Financial Markets Laboratory

Plugging students into financial-sector technology

In a global marketplace driven by complex and often interconnected forces, and by rapid and continual technological change, financial markets can shift in a keystroke.

At the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, we give students hands-on training in the cutting-edge software and data products they will need to track, understand and trade in the global financial markets.

Two pioneering Financial Markets Labs at the Smith School are equipped with real-time and historical data and econometric analytical tools provided by leading industry vendors. The labs also feature data on equity, fixed income and commodity markets that are displayed on four electronic boards and two electronic stock tickers.

Our Financial Markets Teaching Theater, equipped with 32 personal-computer terminals and 64 seats, is used mainly for teaching classes.

Our Financial Markets Data Center, equipped with 16 PC terminals and 32 seats, is an open lab that lets students use real-time and historical financial accounting data, and macro- and micro-economic data, to conduct research and complete projects and assignments. They also can build and test investment portfolios using professional software packages.

In our Financial Markets Labs, students learn where to find information, and how to use best-of-class products to retrieve that information, increasing their understanding of financial instruments and markets.

At the Smith School, our students are wired into the technology they need to navigate the global financial markets.

The Smith School

Inspired to learn. Determined to succeed.

Currently the portfolio of products available on all 50 PCs in the Financial Markets Labs (17 in the 1318 VMH Lab and 33 in the VMH 3505 Lab), on PCs at Shady Grove, DC, and Baltimore campuses and using the vSmith portal or WRDS includes the following:

Refinitiv (formerly Thomson Reuters) Products:

  • Refinitiv Eikon (3505 VMH Financial Markets Lab only)
  • Refinitiv Eikon – Microsoft Excel (3505 VMH Financial Markets Lab only)
  • Refinitiv SDC Platinum Databases (only accessible using the vSmith portal):
    • Worldwide Mergers & Acquisitions
    • Global New Issues
    • VentureXpert
    • Joint Ventures / Alliances
    • Global Public Finance / Municipals
    • Corporate Restructurings / Bankruptcies
    • Corporate Governance / Poison Pills & Proxy Fights
  • Refinitiv Databases accessible only using the WRDS website:
    • Institutional Brokers' Estimate System (I/B/E/S)
    • Global Funds Holdings
    • Mutual Funds Holdings
    • 13f Institutional Holdings
    • Insider Filings and Holdings
    • DealScan
    • Worldscope

Bloomberg Products:

  • Bloomberg Professional Terminals (not available on the vSmith portal)
  • Microsoft Office with the Bloomberg Add-in (not available on the vSmith portal)
  • Bloomberg BNA

Morningstar Products:

  • Morningstar Direct - Local
  • Morningstar Direct – Cloud
  • Microsoft Excel with the Morningstar Direct Add-in

Mergent Products:

  • Mergent Online
  • Mergent Archives
  • Hoovers
  • Mergent Intellect
  • Mergent Key Business Ratios
  • Mergent Fixed Income Securities Database (FISD) (only accessible using WRDS website)

S&P Global Market Intelligence Products:

  • Capital IQ (1318 VMH Financial Markets Lab only)
  • Microsoft Office with the Capital IQ Add-in (1318 VMH Financial Markets Lab only)
  • Compustat Database (only accessible using WRDS website)


Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS)
(This list contains just some of the principal data products available via WRDS)

  • Audit Analytics Database
  • Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) Databases:
    • US Equity Daily and Monthly Database 1925 – present
    • US Equity, Treasury Indices, and Portfolio Assignments
    • Monthly US Government Bills, Notes, and Bonds
    • Survivor Bias Free US Mutual Fund
    • CRSP / Compustat Merged
  • Dow Jones Averages and Total Return Indices Databases
  • Eventus 
  • Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) Databases:
    • Historical Directors
    • Historical Governance - Takeover Defense
    • Incentive Lab - US and Europe
    • Voting Analytics – Mutual Fund Vote Records
  • MFLINKS Database
  • NYSE, AMEX, NASDAQ NMS Trade & Quote (TAQ) Database
  • OptionMetrics Database
  • WRDS SEC Analytics Suite

Mission Statement

The Financial Markets Laboratory will provide world-class teaching and research opportunities in financial markets for the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

— A message from the first Financial Markets Lab director, Dr. Russ Wermers

Our vision was to design and build a lab structure with technology to support financial research and to help educate business students for the financial environment of the 21st century. The lab enables access to leading-edge financial analysis software and real-time international financial data feeds to provide Smith School students with the hands-on modeling experience that will give them an edge in competing for the most promising careers in various subfields of finance. We view the impact on student education and employment opportunities as the number one priority for this lab.

A second priority for the lab is to enable research in the areas of market microstructure, risk management strategies, derivatives pricing, financing and valuation of knowledge-based companies, and other technology-driven financial research areas. The lab enables participants to conduct analyses in real-time, using the most advanced analytical software available. In addition, we wish to evaluate, in a research setting, various software products that become available for the teaching mission of the lab before fully implementing them in a teaching setting.

Thus, our vision for the lab was to create one of the most advanced research and teaching environments in the world. The lab:

  • Provides cutting-edge training in financial modeling and analysis for undergraduate and MBA finance courses, as well as enabling the development of certificate programs in contemporary issues in finance, such as risk management, derivatives strategies, and structured products;
  • Supports and enhances academic research through the availability of extensive data;
  • Stimulates opportunities for collaborative research and teaching alliances among fields such as logistics, operations research, accounting systems, information systems, and finance; and;
  • Serves as an information repository for live feed data and financial databases needed for both research and teaching.

The University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business is extremely grateful for the continuing in-kind support of these organizations. They have contributed greatly to the success of the Financial Markets Labs.

  • Thomson Reuters LLC
  • Bloomberg Finance LP
  • Standard & Poor's
  • Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP)
  • IBISWorld, Inc.
  • IHS Global, Inc.
  • Morningstar Inc.
  • MSCI, Inc.


Contact Us

Charles H. LaHaie, MS, MBA, MSB-Finance
Assistant Director, Financial Markets and Research Labs
Office of Smith IT

1318 Van Munching Hall
Phone: 301-405-0914

3505 Van Munching Hall
Phone: 301-405-9724

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