A team from Newark Charter won the middle school division in the fall Stock Market Game. Pictured from left celebrating the win are Dan Newcott, principal; team members Sofia Rossetta-Angeli, Calvin Orozco, and Aanya Patel; and teacher Sverrir Georgsson.
The future looks bright for four seniors at Salesianum School if they decide to focus on careers in investment or financial advising.
Tim Kinkade, Christian Boccuti, Nate Reid, and Deron Tchuente racked up their second straight win in the high school division in the Stock Market Game, an educational simulation for Delaware schools put on twice a year by the University of Delaware’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.
Adding on to their previous win as juniors in the spring, their victory this time was no small feat, because the Salesianum high-schoolers were matched against 84 other teams.
On Jan. 24, CEEE held a ceremony over Zoom honoring the winners of three grade categories in the fall 2023 edition of the game, the top finishers in a field of 1,384 students on 351 teams.
The Stock Market Game is a national competition put on by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). In the simulation, students get $100,000 in fictional money to invest in publicly traded companies. They research investment options and are able to follow the market’s ups and downs and invest in real time, while also keeping track of how they’re performing against other teams. After 10 weeks, those with the best returns in each age group are the winners.
CEEE coordinates the game in Delaware, along with a companion competition called Investwrite in which students research and write essays about the stock market.
Overall, 35 schools participated in this past round. Seventy teams outperformed S&P 500 growth with their trades, and 56 of those managed to grow their investments by $10,000 or more.
The winners of the Grade 4-5 category were Yousef Farag and Carlos Lopez, fifth-graders from West Park Place Elementary just down the street from UD. They managed to earn more than $25,000 simulated dollars.
“They’ve outperformed many trained and experienced investors in the market,” noted Scott Bacon, assistant director of CEEE and coordinator of the game.
The students’ strategy was to research companies that were at a 52-week low in stock price, including some heavy hitters like Disney and Netflix.
“I really appreciate and value these important real-world opportunities that you provide us,” their teacher Tammy Hanby said of CEEE. “We all know that financial literacy is so important going into adulthood.”
The winners of the middle school division, grades 6-8, were Calvin Orozco, Aanya Patel, and Sofia Rossetta-Angeli, of Newark Charter Junior High. They brought in a return of more than $20,000.
They were also well-prepared for the ceremony, bringing a slideshow presentation explaining their strategy and what they learned. They focused on reputable companies with significant revenue that had low stock prices at the time, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google, and embraced the idea of managing risk rather than avoiding it, they explained.
“They all really, really took to it,” said Sverrir Georgsson, the Newark Charter team’s teacher, who expressed great pride in the group. The team became very excited and engaged when they realized they were cracking the top rankings in their school, he said.
It was an energy that took them much further than the top of their school rankings. “It just sort of snowballed,” Georgsson said.
The repeat high school champions from Salesianum got the best results overall, earning nearly $31,000. Reid, one of the team members, said part of their strategy was to look for companies that had just announced profitability, as those tend to get a wave of attention that increases their profits. They also struck pay dirt by aptly timing an investment in a pharmaceutical company that had just earned FDA approval on a product.
Carlos Asarta, the James B. O’Neill Director of CEEE, applauded everyone involved. “I want to congratulate the students for an amazing job in the competition and for taking a chance to learn about financial literacy and the stock market,” he said.
Craig Weldon, chief special investigator at the DOJ’s Investor Protection Unit, also congratulated all the winners. “You are amazing at what you do … these are lessons which I guarantee you will continue to use.”
He mentioned teachers and parents as well. “The support of parents is what’s most important in completing this circle … the teachers do their part in school, the parents do their part at home, and the students win.”