore, YUSIF will not allocate more than 20% of assets to any single economic sector.

Industry Teams

Industrials

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Yield

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Financial Institutions

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Consumer & Retail

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TMT & Healthcare

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Natural Resources

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Risk Management

As previously noted, YUSIF is a long-only evergreen fund, focused on identifying long-term value opportunities. All of our investments are closely monitored, and there are trailing stop-loss provisions set in place to limit any potential losses.

Furthermore, YUSIF members receive oversight and mentorship from the Governing Council, which is composed of York University’s professors, faculty and alumni. In addition, York University acts as a facilitator between the YUSIF executive team and the broker in charge of executing all YUSIF trades.

Benchmark Weighting

Financials

21.92%

Bonds

15%

Energy

12.71%

Information Technology and Telecommunications

12.18%

Healthcare

8.11%

Industrials

7.98%

Consumer Discretionary

7.97%

Materials

6.37%

Consumer Staples

5.57%

Utilities

2.19%

Thank you for considering a gift to YUSIF and the Schulich School of Business. 
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