Learnings from LTAG - Dr Ratna Derina

Colleagues within the Faculty of ABLE have developed a simulation activity which enables students to experience global wealth management as well as informing the enhancement of courses.

The Learning and Teaching Advancement Grant supported the University of Adelaide Wealth Management Competition (WMC) which requires teams to manage a multi-asset class portfolio over four hypothetical economic periods.

The competition was organised over two days with 48 students in 12 teams. At the beginning of the competition, teams were provided information on a futuristic global market and strategies for positioning assets and asset classes in their portfolios. During the competition, teams were given international news bulletins and had to adjust the allocation of their portfolios in response to the information in the news item. Students had to identify economic news from irrelevant or “noisy” information, understand the potential impact of economic news on global markets, and actively position their portfolios to take advantage of their forecasts. Teams were helped in their tasks by industry professionals and alumni of the Adelaide Business School. At the end of each trading session, the teams were appraised on their portfolio performance in terms of relative returns as well as risk-adjusted returns against a benchmark portfolio. Teams were then educated on the economic significance of each news item and the likely impact of the news on the global capital markets.

What was the impact of your project?

By integrating the knowledge and skills relevant to various aspects of finance into the competition, we were able to identify areas where students may have gaps in their understanding, and application, of key concepts. This process enabled us to identify specific areas for improvement within finance courses. Overall, the positive reviews from students highlighted the effectiveness of the competition in bridging the gap between academic learning and real-world application.

One thing that surprised me in undertaking this activity was…

The enthusiasm shown by industry professionals to engage with the university and participate in the competition was refreshing. It was evident that they were genuinely invested in supporting the next generation of talent.Ratna Derina

Their willingness to volunteer their time and expertise to mentor the students was both commendable and inspiring. What stood out even more was the extent to which some of these professionals went out of their way, traveling from different states, just to contribute to the students' development. This level of dedication and commitment not only highlighted the importance of industry-academic partnerships but also served as a testament to the value they placed on nurturing young minds and fostering a collaborative learning environment.

Ratna Derina

What is your key learning from this activity?

The feedback received from students highlighted the significant impact of the simulation exercise on learning and student interaction with industry professionals during the competition.

They found the hands-on nature of the simulation exercise particularly beneficial, as it provided them with practical insights and real-world applications of the theoretical knowledge they had acquired in the classroom, and the opportunity to engage directly with industry professionals allowed them to gain valuable insights from experts in the field. These interactions not only enriched their understanding of financial concepts but also provided them with practical advice and guidance relevant to their future careers in the financial sector and in effectively managing their personal finances, including post-retirement.

How could colleagues use your learnings in their practice?

We encourage other finance teaching staff to incorporate simulation exercises into their courses. The competition showed that the simulation exercise greatly improved students’ grasp of financial concepts and investment literacy. Through simulation exercises, we can create a more dynamic and practical learning environment that better reflects the realities of the finance industry.

How do you plan on building upon the results of your project?

We have plans to make the competition more inclusive and impactful by reaching a broader audience. For example, expanding the scope of our activity to include participation from high school students as well as students from other universities. By involving high school students, we aim to introduce them to the world of finance early on, providing them with valuable exposure to financial concepts and investment strategies. By inviting students from other universities to participate, we seek to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange across institutions.

How can people learn more about your project?

We welcome discussions about our project with anyone who is interested in learning more about it. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about our project to reach out, and we look forward to engaging in constructive discussions through presentations, workshops, or seminars. ratna.derina@adelaide.edu.au

Other team members:

Staff School
Associate Professor Chee Cheong Adelaide Business School
Dr Syed Zamin Ali Adelaide Business School
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