This spring, five St. John Fisher College students made history when they became the first school to claim all five winning spots in the 2017 ETF Global® Portfolio Challenge. Ethan O’Donnell, Cole Smith, Phat Huynh, Carlin Lydon, and John Lehsten—all members of the Class of 2018—took the top spots in the 10-week investment competition, which drew students from 190 schools across 24 countries on five continents.

The School of Business students participated in the challenge through Steven Barber’s Investments course. During the competition, students are given a virtual balance of $100,000 and are tasked with constructing and maintaining a portfolio of Exchange Traded Funds (EFTs).

According to challenge organizers, Fisher accomplished an “unprecedented feat” in becoming the first school in competition history to claim ownership in the top five spots.

“This statistical anomaly shattered the previous record held by University of Central Florida with two of the top five students,” wrote organizers in a message announcing the winners, who noted that Fisher managed to accomplish this despite representing a small percentage of the 1,000 total contestants and facing the competition’s largest and most globally diverse playing field ever. “This is a clear reflection of not only the high quality of students that St. John Fisher College possesses, but also the talent that can be found in smaller schools outside the collegiate mainstream.”

O’Donnell, who is majoring in accounting with a minor in finance, said the competition required a daily focus on the markets.