Investment education

Students learn about investing through Economics Arkansas.

More than 130 junior investors in grades 4-12 were recognized for their successful efforts to grow a hypothetical stock portfolio over the course of 10 weeks. They received cash awards and trophies for winning 1st and 2nd place during the Fall 2013 session of the Stock Market Game, a project-based investment simulation teaching the importance of saving and investing for the future.

The student achievements were celebrated during an awards luncheon at Verizon Arena on Jan. 16 hosted by Economics Arkansas, a nonprofit educational organization that trains educators how to integrate economics and personal finance concepts into the K-12 classroom curriculum.

Yet as one winning team of four elementary students explained to the audience, participating in the Stock Market Game program netted them more than a cash award and a field trip to Little Rock: "We learned to take risks with investments. We learned about different levels of risk: low would be a savings account, medium would be stocks or mutual funds, and high would be investing in futures like corn. We learned to look at what was happening in the world. … If a produce had to be recalled, then the company would suffer. If the government shut down, we were all in

trouble. We learned to use online resources like nyse.com, Yahoo Finance and Google Finance. We could use their charts and analyst opinions to determine whether or not a stock was worth buying," said Gabe Reed, Davis Elleman, Jaxon Krueger and Preston McAllister from Bernice Young Elementary School of the Springdale School District.

More than 4,000 Arkansas students participated in the Fall 2013 session of the Stock Market Game. South Arkansas winners are:

Elementary

Region 3

First Place

Bradley Elementary

Leah Teague

Emerson-Taylor-Bradley

Second Place

Bradley Elementary

Leah Teague

Emerson-Taylor-Bradley

Junior High

Region 3

First Place

Genoa Central High

Jerry Brown

Genoa Central

Second Place

Genoa Central High

Jerry Brown

Genoa Central

High School

Region 3

First Place

South Arkansas Christian

Bobby Beaird

Second Place

Genoa Central High School

Jerry Brown

Genoa Central

Also recognized were Michael Huels, North Little Rock High School Sophomore Campus, North Little Rock School District, in the category of Overall Advisor; Marybeth Passmore, White Hall School District, in the category of Teacher Division, and Jerry Brown, Genoa High School, Genoa Central School District, in the category of Portfolio Advisor.

The Stock Market Game is owned by the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), and franchised to Economics Arkansas since 1999. In this investment simulation and competition, students trade "live" in the stock market.

Teams of 1-5 students seek to grow a virtual $100,000 stock portfolio over the course of 10 weeks in the fall and in the spring. They compete in either the elementary (grades 4-6), junior high (grades 7-9) or senior high division (10-12) in one of the state's six regions connected to a university economics center area.

Teachers act as advisors who assist each team by inviting investment professionals to speak in the classroom, teaching their students to learn "how" to research and to become aware of current events that affect the market. The teams with the highest total equity at the end of each 10-week session in each division and region are recognized at the awards luncheon. The winners receive cash, medals and commemorative tee-shirts. Annual participation averages more than 9,000 students.

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