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Successful K-12 investors

Photos by Evan Krape

Delaware Stock Market Game winners bring home big virtual returns with stocks like Apple, Tesla, Panera

This year’s hot stocks are Apple, Tesla and Panera Bread, according to the winners’ portfolios at this semester’s University of Delaware Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE)’s Stock Market Game (SMG).

The SMG’s elementary division winners Matthew Hanich and Jesus Zarco-Barriga from Shue-Medill with coach John Markley, for example, grew their initial virtual $100,000 to $108,008.80 with predominately Apple and Tesla stock.

“Our plan was to let the stocks sit and grow,” one team member said. “Don’t mess with it, because it could go back down.”

Middle school division winners Emmalie Pedicone and Bianca Stafford from Springer Middle with coach Michael Glazier ended the game with a portfolio value of $115,371.03 – a whopping 15 percent return.

At first, the team said, “We tried to spend as much money as we could.” Eventually, though, they bought more strategically.

“We bought Ulta because so many women wear makeup and buy from Ulta,” they said. “We also bought Chipolte and Panera because they were doing really well.”

In the high school division, Middletown High’s Toby Waydelis worked with coach Veronica Marine to end with an impressive portfolio value of $113,131.44.

Waydelis said his star stocks were Apple, Amazon, Tesla and Panera Bread, adding that during the game’s session Panera’s stock grew 22 percent and Tesla’s 18 percent.

Students who participate in the SMG are also eligible for the SMG writing competition, InvestWrite. This semester’s award ceremony recognized the winners of InvestWrite from the fall 2016 semester.

The elementary division InvestWrite winner was Iveena Mukherjee of Linden Hill Elementary with coach Janet Huckleberry.

“For my essay, I chose Whole Foods because the organic industry is going up a lot,” said Mukherjee, who also described her SMG team’s experience buying and selling the company’s stock.

Middle school division winner Nydalia Glispy of Springer Middle, with coach Michael Glazer, was tasked with coming up with ways that one company can increase the stock of the other.

“I thought of Microsoft and Scholastic,” Glipsy said. She wrote about an idea inspired by Pokémon Go, in which these companies “use virtual reality to help students learn inside the classroom.”

The high school division winner was Appoquinimink High’s Jeffrey Cooper, with coach Cheryl Apparicio.

“I invested in a technology company because I know technology is a really big and upcoming industry,” Cooper said. “I invested in what I knew.” His stock choice has doubled in price since he bought it.

During the awards presentation, CEEE staff member and SMG coordinator Marion Jacobs congratulated the students, parents and teachers, and described the UD SMG’s recent growth in participant numbers.

Last semester, Jacobs said, the SMG at UD saw a record number of participants. This semester, the competition once again broke that participant record, going from last semester’s 1,452 students on 454 teams to 1,810 students on 571 teams.

“We are very proud that we were able to offer this opportunity to students,” Jacobs said.

Presenting the SMG awards was Craig Weldon, chief special investigator for the Investor Protector Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice.

The generous support of the Delaware Department of Justice allows the CEEE to offer the SMG in Delaware. This school year the program was offered free of charge, enabling significant growth in participation.

“This is the kind of stuff that can change your life in the long run,” Weldon said. “These are lessons that these kids, I hope, embrace. This is the kind of stuff that we need to invest in.”

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