A Griffith student has taken out a national competition after creating his own Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) strategy.

Hugh Mackay, who is in his third year of combined Law and Commerce degrees majoring in Financial Planning, developed an ETF that mitigates investment risk temporarily, which he called HEDG.

He has been awarded a $5000 scholarship from Betashares, a leading ETF manager which provides investment solutions for Australian investors.

“The grant will go towards covering additional costs associated with my degree, particularly textbooks, equipment and subscriptions that all assist me in my educational experience,” Hugh said.

“I also hope to use these funds towards researching & developing solutions to common financial issues facing Australia, including a study into the complex dilemma of student debt and how to provide sustainable and adequate advice to lower-income families.”

Mackay described his HEDG concept as a solution to an over-reliance in super and bias towards investing in Balanced funds.

“Both Covid-19 and the GFC have shown certain asset classes are highly correlated during stressful market conditions and can easily threaten our retirement system.

“Using HEDG, during Covid-19, balanced funds would have been protected from the down turns in property and infrastructure, helping super funds avoid having to undertake fire sales of their assets to cover redemptions.”

Associate Professor Robert Bianchi says the publication of cost-benefit-analyses on proposed infrastructure projects is crucial in the lead-up to an election.

Dr Robert Bianchi

Dr Robert Bianchi, Professor of Finance at Griffith Business School, said the win was a wonderful achievement for a young student.

“Hugh Mackay won what is a national competition from a field of 60 entrants, an excellent outcome which demonstrates our Finance and Financial Planning students are work-ready,” he said.

“I am impressed by his efforts to develop a new ETF to help manage portfolio risk for institutional investment managers and individual investors.”

Mackay currently serves as the Financial Planning Coordinator for the Griffith University Commerce Society on the Gold Coast.

His career goals include helping people achieve financial independence and an improved understanding of their own financial situations by providing sound, informative and practical advice, especially during hardship such as Covid-19.

“Following my graduation, I want to help develop a platform for people whose financial circumstances make them unable to afford quality, informative and affordable advice.”