The University of Illinois Securities Exchange Simulation
(UISES (You-EYE-ses)) is a state of the art investment simulation designed to give students practical experience with investments and to foster a degree of familiarity with the technology that dominates the business world today.
Since purchases and sales are executed in multiple currencies: US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euros, and Pounds Sterling; students must explicitely manage their foreign exchange exposure by taking positions in currencies as well as foreign currency denominated assets.
UISES is a required part of the Finance 300 “Financial Markets” and Finance 361 “Investments” classes. All students majoring in Finance are required to manage a $1 million portfolio on behalf of a hypothetical client. Students are required to maintain accurate investment accounts, to audit their on-line broker, and to present to their clients financially accurate and professional stewardship reports. Students pusuing the Investments class use UISES to test their ability to turn theoretical advantage into a real world trading strategy.
Individual stock ownership is still very much the purview of the rich. Although 84% of the population owns shares through mutual funds, insurance, or pensions, most of these investors have little or no fundamental knowledge of public ownership or markets, and little or no experience in portfolio management. Yet with an increasing emphasis on 401K plans and portable self-directed retirement funds, a basic knowledge of markets and investments is fast becoming as critical a financial skill as being able to balance your checkbook. Our objective is to make stock ownership more comfortable for the average person by providing an easy mechanism to manage a simulated portfolio and learn about the markets and investments, particularly through public libraries and high schools.
The empowerment of this education to students who may never advance beyond high school gives these most ‘at risk’ students an opportunity to learn about investments as opposed to never learning anything more than what they can glean from the headlines. The Rotary Challenge and UISES are designed to help students most in need of this education achieve this goal rather than never understanding and never trusting the capital markets in their own economy.