A team of 7th grade students from Mariemont Junior High School received first place in the Southwest Ohio Middle School Division competition, in which 133 teams competed. The team also placed 3rd in the state, competing against 938 teams. The team “Warrior Stocks” consists of Annie Doran, Jossey Frye, Jacquelyn Kauffman, Abby Miller Melanie Weiss and Claire Wilder, lead by the Kiwanis of Mariemont Stock Market Game leader Roger Stafford.
“The mission of our Kiwanis Club is serving youth, and one of our initiatives is to advance the level of financial education in our schools,” said Roger. “Fifteen years ago we began by helping the Mariemont Junior High form teams, because we believe that every citizen, starting at the earliest age, can benefit from understanding the important role of the capital markets in their lives.”
The Stock Market Game (SMG), which is a vehicle for teaching students about public and private companies and stockholder relations, lasts 10 weeks and each team has $100,000 to invest in a virtual portfolio. Students learn how to research what a company does, its products, its growth rates and its profitability. Kiwanis members Roger Stafford, Jeremy Gates, Jack Smith and Donald Keyes also gave short lessons about investing during lunchtime meetings with the student teams.
“We never recommend specific companies in which the students should invest. Instead, we suggest they follow the news and look at companies that make their favorite products: their food, their clothing, their electronics. We recommend they invest in what they know,” said Roger.
Over the past 15 years, the MJHS Stock Market Game has grown, this year to 10 teams in 7th grade and five teams in 8th grade, with a total of, 81 participants. Kiwanis recognizes two teams in each grade – the top earner and the best portfolio, based on growth and diversification
The members of “Warrior Stocks,” along with the winners in eight other divisions at both the high school and middle school levels, were invited to the University of Cincinnati to receive their awards and compete in the Portfolio Challenge, in which each team had to explain the logic behind their portfolio, where they went for research and what they learned. The two winners travel (all expenses paid) to New York to present to executives at Goldman Sachs, Lazard and Legg Mason and tour the New York Stock Exchange.
Upon entering high school, many students with SMG experience join the Green Envy Investment Club, sponsored by Kiwanis and the OKI Chapter of Better Investing. The club is a legal Ohio partnership and students own stocks under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act. Students join Better Investing and learn methods for effective investing strategies.
For now, the “Warrior Stocks” girls are simply enjoying the experience.
“I am thrilled that this amazing team of young ladies had such impressive results with the Stock Club Game,” said Molly Connaughton, principal of Mariemont Junior High School. “Words cannot express how proud I am of them or how grateful we are for the leadership, knowledge and friendship Kiwanis shares with our students.”
About The Stock Market Game
The SMG is an outreach of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation (501c3), which represents hundreds of securities firms, banks and asset managers. The Foundation is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds. Annually, 600,000 4th-12th grade students and their teachers take part in this financial education program.Click here for more information.