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Stock picks win in market game
by LOUISE R. SHAW
Feb 12, 2014 | 2039 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RUTH ANN DAVIS (left), a business teacher at Centennial Junior High stands with Bryn Lythgoe, Hailey Horner and Ashley Owens. The team took third place in the junior high division of the Utah Stock Market Game.    Courtesy photo
RUTH ANN DAVIS (left), a business teacher at Centennial Junior High stands with Bryn Lythgoe, Hailey Horner and Ashley Owens. The team took third place in the junior high division of the Utah Stock Market Game. Courtesy photo
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KAYSVILLE – Anyone interested in getting some quality investment advice need look no further than Davis County students Р specifically those attending Northridge High, Centennial Junior High and Crestview Elementary.

Crestview Elementary took first place in their division, while Centennial Junior High’s team took third in the middle/junior high division.

Meanwhile, Northridge High School teams took first, second and third in the high school division.

To play the game, a national game with state winners, student teams are given an imaginary $100,000 to invest.

“They can buy and sell stocks, mutual funds or bonds for their portfolio,” said Ruth Ann Davis, business teacher at Centennial Junior High. “They can buy on margin and also short sell.”

That kids in middle school and elementary school are talking about buying on margin and short selling may be a surprise.

But not only do her students learn the strategies of the market in the term they spend with Davis, they spend another term creating a virtual business.

“It gives them a lot of opportunity to really think, too,” she said, “and to look at how the real world works.”

The game goes for 10 weeks twice a year and gives students a chance to research actual stocks.

“They look at Yahoo Finance (finance.yahoo.com)and also look at investor relations under the company itself,” she said.

“They learn a lot about risk and reward,” she added. “If you buy risky stocks you can win a lot of money but you can also lose a lot,” she said. “Or you can buy nice, dependable stocks that in the past five years have constantly gone up but slowly, but for the game you want to do something a bit risky.”

The game also requires a lot of math skills, she said, as students calculate what they need to invest, what they have lost or what they need to pay in commission.

Three of Davis’ students took the top three spots for their essays on investing. Jared Mumas took first, Lauren Rice won second, and Tyson Copa came in third for describing how to research and find stocks that would be good for a 10-year investment, said Davis.

While the game is taking place, students come in every day to see how their stock picks did and how they are ranked.

“It’s a fun way to expose them to all those things,” she said.

Dave Handy is the teacher coaching the program at Crestview, Shad McCord at Northridge. 

Handy’s teams have placed in the top third in every competition since 2007.

This year’s winners include the team of Laval Stephens and Jaden Verhall, who took first, and Ariana Sanchez and Cristina Rodriguez, the team that took second. Kaydee Stevens, Brenna Bircumshaw and Dylan Parry took first, second and third, respectively, in the essay part of the contest.

Participating in the game helps students learn to think critically and analyze information, said Handy. 

     The game incorporates math, reading, writing, social studies and current events, he said, and provides an opportunity to apply skills in a real-world situation.

“The game is all about student achievement,” said Handy. “This is one of those special opportunities where students have a chance to experience tangible success.”

 



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