On March 15, a group of our students took part in a guided tour at the Barcelona Stock Exchange. While the experience was completely different from what you see in movies – no The Wolf of Wall Street-style mayhem – it was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of the stock market and the history of the Barcelona Stock Exchange. Here’s what we discovered.
About the Barcelona Stock Exchange
The Barcelona Stock exchange – Borsa de Barcelona – was founded in 1915 and is located on Passeig de Gràcia, in the financial heart of the city. Its most emblematic space, the Electronic Trading Floor serves as a meeting point for Barcelona Stock Exchange members and provides real-time information on all Spanish and international markets. Traders can track the changes in their stocks with the help of a video wall and 600 screens (which even stretch into the cafeteria so no important changes are left unnoticed during lunch hours). The Electronic Trading Floor is open to the public and welcomes thousands of visitors each year.
The guided visit began with a short, interactive presentation. The Barcelona Stock Exchange tour guides Guillermo and Ferran welcomed the group in a conference room, where they spoke about the basic functions of the stock market.
Exploring the Electronic Trading Floor
After the presentation, the tour guides accompanied the group to the Electronic Trading Floor, where they explained the main elements of the large stock exchange screen. As a fun brain-stimulating exercise, they asked the students which stock they’d be interested to invest in based on what they’d learned so far.
Since the stock exchange is now 100% digitalized and doesn’t require traders to be physically present, the floor was virtually empty: there were only a handful of people there who prefer face-to-face negotiation. We didn’t get to see much live action but the tour did give us an idea of what the floor must have been like before digital times.
Naturally, we had a lot of questions for the tour guides. Some students were curious to find out how bonds compare to stocks in terms of investment. Guillermo and Ferran explained the difference between the two and pointed out that bonds are better for short-term investment, while stocks favour long-term investors.
The biggest takeaway from the tour was that investing in stocks is not as complicated as it seems. In fact, once you analyze the depths of an investment and the profits of a stock, it is actually quite simple. According to the guides, in order to know when to invest and what to invest in (stocks or bonds), you first need to analyze your needs in the short term, mid-term and long term and then decide accordingly.
Investing in cryptocurrencies may be the cool thing to do these days, but this visit to the Barcelona Stock Exchange definitely piqued the students’ interest in investing in stocks. As young adults, it’s time for us to start thinking in the long-term and making smart financial decisions – which includes searching for ways to make profitable investments.
Thank you to the Barcelona Stock Exchange for having us and introducing us to the exciting world of the stock market!
If you’d like to take part in our next adventure, check out our upcoming events!