The Global Markets Trading Center (GMTC) is one of Kean’s lesser known tools, but one of the most immersive experiences offered at the school. Run by certain faculty and staff throughout the School of Accounting and Finance, the GMTC simulates real-time stock trade and allows students to manage their own investment portfolios.
The GMTC was created in 2016 and is used throughout both the Union and Wenzhou campuses. According to Professor Benito Sanchez, an administrator of the site who regularly incorporates the platform into his classes, the mission of the center is to allow students to gain realistic experience in the investment field without the actual risk.
“I think everybody, regarding their disciplines, should know the basics of investing because one day they will need to invest in either a retirement account or an investment account. The Global Markets Trading Center provides Kean University students with a unique possibility to simulate trading of global securities using real-time pricing without risking real money,” Sanchez said.
In the past, the center has been used solely to supplement business classes. However, access to the site is open to everyone and Sanchez has a goal of getting the GMTC to become more open and more widely utilized by students regardless of major.
“Only business students have participated. However, I would like to extend the use of the website for non-business majors. You do not need to be a finance or a business major to understand the basics of investing,” Sanchez said.
The GMTC is formatted as an online portal, similar to what can be found on an actual trading website. It includes features such as the ability to search for company quotes, a “Learn Center,” transaction and order histories, and account balances.
The main difference between Kean’s GMTC and an actual investment site is that the GMTC contains tutorial videos and articles about investing, which professors can assign their students to view through the site. It also lets students see how they rank compared to others in their trading period. Apart from those elements, everything is real except for the money.
“The website resembles what people find when they open a trading account in companies like E-Trade, Ameritrade, Schwab and Fidelity among others. The platform allows trading in major exchanges around the world and it allows finance majors to practice what they learn in the classroom,” Sanchez said. “We do not stop with the finance theory, but students put into practice what they learn in a very realistic setting. They have to consider current market issues in making their investment decisions, and they have to do the investment similarly to what they would do if [they were] working as a financial analyst.”
As an administrator, Sanchez has the ability to give the administrative title to another so that professors can design their own programs for their students.
“The administrator can set rules for the trading session such as starting and endings dates, in what exchanges to trade, the kind of securities to trade, etc.," Sanchez said.
Teachers can have their students use the GMTC for a variety of educational purposes. These can include completing projects that focus on specific trades, learning how to successfully be a portfolio manager, investing over a period and then analyzing the decisions made afterward and overall gaining experience and learning from mistakes.
Some professors, such as Sanchez, have even turned trading on the website into a contest, in which all participants start off with the same amount of money and the individual with the most progress at the end of the trading period wins a monetary prize. He is currently working on a proposal to run a university-wide contest during the upcoming spring semester, so that students beyond business majors will have an opportunity to compete.
According to Sanchez, the center has found considerable success ever since its conception, with almost 900 students participating just within the College of Business and Public Management.
“We have used this website as a showcase for the finance program in the university’s open houses. I believe students get more motivated knowing that they will practice what they learn using real-life securities in real time,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez said that any faculty or staff member that wishes to administrate a challenge should email him at email@example.com.
“I encourage different clubs across the university to try the website. The adviser of the club may contact me if the members of the club want to have access to the platform,” Sanchez said.
Evidently, the GMTC is one of the many features of Kean that goes above and beyond to give students invaluable practice and experience for what may come after moving on from this institution.
To learn more about the Global Markets Trading Center, visit their website.