Interview with Shelly Lombard, who teamed up with Stephen L. Weiss and the First Finance Institute to teach the first MOOC on Wall Street: "Wall Street: Understanding Financial Markets"
Shelly Lombard started her career by obtaining an M.B.A. in Finance and Management from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Now a Wall Street veteran, she has worked as a high-yield bond research analyst for more than two decades at some of the world’s foremost financial institutions, including Barclays, Citi, Drexel Burhnam Lambert, and Chase Manhattan Bank.
In 2007, Shelly became one of the leading research analysts on Wall Street covering the automotive industry and was a frequent speaker on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and various other media outlets.
In addition to her market experience, Shelly has spent the past seven years as an instructor and trainer in the field of capital markets where she has trained both new hires and experienced professionals at some of the world’s most prestigious investment banks.
If you are interested in the financial markets, would like to be able to better interpret financial data or make better investment decisions, this is the course for you! The Wall Street: Understanding Financial Markets MOOC will be running for four weeks, starting this February 24th.
Can you tell us more about your course? What can students expect to get out of it?
The course is an introduction to the financial markets. By the end of the course, students will understand basics such as what a stock is, what a bond is, what options are and what the risks are of all of these different types of investments.
To whom is your course addressed? Are there any professional audiences in particular whom you think can benefit from this course?
Two types of people can benefit from this course. The first are people who want to do a better job of investing their own money, whether it’s making better choices for their 401k allocations or buying individual stocks. The second type of person that can benefit from this course is anyone who is interested in a career on Wall Street, whether as a financial advisor, a banker, or even in operations.
What do you like about teaching/training and what made you decide to teach this MOOC together with Stephen L. Weiss?
I love the structure of this MOOC! It’s not just a straight lecture, which can be boring. I do really short lessons that introduce certain concepts like options or bonds. Then Stephen will tell a true story about a famous investor that lost tons of money buying options or bonds. So you learn from the short lesson and also from the “real life” story. In addition, you’ll have a chance to interact with us and ask questions during a live spree-cast. And the stock pitch contest at the end of the course should be a lot of fun.
What is the biggest change you have observed in the financial market in the past twenty years you worked on Wall Street?
There is so much information available! There are three channels that focus on the financial markets and tons of websites. So you can be overwhelmed with information and still not understand what you’re buying and what the risk is when you put your money in a bond fund. After you take this course, you’ll understand what bonds and bond funds are. When you hear an analyst on CNBC saying a stock is overvalued, you’ll know what he means.
What is the one thing that you hope students will take away from your course?
I want people to be more comfortable managing their money. I meet people all the time that put their entire 401k into money market investments because they are afraid of the stock market. They are afraid because they don’t understand it. That’s what we’re trying to change.