Delaware Students Outperform S&P during Stock Market Game | Lerner
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University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics

By Imani Gibbs June 28, 2021

Hedging their bets on stocks such as GameStop and Microsoft, students from Delaware’s Leisure Elementary, Springer Middle School and Appoquinimink High School walked away with first place in their divisions during this spring’s Stock Market Game (SMG) hosted virtually by the University of Delaware’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE) at the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.

SMG is a bi-annual educational simulation sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. SMG is funded by the Investor Protection Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice with support from WSFS.

More than 900 students on 307 teams representing Delaware elementary, middle and high schools virtually invested $100,000 on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ over 10-weeks with the goal of achieving the greatest portfolio growth possible. Students were tasked with monitoring their portfolio, values and rankings. The winning teams and their coaches were honored during a virtual awards reception on May 26, 2021.

“These students did what many sophisticated adults can’t do. In 10 short weeks they handily outperformed the S&P 500,” Marion Jacobs, CEEE Stock Market Game Coordinator, said at the start of the ceremony.

Leisure Elementary took the victory for the elementary division with an earned return of $14,812 from the initial $100,000 investment. Led by teacher Timothy Werbrich, students Chernor Barrie, Jayden Grier, Jacob Ramos and Jayden Taylor exceeded the growth of the S&P by nearly 8%.

Taylor shared which companies made the most profit, stating, “GameStop, and Microsoft made us the most money! GameStop made us $9,000 and Microsoft made us $1,000.”

Daniel Baxter, a student from Springer Middle School, won in his division with guidance from teacher Michael Glazier. He singularly brought in a whopping $28,340 in return on investment from the allocated $100,000, exceeding the growth of the S&P by over 21%.

“I just bought some stocks that were making money and I also shorted GameStop when it was really high. I spent all my money so I could make money,” Daniel said when asked about his success.

Students John Becker and Paul Sarro, led by teacher Ann Terranova from Appoquinimink High School were the winning team in the high school division, earning a return of $12,077 and exceeding the S&P growth by more than 4%.

Becker explained the ups and downs his team faced during the game, “There were a ton of stocks and we had a very diverse portfolio. GameStop and AMC were our top earners and Rocket Mortgage was the top loser for us. Our stocks went up at the beginning, and then went right back down the next day. We were in last place out of 100 contestants. It took us about a month to make about $15,000 of debt back to get us to $100,000, and then we reached up to $12,000.”

Carlos Asarta, director of the CEEE, thanked the Director of the Investor Protection Unit, Jillian Lazar, and Chief Special Investigator Craig Weldon, “without you we would not be able to offer the program in Delaware. We truly appreciate your support and everything that you do.”