Ithaca may be a long way from Wall Street, but Ithaca College students have access to their own version of the New York Stock Exchange right on campus. In the School of Business’s Center for Trading and Analysis of Financial Instruments, students study and get a “hands-on” feel for financial, currency and commodity markets using state-of-the-art technology.
After renovations to the trading room were completed over the summer, it now boasts a 50-foot-long, full-color stock ticker and five LED screens capable of displaying a myriad of data, from currency prices to world news. A sixth LED screen and 16-foot stock ticker were also installed directly outside the trading room.
The trading room also features powerful data monitoring and analysis software typically used by financial professionals, such as Thomson Reuters Eikon, which provides access to real-time market data.
“As you see the stock ticking and trading or the commodities trading or whatever else have you, it’s exactly what a person on Wall Street would be seeing,” said Jason Muenzen, director of the Investment Program and instructor of finance and international business.
Other software that students have access to in the trading room include Bloomberg Terminal, Morningstar and Palisade @Risk. Such programs give students access to massive amounts of financial data covering individual companies as well as entire markets.
While the trading room is used mostly by business students, Muenzen says that all students can use the software found in the room.
“Even if you’re a physical therapist or communications student, if you’re doing research on a company or a market or a ton of other things, the databases that we have in that room are really, really powerful,” said Muenzen.
Some of those using the trading room are a group of student portfolio managers who are given the opportunity to invest real money. Approximately 35 students every year manage portfolios totaling around $750,000. In order to apply to be portfolio managers, students must complete a Security Analysis course and meet grade requirements. Those accepted then enroll in the Real Time Portfolio Management course, where they first start managing funds.
At the conclusion of each year, any money earned by the student portfolio managers is put back into the fund for use in the next year, while a percentage is used to provide scholarships to finance students. Last year, over $27,000 in scholarships was awarded.