McNick students compete in national financial competition

By: David Waterman

The Stock Market Game, a national competition between student teams running 10 weeks, ended on April 14. Social Studies teacher Mr. Frank Lowden has taught this as part of the Economics curriculum for the past eight years, and the students compete with a partner or individually with other teams throughout the region and country. Participation is funded by Cincinnati Public Schools.
“It’s a lesson that’s highly engaging using real time trading,” Lowden said. “They can invest in stocks, bonds, and various money markets.” Those participating in the activity can trade from desktop and mobile apps. “Students can trade anytime and anywhere, and they do,” Lowden said.

Stock Market Brent
The mobile platform for the national Stock Market Game contains the full functionality of the desktop version, allowing students to trade, review the market, view their rank, and strategize. Junior Brent Gates’s followed his portfolio on his smartphone.

Given $100,000 in virtual money and given free lease to trade, it is up to the students to apply what they have learned in class. Junior Mason Elmer held the number 1 spot out of the entire competition for about a week and a half, but finished in 10th place in the region, 15th in the state, and 1st at McNick. He said his strategy was unique. “I invested all of it, and used a Super Bowl commercial rating website to pick relevant companies,” Elmer said. Elmer learned that “you have to take risks. I was in last place and then jumped to first.” The team that finished first on the leaderboards will ring the bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, beginning business for that day.

Mason Info Cropped
“Most students only invest about a fourth of their total money,” said junior Mason Elmer, who had approximately $11,000 in gains when in first place. The overall gain as of the end of the competition for Elmer was about $6,500. Photo courtesy of Mason Elmer.

“I know the students come away investing money, and with a sense of empowerment and belief in their future financial situation,” Lowden said.

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