Wharton Securities Exchange (WSX)

Students buy and sell securities in a real-time classroom session using the tools of a real-life trader

Learning Lab Wharton Securities Exchange Screenshot

The Wharton Securities Exchange is a dynamic, real-time trading environment that gives students an authentic trading experience by simulating the products used by securities traders today.

Using a state of the art interface, WSX allows groups of students to trade a fixed set of simulated securities, using limit and market orders to determine the correct pricing of these securities. The application uses a multi-window interface that includes an order window, an order history window, an active bid/ask window, and a chart window with graphical market volume and pricing displays.

The application is designed for concurrent use by groups of students — they can log in to WSX, then set bid and ask prices for securities. The market comes to life through the actions of the students as they experience the challenging and sometimes nerve-wracking dynamics of trading and price discovery.

With WSX students must analyze market conditions, determine the outlook on each stock’s prospective yield, and make timely decisions on buying and selling securities. Because the trading screen is the only source of information on the stocks traded in a WSX session, each window is crucial to individual performance and ultimate success.

Order and Montage Window — The student’s interaction with the market is done in the Order/Montage Window. Securities are bought and sold at current market prices; Bids and Offers are placed. All currently open Bids and Offers are displayed, with the best (highest) Bid and best (lowest) Offer on top.

Positions Window — Displays the student’s current positions on all available stocks and cash, as well as the total value of all positions. In addition, the window displays current high bids, current low offers, and the last transaction price for each stock.

Order History Window — Presents all of the trader’s transactions on a selected security. Transactions are listed in reverse-chronological order from the top, with a timestamp of the seconds remaining in the period when the transaction was made. The student can choose a given security from a list of all securities at the top of the window.

Graph Window — Plots all of the transactions on a given security, as well as the high bid and low offer at any point in time.

Score Window — Reflects the student’s performance, which is calculated after each period of a trial. Each student’s rank for the current trial is determined by the amount of cash value held (by the current market value of all stock positions added to the student’s cash on hand) after dividends have been paid out on stock holdings. The cumulative rank of each student is a reflection of the ranks achieved in all previous trials of this exercise. A trading bonus is also reported and calculated as a percentage of the amount earned in the trial by the student.

Students report that WSX is “user-friendly”, “realistic” and “informative”.