Investing in the future
Winners of Stock Market Game collect prizes, share strategies
11:23 a.m., Jan. 31, 2013--Judging from the investment strategies and techniques shared by participants at this year’s Stock Market Game awards ceremony, the elementary, middle and high school students have the potential to give professional stock brokers a run for their money.
At the ceremony held Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the University of Delaware’s Newark campus, students from schools and clubs across the state received awards for their participation in the national program sponsored in Delaware by UD’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship.
Ballroom dance honors
The students were among 1,070 in Delaware on 258 teams who played the Stock Market Game from Oct. 8 through Dec. 14 in hopes of winning the contest.
From considerations about Black Friday to popular food and clothing choices, the students explained how they made their gains.
In the elementary division, Corey Geerlof, Kelly Kane, Michael Sanders and Katherine Severson from West Park Place Elementary School selected stocks that led to a portfolio valued at $105,977.
Under the supervision of teacher Jennifer Klima, a first-time Stock Market Game coach, the team found victory with a 6 percent increase in their initial portfolio value.
Darylnita Coston, Amatullah Studevent and Bernaj Ward from Greater Newark Boys and Girls Club, advised by Stephanie Juarez, focused on Walmart, Footlocker and Nike to lead them to a win.
“We predicted that on Black Friday a lot of people would be out and we thought Walmart would make a good profit,” Ward said.
In the middle school division, Janae Otter, Carlos Roques and Shyair Williams from Shue-Medill Middle School chose stocks that closed at a portfolio value of $107,858. The team was supervised by teacher Kane Swaney.
The team members said they chose their stocks based on their “favorite things,” such as Nike and fast food restaurants.
“We chose places where we thought most people would eat, like McDonald’s,” Roques said.
Joshua Reinhold and Kaylie Zimath from the Greater Newark Boys and Girls Club, also advised by Juarez, were victorious among the Middle School Boys and Girls Club Division.
Reinhold said the team focused on GameStop, Aeropostale and McDonald’s when it came time to buy shares. He said that “millions are served every day” at McDonald’s, which prompted him and his partner to buy the stock.
“I am excited to accept this award,” Reinhold said. “It is an honor.”
In the High School Division, Chris Barboun, Jack Conti, Mike Healy and Sean Simpson from Salesianum School placed first with $103,392. Teacher George Horn supervised the team.
Barboun said the team focused primarily on Bank of America and Caterpillar Inc. and tried its best to “buy low, sell high” in order to win the game. Barboun said he learned several valuable lessons while participating in the Stock Market Game.
“Don't put all your money in right away,” Barboun said. “At the beginning, we just sort of threw our money in random stuff and we lost a lot. Once we started watching what the stock market was doing and then buying at the right time we did well.”
Avonte Cannon, Carlos Cannon, Kiana Higgin, Michael Murray, Naeemah Murray and Cinitae Savage, from New Castle Boys and Girls Club, won the High School Boys and Girls Club Division, advised by Jawanna Saunders.
Cannon said the group put most of its money into Nike, Apple, McDonald’s and Forever 21, which led to their division victory.
He explained, “Our generation likes to buy clothes and sneakers,” which prompted them to believe Nike and Forever 21 were optimum choices in stock.
Mariah Kincaid from Leasure Elementary School won the InvestWrite competition, an essay contest open to students in grades four through twelve who participate in the Stock Market Game. The essay competition evaluates students’ understanding of the stock market and their ability to write critically on investment strategies.
Kincaid, who was coached by Timothy Werbrich, said she wrote about McDonald’s stock because “everyone knows about it.” She said she thought this made the company the ideal subject for her paper.
Jim O’Neill, director of the CEEE, applauded the teachers and advisors of the winning and participating students. He also credited the students as well as the parents, stating that the success of the program was a true “team effort.”
O’Neill also pointed out that the personal finance skills the students gleaned from playing the Stock Market Game would be useful to them in future endeavors.
About the Stock Market Game
The game is a 10-week national program that has been administered in Delaware by the CEEE since 1983.
The teams invest a hypothetical $100,000 in stocks traded on the New York, American and NASDAQ exchanges. After researching stocks and the companies that issue them, the teams enter trades on the Stock Market Game website at real-time prices.
At the end of the 10-week game, the team in each of the three grade-level and Boys and Girls Club divisions with the highest value portfolio is declared a winner.
Article by Rachel Taylor
Photo by Duane Perry