The Collegian » Stock trading room to open on campus

The Collegian » Stock trading room to open on campus

The thrill of Wall Street is coming to Fresno State. While not quite the financial district of New York City, come fall business students will experience the frenzy of live stock exchanges when the Craig School of Business opens its own stock trading room.

Primarily funded by a $45,000 grant from Wells Fargo, the stock room will be located in the Peters Business Building and feature live feeds and data services to primarily aid the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) program. A student-run project, the program manages a $2.7 million endowment from the Fresno State Foundation.

“Fresno State is a big proponent of active, engaged, real-world learning experiences,” said Dr. Robert Harper, dean of the Craig School of Business. “This is just another element of providing real market investment experience with a significant amount of funds.”

Harper said SMIF originally managed $100,000-$200,000 before being assigned $1 million worth of funds by the Fresno State Foundation in the fall of 2010. After the funds grew to $1.7 million by the end of 2013, the foundation recognized SMIF’s efforts and assigned a further $1 million to the endowment.

With students already engaged in real-world investment, SMIF’s advisor Dr. K. C. Chen, department chair of finance and business law, said providing a trading lab will further that experience by providing a “place for students to congregate and brainstorm for investable ideas as a team.”

Additionally, Chen said the live and rich database that will stream through a stock ticker, computers and televisions is a valuable resource for stock valuation.

“As the stock market is fluctuating instantaneously, being able to receive the stream of live information will help students to quickly react and better adapt to the changing environment,” Chen said.

Senior Grant Williams, president of SMIF, said the stock room would offer “real-life experience of how trade rooms truly operate.”

“We’re doing a job most people wouldn’t usually do even after college,” Williams said. “We learn something new every day.”

As a class of 10 students meeting only twice a week, Williams said, “everyday we’re watching the stock market” outside the classroom. Yet with this increased accessibility to stock information in an assigned space, Williams said things would be easier.

“The students needed resources outside of class to be able to do financial research and study their stocks and other investments,” Harper said.

With around 300 student-managed programs nationwide, Chen said the idea of stock trading rooms is becoming a “national trend.”

“Every reputable finance department in the nation has a trading room,” Chen said.

The successes of SMIF have also recently been recognized at the Redefining Investment Strategy Education (RISE) conference, the world’s largest student investment forum.

One of SMIF’s funds finished first in the growth investment style category at the 2014 Redefining Investment Strategy Education Student-Managed Portfolio Competition. Held at the University of Dayton from March 27-29, their portfolio won based on the 2013’s risk-adjusted result of 37.76 percent return and 10.11 percent standard deviation.

“It is not an easy task because we have to not only maximize return, but also minimize risk in order to win the national championship,” Chen said.


The Collegian » Stock trading room to open on campus

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