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In 2006, the CFA Society of Dallas/Fort Worth and the CFA Society of Houston teamed up to launch an exciting new initiative, the Investment Research Challenge-Texas.  In the initial year of the Challenge, student teams from Rice, A&M, TCU and SMU competed with each other on analyzing, writing, and presenting a report recommending a “Buy”, “Sell”, or “Hold” position on a publicly traded company.  The societies assisted in providing education tools; the goal being to provide a value-added real-world application for these students.  The teams were then assigned the company (i.e. the target company) to analyze with access to the CEO and CFO. Teams were given a template to follow in completing their written analysis/report.  All four Texas societies, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio provided mentors for the teams, judges or graders. Finalist teams competed before an oral panel made up of leaders in our investment community at the Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium (TIPS).  The winning team went on to compete regionally against other winners hosted by CFA Institute in New York City.

2016 Summary - Out of a total of 25 teams across four states (LA, NM, OK, TX) competing in last year's local CFA Institute Research Challenge, 8 teams competed in the Finals held in conjunction with TIPS (Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium) on February 27, 2016 at Texas Christian University.  The CFA Insitute Research Challenge - Southwest U.S., is managed and supported by the CFA Societies Texas (Austin, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, and San Antonio) as well as the CFA societies of Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. As the winners of last year's event, SMU team members were eligible to receive a scholarship for their next CFA exam. The top two winners, SMU and UT-San Antonio represented our area at the Americas Regional Final in Chicago in midApril where teams from across the Americas; Canada, U.S., and Latin/South America competed.         

2016 -  2017 Update - The CFA Research Challenge - Southwest U. S. begins September 2016.  Timelines and up-to-date announcements are availabe on the website starting August 2016.

From its beginnings eight years ago, the Challenge now involves more than 15,000+ students from over 1,000 of the world’s top universities.  Over 100 societies participate utilizing thousands of dedicated volunteers.  IN OUR SOUTHWEST U.S. RESEARCH CHALLENGE WE RELY ON ALMOST 100 OF THOSE DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS!  

AND therefore a very, very special thank you to all the members of the CFA Societies of Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma for their assistance in our Southwest U.S. Challenge including the many university liaisons, faculty advisors, instructors, team mentors, graders and judges.  Each of your contributions has made it possible for the Southwest US Challenge to become the success it is today!  Volunteers interested in signing up for the 2016 – 2017 competition, please contact John Keeton ([email protected]or Sharon Criswell ([email protected]).         

Benefits of the CFA Institute Research Challenge:

  • Students receive real-world training in equity analysis
  • Investment professionals make an impact on the profession
  • Public companies promote education and analyst independence
  • Universities gain global exposure
  • Corporate sponsors reach universities, students, and finance professionals 
For additional information on the CFA Institute Research Challenge, please download our Powerpoint presentation.​

 Get Involved

The Research Challenge** is managed and supported by CFA Institute.  Volunteers interested in assisting as mentors, graders, liaisons, and/or judges for the Research Challenge – Texas, please contact Leah Bennett ([email protected]) or Sharon Criswell ([email protected]). Tell them how you are interested in becoming involved.

 Team Awards

First Place Team receives:  each team member will receive a scholarship covering 100% of thier fee of their next level of the CFA exam and the team will compete at the IRC Regional Finals with airfare and hotel paid by CFA Institute.

Second Place Team receives: each team member will receive a scholarship covering 50% of their fee for their next level of CFA exam.

 Learn More

Go to for all the up-to-date information on IRC Texas.  Learn more about the rules, webcasts, grading, current target company and timeline there.

**  Investment Research Challenge was originated and trademarked by the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA).  CFA Institute now sponsors the Research Challenge and takes a strong role in supporting local CFA societies that decide to roll out a Challenge.  In the Texas and Southwest region, the sponsoring societies of the challenge pay 100% of Level I enrollment for the winning team and 50% of Level I enrollment for the second place team.  More information regarding the Research Challenge can be found at  From the home page, select the “Partners” tab then the “Research Challenge” link.