Student Managed Investment Fund

How would you like to let a bunch of college students invest your lifesavings? Samford University did, and they're reaping the rewards even in this midst of this recession.

It's called the Bulldog Fund, and the Samford students who run it not only outsmarted the market, they're doing so well the university is doubling down on this money-making experiment.

While you've been watching your 401k drop like a rock, a group of Samford business students have been busy playing the stock market like a fiddle, to the tune of a 13% gain when compared to the S&P index in the past year.

"You learn in the classroom how to be a great investor," said Lacey Pence, one of the fund's student managers. "But it's so different when you can see your friends being able to take this real money and create a less of a loss, a better return than the S&P 500."

8 students manage the fund, and decided to pull out of the market when it began tanking last fall. They're now moving back in aggressively as it rebounds. They've done so well, Samford is now putting $1 million from its endowment in their hands. The Brock Business School's dean says he sleeps well at night, but admits he gets a lot of nervous glances around campus.

"After that surprise wears off, I think they see it as a critical step in educating our students," Dean Beck Taylor said. "It's one thing to give students monopoly money, it's quite another to give students a real portfolio to invest. So I think a lot of people see a lot of value in that."

"When it's real money that they're entrusting to you and they expect you to make responsible decisions with it, it's definetly a hard realization and you wanna do everything you can to make that money grow," Pence said.

The value for the school may be profits, for students it could be the leg up they need to land a job even with nearly double-digit unemployment.

"The word we've been getting from firms that are interviewing our students is they are very pleased to see our students engaged in this kind of activity," Taylor said. "So I hope the students use it to get the kinds of positions they want out in the professional community."

So where do these profit-makers see the market heading next? Generally up, but they're preparing for a bumpy ride with some false starts. If you want to take tips from them, they are moving their money from cash back into the markets now.