The Frank Batten Investment Fund
The Batten Fund was launched 10 years ago with half a million dollars – real dollars – for second-year Mason MBA students to invest and manage.
Aggressive with growth stocks in the early going, the Fund rocketed to $620,000 in an economic boom and plummeted as far as three fifths of its original worth during the “tech wreck” and period of malaise for growth stocks. Today, the Fund is back in the black with $590,000, and with its ups and downs, has given several graduating classes of students an unforgettable learning experience in equity market investing.
The Batten Fund project – named for a very generous supporter of William and Mary, Frank Batten – tasks 14-17 selected participants each year to research stocks in depth, develop an investment thesis, complete valuation analysis, sell the idea to fellow Batten analysts, then subsequently track the performance of stocks within the Fund if their stock is selected by the group.
According to sponsoring Professor James Haltiner, “There is nothing like having skin in the game with real money as students try out different strategies and explore all sectors of the market to arrive at a successful investment outcome.”