Investment center opens in Mathews Hall

Students take a test in the new Edward Jones Investment Center which opened this semester. The center has workstations for 32 students.

Students take a test in the new Edward Jones Investment Center which opened this semester. The center has workstations for 32 students.

Meagan Pietrzak

Business students are now able to use state-of-art financial management software to invest $300,000 of real money.

On Feb. 4, the department of finance and economics in the school of business administration announced the opening of the Edward Jones Investment Center. The new laboratory provides hands-on experience using new equipment and software.

Currently, there are two classes are taking advantage of the Investment Center – Security Analysis and Financial Strategy.

The Southern Foundation has made this possible with a grant for real-world investment training and by contributions from more than 50 Edward Jones investment representatives and home office general partners.

The Investment Center is located on the second floor of Matthews Hall. It allows for investment experience that will provide students education on the financial markets, risk management, security analysis and portfolio construction.

“Only about 30 major universities currently have such a lab,” said Brian Nichols, assistant professor of finance and economics.

Financial software will be used to simulate placing buy or sell orders and portfolio management.

The center also includes 32 computers with 19-inch LCD monitors, an electronic ticker tape for equity indices in the foyer, two television monitors with cable programming, a projector and Smartboard screen and one or more workstations for financial databases, such as Bloomberg and Reuters.

The center offers real-time information from Bloomberg and Ibbotson databases on equity, fixed-income, foreign exchange and derivative markets instructing students on how the markets work and how trades are conducted.

“This room will enhance practical understanding of financial data, increase analysis time and educate students on software programs and information databases used in the financial services industry,” Nichols said. “It will also provide a competitive edge for our business graduates and reduce training time for employers. This will enhance their marketability after graduation and give them experience to draw upon when entering the workforce.”

The classes offered in the future in the center include Investments, Security Analysis, Financial Strategy, Advanced Financial Planning and Money and Banking. It will also host two new Portfolio Management courses that will be offered this fall and run consecutively over the academic year.

Students will go through an application and interview process to be accepted for the courses and will be under the guidance of an advisory board, made up of three to five instructors and area financial professionals, who will act as clients.

Southern will dedicate the center at 2 p.m. on March 17 in Matthews Hall to Jim Goodknight, an investment representative for Edward Jones in the Four-State region. Goodknight is a 1963 graduate of Joplin Junior College. He served as an Edward Jones investment representative for 32 years, a general partner for 15 years and a regional leader for 15 years. In 1997, he received the company’s prestigious Touchstone Award for outstanding service to Edward Jones.

For more information, contact Brian Nichols at 625-9599.