Students will soon be testing their investment abilities with professional-quality electronic securities trading equipment

Students at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business will soon be testing their investment abilities with professional-quality electronic securities trading equipment in a new financial trading computer lab in Matheson Hall. And some students will also be equipped with real money to invest in the market with money set aside by Drexel’s Trustees for the new Dragon Fund, which is to be managed by a student investment club - under faculty advisement of course.

Students will have to present to the Trustees on the fund’s performance and will be measured against Drexel’s professional fund-managers, as well as typical benchmarks like the S&P 500, said LeBow College Dean George Tsetsekos. By supplementing money from Drexel’s endowment with donations, the goal is to grow Dragon Fund to $1 million, he said.

Having real money at stake will bring valuable realism to the student investment club’s activities, said Associate Professor of Finance Edward Nelling. “I think that part of the challenge to being an effective analyst or portfolio manager is to make the decisions - in street terminology, to be able to pull the trigger,” he said.

The trading lab was built thanks to the generosity of alumni and equipment support from IBM and the electronic display maker Trans Lux. According to Tsetsekos, the largest information ticker of any business school trading lab will be installed in the facility, located on the Matheson’s first floor on Drexel’s main Philadelphia campus.

The LeBow lab will feature a variety of computer programs, enabling students to track financial data for thousands of companies going back decades. Drexel Alumnus George Montgomery, president of Montgomery Investment Technology Inc., provided a derivatives evaluation program that will allow students to research that type of investment.