Jack Evans and James Bouchard spearhead StFX’s first Financial News Source
A buzzword in the financial and economic world right now is “financial literacy,” which is the education and understanding of various financial areas. This is a phenomenon in which 4th year Honours in Economics student, Jack Evans, says is an incredibly important concept for people to grasp, especially when applying for jobs. Both Jack himself and fellow 4th year Advanced Major in Finance student, James Bouchard, had noticed that StFX had a gap in the accessibility of financial literacy. Thus, X-Markets Monthly was born. Evans and Bouchard are old friends, both hailing from Calgary, Alberta and alumnus of Rundle College High School. This past summer Evans had approached Bouchard with an idea; a monthly, one-paged financial news publication that basically intended upon taking the large major pieces of information that are happening within the Canadian market and boiling it down to a fairly simple and impactful resource.
When asked of the overarching purpose of X-Markets Monthly both students had repeated several times that “we are trying to make this information accessible to everyone.” Both students had agreed that a publication of this nature would have been very beneficial to them in their first and second year, as during that stage of their education they had not totally developed the tools and desire to break apart sources like “The Financial Times” every morning. “In fourth year you know you need to stay informed but back then it would have still been good to have an external idea of what is going on out there” Bouchard had said. While X-Markets Monthly is primarily geared towards Economics and Finance students alike, it is written in such a way, with exclusion of financial jargon, so that anyone can pick it up and get something out of it. Evans then goes on to give an example:
“This past issue our top story was on Canadian tax reform that is coming, so that is not just a finance issue; every single business and every single person in Canada is going to be impacted by tax reform.”
While there are more financially driven sections such as a sector analysis, there will also continually be contribution stories so readers can learn from StFX graduates themselves that are currently working in the Economic or Financial industry; thus, giving students an idea of where they can be upon leaving StFX.
They had first gotten the ball rolling by approaching several business professors such as Dr. Mark MacIsaac, Dr. Vijay Vishwakarma, Dr. Bhavik Parikh and Dr. Hatem Ghouma. Once they had floated the idea around, they starting pushing forward with the support of Dean Tim Hynes. “The business school as a whole has been very supportive in getting this off the ground and allowing us to produce something substantial” Bouchard mentions. Both students then make note that when starting something so new, you run into a lot of red tape and issues but with the support of the business faculty they have been able to overcome many of those issues. Along with the business faculty, Evans and Bouchard reached out to several other students to take on large roles in order ensure the sustainability of the publication once they graduate. Mitch Martell; a third year Honours in Finance student, Samantha Blair; a third year Joint Honours in Economics and Business student, 4th year Information Systems student, Matt Benoit and 4th year Advanced Major in Enterprise Systems student, Ryan Finn are all driving forces of this publication. Along with those mentioned, the Schwartz Business Society, the Investment Society and the Economics Society have all put their heads together to contribute various elements and perspectives.
“It has been neat to bring in these three units who don’t usually work together” says Bouchard. Evans then laughs “lots of smart kids in the room which is fun!” Both students then commend the leaders that have emerged from these units and the value of having the various knowledge bases working on this project.
While Evans and Bouchard are graduating this year, and moving on to pursue their goals of Graduate Studies and a career in the Financial Service industry respectively, it will not be the end of X-Markets Monthly. By putting younger students in commanding positions, they then have the ability to take the publication into their own hands and push it forward. Both Evans and Bouchard hope that their role in the overall process is contributing to the first round of something sustainable, getting some kinks out and generating interest. “Hopefully in 15 years we come back and it will still be there” says Evans.
The launch of X-Markets Monthly is a testament to student initiative and creativity here at StFX. Print copies of the publication are available in the Schwartz School and at the information desk in Bloomfield Center. Students can also access the publication online through the Schwartz Business Society website. Make sure to follow X-Markets Monthly on its Facebook page for future information and updates.