Finance Students Tour the New York Stock Exchange
Six students overseeing Providence College’s first Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) and their professor toured the New York Stock Exchange with Paul G. Maguire ’90, a member of PC’s Board of Trustees who worked for 20 years as a specialist on the exchange floor.
The students, five seniors and a junior, applied to be accepted into the finance course, Student Managed Investment Fund, which offers them hands-on research and investment experience managing real money in PC’s endowment fund. The students make stock picks, track market activity, and learn about investing from analysts and consultants.
The SMIF includes about $112,000 to date, much of it donated by alumni.
The instructor, Dr. Christopher B. Alt, adjunct professor of finance, and the students took a bus to New York City for the tour and discussions with stock exchange personnel. The tour was led by Maguire and two of his former colleagues, John Porcelli and Michael Pistillo.
The trip provided a rare look inside the exchange, where security has increased since the terrorist attacks in 2001.
“Getting an insider to explain the place to us is great for me, not just for you,” Alt told students before the visit. “You won’t get another opportunity like this in your whole lives.”
Students in the course are Jesse Aversano ’12 (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), Timothy Meyers ’12 (Methuen, Mass.), Patrick Murphy ’13 (Barrington, R.I.), Ngoc Pham ’12 (Hanoi, Vietnam), Michael Signorelli ’12 (Scituate, Mass.), and Ana-Maria Sima ’12 (Bucharest, Romania).
Murphy described the trading floor as “a powerful place.”
“The way (Maguire and Porcelli) spoke about the period decades earlier made me wish I could have seen it then, during times like when the Dow hit 10,000, or the Enron scandal,” said Murphy. “I was surprised to see how calm everyone was. New technologies have made the specialist role a lot easier, and as a result, the floor was not as crowded or hectic as I expected.”
Pham said she had always wanted to visit the stock exchange, “one of the most exciting places for finance and business people all over the world.”
“We had a chance to watch specialists work, see all the computers they use, and listen to them explain how they do things,” said Pham. “We also got to see how technologies have changed over time. That helps the specialists a lot with their jobs.”
Sima agreed that the trip was the chance of a lifetime, and like the other students, said she was grateful for the opportunity. She said it gave students a chance to connect what they learned in the classroom with work in the real world.
“It was incredible to be able to see the traders, ask them questions, and listen to stories about the old days of NYSE,” Sima said. “Everyone seemed happy to do their job and a couple were nostalgic because the stock exchange is not the way it used to be. I am grateful I got to go there and I am excited that the school is offering us more and more opportunities to integrate the theories we learn with real-world experience.”
In reflecting on the tour, Maguire said the three elements of his life that have meant the most to him are his family, Providence College, and the stock exchange.
“For 20 years, the New York Stock Exchange was my home,” Maguire said. “The exchange and the people who make a living there really hold a special place in my heart, as does Providence College. It was a great privilege for me to bring two very important components of my life, PC and the NYSE, together.”
— Vicki-Ann Downing