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Stock Simulations Provide Hands-on Investing Experience

April 15, 2014
Shane Simbeck finished 2nd in optionMONSTER’s March Madness Trading Tournament simulation by making – virtually – close to $300,000

When Shane Simbeck ’14 made $17,000 investing in Under Armour stock back in 2008, he was hooked on the stock market.  For the next 6 years, he honed his trading skills – attending Merrimack classes, reading books, learning fundamental and technical analysis skills, and participating in stock trading simulations. 

His hard work paid off this week – literally – when he finished 2nd in optionMONSTER’s March Madness Trading Tournament simulation by making – virtually – close to $300,000.  “Stock simulations are a great way to hone your skills.  The more you practice trading, the better you get,” says Simbeck, one of more than 700 students participating in the options trading tournament.  Merrimack was well-represented in the top 10 – Simbeck was joined by Jameson Dunn ’15, president of the Merrimack Finance Club, in his top 10 finish.

Simbeck started trading options in 2012, and jumped at the chance to participate in the free tournament on, using it as an opportunity to test his stock and option trading skills against other business school students.  With $100,000 and four weeks to execute trades, he set to work, but not before encouraging other Merrimack students and Finance Club members to participate.   

All Merrimack finance students are introduced to trading simulations through StockTrak and the Wall Street Journal as part of finance professor Mary Papazian’s Financial Analysis course.  “The students participate in simulations that teach them about risk-reward and the volatility inherent in the markets,” says Papazian.  Stock market simulations and virtual trading applications provide real-time streaming platforms that feature global equities, bonds, options, futures, commodities and more, and help students practice their trading skills. 

In addition to his coursework, Simbeck serves as a lab assistant in Merrimack’s state-of-the-art Bloomberg Lab, where he is currently certified in Fixed Income and Equities.  Of her lab assistant Papazian says, “Shane’s working knowledge of Bloomberg will make him marketable to firms because they don’t have to train him.  He is already comfortable using a Bloomberg terminal.”  Simbeck hopes to spend his days at a Bloomberg terminal doing equity research and someday becoming a hedge fund manager. 

His successful 2nd-place finish involved shorting the markets with put options.  He paid particular attention to momentum stocks, such as Twitter, Amazon, Netflix, LinkedIn, Tesla, and Facebook, and also shorted ETFs that track the NASDAQ and S&P 500 industry averages. 

When asked about his original investment in Under Armour, Simbeck says, “I think a loss might have made me even hungrier to learn about the stock market.”

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    Shane Simbeck at Merrimack's Bloomberg Mucci Capital Markets Lab

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