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Opening the World of Investments and Financial Markets to Students

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Finance majors in Brian Roseman’s courses this fall are hearing a lot about investments and financial markets from the assistant professor of finance, who joined the campus this fall.  

The business educator holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s in financial economics from Utah State University, as well as a doctorate in finance from the University of Mississippi.   

A member of the American Finance and Financial Management associations, Roseman has written for industry publications and is co-author of “1-Share Orders and Trades,” forthcoming in the Journal of Banking and Finance.

What inspired you to go into finance?

I was always interested in investing. As early as high school I would trade stocks at the school computers during lunchtime; however, I was clueless about how to actually invest. I just thought that the stock market was a neat idea.

In college, as I was finishing my masters, I was set to pursue a career in investing. At the time, one of my professors convinced me that there was high demand for business professionals with doctorates, and suggested that I consider a Ph.D. before entering the workforce. Although I initially sought to work privately in investments, I found the research side of the doctorate program very stimulating, which pushed me into academics. Additionally, I felt there was a positive social benefit in becoming an educator.

What are your research interests and why?

I explore the microstructure of stock markets— how the stock market works, how trading is facilitated and what makes the markets run efficiently. This includes looking at the volatility of stock prices, the cost to trade securities and how much trading occurs on a given day. Nowadays, in 2016, essentially the entirety of trading is electronic. Computers process news, read tweets and respond in milliseconds. Millions of shares are traded every single day.

My favorite question that I like to address in my research is, why do we even need financial markets at all? Recent events, such as the Occupy Wall Street and the Wall Street vs. Main Street debates, have increased the pressure on why the finance industry matters at all. Certainly there are instances of unethical practices that should be addressed. However, a lot of research, including some of my own,  has shown that well-developed financial markets have positive benefits on society and the economy as a whole.

How do you engage students in your classes and or research?

Hands-on opportunities are the best way to learn. I like to provide real data and investing scenarios for students to work with. The mathematics of finance is a really interesting subject, but it’s easy to get lost unless there is an application using real data. Real data provides students the opportunity to see the direct applications

What changes do you envision in your field five years from now?

I see the finance industry taking a lot more responsibility for its actions. Recent unethical events in the last few years have highlighted the need for the finance industry to seriously check itself to ensure that finance has a positive benefit on society. Certainly if the industry doesn’t do it themselves, then politicians and regulators will find a way to do it for them.

What is one good tip for people to remember when it comes to finance?

Avoid debt with the exception of a reasonable mortgage, and save for the future.