WSSU Students will invest $100,000 in Stock Market to Help Grow Scholarship Fund
One group of students at Winston-Salem State University is getting hands-on Wall Street experience in the classroom, thanks to a new facility on campus.
A 45- foot-long New York Stock Exchange ticker hangs above the entrance to the Financial Trading Room at Winston-Salem State University. The new center officially opened March 19.
The dark red room is located in the R.J. Reynolds building on campus and has two large, flat screen TV’s that display stock market information 24 hours a day.
“The Trading Room also provides access to Morning Star Direct for the students and faculty to use for research on economics and finance projects and the students who are participating in the student investment fund will use the capabilities in the room to do their research,” says Nicholas Daves, Director of the Center of Excellence and Financial Services at WSSU.
The student investment fund is $100,000 donated by individuals and community groups. WSSU students will invest the money to benefit other students.
Briana Rose, a sophomore majoring in accounting at WSSU says, “ I’m a part of the student investment fund because the profit that we gained from investing will be used for scholarships, which is awesome. The reason that I came here was because of a scholarship, so it will be great for me to try to give back.”
Rose is among 12 student volunteers who are researching the stock market to help build an investment portfolio for the program. Each team member has a role, ranging from mutual fund manager to stock analyst. They meet one a week to discuss their selections and vote on the top contenders.
Diana McCollum of Winston-Salem is a finance and economics major at WSSU. She is in charge of monitoring the bond sectors.
“It’s exciting because we are doing the real thing and getting some practical experience but it is also nerve racking, because this money could be gone just like that. It’s a little bit of both but we are staying positive and trying to make the right decisions,” says McCollum.
Bryant Bell, a stock analyst in the student investment fund, says the experience is challenging and fun.
“What you feel is a lot of is competition. We are all competing to see who can pretty much learn the most and perform the best. We are learning a lot from each other that way.”
The student investment fund also gives students a chance to learn about finance careers.
“This interests me on the entrepreneurial aspect because I want to be one myself. This experience has really opened my eyes to see what type of market I want to get into and be successful in,” says Juan Aguilar, a senior marketing major at the university.
T. Linwood Woodley, a senior in the program, takes his role as the fund manager for the student investment fund very seriously. He says the program will help strengthen communities.
“At the university and I would say in the culture sometimes, because I did a research paper on African Americans and for this being an HBCU, we don’t typically make a lot of money or save a lot of money. If you don’t have money to save you can’t invest. This opportunity of investing allows us to break those stereotypes of not being able to invest or save,” says Woodley.
Later this month, the team of students will begin investing part of the $100,000.