Trader’s Gift Grows Financial Futures
Houston native Rachel Price, a junior, is pursuing a double major in actuarial science and finance, in the Integrated Business Curriculum program in the University of Idaho’s College of Business and Economics. As a member of the Barker Capital Management & Trading Program, she functions as a portfolio analyst – trading real funds – in the Bulls and Bears Trading room in the J.A. Albertson Building.
It is the only program in the country that provides students with hands-on experience trading with real capital. The program is unique in that it provides the opportunity for students to trade a portfolio with a range of securities including equities, fixed income, foreign exchange, and derivatives.
Rotchford “Rotchy” Barker ’61 (accounting) -- a successful trader at the Chicago Board of Trade for 30 years -- funded the high-tech trading room, endowment for operational support, and trading accounts for the students. The Barker Bulls and Bears Trading Room includes a Bloomberg Terminal, seven trading stations with real-time data feeds from the major exchanges, and multiple platforms for trading and data analysis. The focus of the program is on risk and money management with ethics and professionalism.
“He did all this for us and provided access to capital for us to start with,” Price says. “The donations fund individual traders with accounts so they can practice with real money. But first you go through training. Even if you don’t want to be a funds trader, you learn so much. You have wonderful teachers and you learn to work with a portfolio manager and a chief financial officer, and how to report to them. There’s even a Bloomberg terminal so you can become certified, which is a great thing to put on your resume.”
The program is designed for multiple majors in the College of Business and Economics and additional majors, including Ag Economics, across campus. Once the courses are complete, students apply for a position to trade a funded account owned by a non-profit LLC. The program is intended to be a learning experience, not necessarily a profit-center and any losses are covered by the program, while profits are reinvested in the endowment to fund operating expenses and, eventually, student scholarships.
Each year, the students report their funds’ histories to Rotchy and a select group of donors. “It was very inspiring,” Price says. “I felt proud to be there. I felt inspired to go out and learn as much as I could about the markets and investing.”
Without the generosity of such donors and a C.W. Moore scholarship, Rachel wouldn’t be the proud Vandal she is today.
“If I hadn’t gotten the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to come to school here,” she says. “But the university provided for me and here I am. I’m a double major and I’m an analyst in the Barker Program and I know where I want to go with my future. The scholarship has done all that for me.
“Thank you so much for this opportunity.”
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