The Securities Markets Analysis Research and Trading Lab, or SMART Lab, provides a simulated trading floor that students use to advise the LSU Foundation on how to invest funds in LSU’s Tiger Fund portfolio. This experience allows students to gain knowledge in the fast-paced world of securities analysis, research, and trading. The lab’s networked workstations are equipped with the latest hardware and professional analytic software, including Bloomberg, to give students significant on-the-job-style training in portfolio construction, risk management, and financial engineering.
Established in 2002, the SMART Lab was made possible with appropriated funds from the Louisiana legislature. In February 2011, LSU Department of Finance alumnus John Tarleton became the first donor to make an ongoing commitment to help sustain the SMART Lab. Private funding is essential to maintain the SMART Lab and ensure this learning opportunity is continuously available to students.
The SMART Lab features a variety of financial software available for students:
12 Bloomberg Terminals
Ibbotson Investment Analysis Software
OS Financial Trading System
IPS Advisor Pro
Interactive Library-Virtual Assistant Financial Advisor Toolbox
In April 2009, the SMART Lab served as the setting for the E. J. Ourso College of Business's announcement that its Department of Finance had demonstrated its curriculum met the requirements to be a CFA Institute Program Partner. To earn this distinction, the Department of Finance illustrated to the CFA Institute that its undergraduate and graduate curriculum sufficiently covers the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge and the CFA Institute's ethical and professional standards. An official partnership signing was held in the SMART Lab with CFA Institute University Relations Head Bob McLean, CFA representing the organization. [MORE]
Along with its 50 networked workstations, the SMART Lab also features 12 Bloomberg terminals and offers students the opportunity to obtain Bloomberg online training. Bloomberg is a comprehensive interactive system that provides financial information about publicly traded companies worldwide, extensive data and analytics for equities, fixed income and derivatives as well as news and economic data. The Bloomberg Essentials Online Training Program is designed primarily to expose users to Bloomberg's capabilities. The program is comprised of five separate modules, starting with Bloomberg basics and building to more specific topics, such as equity, fixed income or foreign exchange.
Student Managed Investment Fund
Each semester the SMART Lab serves as both a classroom and teaching aide for the students managing the LSU Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF), or the Tiger Fund. The Tiger Fund was founded in the spring of 2005 by a generous grant from the LSU Foundation. The primary investment objective of the Tiger Fund is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing in U.S. equities that are members of the Russell Top 200 Index and exceed the total return of the index. The secondary objective of the Fund is to enhance the educational programs of the E. J. Ourso College of Business by providing its students with valuable hands-on experience in security analysis and the management of an investment portfolio, and by strengthening their skills and abilities in market analysis, financial research, oral and written communication, and teamwork. [MORE]