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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Earn while you learn

By Pano Mintiloglitis

Many college students may jump at the chance to make money while attending classes, and U students have the chance to do just that.

With the U’s Finance 3050 “Introduction to Investments” course, students can gain more than just knowledge while participating in their class experiments.

Elena Asparouhova, assistant professor of finance at the U, conducts stock- market-like trading experiments as part of her class, enabling students to put their skills to the test and gain some real- world experience.

“It’s cool-you start with such small amounts, not really knowing what you’re doing, and then one day she (Asparouhova) shows up with envelopes with the money we made,” said Steve Fletcher, a senior in finance.

In addition to gaining an overall introduction to the world of investing, students participate in a couple of lab-like experiments in which they trade three different securities. The experiments simulate financial markets and allow students to monitor their progress.

The securities are limited to three to allow more control so Asparouhova and her students can obtain more accurate results than financial advisers who have to calculate real-world data.

These experiments are conducted by the U’s Laboratory for Experimental Economics and Finance (UULEEF). The laboratory is one of only a few of its kind.

Asparouhova ran her first experiment in 2004, and since then around 400 students have participated.

However, students are not the only ones who can take part in the testing. Asparouhova runs separate experiments than those of her classes for research purposes.

The class trials require a $15 fee and students usually earn their initial investment back; Asparouhova said that good strategy is definitely rewarded.

Meghan Pooley, a junior in accounting said, “I didn’t know what was going on, I was just pushing buttons. By the end, I was really trying to trade a security for a good price and maintain market equilibrium, and I like that I got paid for it.”

For more information or to participate in the experiments, visit

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