Capital Market Education – Non-existent? 17 Dec 2014
It was at one of my personal mentoring sessions with a trader that a curious question came up. We were discussing Fibonacci ratios and I was explaining animatedly about how it is so prevalent all around us when the other person asked me as why, if this was so widely present, is this topic not ever mentioned in school and college curriculum? For a moment I was actually stumped! I realized that what this person had said was indeed very true and had it not been for my association with markets and technical analysis, I might have completely missed out on the prevalence of the Golden ratio in the universe! Not that it would have made so much material difference to my life- but neither does physics or chemistry or biology or economics or any other subject. We can all get by without any of those. But education makes our life richer and broadens the mind and prepares it for the challenges that we face in life with much greater confidence and ability. So missing out a piece of knowledge that is so widely prevalent seems, to say the least, curious.
Thinking along those lines, I realized also that how little our colleges and schools really prepare us for a career in the markets! Even people coming out of business schools have very little idea about how markets function and what they can do in it. But most banks and broking houses and mutual funds recruit people from B-schools because they may know something more or perhaps they are better than most other graduates because they could make it to a B-school!
It is quite incredible that we still don’t have market dedicated programs made available even in B-schools. There have been a couple of schools that started such courses but they did it during the lean years of the markets. Apparently, they have given up because not many of the students could be placed! After all, these days, B-schools are all about placement rather than imparting education!
Here we are talking about broad knowledge about markets- not even specialized knowledge, which is really what is required. Since most of these colleges cover some portions of fundamental studies, there is at least some idea about fundamental research etc. However, the courses are completely deficient in areas of Technical analysis and Derivatives, which today are such a major part of market activity. This does not even extend then to professional trading (any asset class) or deal with Mind or Risk management. Since there isn’t even a modicum of understanding or realization of the necessity of all these, students from colleges come away without any idea whatsoever of what is required for them to succeed in the markets.
One may well say that it is rather similar in other courses as well but there is a huge difference. When you graduate as a Science or Commerce or Arts stream or get professionally qualified in other areas, you join an organization that provides various kinds of supports for you to function. However, the market is a very mercenary place where each individual is by himself with hardly any help or support coming thru from others. The need for good education is therefore even more paramount.
At Growth Avenues, we try to do our bit in this area of educating individuals and corporates about markets, about methodologies, about analysis formats, about Options, about Trading Psychology etc. etc. It is still a drop in the ocean of what is required. We are also designing a detailed 6-month course for people wanting to learn in detail. Hopefully, that will plug the lacuna to a small extent!