Dec 16, 2018

Stock Room

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“Ask The Experts” is written and provided by Scholarship Media. It does not reflect the views of The Collegian or its advertisers.

I’ve seen stock trading floors at some colleges. How much can this prepare you for a job in finance?

Investing in your future is  one of the greatest decisions you will make. Attending college is a good start, but learning how to manage finances and make sound investment judgements at a young age will put you in good stead for years to come. For students who are going beyond managing their personal finances and are considering a career in the financial sector, trading floor experience can be a significant asset.

If you are studying for a degree in finance, you will not get a better chance to hone your skills than on a live trading floor. According to financial traders at Royal Capital Pro, university trading floors are a big draw for professionals looking for their next brightest recruits, parents seeking the best for their children, and students wanting to get ahead in trading.    

College trading rooms that have the latest technology and live market feeds are the perfect stepping stone to a career in finance. MIT opened the first college trading floor in 1996. A number have followed in the last twenty years, such as University of Virginia, University of Texas, Cornell, University of Michigan, and the Miami University Farmer School of Business. Colleges seeking to attract the next Wall Street heavyweights have invested millions in trading facilities and technology.

Market leader Bloomberg has installed its latest financial markets technology at Clemson University’s trading room where students can get hands on with the real thing. Practicing trading in a real world environment can provide students the opportunity to learn through trial and error and become effective traders even before they graduate.

Finance students are more likely to get job offers if they already have some trading experience. The skills garnered in the trading room will transfer directly into your chosen place of work, and employers are well aware of this. You do not have to be studying for a finance degree to benefit from some trading action and knowledge. Growing your own personal wealth and developing a balanced portfolio will ease financial burdens later on in life and may accelerate your path to early retirement.

Time spent on a trading floor will enhance your knowledge of financial markets, stocks, bonds, commodities and mutual funds. You will also learn how to read and analyze charts and trade using both technical and fundamental processes. Being tutored by experienced professionals will also provide the knowledge and awareness so you can avoid investment scams.

You can supplement your financial studies with membership in investment clubs where you can start trading and investing with real money. Many of these clubs, such as the Wall Street South Investment Club, have a membership fees, will assign you a portfolio to manage, and teach you vital strategies as you go. You may use hypothetical funding and will be pitted against other students; this encourages healthy competition and drive which is essential for a success as a trader.

On occasion, professional traders and business leaders may make presentations at investment clubs and college trade rooms. Their experience and guidance in making smart investments can help you develop your skills in the world of finance. College trading rooms can be the first step on the path to a career in finance and the key to a successful future investing on your own.

“Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others,” John Maynard Keynes.


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