Nishant leverages his personal and professional experience to familiarize MFRE students with key derivatives commodity trading strategies.
Nishant Kalia brings several years of experience to the MFRE program in derivatives trading and investment research for commodities such as sugar, coffee, and oil via the Commodity Trading Lab he teaches. In this lab, students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the dynamic world of commodity trading.
To explore more on the subject and on his lab, Nishant answered the following questions for us:
What motivated you to join the MFRE faculty?
When I first got an opportunity to work as a derivatives trader, my motivation was to develop my quantitative skills and make money. As I gained experience, I started to learn more about the challenges associated with the commodities markets. These challenges included supply chain issues, rising prices, rising global demand, lack of hedging opportunities for the producers, etc. I realized that my initial motivation was not focused on any of these bigger problems but I did not have any means to work on the problems at that time. When I got an opportunity to work with the MFRE faculty, I considered that as an opportunity to create awareness about trading and the problems faced by the commodity markets so that my students can create a positive impact as they work in the professional environment or even become future leaders in different industries
What are the main learning objectives of your Commodity Trading Lab?
The objective of the lab is to familiarize students with derivative instruments such as futures and options, technical indicators and fundamental factors that influence commodity prices, and options trading strategies.
What are some features that make a lab like this in an economics graduate program unique, and what industry needs does it address?
This lab will provide students with hands-on experience with commodity trading. This will allow students to apply the knowledge that they have gained in their graduate program. The experience from this lab can help them decide if they want to pursue a career in this field and familiarize them with the skills required to do so. Banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions look for individuals who have knowledge in economics, commodity markets, and investment strategies.
What kind of students stand to benefit the most from acquiring the skills emphasized in the lab?
Students who have a good risk appetite and want to develop analytical skills would benefit the most from the course. The course would also help students who want to learn about the different tools available for investing money in commodity markets.
About Nishant Kalia
Nishant Kalia has extensive industry experience in commodity derivatives trading, strategic sourcing, and contract negotiation. Nishant is currently employed as an Associate Director of Procurement Partnerships at UBC and is a Sessional Instructor for MFRE, where he teaches the program’s Commodity Trading Lab. Nishant has a keen interest in trading based on technical indicators and options trading, which he uses in managing his personal stock portfolio