Know Your Concentration: Finance

Interested in a Concentration in Finance? Learn more from Associate Professor Andy Prevost below!

Andy Prevost, started at UVM in 2015 and has taught:

    • BSAD 181 – Intermediate Financial Management
    • BSAD 180 – Managerial Finance (online)
    • BSAD 288 – Wall St. Seminar
    • BSAD 281 – Fixed Income Security Analysis

Can you give a brief overview of what it means to be a Finance concentration?

Most finance courses fall into one of three basic areas. For example, companies need money to operate while there are people who have extra money to invest – they find each other through the financial markets. Corporate finance courses study what companies do with this money and how it affects their value, while investments courses study how people view the risks and returns of these investments. Financial markets courses study how the two sides connect.

What are some important things for students interested in Finance to know?

My degrees were in economics, so I think of finance as the intersection between accounting and economics. Finance (especially corporate finance) uses the language of accounting but applies it within an economics context.

What are some big things happening in Finance right now?

There has been a huge amount of borrowing throughout the economy in the past 5-10 years. The total US bond market is now worth over $40 trillion dollars, compared to the stock market which is about $25 trillion. The US government alone owes more than $15 trillion, which is more than half of the value of the US stock market. All of this debt creates risk to the economy, but it also creates opportunities for students who understand bonds and interest rates well.

What types of careers could students with a Finance concentration pursue?

Focusing on the debt market, some examples (among others) would include the trading of debt securities (which requires understanding how bonds are valued), fixed income portfolio management (designing portfolios of bonds that meet investor objectives), investment banking (helping companies raise capital through borrowing), and credit risk analysis (helping investors understand the ability of borrowers to repay bonds).

By Amanda Simpfenderfer
Amanda Simpfenderfer Amanda Simpfenderfer