Need a stock tip? Ask a fifth-grader
EAGLE — Anyone concerned about the performance of his or her fourth-quarter stock portfolio may want to call a Brush Creek Elementary School fifth-grader for some tips.
The numbers speak for themselves. When given a virtual $100,000 to invest in stocks, mutual funds, bonds and commodities, a Brush Creek team pocked a cool — but unfortunately still virtual — 19.36 percent gain. Not bad for kids who still spend part of their day at recess.
The team of five Brush Creek Elementary fifth-grade boys — Jonathan Boyer, Ben Sutter, Izzat Katieb, Griffin Moore and Jake Drever — worked their market magic to take first prize in the Colorado Council for Economic Education Stock Market Experience competition. The contest ran from Sept. 21 through Dec. 4.
Under the direction of teachers Michelle Morrison and Karen Espergen, Brush Creek fifth-graders divided themselves into teams to compete in the statewide stock market contest. Their virtual dealings were through the New York Stock Exchange, and they got some expert advice from a parent who works as a stock broker and a mentor students who know a thing or two about how to play the game.
Morrison’s son Jason participated in the Stock Market Experience a few years back and his team also took the top state prize. He dropped by his mom’s classroom a couple of times and also shared some webinars with the students. His best advice? Watch what’s trending.
All the participating kids were encouraged to think about what was happening in the news and what time of year it is. For instance, Starbucks is selling pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas this time of year. It’s also cold outside and hot beverages are more appealing. As a result, the coffee company’s stocks are selling higher.
“The kids really got into the whole idea of researching trends, like when the news came out that Oprah Winfrey was purchasing Weight Watchers stocks,” said Morrison. “They were all coming up to me and saying they needed to make trades, but we only did the activity on Thursdays.”
Morrison noted that while the Stock Market Experience is a fun way to engage kids in financial education, it is also a great way to meet school district objectives.
“The district supports an instructional core of learning based on excellence in teacher quality and delivery of instruction that aligns with global ready skills. In my classroom the Stock Market Exchange was a primary example of this curricular design,” Morrison said.
Not only did Brush Creek nab the top elementary school prize in this fall’s competition, the school made a clean sweep of the top spots in the Northwestern Region. The team of Rylie Jones, Riley Coe, Katie Johnson, Kate Faddick and Cassidy Kurt took second place in the region and the team of Faith Greiger, Abby Gunderson, Sam Oneil, Hailey Gifford and Reygan Perse earned third place honors.
As for the state champion team members, they will be treated to an awards ceremony at the Denver Zoo this spring. Each member will also receive a $100 prize.
Maybe they will spend they will spend that money or maybe they will invest it. Investing it is likely the best choice, since they seem to have a knack for it.