Joshua C. Palabay, a recent graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, took home first place in the inaugural Hugh Henne Investment Competition out of the College of Business, winning $1,000. Palabay graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in both finance and economics with minors in business analytics and military science. He has held leadership roles in the U.S. Army ROTC, the Nevada Military Society and the Nevada Student Investment Organization.
“Competing and winning the first Hugh Henne Investment Competition was definitely an incredible experience,” Palabay said. “This opportunity was truly amazing as I was able to put into practice everything that I have learned throughout my undergraduate career into one competition. In addition, I loved being able to compete with my peers and also talk with one another about how the overall markets were doing on a day-to-day basis.”
The annual Hugh Henne Investment Competition is fully funded by Mitch Hennessey, a self-made 22-year-old millionaire and co-host of PGIR, the world’s No. 1 stock market podcast. The competition creates experiential learning opportunities for students to find out more about the stock market, trading strategies, career prospects and networking with other investment-minded students.
Each year, the top competitors of the Hugh Henne Investment Competition have the opportunity to attend the Rotman International Trading Competition in Toronto, Canada. The RITC event brings teams of students and their faculty advisors from universities worldwide to participate in a unique three-day, simulated-market challenge. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 RITC event will be exclusively virtual. For that reason, the College of Business is making alternate cash awards to the top competitors to start their first investment funds.
“The inaugural Hugh Henne Investment Competition was a learning experience for all of us,” Hennessey said. “I greatly enjoyed my time working with the students and am excited for what next year will bring. My favorite part of this year’s competition was getting to know the students while helping them to experiment with different trading strategies. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and I look forward to being back on campus in the fall to kick off our 2022 experience.”
Grant Pellegrini, a junior at the University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in statistics, placed second in the competition, followed by Charlton Strait, a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in finance with a minor in economics, who placed third.
“Participating and being one of the winners in the first Hugh Henne Investment Competition was an extraordinary experience,” Pellegrini said. “I enjoyed being able to compete and interact with all the competitors, and I cannot wait to see how the next competition turns out as the Nevada Student Investment Organization continues to grow.”
“Being one of the winners in the first Hugh Henne Investment Competition was an outstanding way for me to measure how my skills stacked up against other contestants,” Strait said. “Alongside my existing investment knowledge, I am going to take all the new knowledge that I learned for me to become a stronger competitor and place higher in the next investment competition.”
During the competition, participating students performed real-time simulations using the Rotman Portfolio Manager software, equipped with real-time trade execution, customized benchmark portfolios and fundamental performance analysis. Within the program, each student was allocated the same number of resources, and the winners were determined by the largest growth to their portfolio during the eight weeks of the competition.