The Department of Finance, Insurance and Law has a long history of encouraging students to be active learners, putting the concepts of finance and insurance to practical use for enhanced understanding. The Educational Fixed-Income Fund, a student-managed portfolio of fixed-income securities, was established in 2011 by the Illinois State University Foundation with an allocation of $1,000,000. The students enrolled in the course FIL 346: Fixed-Income Analysis and Portfolio Management recommend transactions for the Educational Fixed-Income Fund. The value of a fixed-income analysis course for students expands greatly with the added opportunity to put course concepts into financial practice by managing an actual portfolio of securities – that is, linking theory with financial practice.
The purpose of the Educational Fixed-Income Fund is to help the Illinois State University Foundation meet its goals in a responsive, cost-effective way and help Department of Finance, Insurance and Law students link the concepts of fixed-income security portfolio management to financial practice. The fees earned by managing the portfolio are used for student scholarships, faculty support and professional development, and expenses directly associated with the course, such as the cost of financial data needed for decision-making.
Oftentimes, the first professional position of many Finance and Insurance majors deals with the selection of fixed-income securities held by financial institutions such as commercial banks and insurance companies. In addition, because the size of the fixed-income security markets exceeds that of the equity markets in the U.S. economy in volume and number of different securities, job opportunities expand for the students enrolled in the fixed-income course. The experience of making real fiduciary decisions with actual dollars, covering actual expenses such as student scholarships, makes a powerful, long-lasting impression on students. As an elective with a "hands-on" impact, majors in Finance and Insurance, as well as students with a minor in Financial Planning can benefit from FIL 346: Fixed-Income Analysis and Portfolio Management.