FNCE 449/668 Application Process

The page below contains the application process for FNCE 449/668 Trading and Market Data Management and an application form.

Description

Here is an outline for the combined undergraduate and MBA course "Trading and Market Data Management" that George Hart taught in January 2021 Block Week. This outline will be modified as appropriate and will become a basis for the FNCE 449/668 offering in the September 2021 Block Week. This experiential course is intended for Finance and Risk Management Majors who would like to use the data feeds and trading simulation software in our Murray Edwards Trading and Finance Lab (SH 362).

The data feeds (Bloomberg, Refinitiv Eikon and Capital IQ) are commonly used by finance professionals in Calgary, Toronto, New York, London and other major financial centres. They are used to assist in making trading, investment and hedging decisions, and to obtain information that is relevant for capital budgeting, corporate financial decisions, hedging strategy, portfolio management and investment banking.

The trading simulation software (Rotman Interactive Trader) is used by some industry participants for training and is the basis for the annual Rotman International Trading Competition (RITC) in Toronto. The trading software gives students experience in managing and trading a book of assets (commodities, equities, and physical positions), as information arrives and other traders place market and limit orders.

The course will be intensive and is only suitable for students who are seriously interested in a career in finance and who have the work ethic to succeed in a high-pressure work environment. It should be a very rewarding course for those students. Students must have completed FNCE 317. The course will be valuable for FNCE and RMIF majors early, as well as late in their BComm career.

It is designed to complement, rather than replace, other FNCE electives. Thus, some students have taken it as an overload to their FNCE requirements.

Prequisites, Co-requisites and Anti-requisites

FNCE 317 is a pre-requisite.

Also for MBA Students
Consideration will be given to MBA students who have taken FNCE 601, in which case the course will be FNCE 668. MBA candidates need to submit all of their undergraduate transcripts for courses similar to those require for undergraduates. Some MBA students will not have all of the pre-requisites, but if they are lacking too many, the application won't be accepted because they will be too far behind the undergraduates in preparation.

There are no co-requisites or anti-requisites. In particular, this course may be taken before, after or alongside the CPMT course, unlike the arrangement for previous years.

Application Process

As per the instructions below, please do not apply until you have an unofficial transcript that includes grades for your Winter 2021 courses.

Enrollment in the course is by "Permission of Instructor". There is an application form (see below), which students must complete and submit to George Hart by email from their University of Calgary Account, along with the PDF version of their unofficial transcripts, as provided by MyUofC at the University of Calgary or their prior institutions. Applications are due June 1, 2021 and applicants will notified of their status by June 8, 2021. The list of qualified students for the "Permission of Instructor" part of the course will be sent to the Undergrad and MBA Offices for the course registration requirement.

This is how to obtain your unoffical transcript:

1) Sign in through the MyUofC portal to get to your Student Centre
2) Select the "Exams and Grades" page
3) Select "View Unofficial Transcript"
4) Under Report Type select "Courses and Credits" and then select "View Report"
5) Save the report as a PDF.

After obtaining your unoffcial transcript complete this application form and email both to George Hart at the address above.


Selection Criteria

Applications are assessed on the basis of the grades in Mathematics, Statistics, Computing Science, Economics and Finance courses, and give extra credit to students who have taken more challenging courses. If you did these courses at another university (eg, you are an MBA student now), you need to submit the transcripts for those course grades from the other university.

Thus, for example, Math 249 is required for entry into the BComm program, but Math 251 and 265 are accepted as harder substitutes (fewer students take it because it is more challenging and taking calculus in high school signals a quantitative orientation). If a student earns a B- in Math 251, it is treated as a B+ in the GPA calculation. If the student also takes Math 253 or a 300-level Math course, that is counted in the GPA with the same 2-step bump..

A similar bump is applied for Economics, Computing and Statistics elective courses and courses that augment the basic course requirement.

Students may also ask for references to be submitted to augment their application. Students who don't arrange for a reference are not penalized, so a student should only arrange for a reference if it is likely to be strongly positive. The reference should take the form of an email from the referee's corporate or organizational email account, along with a telephone number for any follow-up questions that may arise. References from the following two categories of referees are usefull:

  • References from professors in classes where students have made a particularly strong contribution. They do not need to be Finance classes.
  • References from employers in the finance industry where the student has been able to demonstrate an aptitude for finance that would assist them in taking this course.

In Winter 2021, the cutoff GPA from this calculation was 3.4. It will vary from year to year, depending on the number of students who apply, but it has been in the range 3.4 to 3.5 for some time.


Ethics

The Haskayne School places a great emphasis on the importance of ethical decision-making and behaviour by students. Ethics takes a position on a spectrum of behaviour that varies from annoying to illegal and/or behaviour that violates rules and regulations of a governing organization, such as the University. Unethical behaviour impacts negatively on other people, even if it is allowed under the strict rule of the law or policies and procedures of the University.

The University rules allow students to add or drop a course before a specified add/drop date and this allows a student to sample a course before deciding whether to take it. In full semester courses, a student can drop a course and be conveniently replaced by a wait-listed student who merely has to work a bit harder to cover the material from the first few lectures that were missed. The incoming student is usually already on campus and doesn't have to make special travel plans to enter the course. So, dropping a regular full-semester course is not unethical behaviour.

The situation changes with a Block Week course for two reasons. First, Block Week takes place so quickly, that a replacement student needs to be able to react within minutes of an opening becoming available to avoid missing a full day (20%) of the course. Second, students typically make travel plans well in advance of Block Week, so that a replacement student is rarely able to be on campus on short notice. Moreover, it is very hard to quickly work through a waiting list of students who might be trying to get into the course, when only one student can be offered an opening at a time.

This doesn't necessarily mean that dropping a Block Week course on short notice (within a month of the start of the course) is unethical. But, when there are many more students qualified to take the course than there are seats available for registration, dropping a Block Week course on short notice has the effect of preventing a qualified student from taking the course. This behaviour is allowed under University regulations, but is unethical because of the negative impact on fellow students.

The Trading and Market Data Management Class is restricted to 18 students because of the limited Lab size. The course is oversubscribed and it has not been possible to find replacement students on short notice in the few situations where students dropped the course mere days before the start of the course.